Sustainability in Retail

This morning I read a piece in the Age about digital shopping , I have also been thinking about how retail and sustainability can be combined to make up a design project. Is there a campaign in this? There has to be I guess. Retail is the life blood of society. It may be “evil itself” for the sanctimonious moralizing sustainability warrior – but its there and need to be tweaked towards sustainability. So what can we do.

First to check what the current state of thinking was I googled – sustainability in retail blogs. And came up with a whole load of stuff about greening the supply chain. That is one direct agenda – the big one from CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), and Corporate citizenship. This would include the WalMart stories and the case studies of other such retail Giants.

Is that enough – is the question?

Now we know the anti position – where supermarkets are the big bad thing. Raj Patel does the farmers perspective very powerfully. He is amazing. That project aims to get a fair system happening – so farmers are not squeezed out. We have also seen that amazing social innovation – peoples supermarket in London (http://www.thepeoplessupermarket.org/)

But if we keep going with the inevitability hypothesis – supermarkets are here and will survive – then we need a particular tack – where they are less evil or damaging (IGA versus the Big Ones) and have a progressive agenda focussed upon a sustainable future.

What can this project – the future supermarket – look like?

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