It’s baffling to me when I see a new entrepreneur ignore the lessons that can be learned from more established businesses.
Coke regularly (and perhaps rightfully) gets skewered over ingredients and (lack of) sustainablity in their packaging. Nike has gotten its fair share of flack for labor practices and raw materials.
Name the established company and you can find a host of issues in their supply chain or labor practices – especially in the realm of consumer and physical products.
Knowing this, why would you choose to make the same mistakes that will lead to the same kind of consumer questioning once you’re big enough for anyone to care that you exist?
What if, instead of sourcing the cheapest cotton you could find, you sourced the highest quality organic cotton you could find? What if, instead of using corn syrup, you sourced organic raw cane sugar instead? What if, instead of using the cheapest manufacturer you could find, you made sure your factory was Oeko-Tex certified?
The winds are shifting in the world of consumer products. With every passing day, transparency and sustainability become more mainstream. As they become more mainstream, consumers will expect you to meet the bar.
It might be more difficult at the outset, sure. But how much more difficult will it be to make the right decision when you already have an established supply chain? Look no further than Patagonia for an answer: extremely difficult.
The bar is being raised. Why start off on the wrong foot when you could choose get a head start?
Become a more courageous and generous leader
Get every new essay on making a positive impact in the world as it's published.