We want you to know that we truly wrestle with this topic. As society has shifted a significant portion of it's purchasing to e-Commerce there is a bi-product of these new consumer patterns, packaging. There is the product packaging that is often plastic and then there is the shipping packaging. It seems hypocritical to us to offer upcycled products and then ship them and create more waste from packaging.
Amazon, in 2012, sold 306 items per second (http://venturebeat.com/2012/12/27/at-peak-amazon-sold-a-whopping-306-items-per-second-in-2012/) and that same year Alibaba shipped 12 million packages a day (http://venturebeat.com/2012/12/03/alibaba-reaches-1-trillion-rmb-157b-in-sales-to-become-biggest-e-commerce-company-in-the-world/). The shear amount of packaging this created boggles our minds.
We're not asking anyone to stop buying stuff online! That package has shipped (excuse the pun). However, maybe there is another model of purchasing. While having a global consumer base via the web means you can sell to anyone, anywhere maybe it's something we have to re-think.
Iron Rose Collection is trying to focus on specific markets. Our first market is Salt Lake City, UT. There's a sizable number of people in this market and it's a great lab to test some possibilities. Customers could opt to pick up their purchase, we could have delivery along the Wasatch Front sans packaging or minimal materials, we could offer pop-up retail locations and alert folks to the opportunity. Let's refer to this as hyper-local retailing. The responsibility lies with us, the retailer, to offer a better shopping experience that affords more hyper-local purchases.
It's a conundrum we hope to impact. Granted our contribution is small, but if more businesses think differently the potential for a larger impact grows. We're looking for options.