4 South African brands working towards a sustainable future

Recent research on sustainability reveals a significant increase in consumer passion for the environment. The study, conducted by Mastercard, found that 81% of adults in South Africa are more mindful of their impact on the environment since Covid19.

There are many local brands doing great things in terms of creating and selling sustainable products in South Africa. But selling greener products is only one part of the sustainability journey ー a reduced carbon footprint extends into the practices and everyday decisions of the operations of a company.

These top South African companies are paving the way towards a greener future.

1. Cape Union Mart

Leading adventure product and clothing retailer, Cape Union Mart is committed to protecting the great outdoors. Their goal is to make eco-conscious outdoor equipment more accessible than ever before. They stock and supply a range of recyclable products ー including their popular K-Way jacket range, sleeping bags, water bottles, recycled packaging and even swing tags on selected products.

In addition to supplying earth-friendly products, the company’s head office is also part of Cape Town’s waste minimisation and recycling programme which focuses on in-house recycling. Electricity consumption has also been reduced by removing unnecessary light bulbs and lighting tubes. It’s evident that environmental consciousness is entwined throughout every aspect of Cape Union Mart’s identity.

2. Pargo

Smart logistics company, Pargo has recently conducted a carbon footprint study in an effort to raise the bar on sustainability. The main finding of the study concluded that Pargo’s Click & Collect service produces 68% less carbon emissions than the traditional home delivery service. With Click & Collect, multiple orders are sent to a Pargo Pickup Point where they can be collected by the consumer. These consolidated deliveries allow for a significant reduction in carbon emissions compared to deliveries to multiple homes.

In addition, Pargo has also replaced the customary plastic courier bag with a fully biodegradable, locally produced paper mailing bag. A first of its kind in South Africa, the mailing bag offers the same quality, durability, and security to consumers and retailers as the traditional plastic bag ー at no additional cost. Furthermore, the company has integrated sustainability habits into its daily activities and overall purpose, ultimately proving Pargo’s commitment to reducing its footprint.

3. Wellness Warehouse

South Africa’s leading natural health and well-being retailer, Wellness Warehouse is not only talking the talk, but walking the walk too. They believe that the best place to start your sustainability journey is in the space that’s most dear to your heart ー your home. Not only do they stock earth-friendly products ー from non-GMO foods and non-toxic cleaning products, to natural body care and sustainable baby products ー but they have also weaved sustainability practices into their daily business operations.

Wellness Warehouse’s sustainability ambitions are aligned with their purpose ー they aspire to enable individual health journeys that have a positive impact on society’s collective wellness, and that of the planet. This is tied to the company’s policy of having a net positive environmental impact that has made them a leader in environmental responsibility.

The Wellness Green Journey is their ongoing commitment to contributing to a conscious and sustainable world through environmental and community well-being. It is underpinned by internal sustainability; establishment of an ethical value web, sustainable distribution hub and circular retail system; as well as nourishment of inclusive communities and the promotion of responsible consumption.

4. The Foschini Group (TFG)

Local retail giant, TFG has made great strides in reducing the group’s carbon emissions. They recognise their responsibility to make a positive difference and have turned their attention to various sustainable operational initiatives. Some of these initiatives include increasing its resource efficiency at their head office, distribution centres and stores, they’ve replaced printed monthly statements with digital ones, while also increasing their efforts in relation to the products that they buy and manufacture.

The group is also working towards a goal of zero waste and are committed to the Plastic Pact ー they are one of the founding members of the South African Plastic Pact. It is clear that TFG places its impact on the community and environment as critical measurements of the company’s success.

The focus on sustainability is not only beneficial to the environment but also becoming a major factor for businesses as they vie for customer attention. Consumers are voting with their wallets ー the more they become aware of the effects of global warming, the more they start to support brands that are more mindful of their impact on the environment.

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