The Retail Hive: RetailJam
Welcome to your go-to, sustainability resource hub for RetailJam.
Here, you’ll find all of the ‘green’, practical and actionable insights from our members and partners, along with everything you need to know about RetailJam 2024 (and beyond!).
Senior leaders spanning a wide range of retail sectors joined us onsite this year, with sustainability being a key area of focus for so many of them. So, to ensure our 2023 agenda reflected the very top priorities of our members, we teamed up with leading retail brands and partners with a wealth of ‘green’ knowledge and experience—who are all paving the way for sustainable change.
And we pulled out all the stops—from interactive roundtable discussions in the Tea Tent to intimate workshops in Water Deck Cabanas, and unpacking pilots and success stories in dedicated RetailTalks and fireside chats on the Innovation Stage. Our sustainability members and partners made their mark at Oakley Court, sharing endless insights, experiences and wisdom with one another.
From this, we’ve collated some of our favourite content pieces for attendees to revisit the key talking points, and for those who couldn’t make it to get a real taste of what to expect next time. Go on, have a scroll…
Our Sustainability Storytellers and Partners
RetailTalk: Holding Slides
Our scribe extraordinaire, Joel Cooper later transformed these brilliant sessions into intricate illustrations. Take a look…
Roundtables: Key Takeaways
Localising Suppliers and Operations
DHL, N Brown Group and
The Cheeky Panda
- Consumer feedback is vital. Consider the impact of ‘green’ change in all areas
- Engagement is key for ESG. A top-down approach is recommended for optimum buy-in
- Look at total business value in supplier contracts and sustainability goals
- There is no perfect solution. Do your best, and make sure you consider all business functions
- Partnerships are essential. Look into key learnings and best practice from your suppliers
- Make bold decisions
- Procurement are not all baddies, and they can help to build a business case for sustainability
- Getting senior leadership buy-in means you can make things happen
Interflora is made up of just under 1,000 independent flower businesses. Local florists carefully create the bouquets that they sell, meaning that the brand stays clear of factories and warehouses. Items are bespoke, tailored to individual needs and various occasions.
Flower prices have sky-rocketed due to Brexit and the recent pandemic, so it is a difficult time for brands like Interflora to spend money on sustainable initiatives, but in the long term, the pay-off is well worth it!
With a wealth of knowledge and experience, we invited Zara to share how Interflora are prioritising on their sustainable journey, acting as one of 8 sustainability storytellers in our interactive roundtables.
We’ve given you the lowdown in scribe form. You can also learn more from Zara by clicking the button below…
Optimising Fulfilment Costs, Environmental Impact and Customer Expectations
Metapack, Dyson and River Island
- Look into using a carrier system that promises eco-friendly options to your customers
- Keep your customers fully up-to-date on sustainable options that will impact their own experience and journey
- Educating consumers will enable you to move further in your sustainability efforts
- Packaging poses ongoing challenges and effective solutions are required. How can you reduce plastic waste? Shipping by air is particularly troublesome
- Partnerships can help to put pressure on suppliers to reduce, reuse and recycle packaging
- Get the right message across to your customers, and carefully explain the pros and cons of plastic (the box vs. bag conundrum). That being said, sustainable carriers are much more nationwide than city-level at the moment
How to Prioritise on Your Sustainability Journey
Elanders, Interflora and Abel & Cole
- Small changes can make a big difference
- Focus on quick wins, i.e. smaller steps on an overwhelming ladder of change. While trying to focus on big changes, remember to also do the easy pieces of work
- Play the part, and get the whole company involved
- Train, don’t shame. Take people kindly with you on your journey
- Carrots and sticks = carrot sticks. It’s that simple
- The government might need to force businesses into sustainability. Legislation is incoming, so be ready
- Utilise the early adapters, learn and then scale. Quick wins are a great place to start
- Change needs to come from the top
How to Understand, Measure and Monitor Customer Sentiments
Priory Direct and BAM Bamboo Clothing
- Customers are the true source of value and insight
- There are many ways to unveil sentimental tech
- Develop VoC regularly
- Traceability of fashion jeans is having a complete journey of the supply chain, fully accessible by a QR code on the item. This provides full transparency
- Using QR codes to reveal supply chain provenance is genius
Spotlight on: Zara Taylor
Head of Supply and Wholesale, Interflora
A pleasure to represent my wonderful company Milk & More in the sustainability department and meet some amazing personalities from various industries. It was so insightful to share and hear everyone’s challenges and ideas of how to overcome them.”
Justyna Munnich, Financial Controller, Milk & More
The Glastonbury of retail! I have enjoyed talking and listening to a broad range of voices across the industry on sustainability, innovation and the future of retail.”
Denis Goulding, Business & Process Development Manager, Oxfam
Sustainability, scribbles and sun! Loved being in amongst some top, top people putting the world to rights, banging on about changing the world of cleaning with Homethings—all polished off with a few cans of Lucky Saint… What an event!”
Pete Rosier, Head of Brand, Homethings