Everyone wants to be sustainable, but the truth is, it’s not always easy being green. It demands commitment, discipline, and making sacrifices – not to mention, it can also be expensive.
Sustainable products are usually more pricy than their conventional counterparts simply because they are more expensive to produce – often requiring quality raw products and specialised processes. They can also be hard to find, and even then, you’d still have to do your due diligence into seeing if they are truly sustainable or just greenwashing.
See also: Greenwashing? Take My Money… Not
However, one company is out to change all these barriers to sustainable shopping by making it both more affordable and accessible. Meet Cerqular, an LA-based e-commerce startup, that’s created an online marketplace solely dedicated to eco-friendly goods. Think Amazon or Taobao, but stocked only with products that are 100% certified to be sustainable – meaning organic, vegan, carbon-neutral, upcycled or recycled.
Founded by the husband and wife team of David Friedrichs and Janine Aeroporos, Cerqular was borne out of their passion for sustainable living. While they may not have been your typical dyed-in-the-wool eco-warriors – with Friedrichs working in pharmaceuticals and Aeroporos in the legal and financial sector – they have always sought to live sustainably and hoped to make it more commercial and available to the masses. And so, in 2020, they started Cerqular.
E-COMMERCE, THE SUSTAINABLE WAY
Cerqular currently features over 80 mission-driven brands and more than 58,000 products, with around 400 new products added daily. Brands include German denim brand, Dawn Denim, UK-based accessories maker, BEEN London, and Asian names such as Japanese apparel brand, Kapok Knot, and Singapore’s WhatIF Foods.
The right timing
Cerqular entered the market at a very opportune time. Eco-friendly products are a US$150 billion market in the US alone, while the global ethical fashion industry will be worth over US$15 billion by 2030. These figures are still dwarfed by conventional products (especially fast-fashion), but the market for sustainable products is growing at a rapid pace.
A recent study by consultancy firm Simon-Kucher & Partners also reveals that there’s a paradigm shift now happening with consumers. Consumers in the past have been overly conscious of price, but a new generation of consumers – specifically millennials and Gen Z – are supporting companies that sell products with clear “end-of-life solutions”. In fact, 42% of millennials and 39% of Gen Z are willing to pay more for sustainability – by as much as 32% more.
A MARKETPLACE YOU CAN TRUST
While many sustainable marketplaces tend to focus on a single or few product categories such as fashion apparel, electronics, or accessories, Cerqular carries all that and more – including beauty products, home furnishings, groceries, and even pet essentials!
With so many product categories covered, Cerqular needs to vet every single seller and product that’s listed on their site. Knockoffs are filtered out of the platform regularly, so rest assured that what’s actually on there is both sustainable and genuine.
So is it expensive? Friedrichs assures us that the pricing on Cerqular is competitive with the brand’s own website, giving consumers the choice to shop where they feel most comfortable. However, Cerqular does run a loyalty program that lets shoppers earn points (aka. cerq-cash) for discounts on future purchases. They also collaborate with brands on special promotions that make their prices equally – if not more – affordable than conventional products.
That’s not all – Cerqular even offers a 100% carbon neutral shipping option by partnering with Sendle to ship orders, particularly in the US and Australia – a courier service that mitigates the impact on the environment.
Cerqular in Asia + exclusive 8Shades discount!
While Cerqular has been focused on the US for its launch, they also have their eyes set on Asia as a high-growth market. In fact, both of Cerqular’s founders, Friedrichs and Aeroporos, lived in Hong Kong for seven years (up until 2019) and know the region well.
Cerqular is happy to offer 8Shades readers an exclusive discount of 20% off everything on the marketplace from now until 31 May 2022.
Simply use the code ‘8SHADES20‘ at checkout and start shopping here!
Make the 8Shades Switch:
The next time you’re in the mood to shop, try these easy sustainable switches:
- do your best to support sustainable brands
- shop on sustainable marketplaces like Cerqular
- go for pre-loved fashion like HULA and Vestiaire Collective
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