Conscious consumerism is at a peak. Customers these days are becoming much more mindful of the impact shopping decisions have on the planet. As such, it’s more important now than ever to make sure your business is eco-friendly, ethical, and sustainable.
This is worth thinking about if you’re planning on starting your own Etsy store. Some of the best, most profitable stores on Etsy are those that demonstrate sustainability and make a positive impact on the planet.
With that in mind, here are four tips to help you to start your own ethical Etsy store.
Upcycle used materials
There are lots of businesses killing it on Etsy that breathe new life into recycled goods. For example, Etsy store French Restorations manufacture beautiful wooden tables from reclaimed barn wood, and Lampada sells innovative, eco-friendly lampshades made from recycled coffee filters.
Not only do these products look great, but they’re also cheap to make too. You don’t have to pay for new materials when you use old, reclaimed products so you cut out a big chunk of your inventory costs.
These products also sell very well as they’re full of character. Plus, they have the added appeal of being manufactured sustainably. You’re making a positive impact and a hefty profit at the same time – it’s a win-win.
Reduce your wastage
Many small manufacturers don’t think about wastage enough. When you’re starting out, it can be difficult to accurately predict demand and know exactly how much inventory stock you’ll need to fulfill your orders.
It can be tempting to overstock, but this can lead to wastage – and wastage is bad. Part of ethical manufacturing is keeping wastage down to a minimum in order to avoid contributing to landfills.
Therefore, it’s important to try to only stock what you’re going to use. An inventory spreadsheet template or inventory management software can help with this by enabling you to more accurately track and update stock levels.
Think about the packaging
If you’re selling goods on Etsy, you’ll probably usually be mailing them to your customers in packaging. It’s really important to think about the packaging you’re using and the impact it has on the planet.
Plastic waste is a big problem right now. Our oceans are full of plastic and it’s predicted that, by 2050, there will be more plastic waste in the oceans than fish.
As such, environmentally-conscious customers hate it when their products come packaged in reams of unnecessary plastic. Try to use alternative packaging materials instead, like paper, whenever possible.
Streamline your production process
It’s not just about the goods you sell and how they’re packaged, it’s about how you manufacture them too. Even if the finished product is made from recyclable materials, if you used a ton of plastic waste during the manufacturing process, the overall impact of the product still isn’t good.
Streamline your production process to make it as efficient and sustainable as possible. Try to keep both your energy usage and waste as low as possible.
As much as easy shipping might seem eco-friendly at first, because it doesn’t require a brick-and-mortar building, there are many environmental mishaps to consider. Shipping materials, the carbon footprint of the delivery process, the manufacturing process, and the eco-friendliness of the products themselves are all very important to consider.
Fortunately, making choices that improve the environment often help improve your bottom line as well. It’s a win-win situation for the earth and for your customers. Take baby steps toward eco-friendly change in your business by trying each of these tips.