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Anthropologie’s ingenious customer waste reduction

I have been impressed with Anthropologie in the past, but lately, even more so. Not only is their customer service personal, responsive and outstanding, but they have recently implemented a campaign that I thought was ingenious. At the end of a sale, they ask their customers if they are willing to forego the shopping bag, and by doing so, will have the opportunity to be automatically entered into a raffle for store credit.

Smart. Not only does it make the customer think about whether he or she really needs that bag, but it creates incentive for the customer to walk out without another unnecessary shopping bag in an oh-so-subtle and tactful way. Less bags means money saved for Anthropologie, less garbage and a chance to win store credit for the customer, and less waste for the environment. Everyone wins.

Really fantastic. I’m always a fan of waste reduction. Big points for Anthopologie for being thoughtful and responsible.

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. anon #

    hmmm .. I do love anthro too but I don’t think saving paper bags is anything close to CSR. They import their clothes, exploit independent designers and over-price their clothing. Have a look at some of the facebook discussions on their fan page. They fail to answer and even acknowledge a growing consumer base that demands they stay accountable. Sad. Because I LOVE their clothes. I can’t justify shopping there anymore, even if it means losing out on a raffle ticket.

    April 19, 2010
  2. Vivian Chan #

    Thanks for your comment, anon. I’m interested in finding out more about the rest of their design/business process as you’ve outlined. You’re right – saving bags are by no means an exhaustive CSR program. It’s a small gesture, although can be a powerful one considering the volume of customers that pass through. One of the things that struck me while in North Carolina was how quickly waste was created and how easily it was discarded. The culture didn’t seem oriented towards sustainability. Looking for a recycling bin was painful! So, within that environment where bags (not to mention an assortment of other products) seemed to be pushed and distributed without a moment’s thought or hesitation, Anthropologie’s method really stood out for me. It was a subtle and interesting way to encourage customers not to take one. But to your point – CSR extends far beyond waste reduction, and is also in the way a company carries out its business practices. If what you say is true – Anthropologie has a far way to go before its truly corporately responsible.

    April 23, 2010

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