Krissie is the Founder of Kollectify, content marketing agency for Shopify apps and partners. Being an insider of the e-commerce world for a very long time, she recently decided to take an extra step towards what she believes in and co-founded The MindfulCommerce community with her Co-founder, Rich Bunker. The community is a group of e-commerce experts and brands with a strong focus on sustainability and ethics, supported in their daily activities by the MindfulCommerce Directory and The MindfulCommerce Sustainability Framework.
Krissie, we are witnessing an incredible surge in demand for ethical and sustainable goods by online shoppers. Where does your interest in this field come from? How did you grow through the years as a shopper yourself and as an e-commerce professional?
This is a great question! We have both always been country side bunnies, growing up surrounded by fields, beautiful trees, rivers and wildlife in Cheshire (Krissie) and Yorkshire (Rich), England… Spinning the clocks forward a few years, my family and I moved to the North Welsh coast and I found my love for surfing, the ocean and the mountains. I suppose I have always felt a pull to immerse myself in our environment and when I discovered that we are slowly losing this due to climate change, I wanted to try to change that.
So I started being very conscious of my buying decisions as a consumer from an early age, luckily it is starting to be easier to do so but there’s still so much we can do! I fell into e-commerce when I built a Shopify marketplace in 2014 after moving to North Devon. I was helping small, UK businesses who handmade products related to the ocean! It was called “KrisSea” ha! That was when it all started... North Devon was also where Rich and I met.
It is often hard to understand how e-commerce can be more sustainable. What are, in your opinion, the most underestimated aspects of e-commerce which cause a big impact on the environment and local communities? How are brands and agencies trying to tackle such issues?
In my opinion, I think the biggest challenge is changing the mindset of those in power positions. I think people like David Attenborough are helping to solve this through awareness, education and the media but unfortunately, even his most recent documentary seems to have caused hype and then…nothing.
Our biggest goal at MindfulCommerce is to build awareness of the issues in e-commerce in terms of how it contributes to climate change and then providing super simple steps for ecommerce brands and experts (agencies, tech companies etc) to tackle this together with our MindfulCommerce Sustainability Framework, Community and Directory.
You have recently investigated the concept of low-carbon websites. Can you tell us a bit more about this topic? Where do website emissions come from?
The internet is dirty. Our stores and websites are powered/hosted by huge physical data centres and servers and they are consuming a massive amount of energy from the earth… It’s been estimated that we could see data centers account for usage of 3-13% of global electricity by 2030. For comparison, the aviation industry is currently responsible for 2% of annual human-generated CO2. There’s a lot more to this, it is a huge topic which we plan to tackle at MindfulCommerce!
Is there any online brand you'd like to recommend for mindful shopping?
Finisterre, Reverie, &Keep, Goooders, Two Thirds, BAM, there’s so many! Have a look at who we follow on Instagram and you’ll have a field day! We are currently in the process of building a directory of mindful brands, too (watch this space).
Here you can find more information about the MindfulCommerce Community.