As the world awakens to the dangers of climate change, plastic pollution and a plethora of other issues that are putting the future of our planet at risk, more people than ever are choosing to make more sustainable choices in a bid to overhaul their lifestyle and minimise their individual negative impact.
And with this ever-increasing consciousness, brands and businesses are being forced to reconsider their sustainability credentials, with customers no longer willing to support those that don’t take such issues seriously and take steps to address them now.
More than ever, they are being held accountable and even luxury brands are having to go to new lengths to maintain their reputation. No longer is enough to produce beautiful designer items, and the times when quality was all that mattered are long gone. Today’s consumer demands ethical practices through every stage of the process of bringing a product to market – from the sourcing of materials and the working conditions of those who play a part in manufacture, right down to the minimising of a company’s carbon footprint and the packaging it chooses in which to ship its goods.
In fact, we are now seeing more people choose to shop local than ever – with the support for small businesses on the increase and continuing to grow in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Innovative web platform Partage has reported a dramatic increase in those choosing to shop via its online ethical marketplace over the past year. Its partnerships with eco-friendly and local partners has won it a legion of loyal fans, with customers able to indulge in a spot of guilt free shopping and find the latest sustainable gems in the process. Even better? Each and every time you place an order, one tree will be planted thanks to Partage’s partnership with Ecologi – which facilitates a carbon offsetting programme by restoring lost foliage globally and works with a number of individuals and businesses on the initiative.
Boris Kwemo, co-founder and CEO of Partage, says that it was his busy student lifestyle that led him to the lightbulb idea of creating the platform – and his passion for nature and the planet has been a driving force that has kept things moving forward.
He explained: “I came up with the idea for Partage several years ago, when I was at university. Because I was moving in and out of accommodation quite regularly, I was finding it increasingly frustrating when it came to selling and getting rid of the items I no longer needed and that were taking up the space I didn’t have to spare – and at the same time, I found myself noticing the huge amount of waste each household was producing each day and found it increasingly alarming.
“I looked for a platform that specialised in more sustainable products so that I could not only rehome items I no longer had a use for, but also purchase more sustainable products to minimise my impact on the environment each day – but I couldn’t find anything like what I was looking for. I have a background in technology, and it became clear to me that I needed to use that to create one myself, solving a major problem not just for me, but for the increasingly eco-conscious collective.
“With a personal passion for the environment, I thought it would be interesting to group like-minded companies together under the same platform, making us a one-stop-shop for people who share the same values and a place for them all to connect.”
The two, it seems, haven’t looked back – and today, Partage continues to go from strength to strength. The platform’s main unique selling point is that it allows its customers to buy sustainable products at a better price when you give away something you don’t need anymore. The marketplace remains available for all users, but only users with points will be able to take advantage of exclusive discounts – which they collect by disposing of their unused items and by inviting friends.
Co-founder and CFO Isaac Kwemo added: “When I was in the second year of my bachelor’s degree, I worked on an entrepreneurial project on food waste. From then on, I realised that the waste market was very large and that this loss of efficiency was a problem that needed to be solved. This experience reinforced my environmental awareness.
“When Boris came up with the idea to create Partage several years ago, I was impressed and in full support of it – but at the time, I didn’t have the skills to help him develop his project. However, after going on to complete my degree in Applied Mathematics, earn a Masters in business management at EDHEC Business School and undertake two internships in corporate finance, I offered Boris my help to manage the commercial and financial part of Partage.”
Partage has a strict selection process when it comes to the sellers on its platform, and only partners up with brands that have high ethical standards in terms of working conditions, production methods and plastic usage.
It currently offers a wide range of health and beauty products, food and beverages, handmade products and jewellery – and the range is ever-expanding – meaning you can find just about anything you’re looking for on Partage’s ethical marketplace, safe in the knowledge that you are doing so in a more sustainable way.
In 2021, considering your own environmental impact has never been more important, and if you’re taking the first steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle, then you may be wondering where to start. The key? Begin small, and work your way up from there – because every small change we make adds up.