The fashion retail industry has talked a lot about sustainability recently, with big name businesses committing to finding and developing new ways to offer great products to consumers without damaging the world around us.
From introducing environmentally friendly materials within the production line to providing new ways of packaging products, the pressure is on to make real changes within the industry. Changes that will transform the way we do things and truly benefit our planet. But are all these innovations wasted if the delivery and return of items continues to take its toll on the world?
The fashion industry is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to pollution. And that’s easy to believe especially when home delivery has become a preferred choice amongst consumers. Recent studies showed that around 74% of shoppers automatically choose home delivery over other options, with a high majority of that number expecting next day delivery as standard. The truth is, consumers may be looking for sustainable products, but when it comes to the logistics, most customers don’t have much of a choice in delivery options – in fact, they often have no real comprehension about the journey that their order has taken to get to them at all – so here at Pimble, we believe that it’s up to the retailers to start making smart decisions on their customers behalf.
The pressure is on for brands to offer a new way of packaging and delivering products – without damaging the customers experience of the brand or disrupting the convenience of having items delivered straight to their home. The search is on for alternatives, with both click and collect services and investment in electric vehicles starting to prove popular choices.
Take DPD for example – it could be said that they are leading the way in sustainable delivery options within our capital, having recently opened their first all-electric depot in Westminster. Their delivery options offer retailers the chance to provide more sustainable choices when it comes to delivery and returns. And the company are looking to open more depots across London very soon (where tighter charges on exhaust emissions have been introduced, meaning additional costs on top of the congestion charge already in place).
DPD are looking to expand their offering, with plans for more depots and a further 130 electric vehicles on the streets of London before the end of 2019. For retailers this means there will be far more choice when it comes to committing to sustainable delivery.
In a similar move ASOS recently partnered with delivery firm Gnewt – an all-electric service provider who are eager to show that sustainable options are now more easily available to brands. Having delivered around 500,000 parcels on behalf of ASOS since the collaboration began, Gnewt believe in innovation when it comes to their services and have recently trialled new ways of offering deliveries across London.
Of course electric vehicles bring with them some challenges – especially for the smaller brands out there who don’t have the weight (or investment opportunities) behind it that ASOS has. For a start the cost of purchasing vehicles is high and the options for the type and size of vehicle are still quite limited. Even once purchased electric vehicles require a battery upgrade around 5 years into the vehicles life and of course, outside of the capital the lack of charging stations are proving a problem.
At Pimble we understand that sustainable delivery options are still quite limited, especially for the smaller brands out there. But surely the fact that more choice is now becoming available can only be a good thing. And for those brands that are venturing into sustainable delivery options, the commitment they show to making change will provide them with a great USP. After all, consumers now more than ever want to work with, and buy from, companies that take their environmental responsibilities seriously.
By giving the customer the option to make a more sustainable choice, brands can continue to provide the highest level of service, while making the kind of changes to the process that consumers really want.
Statistic sources: Drapers