Ice caps are melting, there is a global water shortage, and Mother Earth needs some time, love, and care. ❤️
There are many minor changes you can make in your small business to be more sustainable.
Did you know that the fashion industry is toxic, environmentally and socially? Buying and selling second-hand merchandise makes a huge difference for our planet.
In honor of Earth Day 2023, here are some things you can do as a reseller to be a sustainable small business.
Reduce Waste & Conserve Energy
Take a look in your trash bin; what is it primarily filled with? Reducing waste is one of the smallest but most significant things you can do as a reseller and small business owner.
Thankfully, saving the environment and saving money often go hand-in-hand. I found that I used to be fairly irresponsible with resources and energy, and there were quite a few small things I could do to make a big difference.
Here are some ways to be more environmentally conscious:
Bringing reusable bags to the thrift store, rather than using the plastic bags they give you at checkout.
Scheduling package pick-ups with USPS and UPS significantly reduce carbon emissions from vehicles, plus it's super convenient!
Using whiteboards for notes (rather than paper or Post-its) is a great way to reduce paper waste.
Hanging clothing to dry to reduce laundering saves energy and money, too!
While these very small steps won’t save the planet overnight, remember that every little thing can make a big difference over time!
You might also be interested in this article: 5 Tips for Being Sustainable as a Reseller
Use Sustainable Supplies
Resellers use a lot of supplies for processing, storing, packaging, and shipping. I recommend reducing packaging to only what is necessary to protect the item during shipping and from the elements.
Skip the ribbons, bows, confetti, and thank you notes. Frankly, it’s a waste of time, money, and resources. These things are likely just thrown away and often are not recyclable. Even if they are, it is a shame how many people don’t recycle or do not have access to free and convenient recycling in the United States.
Did you know that only 32% of Americans recycle, according to Statista (2023)
Here are some ideas for reducing waste in packaging and shipping:
- Use recyclable and biodegradable boxes and mailers
- Reuse packaging that you receive as a consumer.
- Make a post on local Facebook Groups or Next Door to seek others’ recyclable packaging (businesses, in particular, receive a ton of materials that they often throw away).
- Skip the extras for aesthetics and vanity.
Sourcing sustainably is a great way to make a difference! By sourcing second-hand goods and textiles, you keep so much out of landfills.
Landfills are overwhelmed with textiles, much of the same being synthetic materials that take forever to break down, if at all.
Did you know that 11.3 million tons of textile waste end up in landfills each year in the United States alone?
Avoid Fast Fashion
Another crucial thing you can do as a reseller and a consumer is to avoid sourcing (new) “fast fashion” brands. Fast fashion brands mass-produce low-cost apparel at a low quality, that is not made to last.
Fast fashion brands aim to maximize profit without regard to the environment, waste, emissions, and the exploitation of labor. Often, the products are made of poor-quality materials and produced in toxic facilities in regions without stringent environmental regulation.
Fast fashion companies are responsible for much of the textiles in landfills, a vast level of pollution, and exploitation of human labor. While that super trendy top from Shein might only cost $3.99, there is a much higher price of the environmental impact and the poor treatment of the employees who made it.
Fast fashion is detrimental to the planet and human rights. While buying and selling these items second-hand is helping, purchasing new items is not a sustainable or ethical practice. Lend your support to ethical companies and suppliers that pay their employees fair wages and produce quality products with a longer lifespan.
Note: I sell fast fashion brands that are donated secondhand. I think reselling is one of the only solutions to the huge problem that is fast fashion. That said, I would not purchase it new or do retail arbitrage from these companies.
Here are some ways to source sustainably as a reseller:
Source second hand at local thrift stores
Check out the Goodwill outlets (“the bins”), which is the last stop for many textiles in the United States before the landfill.
When buying new or doing retail arbitrage, do your research and support companies that are environmentally responsible.
Check out wholesalers who sell secondhand to reduce environmental impact.
You have a responsibility as a business owner to do your part for the planet and raise awareness about sustainability. Vendoo is a green company that strives to reduce waste, minimize pollution, and raise awareness for the good of the environment and society.
Sharing your sustainable tips and practices on social media is a great way to encourage eco-friendly activity.
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What are your best eco-friendly tips and tricks? Share with us below!