A new platform for sustainable outdoor clothing and equipment called The Fair Cottage (TFC) uses the direct-to-consumer (D2C) business model to support eco-friendly and transparent brands to reduce the industry’s environmental impact. The platform also offers users a rating matrix that assesses various sustainability factors and the environmental impact of each brand.
“We long for a more conscious outdoor industry. Change depends not only on manufacturers, but also on consumers’ choices. Our transparent marketplace helps them align choices with their personal values,” states TFC founder Eloy Padilla in a press release.
D2C model saves on warehousing, logistics and shipping
The D2C model differs from the traditional e-commerce business and lends itself to significantly reducing the carbon footprint on two levels: First, the platform does not own any property and does not operate any warehouses or logistics centre, and second, it does not ship any parcels. How does it work then?
Retailers and brands handle their own logistics between physical retail shops and/or other warehouses in different locations; the platform connects its own community of active sports and sustainability-minded consumers with the brands that follow the ethos and meet the rating matrix.
Padilla developed the rating matrix together with his support team. It rates brands on six criteria: the way products are made and shipped, CO2 emissions throughout the production cycle, energy consumption, fair working conditions, community engagement and transparency in communication.
Storage, packaging and logistics account for 62 percent of the carbon footprint according to The Fair Cottage. The company’s business model excludes these factors and thus reduces the carbon footprint for each product line by more than 62 percent. The rest of the CO2 emissions, which stem from e-commerce and related activities, are reduced through offset programmes.
“The direct-to-consumer business model, if implemented correctly, is an answer to many of the environmental challenges of our time,” says Padilla, who launched the platform with the aim of “creating something meaningful with my network from previous years. Our mission is to support the sustainability movement by uniting market supply and consumer demand.”
Founded in 2016 by passionate surfer Padilla in Berlin, The Fair Cottage started as a blog and community focused on sustainable surfing, outdoor sports gear and lifestyle. Since 2019, The Fair Cottage has operated as a one-stop marketplace to support the green outdoor sports community and has secured collaborations with over 50 brands from Europe, the UK and the United States such as Arbor Collective, Babia Clothing, D’Bris, Sierra Climbing and Southern Shores, with more being added steadily.