courtesy of wikipedia
Originally posted on February 23, 2012. The Mainstream sentiment is moving toward sustainable trends faster than retail can accommodate. On the tail end of NMI’s report that 80% of Americans are green in one way or another, their research uncovers confusion on the retail landscape, a muddied picture of the sustainable living concept.
According to NMI, 66% of Americans say it’s hard to know which companies are telling the truth about their environmental record, and 40% admit they don’t know where to go for information about which products are environmentally friendly. Our brand identity is built around solving this problem of green confusion—when we say we’ll be a beacon for healthy homes, Continue reading
Courtesy of Wikipedia
Originally posted on February 10, 2012. At WorkingWonders, we’re emboldened by Natural Marketing Institute’s report saying 80% of the American population is green in one way or another. It’s great news, but let’s not make the mistake of thinking the new green economy will simply materialize.
Broad agreement that serious environmental issues exist, the feeling that most Americans want to go green, and widespread adoption of recycling practices are steps in the right direction. The stage has been set, but a new green economy seems as invisible as the emperor’s new clothes. Add our frustration over a major disconnect between political bluster and current economic stagnation, and promises of a new green economy have clearly fallen short. Continue reading
Originally posted on November 29th, 2011. We’ve talked at length about social change, how we’ll create a revolution in the retail marketplace through a green-from-the-ground-up national brand. What’s been lacking, however, is a glimpse of our dreams.
A store that enables change in the way Americans live must look the part. Our vision is to realize this dream in the Village of Working Wonders, a sustainably built campus that does more than stock products on shelves, but also serves as an eco-tourism destination. Our Village features integrated contemporary smart home design similar to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, filled with the materials and features of clean, sustainable living, beautiful arts from the best fair-trade and local craftsman, and a central structure as iconic to the future of American design as Disney’s castle is to the Magic Kingdom. Continue reading
Originally posted on November 7, 2011. As we look to build a strong economy, we’ve more questions to ask ourselves than ever before. Chief among them is the sustainability issue. How do we promote economic growth while at the same time making a shift to buying energy-efficient goods that have fewer detrimental effects on our health and the health of the environment? Here’s what colleague and friend, Casey Willson, wrote about this issue: “Market changes are required for the success (of sustainability and climate change goals), and the ultimate driver will be lifestyle changes of all people, especially those who are the early adopters in developed countries.”
Casey Willson* used these words in an introduction between the prominent organization founded with the help of Richard Branson, The Carbon War Room, and BethAnn Lederer, Working Wonders’ founder and CEO. Working Wonders takes this mission very seriously because Continue reading
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water (image source: wikipedia)
Originally posted on October 31, 2011. Let’s break this down: A website can only show you the products and services that represent the kind of sustainability we’re bringing to the retail marketplace—very specific information. But when we talk about changing the retail landscape, we mean creating a new standard for retail space and the shopping experience it contains, something our founder and CEO, BethAnn Lederer, describes as “nothing like you’ve ever seen.” This is the driver for our brand, and we’re eager to share the vision with you.
We start with a smaller footprint. We’ll build within a reduced area compared to a big box store. But the important difference is really how we’ll build. Our destination will be designed and built according to the same sustainable standards upheld by our product lines and services. You can expect a compact village of distinct buildings, all USGBC Platinum LEED certified.
Inside, we’ll mix showroom staging of our products with interactive features to expand our selection beyond what’s physically present, encompassing thousands of products while keeping our size modest. Another innovation: Because we truly offer a Green from the Ground Up approach, our energy efficient store will use the same architectural standards and supplies you can buy for your own home.
Beyond the interactive shopping experience, we’ll have consultation space for kitchen, bath, home office, interior, and architectural design services, providing you the opportunity to transition any part of your lifestyle—large or small—into a Continue reading
Originally posted on October 14, 2011. A couple is telling me about a rug they just bought. They talk about the great service at the store they got it from and how the color works with everything in the room. I’m waiting for the purchase announcement tag line. As if on cue, I hear the words, “…and I got it for a good price.” It’s meant to convey they paid less than the retail price, much less.
As CEO of Working Wonders, and someone who views a new retail landscape as one of the prerequisites of a sustainable economy, I hear the “I got it for a good price” mantra differently than most people. It’s not that I don’t think people should buy things at good prices. Quite the opposite. But I wouldn’t categorize any price as good on products where it’s the case that I don’t know where they come from or how they are made.
Blind supply chains trigger the same kind of alarm in me as when Cole Sear makes his memorable “I see dead people” announcement in the movie, The Sixth Sense. Actually a lot more, because in faraway places people really are dying as a result of making our things. Don’t take my word for it. Read award-winning investigative journalist, Loretta Tofani’s in-depth series, “American Imports, Chinese Deaths.” Continue reading