Firstly, as a business, we are a finalist in the NSW Export Awards for the Environmental Solutions Award. We're the only retailer in this category and there are over 720,000 businesses in NSW so absolutely honoured to be singled out.
Also I, that's me Julie, was honoured (and I can't stress that enough) to win a Remodista Women 2 Watch Innovation Award. Remodista is a US based social think tank that analyses disruptive markets in global retail and fintech.
Kelly Stickel, the Founder and CEO of Remodista, said that the awards recognize “a combination of fashion and beauty related companies that are incorporating technology into their products. These are companies [that] are new and differentiating themselves.”.
The awards were held in New York on 19th September. Sadly I couldn't go, but it looked amazing so kicking myself now.
So what do I think about innovation and leadership and how do we get to where we are and what have we focused on?
What does innovation mean to me and Flora & Fauna?
I believe in making a difference and identifying issues, obstacles and challenges and finding a way around them using technology, processes, people and whatever it takes to solve a problem. I attack things, probably frustratingly, with no boundaries and no barriers. I look for the ideal solution then figure out how we can deliver it. StarShip IT have just written an article on us at Flora & Fauna which gives you an insight into how we innovate.
What have we delivered in terms of innovation at Flora & Fauna?
We are a socially driven business and we're here to make change; it's our purpose and mission. As such we are absolutely driven by making a difference when it comes to being a responsible, ethical retailer and also when it comes to our environment and waste management, particularly. A few things we've done, and are very proud of, include....
- Going Plastic Free with our Packaging in July 2016 saving tonnes of plastic
- Starting to Recycle Plastic Products in 2016
- Pioneering and leading the way with our partnership with TerraCycle from May 2017 so 100% of F&F is Recyclable
- Launching our own brand Green + Kind in May 2017. G+K is a zero waste brand focused on sustainable, eco friendly products, and simplicity.
- Launching our Planet Friendly Category in June 2017
- Forming a Partnership with Where Pigs Fly Farm Sanctuary in June 2017
- Working with Sea Shepherd Australia to Donate Proceeds from G+K from July 2017
- And we have a huge focus on flexible working, a virtual team and working with our suppliers and brands as partners so we grow together.
What's important in delivering innovation?
Creativity, no boundaries and an amazing team. I hope that I inspire the team to know that anything is possible and also to think about how we can improve what we do. F&F is all of ours to drive. We frequently talk about our strategy and plans in the warehouse so that the whole team can contribute and we can talk about what we're going to do. It's a lot easier when you have many, not one driving change.
I'm often asked what advice I would give to businesses starting out so.....
Know who you are and what you're trying to achieve. What is your mission and purpose? Knowing this makes it a lot easier to figure out how to get there.
You can read all about Remodista and the awards here.