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Starter Kit for a Sustainable Shopify Store

Carolina Lopez-Treviño

Starter Kit for a Sustainable Shopify Store


Starting an online store can be overwhelming, especially if it’s a cause-driven one. Luckily, Shopify has provided its users with a step-by-step guide on how to set up your own eCommerce site. Check it out

As for the sustainability side, we’ve got you covered. First things first, make sure your mission is clear. Brands that try to jump onto popular causes are quickly exposed by skeptical consumers. To avoid being seen as inauthentic, make sure your mission is core to your roots, your brand, and your customers. 

Do’s and Don'ts of eCommerce

Now that you’re getting started, let’s talk about the do’s and don’ts of the eCommerce world. 

1. Do make your website the ultimate way to drive sales 

Your website will be the only place where you have the ability to turn a profit. This means that there should be calls to action on multiple pages. These can include hyperlinks, pop up banners, and big flashy buttons that will ideally lead your customer to make a purchase. Don’t forget to include engaging product descriptions to make your site stand out. 

Shopify example: Common Good

Common Good has a sleek and inviting home page focused on their core products. They intertwine images, graphics, and recommendations from notable brands to create a holistic approach to product marketing. Not to mention, they highlight why they’re good for your skin and the planet. 

2. Don’t just feature your mission on your “About Us” or “Our Mission” page

String your mission statement throughout your entire site, so that people see that your cause is at your company’s core. Include statements of impact throughout your home page, product grid, shopping cart, and order review. Don’t be afraid to send post-purchase emails or SMS follow-ups reminding the customer of the positive change they just made by purchasing your product. 

Shopify example: Nice Laundry

Nice Laundry is a company that’s passionate about eliminating waste from the textile industry. Their solution is recycling your old undergarments to create new pieces and even repurposing the fibers for things like home insulation. Instead of having their social cause live on an “About Us” tab, they’ve included it on the home page so that with a single click of a button, their consumers will know all about their mission. 

3. Don’t forget to keep your impact updated 

There’s nothing worse than an old, forgotten mission statement. Keep your social impact going by tracking the work your company has done. This will keep you accountable for your actions and have your customers intrigued on what you’ll do next. 

Shopify example: Tentree

Tentree has a live ticker on its homepage that tracks the number of trees they have planted down to the minute. This shows their consumers that their CSR is not just for show, but an integral part of their business model.

4. Do use your platform to create real change

While monetary donations are always appreciated, think about ways to create real systemic change through your business model. This could be the way your products are produced, shipped, or disposed. It could even be in the way you treat your employees with paternity leave policies, fair wages, and ethical labor practices. 

Sustainable Success 

The E-commerce world has been becoming more and more cause-focused. When thinking about your business model, don’t forget to include your own sustainability practices. To start, offset your carbon emissions with the Shopify Offset app. Offset uses industry data to calculate the CO2 emissions released with every shipment. It then charges you an average of half a cent per delivery through a monthly Shopify notice. That money is used to purchase carbon credits, which contribute to deforestation protection projects.

We hope that these tools have got you feeling ready to take on the world of digital commerce. The future’s at your fingertips, so get typing! 

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