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Asked a question 2 years ago

I am particularly interested in retail change and how we could encourage retailers to become more sustainable. What ideas do you have on this?

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Hi David,

Thank you so much for your question.  


We believe the only thing that will truly shift the way retailers (and other companies for that matter) do business, is when consumers demand that change by actively choosing sustainable options. Efforts to impose restrictions on retailers, to lobby for change and to improve emissions reporting are all important, but they are not enough.  If you try to restrict supply, whilst demand remains unchanged - supply will almost always find a way.  

In the capitalist world we live in, a change in consumer priorities (a change in demand) is the most fundamental driver of change.


At Snowball we want to show people that they have this capacity to drive change through their day-to-day actions and then give them the tools they need to do it.

Of course, one of the main challenges we face as consumers is that we often don’t have the information we need to make that sustainable decision.  

The information on the Snowball website and the 3rd party content we promote, seeks to help do that.  Over time we want to develop this out, giving concise information that makes it really simple for people to compare brands and make that sustainable purchasing option (“I want to buy some chocolate, show me which brands are best for the planet”).


As well as facilitating this shift in the way we think about what we buy, we also think there’s a really important place for targeted ‘social’ campaigns. Once we’ve built up a membership base, we plan to launch monthly campaigns to force change on specific topics – using that position of power we have in society as consumers and voters.  

For instance, we might have a month where we encourage people to tweet supermarkets every day, asking them to label all food products that have travelled by plane to reach the shelves.  


So the short answer – help empower and inform people, so they can make sustainable shopping decisions, which will naturally (and rapidly!) change the way retailers do business.


Hopefully this answer gives you a good indication of our ideas in this area John.  


If you’ve got any ideas yourself or any further questions, please do let us know.


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