opinion

A Guide to Sustainable Pleasure Product Merchandising

A Guide to Sustainable Pleasure Product Merchandising

Sustainable practices are no longer merely an option for the pleasure industry, but an imperative response to consumer expectations. Just as in other sectors, the resounding call for sustainability has reached unprecedented levels. As manufacturers and retailers, we must recognize this growing demand from environmentally conscious consumers, and align ourselves with the values of our consumer base by creating innovative products and presenting them in sustainable ways.

This month, we are delving into the world of sustainable merchandising, with insights and tips for thriving in the era of eco-friendly business practices.

One impactful strategy is the adoption of reusable and modular display units.

Embracing Green Merchandising Practices

Sustainable merchandising transcends superficial trendiness. It constitutes a conscious choice to reduce environmental impact through a variety of practices — and in the process, elevate brands and stores in the eyes of discerning consumers.

One impactful strategy is the adoption of reusable and modular display units. These displays not only reduce waste, but offer unparalleled flexibility, enabling retailers to showcase a dynamic array of products over time. Eco-friendly displays support the global sustainability movement, and resonate deeply with a market mindful of the ecological impact of products and practices.

Recyclable packaging is also important. Opting for recyclable materials and minimizing the use of single-use plastics aligns with eco-friendly principles, contributes to sustainability efforts and communicates a clear commitment to environmental responsibility. Packaging is not an afterthought, but a powerful tool in shaping a positive narrative.

Highlighting Sustainability Efforts

When it comes to sustainability, “walking the walk” is crucial — but don’t forget to also talk the talk! Retailers should collaborate with their supply chains to explore merchandising tools that accentuate the eco-friendly attributes of products. From responsible materials sourcing to recyclability, this builds trust with a consumer base increasingly driven by ethical considerations. By prominently showcasing these features, retailers can both educate and empower consumers, fostering a sense of shared responsibility for a sustainable future.

Collaborating With Eco-Friendly Brands

To reinforce their commitment to sustainability, retailers should seek partnerships with pleasure product manufacturers that share similar values and prioritize green practices. Collaborations with brands prioritizing environmentally friendly practices can significantly enhance a store’s image as a socially responsible retailer, by highlighting shared dedication to fostering a more sustainable and conscientious industry.

Work with companies that do more than just turn their logo green for Earth Day. Some manufacturers have made larger-scale efforts like converting packaging and charge cables to more Earth-friendly materials, adjusting the sizes of packaging, packing products more efficiently for shipping and using solar power to fuel some of their production. 

There are also smaller steps companies can take, like putting a bin in the office for reusing packing materials, and daily reminders for staff to turn off or put their computers to sleep. These steps might sound small, but for every person who makes a small change, we get incrementally closer to a bigger impact. If a million people each make one small sustainability change, it adds up!

Prioritizing Staff Education

Ensuring the success of sustainable pleasure product retailing requires an educated and empowered workforce. Retailers should invest in staff education programs, leveraging resources such as online training to equip their teams with comprehensive knowledge about the sustainable aspects of the products they carry. A knowledgeable staff can effectively communicate these eco-friendly aspects to customers, transforming shopping experiences into informed and engaged interactions.

Environmental consciousness among consumers is not a fleeting trend. It marks a transformative shift toward a more conscious consumer culture, with a shared commitment to a greener, more sustainable future. By wholeheartedly embracing eco-friendly practices, packaging and displays, manufacturers and retailers not only contribute to the global movement toward sustainability, but also position themselves as leaders in responsible merchandising. Let us, as an industry, continue to innovate and educate, ensuring that pleasure and sustainability seamlessly coexist on every shelf.

Eric Lee is the COO of Blush, a global manufacturer of pleasure products.

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