The Daily Routine share their tips for building a sustainably minded business

Shoppers are taking more interest than ever in where their goods come from. We speak with The Daily Routine about building a sustainably minded business that places customer values and authenticity at its core.

Natalie Herscu is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Daily Routine.

Key points

  • Making your business more sustainable can seem like an enormous task – but The Daily Routine’s ethos is that it’s better to take some action than to sit back feeling overwhelmed.
  • It’s important to analyse your supply chain and partner with suppliers who share your commitment to sustainability.
  • The Daily Routine has formed a partnership with Australia Post due to our sustainable delivery practices.

Shoppers are taking more interest than ever in where their goods come from. Three out of every four online shoppers are keen to understand the sustainability practices of retailers and choose to shop with those that fit with their values1.

This focus on sustainability and values is at the core of Australian start-up The Daily Routine. They have analysed each step of their process in making, selling and shipping home essentials, resulting in a sustainably minded business that aims for authentic action instead of perfection.

In the latest edition of our Inside Australian Online Shopping Report, we speak with them about the steps they’ve taken to build a green eCommerce business and their tips for thinking and acting more sustainably.

“Start with one thing”: Making sustainability realistic for every business

Making your business more sustainable can seem like an enormous task – but The Daily Routine’s ethos is that it’s better to take some action than to sit back feeling overwhelmed. Their model is based on small pods of hand soaps that mix with water to top up refillable bottles, an innovation that was originally based on one small question: what if home essentials could be more sustainable?

Natalie Herscu, Co-Founder and CEO of The Daily Routine, suggests doing a basic audit first to find the gap between where your business is and where you’re aiming for. She says, “Before you can make any sustainable changes, you need to know where your business stands. This audit can help you identify areas where you can reduce waste, use resources more efficiently and lower your environmental impact.”

From there, it’s important to break sustainability down into smaller tasks that can be more easily actioned. This, Natalie believes, is the key to making impactful change.

“It can be overwhelming to think about all of the sustainable practices you may need to make, so implement changes one at a time,” she says. “Consider what change will have the most significant impact on your business and start with that. For example, you could switch to LED lighting or offer customers the option to receive digital receipts instead of paper ones.”

“Work together to lower your environmental impact”: Creating a more sustainable supply chain

Natalie says it was vital for them to analyse each element of their production, packaging and fulfilment in order to make real and sustainable impact. “We collaborate with our suppliers for greater visibility of procurement practices throughout the supply chain,” she explains.

“We want to ensure our partners share our commitment to sustainability, and we work together to reduce waste, use resources more efficiently and lower our environmental impact.”

As a business, they believe it’s important to hold all the suppliers within their supply chain to high standards. “This can include setting sustainability criteria for suppliers, implementing sustainable procurement practices, and collaborating on emissions reduction initiatives.”

Natalie says that this level of innovation is part of the responsibility they’ve adopted by starting a business. “eCommerce retailers should be constantly looking for new and innovative ways to reduce their environmental impact. This might involve adopting new technologies or business models that are more sustainable, such as using renewable energy sources or implementing circular economy principles.”

She adds that challenging the status quo is the best way to be in eCommerce right now. “Be willing to question long-held assumptions and challenge the traditional ways of doing things. This might involve questioning the sustainability of the supply chain or business practices, or exploring new ways to measure and report on environmental impact.”

The Daily Routine is focused on a sustainable supply chain that results in an environmentally friendly product.

“We can have a lower environmental footprint during transit”: Choosing a more sustainable delivery partner

The Daily Routine has questioned the weight of personal care products being delivered – and they came up with the answer that the old way wasn’t the best way. “Most people don’t know that the majority of personal care products are made up of about 80% water,” says Natalie. “This means we are pointlessly shipping water around the globe. This places an unnecessarily large strain on our supply chain and produces significant carbon emissions. It’s also maddeningly ridiculous given it’s a resource you’ve already paid for, coming out of your tap at home!

“Our pods are made up of concentrated liquid, containing less than 5% water. By shipping our product in its concentrated form, it’s much smaller and lighter, requires less packaging and therefore can have a lower environmental footprint during transit.”

‘Buy once – refill forever’ is their mantra. The concentrated pods only need to be added to a pump bottle filled with hot water and shaken, which allows their water-soluble cover to dissolve. This also makes them low waste.

With their focus on product and supply chain sustainability, it was also important for The Daily Routine to consider a more environmentally friendly last mile. The process of selecting a delivery solution is no different to that of other suppliers: a vetting process that ensures the right sustainability standards are upheld.

This has led The Daily Routine to form a partnership with Australia Post, due to our carbon neutral delivery options and Australia’s largest electric delivery fleet.

“Australians are looking for businesses that share their values”: Communicating with shoppers about sustainability

With customer interest in sustainability growing, it’s important to share what you’re doing in this space to highlight the common goal of your business and shoppers.

Natalie says, “Australians are increasingly interested in sustainability and are looking for businesses that share their values. Let your customers know about your sustainability practices and the steps you’re taking to reduce your environmental impact. This can help build brand loyalty and attract new customers who are looking for sustainable options.”

That doesn’t mean you should feel your sustainability efforts have to be perfect right now, but honesty and authenticity about your approach – and what’s yet to come – are important. Natalie says, “Since inception we have made an effort to communicate our sustainability initiatives effectively and engage with customers on sustainability issues. We are committed to authenticity and honesty in all our endeavours, and while we acknowledge that our sustainability practices may not be flawless, we take our customers along with us on our journey and keep them informed through regular updates.”

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