Sometimes we get caught up in our habits and our routines. We think we cannot make a difference because of our job or where we live, but in all reality it just takes a small step, one small habit change. As a merchandiser we’re thrown into one of the biggest industries in the world. So we ask ourselves, what can we really do when we do not have much of a say it what happens where we work? This week we talked about what we can do as merchandisers, and it does not just take place in a physical store.
So what exactly can merchandisers do? We can start by increasing supplier reliability. A lot of times what is harmful to our environment and to other people happens where others do not see. Merchandisers and companies cannot keep tabs on what suppliers are doing 24/7, however if a supplier is reliable and remains visible in all they do it ensures the wellbeing of our environment and of other people. Another way is guarding your reputation. Reputation is important when there is a lot of competition. I think supplier reliability is one way to reduce reputational risk, it all goes hand in hand. If your consumers find out how workers are treated in your factories it could ruin your business. There are many ways to help your environmental impact by being a merchandiser but I think the best place to start is where your product begins.
When thinking about ways to create a sustainable business it is best to think about the SWOT analysis. The SWOT analysis is used when starting any type of business but it truly helps to weigh a sustainable and unsustainable option. Getting a minor in entrepreneurship has really helped me see the benefits of using a SWOT analysis, it is like making a list of pros and cons. Before making any business decisions we are advised to make a SWOT analysis, which can be applied just about any way you like.
A place a store can use a SWOT analysis is if they should use environmental awareness signage or eco-friendly packaging. My LC group thought that having environmental awareness signage could be a strength. A lot of times consumers are unaware that certain companies are even sustainable. Putting a tag with a different sustainable fact about your company on each garment is a great way to put yourself above other stores/companies. However, the cost of making extra tags could be a weakness or threat. The list could go on and on. Personally I think the analysis can be used in any decision of your life.
As we wrapped up learning about industrial ecology and biomimicry, among other things, LOLA Shows were presented. I thought it was so interesting to learn about so many different products and ways of life. We were able to learn about what interests other people, which could be what they are passionate about. It is fascinating to me to see how inventors and designers take nature and create something amazing out of it. The way scientists used the Lotus flower to create a spray to protect clothing and using light to create colors like the Morpho butterfly. Nature is not only beautiful, but it is the source of phenomenal designs that we have yet to master. Nature has so much to teach us, all we have to do is listen.