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Scaling brands while achieving sustainability

This article was based on the interview with Richie Jones of vvast by Greg Kihlström for The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström podcast. Listen to the original episode here:

Scaling brands with sustainability is a complex challenge that many companies face in today’s business landscape. In order to understand this concept better, let’s analyze a transcript of a podcast where Richie Jones, the managing director at vvast, a D2C e-commerce agency, discusses the topic.

According to Jones, reducing impact and making change is a critical aspect of scaling a direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand. When he refers to reducing impact, he is primarily talking about the environmental impact of the brand’s operations. This is particularly relevant in industries such as fashion retail and power retail, where the environmental threats are well-known.

Vvast, as a B Corp, focuses on helping brands scale while also prioritizing sustainability and reducing their environmental footprint. They have developed a playbook that aligns with the brands they work with, enabling them to become more sustainable. Sustainability is one of the three pillars of vvast’s engagement with brands.

One of the challenges in scaling brands with sustainability is finding ways to present more efficient and environmentally friendly practices. This can involve implementing strategies such as reducing waste, optimizing supply chains, and adopting renewable energy sources. However, these changes can be complex and require significant investment and commitment from the brand.

Another challenge is balancing sustainability with profitability. Brands need to find a middle ground where they can prioritize sustainable practices without sacrificing their bottom line. This requires careful planning, innovative solutions, and a long-term perspective.

To overcome these challenges, vvast’s playbook provides brands with simple and low-risk concepts that enable them to become more sustainable. By implementing these concepts, brands can make incremental changes that add up to significant environmental impact reduction.

In conclusion, scaling brands with sustainability is a multifaceted endeavor that requires a holistic approach. Brands must prioritize reducing their environmental impact while also considering profitability and long-term sustainability. By working with agencies like vvast, brands can access the expertise and resources needed to navigate this complex landscape and create a positive impact on the environment as they grow.

Sustainability and growth are compatible.

Sustainability and growth are often seen as opposing forces in the business world. The pursuit of profit and expansion can often come at the expense of the environment and ethical practices. However, a podcast transcript from vvast, a company that helps brands scale sustainably, challenges this notion and argues that sustainability and growth can be compatible.

Vvast promotes sustainability in the shipping and packaging practices of their partner brands. They offer consumers the option to choose environmentally friendly shipping methods, such as pedal-powered or electric vehicles, even if it means waiting longer or paying a bit more. This approach demonstrates that sustainability can be integrated into the consumer experience without sacrificing growth.

Another example of sustainability and growth compatibility is seen in vvast’s efforts to eliminate single-use plastic packaging. By switching brands to more sustainable and combustible packaging materials, they not only reduce environmental harm but also align their practices with consumer demand for eco-friendly options. This demonstrates that sustainability can be a selling point for brands, attracting environmentally conscious consumers and driving growth.

Supply chain optimization is another area where sustainability and growth can intersect. vvast shares the example of a brand that was manufacturing products in Poland but had their distribution center in Amsterdam, resulting in the products being shipped via China. By correcting this inefficiency and enabling direct shipping from Poland to Amsterdam, Vvast reduced carbon emissions and improved the brand’s sustainability. This example highlights how sustainability measures can lead to cost savings and operational efficiencies, contributing to overall growth.

The interview also touches on the ethical aspects of sustainability. Vvast emphasizes the importance of ethical advertising, questioning the ethics of practices like underage targeting and excessive discount messaging. By reducing these practices, brands can not only improve their ethical standing but also influence consumer behavior in a positive way. This demonstrates that ethical engagement can be a catalyst for growth, as consumers are increasingly drawn to brands that align with their values.

One of the challenges in reconciling sustainability and growth is the prevailing mindset of relentless year-on-year growth ingrained in capitalist societies. However, a shift towards a more sustainable and equitable model, such as the concept of “swizing economies,” can be beneficial for both the planet and consumers. This approach recognizes that growth does not have to be exponential but can still be profitable while prioritizing sustainability.

In conclusion, the podcast presents a compelling argument that sustainability and growth are not mutually exclusive. By adopting a holistic approach that considers environmental impact, ethical practices, and consumer demand, brands can scale sustainably while still achieving profitability. The examples provided demonstrate that sustainability measures can lead to operational efficiencies, cost savings, and increased consumer loyalty. Ultimately, by partnering with agencies like vvast, brands can navigate the complex landscape of sustainability and growth, creating a positive impact on the environment as they expand.

House of the Customer by Greg Kihlström is now available.
House of the Customer by Greg Kihlström

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