But, where are they?
Way back in 2006, WorkingWonders was a “green from the ground up” green products retail business. As founder, I made the executive decision to put Annie Leonard’s video, “Story of Stuff” on the home page of our e-commerce website.
If you aren’t in retail you may not know how radical that was. The home page is considered valuable real estate – the place where e-tailers tend to put as many product images and calls to (shopping)action as they can.
I thought it was important. However, I quickly learned that taking a stand like that can cost you…
The company was early to the party in realizing a revolution in the home and lifestyle marketplace was long overdue.
Today it’s easier to find many green products online but still difficult to find them where you shop offline. As far as finding national brand department stores that exclusively sell green products, that would be impossible since there aren’t any. And let’s go one further. None of the existing home store brands have stepped up to take on a real leadership role in sustainability.
Why are we still waiting for them to do it? I don’t know.
“This I do know. If any part of global warming can be slowed or stopped by shifting human behavior, including the many unsustainable supply chains that produce and bring us our stuff, we need to stop waiting and take immediate action in every way we can to do better.”
Because most people spend so much of our time interacting with “tools for living,” or simply put, our products. The things we purchase and interact with feather our nests, make up our work and play places, and, altogether, our lifestyles.
Even when we are sleep. Actually,when we sleep we interact with a lot of “tools for living” – pillows, sheets, mattresses, to name a few.
I started intensively learning about how our indoor air quality is often negatively impacted by many of these seemingly innocent products I was bringing into homes when I embarked on a green home remodeling project. By 2006, I had gained a lot more awareness about the real connections that exist between normal stuff, air quality, and health.
The research is clear.
Our indoor air is, on average, 2 to 5 times worse than our outdoor air. Our health can be as impacted by the stuff we purchase for our homes as by the food we eat. At a personal level, I started taking a lot closer look at products I was considering purchasing. Things like furniture or window blinds.
You can assess them the same way you would if you want to make healthier eating choices. The corollaries are there.
Chairs, cabinets, rugs, etc., like most of the food we eat, have gone through multiple processes, transformations, and journeys (often this involves the unnecessary addition of known “toxic to human” substances), before they become what we know them to be.
And all of this happens BEFORE they become things like sofas, mattresses, pillows, flooring and children’s toys. And, though I’ve named a few, remember we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of consumer products.
If you aren’t one of the millions of people who’ve had the opportunity to watch Story of Stuff, Annie Leonard’s brilliant video that shows how our materials economy presently works, or better put “doesn’t work,” please accept my invitation to see it for yourself, HERE.
Transitioning to more sustainable homes and lifestyles takes looking at stuff with new eyes.
There are literally millions of people looking for the features and benefits that greener products offer. They need to be able to quickly evaluate whether or not products support sustainable homes and lifestyles. Whole Foods made it easy to do that for healthier food.
That’s what Whole Foods did. They made a full-scale grocery store dedicated to offering healthier food and telling people what made it better. They rejected food with harmful additives and they were honest about labeling sugar and salt as, guess what – sugar and salt.
Greeningdales is committed to being a “green from the ground up” brand offering information and access to better “tools for living” products and services for healthier homes and lifestyles.
Greeningdales will also recognize and give a lot of credit to those product suppliers who are “green from the ground up.” Many of those suppliers are still just emerging, and working extraordinarily hard to get onto the radar screens of people who are also trying to find them. The first Greeningdale’s destination will:
- Up their visibility by a lot so you support them with the product sales they need to stay in business. We also want to recognize suppliers that make quality products with some features and/or benefits of being sustainable. Together, we can encourage them to implement “deeper shades” of green products.
- Make all this information available to you in one place so you can decide what is most important to you. (See the WorkingwWonders Green Guide™)
As a retailer, Greeningdales is committed to providing people with better products, services, and information. Together, it is possible to create a sustainable commerce revolution – one that may be the best chance we’ve got to usher in a new green economy.
This post, in its original form, was first published on Valentine’s Day, 2011. That is over five years ago. This is going to sound negative and I apologize for that up front. Nothing has happened. Well, that’s not exactly true. While there are numerous green initiatives and actions towards a sustainable world we still do not have a single exclusively green products department-type shopping destination.