In a series of articles, outdoor store managers provide a closer look at what customers really want to know more about in their shops.
“I have worked at partioaitta for twelve years. Environmental issues were already important to the company when I started. However, during this time, both our involvement and that of our customers’ has increased rapidly, especially in recent years. The issues are also important for me personally. I am concerned about what happens to our environment.
At Partioaitta, we have a clear focus on quality. The products we sell will last a long time and be repairable. When a customer does not want to use a product any longer they often can be resold or recycled. In our collection boxes in the stores, we are receiving more and more products to be recycled. In addition, the company works systematically for sustainability.
As a store manager, I notice the positive response we as a company get for the initiatives and projects we run. I am seeing more and more that it affects the decisions customers make about which products to buy. Brands with a clear sustainability profile are successful in the store.
The most common questions from our customers are about where the products are manufactured. Clothing and equipment that is manufactured in Finland and Scandinavia are doing well, and even those that are made in Europe. Customers are also demanding to know more and more about materials and chemicals. Are the materials recycled? Do they contain plastic with BPA? What do shell garments use for waterproofing? Such things, customers were not asking a few years ago.
It is here that I think the brands can do a better job of informing us. We would like to have the benefit of posters, leaflets and other information about sustainability that customers can enjoy. Those of us working in the stores do not always have the answer to every question.
I do not see this as a trend that will go away. On the contrary, our customers will become more and more aware and we have to meet their needs.”