Best Ideas 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
Ethical and Sustainable Department Store: GOOD STUFF
Explain your idea in details:
The main objective behind this business to make a significant change in the consumption habits of the everyday person. With the rise of cheap transport and labour in todays global economy, consumers have access wide range of very inexpensive goods, often conveniently located together in large department stores. However the rate and manner of this consumption and production of such goods has a number of incredibly negative external impacts: cheaply produced materials often pollute or are over produced to the detriment of natural ecosystems, vulnerable people and nations are exploited for use of cheap labour and resources, and more competitive larger stores undercut local businesses. Many consumers are aware of these problems, but are unwilling to make their consumption habits more sustainable because it is more expensive and less convenient sustainable goods generally have higher production costs, with no comparative variety and scale as to that of the modern day department store. The primary purpose of GOOD STUFF is to provide a competitive yet sustainable alternative, through sourcing a large range of locally produced sustainable goods and selling them at reasonable prices in one location, so that responsible, ethical production is a viable option for the everyday person.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
The expected impact of this idea on sustainable development is simple: through providing a competitive sustainable business, demand for sustainably produced goods will increase, leading to an expansion in sustainable development. By sourcing goods from local sustainable businesses that meet a set of criteria to be classified as such, we can bring sustainable goods to a much larger market than they would otherwise be exposed, and increase their consumption and market share. As each department store would source a different set of locally available goods, we could measure the market share of sustainable consumption through stock sold by sustainable local businesses, both through GOOD STUFF and directly to the public the aim would simply be for this output to increase at a faster rate than output of non sustainable businesses in the area to increase the portion of sustainable consumption in the area. Measuring the total number of customers would also help estimate what portion of the population within the area were buying some form of sustainable good with the goal to increase this figure by 25% in the first five years providing a bench mark for the relative success of this business. This expansion would result in better employment conditions for the average factory or production worker as these sustainable businesses grow.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
Specific business model: 1. Locate local businesses which are operating sustainably and a fair trade certified (or help businesses which arent to achieve this standard with incentive of guaranteed bulk orders) 2. Buy goods from local sustainable businesses in bulk for a discount price 3. Stock these goods in a minimally staffed and decorated warehouse close to the community, with sections organized by types of goods 4. Sell these goods with a minimal mark up to simply cover transportation and running costs with no profit mark up; providing them to the public at the lowest possible price 5. Reach out to local businesses (ie: restaurant and catering) and advertise as potential alternative to less sustainable supplier Funding: 1. NGO, using local businesses, buying in bulk will decrease production and transportation costs 2. Minimal mark up on products will cover some costs 3. Attaching a café to the warehouse that produces food at a profit, using and showcasing sustainable living to generate profit to support the larger department store project and increase awareness surrounding sustainable living 4. Have a donation option at checkouts to raise funds through crowd funding
I am a 17 year old Australian High School Student in my final year of study - I amongst other things I am studying Economics and Politics and Law, which I hope to continue with next year at university. As a young person, the current consumption and related production habits of the global population deeply concern me due to their negative impacts, ranging from irreversible environmental damage to the exploitation of vulnerable people in unfair working conditions, to the unsustainable rate of our consumption compared to available resources. This concern, combined with my interest in practical and innovative solutions to improve society, has motivated me to identify this issue of increasing relevance and importance, and to identify a solution to this issue.