Greeningdales™, or Village of WorkingWonders™, is the ultimate vision for making home and lifestyle retail align with a sustainable world.
On the surface, it looks like the case for another home and lifestyle brand is completely non-existent.
At this point, most smart people think the last thing we need is more retail. Ask anyone passionate about creating a green economy and they are usually quick to implicate retail as a big part of the problem.
Robin Lewis, in his article, Retail in 2015: A Reality Check, noted that in the United States there is close to 25 square feet of retail for each person – make that 50 square feet if, he said, we add back in small shopping centers and independent retailers. You can read his insightful Forbes post HERE
So basically what we have is an overgrown retail marketplace, dominated by big box brands, with shelves stocked with “anything but green products.”
Making our existing retail stores the most visible obstacle we have to a new green economy.
On the other hand, we can take the perspective those same decidedly, not green retail stores offer us the single greatest opportunity we have for recreating our non-green economy – for “making America great again“.
Great, because we can create a new “better living through sustainability” vision. That vision brought to life in the physical environment will give us the access we now lack to a process of evolving our homes and lifestyles for better.
The average American isn’t able to see the thousands of supply chains that culminate in our consumer products. We don’t see the raw resources being gathered up. We don’t see the processes involved in turning them into products. We don’t see them getting delivered to stores or internet company warehouses.
The only time we see products is online, in stores, or when they are delivered to our doorsteps.
Are we too stupid to understand supply chains? Do we want to turn a blind eye to how our things are made?
No way. Quite the opposite.
More and more of us, as conscious consumers, not only want to know, we actively spend a lot of time trying to find out. are actively trying to find out how our products are made as a prerequisite of purchasing them.
The problem is it’s hard, at best. At worst, which is much of the time, it is (purposefully, many times) completely hidden from our view. In fact, there’s even a term for it.
Blind Supply Chains
So what do you think would happen if all that stopped. If the kind of information we need to make the kind of better choices you want to make was presented to you in a clear and interesting way?
A new ultimate green destination that made communicating global supply chains to consumers an integral part of its mission would be a game-changer in the retail space.
It would provide a window into where and how our consumer goods and products are made and how, once complete, they make their way to our homes. In addition to choosing products based on wants, needs and reviews people would be able to factor sustainability criterion into their buying decisions.
This knowledge would put the early adopters into a better position to lead (and influence) people.
This is much like the process that allowed for Whole Foods’ success as a revolutionary leader and marketplace disrupter in the grocery space.
Greeningdales™ would simply get the ball rolling in the right direction.
We’ll end with a quote from our founder, BethAnn Lederer.
“We better get busy breathing life into a new green economy before the old one sucks it out of us.”
Greeningdales Vision Statement: Buy Less, Buy Better
This dominant marketing mantra, along with aggregating better* products on the shelves will result in:
- Toxic Chemicals in Our Air and Bodies.
- Senseless Destruction of Natural Resources for Products.
- Meaningless Tchotchkes in Our Space.
- Nonsensical Supply Chains.
- Designed for the Dump Products.
- Consciousness and Care for Our Planet.
- Understanding of Our Ecosystem.
- Evolved Humanity.
- And with some luck, as time’s a wasting, more well-being, and peace.
The definition of a better product will be one that is thoughtfully designed, non-toxic, has “curb appeal” and a plan for when it is no longer of use (closed loop, repurposable, recyclable).
This Project’s History
Does the history of a project really matter?
It may not. But, nonetheless, this project has quite a bit of it. You can get some sense of it HERE on the press page of the WorkingWonders™ e-commerce website.
If you are a real history buff here is a rough timeline of WorkingWonders™, “Greeningdales’ parent”. It is complete with a fair amount of name-dropping of those who have been instrumental in one way or another along the journey to-date. You can also check out some of the presentations and documents developed along the path.