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Reflections from a Sustainable Lifestyle Marketplace

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Reflections from a Sustainable Lifestyle Marketplace

Ethi was only about half a year old at the beginning of 2018, and what a year it has been. At the beginning of 2018, we had just begun to grow our marketplace, finding our first brands and customers.

One of the highlights to end 2018 was a request from a customer’s husband to create a customised Ethi birthday gift card as a surprise birthday gift. This remains a cherished memory of ours.

It is now the beginning of 2019, Ethi has gone through its first full year and what an incredible year it's been. We’d like to share some of our reflections with you.

A big thank you to our brands!

Without the brands that create amazing products that are aligned with their passion and values, Ethi would be a very dull marketplace. The brands believing in us and giving us a go even when we hadn’t had a track record yet, was instrumental and provided us the enormous momentum that we would need to grow the marketplace.

Every brand must meet at least one of our EMPATHY values in order to sell with Ethi. The brands that work with us provide us as much information as we request in order to be granted a value and access to the Ethi marketplace. Information that we seek are relevant certifications, documentation, and any other supporting evidence. We also place a high value on trust - that what our brands say and document is true and accurate.

recreate ethi

When we first started, we set the minimum requirement at one EMPATHY value in order to sell with us. We had longer term ambition to see the brands in the Ethi community display all seven values - that would be remarkable. We’ve seen one to two over the past year having been able to achieve this and look forward to seeing more brands sell with us with this achievement.

However, we’ve also seen how complicated and challenging it is to accomplish this, and there are many factors in play to grow a business that can effectively operate while being able to address all seven EMPATHY values. The fact that we see brands working hard to achieve these values is extremely exciting.  

We wanted to thank the brands for the support, encouragement, and advice over the past year. We really appreciate the patience that you have shown us when we have been improving our processes and systems to ensure that selling with Ethi would be a fantastic experience.

Ethi has grown to be one of the largest ethical lifestyle marketplaces globally - we offer ethical fashion but you can also find toothbrushes, reusable shopping bags, art, and more. We’re really proud to be offering such an amazing and diverse range of products for you to shop for. As we continue to grow, you will undoubtedly see an even greater range of products for your lifestyle needs. It’s with the support from our brands that this is possible.

A big thank you to our customers and Ethi community!

When we got our first order, we couldn’t quite believe it. We didn’t believe it not because we didn’t think anyone would shop on Ethi, but because we hadn’t even done any marketing yet on our brand new marketplace. We surprisingly had another order shortly after but then nothing for our first couple of months.

It was a challenging slog to keep pushing and building our brand without any results. But then we started to get orders again and it has slowly grown to what it is now. It’s really hard to get people to change their normal behaviour, click into a new website and to then put their faith in you by purchasing - let alone trusting the marketplace and the brands on it. We are eternally grateful to our customers and want to thank you for the faith and support.

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Whilst the majority of customers had a good experience purchasing from Ethi, there were a few orders that didn’t quite meet expectations whether it be due to delivery delay or sizing issues. To our customer’s credit, their patience and understanding has astounded us through 2018. We appreciate the thoughtfulness in at-times frustrating experiences but we cannot take this for granted. Our focus is laser-focused on improving the customer experience end-to-end. We will continue to learn from our customers. Thanks so much!

Another important thing to note - you as an Ethi customer, like a customer with any conscious brand, have decided to vote with your money on saving our planet, our people, and animals. It can’t be taken lightly that when you buy from Ethi and talk about it at the dinner table or share it on social media, that you are building awareness on why it's important to shop consciously. We have worked hard to curate stylish and functional clothing and lifestyle products too, which will demonstrate that quality aesthetically appealing products can also be sustainably made as well.

A big thank you to our partners and supporters!

Without customers and brands, we would have no marketplace. But, without so many friends that we’ve made through the past 12 months, we would not have progressed as far as we have. This is a huge thank you to the industry leaders such as Australian Circular Fashion Conference, Eco Warrior Princess, Good on You, The Minimalist Vegan, amongst many others that have helped us. Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants”. This is absolutely true when it comes to us pushing further under the presence of so many incredible friends.

ecowarriorprincess ethi sustainable fashion marketplace

We also wanted to thank the non-for-profit organisations that we support: The Social Studio, South Sudan School, and Trees for the Future. These organisations do incredible things on little resources, and they provide us enormous inspiration and motivation to continue spreading the love. We’re really proud to have donated $350 to The Social Studio, $550 to South Sudan School, and $75 to Trees for the Future. We’re looking forward to growing from this base in 2019!

the social studio ethi

What to look forward to in 2019?

As you may have noticed, we haven’t been too active to end 2018. We have been reassessing everything about Ethi and looking to position it in the best way possible for 2019 and beyond. There is a lot of work behind the scenes involved to ensure that we get things right. There are numerous things that we’ve learnt from you that we look forward to implementing. Amongst other things, here are some items on the horizon:

  • Exceptional user experience end-to-end across the discovery, purchase, and post-purchase journey. This includes better product and brand navigation as our inventory continues to grow, and better customer service.
  • Build more brand and product stories into the Ethi platform.
  • Exceptional channel for sustainable and ethical lifestyle brands. Seamless inventory and order management. We want Ethi to be an extension to a brand’s online sales, not another cumbersome platform they have to manage.
  • Spread more awareness to the public around beautiful, high quality products that are affordable that are also ethically and sustainably made.
  • Keep growing our brands and product range. At this rate, Ethi will be the one-stop shop for ethical and sustainable lifestyle products.

Thank you again for being a part of this journey with us. It has been an incredible 2018 - we have learnt so much from it. We look forward to taking Ethi to the next level and hope you can continue to join us for the ride! 

With gratitude, 

Team Ethi

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