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SUSTAINABILITY: RETAIL’S RISING TREND


Sustainable practices are those that reduce a business’ negative impact on the community, environment, or society. In retail, sustainability can entail low-resource manufacturing and shipping processes, upcycling products to give them a second life, reselling used products, and using recyclable packaging and shopping bags.

Sustainability is no longer just a trend; it’s an expectation! Younger consumers, in particular, are willing to pay more for sustainable products and want to support brands that focus on issues they care about, and that are transparent about their business practices.

Centennial shopping centers are the proud home to countless retail shops working to deliver high-quality, sustainable products. It doesn’t take being a big business to implement greener practices into your every day; you can start small and start local!



3 SUSTAINABILITY TRENDS WE’RE SEEING AT CENTENNIAL SHOPPING CENTERS IN 2021:



1. RESALE SHOPS


The pandemic has caused a surge in thrift shopping, but many consumers had started shopping second-hand long before 2020. In 2019, resale grew 25 times faster than traditional retail; 62 million women bought second-hand products! That’s compared to 56 million in 2018 and 44 million in 2017.

In 2021, there are more secondhand shoppers than ever before. 70% of consumers agree that addressing climate change is more important now than ever, and choosing used instead of new products is one of the easiest ways to eliminate waste and enable the continual use of resources.

Consumers feel proud to purchase second-hand clothing to reduce their fashion footprint and plan to shift to secondhand more than any other shopping channel in the next 5 years.


2. UPCYCLING


Customers are increasingly conscious of wasteful behavior, so it's essential that the retail industry addresses overproduction and backlogs in a sustainable way.

The pandemic has more than doubled the amount of excess inventory from spring and summer collections, so it’s no surprise that business owners, from luxury fashion brands to small retailers, are finding creative ways to give new life to old products and unused inventory. Many brands are creating patchwork clothing items from several garments, or transforming clothing into accessories, like handbags and headscarves.

In addition to its environmental advantages, upcycling increases product value. By granting items with a sense of exclusivity, it transforms ‘ordinary’ products into investment pieces or collectibles.


3. INCORPORATING SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS & PRACTICES


Brands that use eco-friendly materials and processes, including recyclable packaging, and sustainable materials and manufacturing processes, are those that gain a loyal following.

Coffee shops and other food and beverage vendors can follow industry leaders like Starbucks and Dunkin’ (who have pledged to convert to 100% recyclable coffee cups) by transitioning to recyclable cups, plates, utensils, and packaging.

Similarly, apparel shops can find inspiration in brands like H&M and Patagonia, which source organic cotton, use recycled materials, and encourage product repairs. Local shops can also start a fashion recycling program by collecting clothing donations in exchange for a discount on a future purchase, then donate the clothing to a nearby charity, where the clothing items can get a second life with a new owner.


SPOTLIGHT ON SUSTAINABILITY AT MAINPLACE MALL: OPEN MARKET OC:


ABOUT OPEN MARKET OC


Open Market OC is a curated marketplace at MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana, California, featuring over 200 local makers, curators, and small businesses.

MainPlace repurposed an old Nordstrom department store to create the 50,000 square foot marketplace. Its sustainable design and array of fashion, art, beauty, vintage, handmade items and prepackaged food creates a unique shopping experience for the thousands of shoppers that visit each week.

All of Open Market OC’s vendors, including Daintyworld Collective, People’s Paper Company, and Yogurt Glamour, are local artists and business owners with a passion for retail and sustainability:


DAINTYWORLD COLLECTIVE

Daintyworld Collective sells vintage clothing, accessories, and home furnishings. The store’s owner, Shawn, transforms a trip to the store into a treasure hunt by sourcing quality, secondhand pieces.

PEOPLE’S PAPER COMPANY

The artists at People’s Paper Company upcycle old books into unique home decor, from understated side-table pieces to vintage-inspired, outdoor displays.

YOGURT GLAMOUR

Yogurt Glamour, is an LA-based line of all-natural, handmade soap and skincare products. Sustainable business practices are central to its mission of bringing to market high quality, environmentally friendly, yogurt Infused skincare and soaps. Each purchase supports projects that improve quality of life and sustain biodiversity in wildlife habitats.


CONCLUSION


From California to Connecticut - our shoppers are passionate about supporting local businesses that care about sustainability, and so are we. As part of our commitment to being a responsible community member, the Centennial local leasing team is always seeking new partners to do business with that share in these values. Our shopping centers provide premium locations with flexible leasing terms. Feeling inspired and ready to open up shop? Contact your Local Leasing & Business Development Representative today! Contact Us.




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