Business of Fashion's (BoF) webinar with DHL and Emily Bode has utterly inspired me. Entitled "How many how emerging and established SMEs can adopt responsible logistics strategies”, the interview-style webinar opened the floor to an entrepreneur and a high-ranking employee of the global distribution service and courier DHL.
With interviewees being Emily Bode, creator of Bode, and Mirella Muller-Wuellenweber at DHL, Robin Millery Pratt kept up the pace with wickedly important questions on how we can think up strategies to be more sustainable and as kind to the environment as possible.
You can watch the video below.
This webinar was topical as ever, especially with David Attenborough taking to Instagram this week, purely to spread his message further and to more generations. Getting rid of plastic totally is only a dream currently, especially when coming to international shipping but to see the desire to at least lessen it as much as possible was reassuring. But there’s much more to it than plastic, and BoF tackled this spectacularly.
From packaging to convenience to collection to repairs, we will give you the lowdown on the webinar and the changes we will endeavour to make at Palais Armoire.
A large focus of the talk was consumer behaviour. To summarise rather succinctly, there is a great cost to sustainability when customers expect fast delivery. This has both a massive impact on the quality of customer service, but also the delivery service carried our by businesses' delivery partners and couriers.
As business owners and entrepreneurs we should be responsible for consumer behaviour and the impact of customers' expectations. We can positively influence our customers to make wise choices when it comes to shopping. This is something we are big on at Palais Armoire - we want our customers to shop sustainably, in a way that doesn't ride the fast fashion wave and limits as much extra impact on the environment as possible.
Although it was surprising not the first area of responsible logistics discussed, we thought we would touch on it to begin with. Now of course, as mentioned, plastic is something we want to avoid wrapping our pieces in.
We at PA originally started out keeping out items in the same packaging they arrived in from the supplier. We would quality check each and every item, then put it back in its plastic packet to one, protect it, and two, recycle that plastic it came in. However we began to dislike this as it often looked messy, and not on brand. So we began to wrap the pieces lightly in a type of patterned cellophane. This was never bought specifically for Palais Armoire, it was wrapping that has been in our house (technically PA HQ nowadays!) since Christmas 2018, and we thought we would actually use it for something.
It also is incredibly pretty and is on brand.
But we are coming to terms with the fact that not all of our customers may recycle it by using it again, it may just get thrown away. So are we contributing to more plastic being thrown away? Most likely. We are going to rethink our packaging strategy - any ideas are welcome!
What is interesting about packaging is it isn't just the packaging business to customer, but the business to business side. We are going t investigate as much as we can info how much packaging our suppliers use when shipping from the factories to their warehouse. We are aware of the amount between them to us, and frankly we are rather content with how it comes and the plastic definitely isn't excessive, yet still protects the pieces perfectly.
The Palais Armoire Story
As Emily Bode said, "people are more lenient when the narrative is there", i.e. the more we explain to our customers, the more they will understand. We love this. We are very close with you our customers and we value your opinion on what we do. If you follow us on Instagram, you'll know we also discuss topics on our stories and always show the 'Behind The Scenes'. We aim to do this more and bring you in on the real narrative of PA as much as possible.
We want you to invest in your clothing, to value it and to cherish it. We want shopping at Palais Armoire to be an experience; like stepping into a wardrobe and picking our your favourite pieces to wear. This is what we endeavour to create for you! So do tell us what you want, especially when it comes to us being more environmentally-friendly so that we can help you lower your impact, as well as us lowering ours.
PA Pledges & our to-do list
So here are our pledges to be more sustainable and responsible, as well as our what we're working toward:
- Find a more environmentally-friendly way off packaging our pieces - as little plastic as possible
- Evaluate our current use of plastic and other materials
- Read the DHL White Paper and create a checklist to work through
- Understand our suppliers' strategies when it comes to shipping and packaging
- Measure our impact on the environment
- Investigate how we can support an environmental charity
- Research the Sustainable Apparel Coalition
Anna and Team PA x