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Good Stuff: Measuring Retailers on What They Sell

By measuring, ranking, and celebrating large retail companies based on the stuff they sell, we can motivate stores to sell more sustainable products, incentivize brands to be more sustainable, and empower consumers to make better choices.

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Written by DeletedUser

Retail merchandisers take all kind of factors into account when picking what goes in stores-- price, quality, other items, time to deliver, vendor relationships, packaging efficiency, labor to set up, on and on. Sustainability is only one of these aspects.

Shoppers, too, have endless lists of things to consider in picking what they buy. Importantly, they can only choose sustainable products when they are available -- at Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, Walreens, Safeway, or whatever other retailers they visit. And so engaging retailers to choose assortments on sustainability criteria is critical to making sustainable products accessible to consumers and profitable to manufacturers.

Good Stuff will assess and rank retail chains based on the overall sustainability of the total assortment of products sold.
  • Retailers would have to voluntarily submit their overall inventory -- to be assessed confidentially.
  • Industry groups who know specific product categories (ie, baby supplies) already know what makes things more and less sustainable -- and they would give a general score to the products carried in those categories.
  • The Good Stuff ranking would use scores by category (Home, Beauty, Grocery, Apparel, etc) as well as total scores to determine who deserves to be considered a seller of environmentally, socially, and ethically Good Stuff.

By measuring and celebrating retailers for carrying GOOD STUFF , we can do several important things:
  • Reward retailers who take the sustainability of what they sell seriously
  • Compel brands to measure their own sustainable impact in order to win big contracts
  • And, most of all, help consumers make better choices by making it easier to know where to buy sustainable products--and making it more likely to find sustainable products everywhere,

How does your concept celebrate, identify or inspire for-profit businesses that act as agents of world benefit?

Retailers are often very similar in what they do, and earn and lose customers based on how they're perceived. Target vs. Wal-Mart, CVS vs Wal-greens -- these rivalries are based on reputation. If we have a way to really get to the core of a retailer's reputation -- what you, the shopper, can buy there -- we can make sustainability important to the core of what they do. Suddenly, their reputation as "ethical" isn't about offering re-usable plastic bags: it's about selling stuff that is truly good for the world, and NOT selling stuff that isn't. Imagine if Wal-Mart, to prevent Target from winning the Good Stuff crown, told all its suppliers to use less packaging. Imagine if Toys R Us stopped carrying non-recyclable plastic toys. That's the effect we could have.

What will it take to scale your concept so that its reach is global and widespread?

1. The endorsement of a couple of top retailers -- to challenge the others to go through with it as well.. 3. Great viral marketing so consumers are informed and excited. 3. Partnerships with sustainability experts to use the best and the right measurement tools.

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They current supply system doesn't work. This is why.

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Good idea! And I think it's much easier to be achieved compared with some other ideas!! I believe it's effective even in the real world because most of the time people don't have any specific ideas about their orientation of comodities. They always make a dicision after entering a store. So the products provided by store could affect people's way of life!!!! That's an oppotunity to make some changes. Pretty good!!!!!