Is DTC retail delivering on sustainability promises?

Many DTC brands pride themselves on their sustainability efforts. But are they delivering when it comes to the small changes that make a big difference?
Our latest research finds at DTC brands must invest in their sustainability efforts during delivery and returns or risk ‘greenwashing’ their customers.
Is DTC retail delivering on sustainability promises

What you’ll learn:

  • Whether DTC retailers are delivering on sustainability promises
  • What the findings mean for this sector
  • Innovative solutions to environmental delivery issues
  • Tips for becoming more sustainable during delivery

Key findings

The second in a five-part series, this report analyses how sustainable the UK’s top 50 DTC retailers are and reveals some shocking insights that brands can learn from:

person carrying many boxes

Reduced packaging options are rare

Just 6% of the DTC brands offer the customer the option of less packaging at checkout. Packaging remains of the biggest environmental painpoints so retailers must invest in reducing this.

plastic bag alternative

Cardboard packaging is most popular

82% of the DTC retailers use cardboard packaging. Seen as more environmentally friendly and easier to recycle, this is not surprising.

parcel with certificate

Branded inserts are still popular

52% of the retailers included a branded insert in the parcel. If these retailers took control of their post-purchase comms, this information could be emailed to the customer rather than being included in the package.

parcel notification on smartphone

Sustainability messaging is non-existent

None of the retailers included any sustainability messaging in their delivery communications. This is a huge missed opportunity where retailers could include content such as infographics on how to recycle packaging.

Stuart Hill
SVP of Logistics
FARFETCH

farfetch SVP of Logistics Stuart Hill

“Any retailer, in any market, wants to make sure that the post-sales experience is as great as it can be. So any improvement will increase the percentage of returning customers. 

When there are specialists like parcelLab in the market that can solve that problem using minimal resources, it makes sense to partner externally on this and offer customers an immediate benefit.”