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Announcing Our Global Report: New Business Models to Drive Sustainable Prosperity

Happy Earth Day from the McMillanDoolittle team! We’re thrilled to announce the release of our latest global publication that provides a blueprint for a more sustainable retail industry. This collaborative market study with the Ebeltoft Group, a consortium of global brand and retail experts, represents a significant follow-up to our previous post-pandemic study, Sustainable Brands and Retail. The latest research spans 14 countries and explores key principles of the circular economy. The report features inspiring initiatives and introduces the GREEN Methodology designed to assist retailers in transforming traditional approaches into sustainable retail models that will power the future.

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The report’s 50+ selected case studies are categorized into four themes: Production, Distribution, Social Impact, and Solution Providers. Read on for a preview of the key categories and highlights from recent innovators in each category.

Production: These brands and retailers exemplify circular design and innovative production, reverse logistics and take-back programs, as well as resource recovery and recycling.

  • Mayoneur, a Dutch start-up, transforms the traditional food condiment mayonnaise into a sustainable pantry staple through the incorporation of citrus fiber from the waste of oranges. The citrus acts as a renewable alternative to conventional thickeners. Mayoneur has been recognized for its ability to reimagine waste into raw material and do it in a way that is tasty, appealing to customers, and good for the planet.
    bottles of mayonnaise

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Distribution: This section zooms in on product life extension services, reverse logistics services, and package reduction or recycling.

  • Japan Airlines’ Any Wear, Anywhere services offer travelers to Japan the chance to rent a wardrobe for their vacation in the country. Consumers select their desired wardrobe, and it is delivered to their hotel. At the end of the trip, the clothes can be conveniently left at the hotel, with a maximum rental period of 2 weeks. The clothes are cleaned and prepared for the next wearer. This solution enables customers to travel light and reduce their carbon footprint by sharing clothes and minimizing weight on flights.
    articles of clothing

    Photo Credit: Any Wear. Anywhere.

Social Impact: This segment of the study includes businesses that are either developing products or services that empower marginalized communities or adopting fair trade practices.

  • Roetz is a circular retailer based in Amsterdam that restores bicycles to prolong their usage. The company highly regards the uniqueness of its associates and does not demand resumes or recommendations during the hiring process. Instead, Roetz hires individuals who face challenges in finding employment opportunities. These individuals, referred to as “makers,” receive support through apprenticeships and specialized training, and are encouraged to pursue diplomas. Bicycles are assembled at the “Roetz Fair Factory,” where customers have the chance to meet the makers when collecting their bikes.
    woman fixing a bike

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Solution Providers: The report features various sustainability enablers designed for both manufactures and retailers.

Eon, a North American company, provides a solution that creates Digital IDs, or virtual “product passports,” that are integrated into each item. This system stores essential data about the product, enabling traceability throughout its lifecycle. Such innovation opens possibilities for circular models by simplifying product authentication, tracking its history for resale, and providing insights into recycling options for its raw materials. Notably, Eon supports Coach’s upcycling initiative, “Coachtopia”.

man wearing a shirt

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At McMillanDoolittle, sustainability is a priority. If you enjoyed this post, please check out some of our news coverage and publications from the last year that highlight notable sustainability initiatives that retailers and brands need to know to stay ahead.

McMillanDoolittle partners with bgood collective to offer full-service sustainability consulting services. Read about our partnership here and contact us for a complimentary consultation on your company’s sustainability strategy.

Maddie McBride

Maddie is an analyst on the consumer insights and innovation team at McMillanDoolittle, supporting quantitative and qualitative primary research methodologies, business analysis, strategic planning, and new concept, format and product development. She brings recent expertise in human-centered design, creative workshop facilitation, and statistical analysis to her project work. Maddie received her BA in Economics from the University of Notre Dame.

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