Sustainability Initiative Award shortlist announced


Entries to the Sustainability Initiative category of the 2022 Good Retail Awards have showcased many impressive examples of innovation to benefit retailers, customers and the industry as a whole.

We would like to take the time to say thank you to all who entered. The number of inspirational stories shared by so many in the industry made it a privilege (and a real challenge!) to narrow them down to the final shortlist.

The Sustainability Initiative Award recognises retailers who have successfully implemented sustainability initiatives within their business.

Modern Retail is delighted to announce the official shortlist for the Good Retail Awards’ Sustainability Initiative Award.

The Sustainability Initiative Award shortlist is as follows:

Mattress Online

Mattress Online has introduced a number of sustainability initiatives to save old mattresses from going to landfill and moving away from plastic as much as possible.

Their work has seen Mattress Online introduce a mattress collection and non-profit recycling service, with a third of all customers choosing to recycle. Saving more than 100,000 mattresses going to landfill, they also look to use non-harmful materials wherever possible, with 20% of their mattresses being chemical-free, 13% including recycled materials and 23% being vegan-friendly. Mattress Online minimises its use of plastic, making sure its polythene mattress bags are made from 100% recycled content and are 100% recyclable, as well as using thinner grades of this plastic to protect mattresses.

Mattress Online has committed to sustainability at every level, seeing to reduce packaging, promote eco ranges, improve efficiency, support cycle to work schemes for employees and even sourcing a new staff uniform made from recycled material.

UpCircle Beauty

UpCircle Beauty elevates leftover natural ingredients and brings them back to life as multi-award-winning skincare products.

Repurposing more than ten by-product ingredients from varied industries, UpCircle Beauty look to go a step further than most other skincare brands, saving hundreds of tonnes of valuable, skin-loving ingredients from ending up in landfill. In 2021, UpCircle Beauty launched a ‘Return, Refill, Reuse’ scheme across their entire range, encouraging customers to keep their original packaging and reuse it for a 20% discount vs. RRP. Their approach to retail products means they are not only good for your skin, but they are also good for the world.

UpCircle Beauty’s approach to circular ingredients and circular use of packaging is having a significant impact on the planet, educating customers while encouraging sustainable practices in the beauty sector.

Seedlings Cards & Gifts

Seedlings Cards & Gifts was formed over 12 years ago and built upon the idea of giving back to the environment. They aim to use sustainable materials and production methods within all aspects of their company.

Seedlings Cards & Gifts produce handmade, plantable gifts and cards containing British-grown wildflower seeds which are designed to rebuild lost habitats for nature with the intention to help customers begin planting with wildlife in mind. Aiming to encourage and inspire those of all ages, they also offer fun kits for children and everyday greetings, all with a heartfelt message and a ‘growing’ sentiment. Not only is all their packaging plastic-free, but their products are too, being designed with components that are mostly compostable, from paper pots to pine-starch cellulose wraps for their cards.

The ongoing work and commitments from Seedlings Cards & Gifts mean that their efforts to reduce waste, bring sourcing as close as possible to their doorstep and spread their messaging is continuously improving and making a significant difference.


Montezuma’s has put sustainability at the forefront of everything they do, including the ways that they package products, as well as methods of improving efficiency throughout production to become a zero-waste factory, as well as reducing their carbon footprint and environmental impact.

Beginning by entirely rethinking how every one of their products is packaged, Montezuma’s undertook product development as part of their pledge to sustainability. Moving from foil-wrapped bars into compostable and recyclable paper wraps, as well as moving plastic wrapping to be recyclable PET, they also used shredded excess packaging to fill gift boxes. Another initiative involved ‘naked’ chocolate, encouraging customers to fill up their own containers and jars with a range of chocolates, truffles and buttons to completely avoid waste. Alongside introducing renewable energy into all stores and the factory, Montezuma’s launched a ‘Waste Not, Want Not Recyclable Shop’ as a pop-up to educate consumers on the importance of sustainability and the ways that the company is continuing research for ongoing, sustainable development.

When making chocolate, a high-fat water bi-product is produced, which is full of nutritious, high-fat cocoa butter which animals can benefit from. Montezuma’s arrange for it to be collected on a regular basis by farmers who can benefit from feeding it to their animals.


Pantee is the world’s first underwear brand made from deadstock t-shirts. When Katie and Amanda learned about the enormous amount of waste produced by the fashion industry, they set out to make a difference.

Working with a sustainably-minded designer, Katie and Amanda carried out a year of research and product development, ensuring they were able to build end-to-end sustainability practices into the business from the start. As well as preventing waste by utilising deadstock t-shirts to create their products, Pantee is also committed to implementing a buy-back scheme, allowing them to make sure each product is recycled in the most sustainable way possible. This means that Pantee will become the first underwear brand in the UK to be simultaneously confronting pre-consumer and post-consumer fashion waste. Elastics in Pantee products are not dyed to match fabrics in a bid to save water and avoid chemicals and products are packed and shipped in recycled and recyclable FSC accredited cardboard boxes, using water-based printing ink to avoid the use of solvents, as well as lining boxes with biodegradable tissue paper to prevent the use of single-use plastics.

Despite already working in many sustainable ways, Pantee is committed to remaining transparent with customers about the ways that they aim to continue improvements and to hit enhanced sustainability targets for the future.


EcoSlurps was launched with the mission to provide customers with eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives to common single-use plastic products.

Beginning by initially selling reusable straws and bamboo cutlery, the EcoSlurps product portfolio quickly expanded to 35 unique products, including market-leading bamboo cotton buds, biodegradable toothbrushes and bioplastic chopsticks, which are competitively priced and are now outselling many of the world’s biggest brands on Amazon. As an early adopter of manufacturing bioplastic products, EcoSlurps’ creativity has seen them succeed in their plastic-free operation, with all packaging and mailer bags being biodegradable and recyclable. Other sustainable initiatives include planting trees at several reforestation projects to offset their carbon footprint, involving customers in positive change as well as investing profits back into saving the planet.

EcoSlurps continues to aim to become one of the world’s first carbon-positive retailers, with the goal of planting a million trees as well as diversifying into a wide portfolio of eco-friendly products and becoming a globally recognised brand.

Congratulations to all in the Sustainability Initiative Award shortlist

We would like to say a huge thank you to all on the Sustainability Initiative Award shortlist, as well as those that entered the award.

For more information on the Good Retail Awards, click here.