Avocado store: Riding the LOHAS-wave

The German weekly Business Magazine Wirtschaftswoche yesterday published the article “Avocado store setzt auf die grüne Welle“. The article presents the e-commerce startup “Avocado store“, which recently won 300.000 Euro in competition for startup companies. Like Amazon, the store allows companies to offer their products online, and so far, it offers more than 2100 products. But unlike Amazon, Avocado store only sells “social and fair products” (big focus on clothing). The article claims that such online stores might be a chance particularly for smaller “green” or “fair” labels to market themselves successfully.

The big question is, which products does the store regard as “green” and “fair”? A quick glance at the website tells me that the store asks the company that offers a product on the platform to argue, why they think it is sustainable. There are nine criteria: CO₂-saving | ressource saving | low toxics in production | cradle to cradle | organic raw material | fair & social | long-living product | recycled | made in germany. In addition, consumers can evaluate each single criteria.

I think the idea of such such a shop is really good, and I think that it can help promote particularly smaller “sustainable” labels. However, the founderes of the shop must take care that they finally do not sell products under the “ethics” umbrella that only have very poor sustainability criteria. I think that it is problematic that the nine very broadly defined criteria already now theoretically include almost every product. And I also have my doubts, whether sellers and consumers should be the only ones rating the products regarding their sustainability. Sometimes more information of high quality is more helpful than tons of information of low quality, which only confuses the consumers. I believe that the stores should at least have some more strict “must have” criteria or some kind of benchmarking system that allows to rank products in terms of their sustainability. Even if this task is difficult to fulfill, there are other platforms that might show the right way (see my earlier post).

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