MUST SEE: Small Changes, Big Impact: A New Brand of Sustainability with Koko The Shop
Each month the global FITCH Must See team explore the best in brand experiences. This month Designer Libby Riddell and Design Director Carly Tysh in FITCH Columbus share how a sustainability shop is embracing new customers.
The pandemic has prompted most of us to reconsider our lives at home: from the clothes we wear, the products we use every day and how and where we shop for everyday essentials. As people are adapting to a new way of living, brands are evolving with them; not only by promoting healthier habits but more importantly, focusing on a more inclusive and sustainable future.
Now is the golden opportunity for change, for a fresh start.
And what a perfect moment for businesses big and small to “pivot with purpose”. Amidst the worldwide pandemic, the opportunity for a new type of shopping presented itself in Koko The Shop, a trendy outpost for eco-friendly products.
The small storefront is fresh and friendly upon arrival, with plenty of plants in the windows and colorful murals on the walls. The on-trend aesthetic and bolstering social media presence has engaged their target audience: Millennial and Gen Z women.
The staff are knowledgeable and approachable, putting forth a brand of achievable sustainability. No question is too dumb, and no effort is too small. Gone are the days of zero waste being a daunting task reserved for the privileged. Shops like these encourage small changes accessible to everyone.
Located in a Columbus neighborhood often underserved by businesses that focus on wellness and sustainability, Koko aims to reduce customers use of single-use plastic with their “refillery” concept.
Customers can bring in their own jars and bottles, anything from a Tupperware container to an empty bottle of wine, are acceptable vessels for refilling. For new or unprepared customers, Koko also offers a range of affordable and reuseable glass containers.The refill bar ranges from personal care and essential oils to household cleaning products. The store also offers other sustainable swaps including safety razors, Swedish dish cloths, and even feminine products. KoKo’s model encourages repeat customers to return and refill, a first of its kind for the city.
Sustainable retail isn’t so much about encouraging people to buy less, although reduction and re-use are certainly part of the equation, but rather it is reshaping customers perceptions of what they buy and how it is packaged. Who says shampoo must come in a plastic bottle, or that plastic bags are the only solution for storing your sandwich? Education and accessibility become the key factors to promoting earth-friendly habits.
Brands have customers attention, now more than ever to encourage behaviors that contribute to the public good.