Today is Earth Day.

Held on 22 April, Earth Day has been an annual event since 1970. It’s recognised by the United Nations, and has been described as “the largest single-day protest in human history.”

Every year, Earth Day takes a different theme to highlight urgent causes facing our planet. This year’s theme is Planet vs. Plastics.

According to the statistics reported by Surfers Against Sewage:

  • 12 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean every year
  • 1 in 3 fish caught for human consumption now contains plastic
  • 80% of all studied marine debris is plastic

In fact, as much as 269,000 tonnes of plastic may now be floating in the open ocean.

And the problem is just as bad on dry land. Do you remember when we shared Alvio’s Anti-Junk Promise? In that article, we explained how:

22.8% of all our UK waste ends up in landfills. And we are particularly bad when it comes to recycling plastic packaging.”

Most of the plastic packaging produced in this country ends up either being burned, sent to landfill, or else discarded as litter. There are approximately 500 landfill sites across the UK piled up with waste – and in 2020 alone we sent more than 18 million tonnes of waste to landfill.

The battle against plastics is a worthy cause. And in selecting the theme for this year’s event, the organisers of Earth Day announced:

"EARTHDAY.ORG is unwavering in our commitment to end plastics for the sake of human and planetary health, demanding a 60% reduction in the production of ALL plastics by 2040."

Alvio and Earth-Friendly Business

Last year, we shared an article for Earth Day that explored Alvio’s relationship to the planet – and how Alvio’s model for collaborative ecommerce could help businesses to minimise waste, boost efficiency, and build a better, more sustainable network for the future.

It has never been more important for businesses to do more with less – to reduce wastage – and to work towards better downstream efficiency.

We highlighted three key ways in which the Alvio model was able to answer the challenges set by Earth Day:

  • Reducing mileage in the supply chain
  • Promoting higher quality products
  • Building sustainable business partnerships

Now, let’s take a look at each of these in turn, and see how some of our Alvio partners are pushing for greener business solutions.

1. Alvio Reduces Product Mileage

The Alvio model allows businesses to move data, not products.

Traditionally, retailers looking to take on a new product line would need to invest, and transport pallets of stock to their own warehouse (and then hope they’re able to sell it). 

With Alvio, everything is digital. You can sell a supplier’s stock on your store – and then they fulfil the order from their side.

Alvio users see as much as a 16% reduction in product mileage.

This approach will save you money, and risk – but it’s also the pathway towards greener, more earth-conscious business.

There are many benefits to this model, for example in the food industry, where freshness is a measure of quality… and food mileage is a significant contributor to greenhouse gases. For example, one recent study found that “in a single year, global food miles were responsible for 3bn tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions.”

Perhaps you’ve heard the horror stories about major British supermarket chains, flying local fruit over to South Africa to be waxed and polished, before flying it home again for sale!

How much better then, if food and beverage brands could start reaching their customers on a D2C model?

Just take a look at Chefs For Foodies – whose exquisite selection of artisan ingredients and fine food products are offered fresh and with minimal mileage, on a D2C basis. Only this month, they were finalists in the UK StartUp Awards 2024 for ‘Digital StartUp of the Year.’

Using the Alvio model, Chefs For Foodies has already partnered up with several brands offering complementary food and beverages (including Asilia Salt, UNLTD. and Womersley Foods).

As founder and CEO James Hill recently shared on LinkedIn:

“Chefs For Foodies transitioned the whole business into a digital model with full integration software by Alvio to enable artisan brands to be listed on our platform seamlessly but, importantly to further sustainability our goal is to become 80% drop-ship vs 20% production which is a green D2C solution.”

Partner with Chefs For Foodies on Alvio

2. Alvio is Anti-Junk

Alvio is passionate about quality – and we are proud to work with a large number of innovative, and award-winning brands.

So many business partnerships are driven by scarcity, but by filling our directory with high-quality partners, retailers on Alvio can be selective in working with only the best suppliers in their industry.

We believe that customers recognise quality – and we’ll set you up to deliver it!

But we also believe that making quality products readily available is the antidote to seeing markets flooded with low-quality, mass-produced goods. You know… the kind of products that break after a year and inevitably end up in landfill.

In fact, some of our partners are even reversing that process – by using reclaimed waste to create new, high-quality products!

Let’s talk about Coral Eyewear, a British brand whose stylish glasses and sunglasses are made from recycled plastic waste such as reclaimed fishing nets. How’s that for sustainability?

Coral Eyewear’s George Bailey told us:

“Our aim is to provide style without compromise. This means creating planet-positive eyewear for customers whilst staying committed to innovation, and constantly challenging the use of plastic in the optical industry.”

Coral Eyewear is growing fast – earning media coverage, awards, and they’ve been forming some robust partnerships on Alvio too, where they’re looking to work with like-minded fashion brands with a similarly earth-conscious focus.

Partner with Coral Eyewear on Alvio

3. Alvio Promotes Sustainable Business

Alvio streamlines ecommerce. It reduces product mileage, and it saves retailers the need for keeping warehouses full of stock – with products shipping directly from the suppliers instead.

And crucially – in an Alvio partnership there is no power imbalance.

We are helping to build democratic and cooperative networks, where partners enjoy mutual benefits, and meaningful new business connections can be established quickly, and at practically zero cost.

The result is a business model that offers a radical challenge to the mainstream – and protects smaller companies from the risk of being absorbed by the huge centralised players and marketplaces.

We want to give the power back to small businesses – and in the process we’re helping to build a lighter, greener, faster, fairer way to do ecommerce in the modern world.

But don’t just take it from us!

Shiptheory is a cloud-based shipping management platform doing some incredibly clever things in the area of supply chain automation. We’re proud to work with them as tech partners, and we believe that the combination of an Alvio partnership model, with Shiptheory’s supply chain management, can give even new startups the tools to change the world.

As Shiptheory’s Rita Jenkins explains:

“Over the years, I've seen brands scale through promoting diverse and sustainable business partnerships. Collectively sharing resources and developing new innovative ideas is key to helping the environment but also ensuring businesses' long-term viability in a dynamic global market.”

Earth Day Spotlight: Introducing Akojo Market

While we’re talking about earth-conscious business, this seems like the perfect time to introduce you to Akojo Market.

Akojo Market is the perfect embodiment of everything we’ve been talking about in this article. This forward-thinking, earth-conscious directory of sustainable brands promotes the value of craftsmanship and narrative in everything they do.

In their own words:

"We partner with artisan-led brands from around the world, connecting them with international markets and bringing the very best of sustainable homeware and lifestyle to your door. In a world of uniformity and mass production, we are the antidote.
“AKOJO MARKET formed to connect artisan-led brands to international markets so that they can become key players in the global economy. Through digital innovation, we seek to give them the tools needed, not only to grow, but thrive.”

We are excited to be working with Akojo Market – and over the coming months, we’ll have more to say about how we are helping to find new commercial opportunities for the brands they represent.

Summing Up

So there you have it – our model for better, greener business in the modern world.

Alvio reduces product mileage, promotes quality goods over junk, and empowers independent businesses in sustainable, democratic partnerships.

But Alvio would be nothing without our partners! So we want to thank companies like Chefs For Foodies, Coral Eyewear, Shiptheory and Akojo Market for the excellent work they do – and for putting their trust in Alvio.

And that’s just the beginning. We have so many more diverse and sustainable brands on the Alvio directory, suppliers and retailers who are working hard to make the world of ecommerce better.

Why not dive in and have a look? Your new business partnership is only a few clicks away.


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