Sustainable retailer, Ecovibe, is tranforming the ways that people shop. Making a sustainable lifestyle as straightforward as possible for those new to the eco-friendly market, they are creating a collaborative and positive community of eco-conscious consumers.
Having relaunched with an innovative new set of eco services and on-demand product ranges, the sustainable retailer is selling eco-friendly products, as well as informing and educating customers.
This has never been more important. Due to pressing climate concerns, eco-friendly lifestyles are increasingly becoming mainstream, with a recent report revealing that 90% of people now choose to recycle. Yet whilst the nation is seeing the importance of sustainable switches, confusing jargon and greenwashing mean that many consumers are left in the dark, with only 20% of people choosing to buy eco-friendly products.
Jos Battle, owner of Ecovibe spoke with Modern Retail about the ways that sustainable retailers can lead the way and make a positive difference.
1. How did Ecovibe begin and how has it changed since?
Nearly 4 years ago now we realised that buying more eco-friendly products needed to be a thing. We were ourselves conscious consumers. Now we have had over 100k customers and sell to many zero waste and other eco-conscious businesses, like John Lewis, which has been incredible for reaching a wider consumer audience. Our next stage of growth will include innovation, education and eco-tech to help consumers shop in more eco-friendly ways.
2. As a sustainable retailer, are you seeing a significant change in consumers’ attitudes towards sustainability?
More consumers have become aware of the environmental effects of their daily habits. Many want to shop eco as a result but just don’t know where to start. Some changes are being made, with recycling rates at 90% between homeowners, but only 10% make those initial eco buying decisions. Our job is to reduce this gap with accessible products that perform just as well as non-eco alternatives which have been used for years.
3. What goes into sourcing the right sustainable products behind the scenes?
It’s hard, as so many companies claim products are sustainable when they aren’t. We spend months testing and investigating products to see if the statements claimed are actually true. Our customers only see our products after months and in some cases, years of hard work.
4. How do you keep the costs affordable for customers while balancing the sustainability aspect of products?
We try to look at longer-lasting products, so they work out more economical in the long run. However, in some cases, unfortunately, products cost more than plastic counterparts. Lower prices will only change once raw materials get cheaper and that will only happen when eco products become the norm. This will definitely happen in the near future as more and more consumers make those sustainable switches.
5. What would be your top tips for sourcing plastic-free packaging?
This area is usually the first which big brands go for so advances in packaging have been amazing. ‘Forest Stewardship Council’ (FSC) certified cardboard is widely available as a great alternative.
6. As a sustainable retailer, tell us more about how you provide transparency for customers to make informed decisions.
Before we launch products, we ask our customers to test them. We don’t sell things that don’t work. Internally we discuss customer reviews to help us shape both products and service levels. Our community is really important, and transparency is key.
7. What would be your advice for any other retailers wanting to share key messaging while engaging customers on social platforms?
It’s important to be relevant and authentic – it’s not just a sales tool. The more authentic your content is, the more it’s loved by users and consumers. We’re all human and people want to see things which they can not only learn from, but relate to as well.
8. What’s next for Ecovibe and how can our readers stay up to date?
This year we have some amazing chances for our community to get involved. We have relaunched with a fresh new look and community areas, such as ‘My Eco Shop’, a tool that helps consumers find their local eco-friendly stores, and ‘Dirty What’, a third-party site that allows shoppers to research ingredients, reviews and more for sustainable products. We have big plans for eco-tech, do good (differently), innovation and education.
Following our Instagram or signing up to our newsletter are both simple ways to keep up to date with any news, discounts or products we may be launching.
Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing. As Modern Retail’s Content Editor, Holly is passionate about helping independent retailers to thrive in today’s ever-changing market.