Shopping Sustainably – Saving the planet with good visual merchandising!

Kat Maclennan, 
Visual Merchandising Associate– The Charity Retail Consultancy

Click here to learn more about our upcoming webinar:

We’re saving the planet! Using Visual Merchandising to tell your sustainability story – 19.10.22 | Charity Retail Learning

Book a place on the webinar now and receive our Buy-1-Get-1-Free deal

As Charity shop retailers we inherently understand the sustainability benefits that charity shopping brings to our community and the environment.  However, this message is sometimes challenging to communicate to customers, and we can often take for granted that everyone understands how even small actions can help to save our planet.


All brands are fighting to promote their sustainability credentials to customers, from Ebay advertising their ‘preloved’ clothes to a young consumer via Love Island sponsorship to Cos and Lulu Lemon offering resale programs and encouraging a full circle marketplace.

This is all good news for our exciting sector, ensuring sustainability is front and centre in customers’ minds and charity retail is obviously the easiest and best way to shop in a truly worthwhile way.

How can we use imaginative VM to highlight these powerful benefits?  I believe we can have a three-pronged approach to this….

Firstly, to communicate how buying second hand helps the environment through saving materials, energy and waste.  Can you visually demonstrate in your window how much water is saved by purchasing jeans from your shop and maybe run the theme throughout your store, creating a destination denim area?  Or explain how shopping locally saves transportation damage to the environment showing the distance certain products have travelled?

Secondly, highlight the ‘second life’ customers can give to your donated product?  Customising and repurposing clothes and furniture, visually showing how pieces can fit into home and lifestyle through VM and workshops is great.  Or tell the amazing story of key items, a

St Michael’s Hospice , Herefordshire

special wedding dress, record collection, or piece of furniture, who owned them before, where have they been, what have they seen?

Finally, it is incredibly important to be credible from a green perspective in everything we do, from the re use of packaging to the

construction and design of window displays and shop fits, we must be telling the same sustainable message and communicating this to customers.

If you would like more tips on how Visual Merchandising can help tell your sustainability story along with an understanding of the possible barriers to success and possible solutions to help achieve your goals, join me on 19th October for a Charity Retail Learning webinar.

Look forward to seeing you there!

More About Us

The Charity Retail Consultancy helps charity retailers and other non-profits (including museums and galleries) develop their retail operation, improve their product offer and people, and improve their profitability.

The Charity Retail Learning provides online & face to face training developed by charity retailers, for charity retailers. We work in partnership with the Charity Retail Association to deliver Charity Retail Learning to their members and beyond.

The Charity Retail Coach offers a first class executive coaching service via our Associate, Dan O’Driscoll.

To find out more or to speak to us about how we can help you, please get in touch:

Jayne – 07598 243210

Vicki – 07985 574904

Follow us on social media:



Related Posts