(Blog post: November 21, 2018)
Friends, it’s been quite the road. After an unexpected nudge out of the building at 41st earlier this year, I’ve spent much of 2018 in both personal and professional transition toward a new phase that, for all purposes, begins with today’s digital launch.
Leaving the shop behind was both difficult and a relief: difficult, in that I couldn’t explain what, exactly, was going on. Difficult, too, in that I wasn’t sure what was coming next (only that it didn’t involve retail hours and that I’d be shedding this aspect of my identity in a very public way…something I’d done a decade before).
The relief was something different, and was slower to emerge. For all the dreaming I’d done about making a positive impact and solving a gi-normous problem (who am I kidding?), the store had been holding me back. The perpetual sorting, refreshing, and reorganizing millions of things for purposes other than my own had become exhausting.
My late August trip to the Climate Reality Leadership Training in Los Angeles was the turning point I had known it would be: the training was sobering enough — but it was sandwiched between having to stop for a fire to clear our path on the coastal trip south – and then by learning, not long after returning to Minneapolis, that a Lake Travis home I’d visited while returning home through Texas had been flooded to the rafters soon after on account of the heavy rains in Austin.
This sequence, followed by October’s IPCC report on Global Warming and last week’s devastation in California have made it clear that my decision to follow the tug I’ve felt for nearly a decade was the right choice.
The classes we’re offering with today’s launch have written themselves. The products will help us bring attention to the classes. Will we sell a bunch of swear towels? I don’t know. I don’t even care, really – I just want to keep moving our community forward, and this feels like the right way to do so.
The entire team is excited to build and launch all of the different elements that have gone into developing a genuinely ethical commerce site, designed with maximum sustainability in mind. Our goal, as always, is to offer the most ethical products possible, serving the most people possible, with the lowest emissions levels possible, period.
We’re working with what we have (as we’ve always done), which means the site design hasn’t been made super slick or completely revamped. Instead, we’ve focused on the content we’ll be adding, and on developing a rollout strategy that aligns with the patient pace of sustainable commerce.
As we move to this less tangible platform, we’ll continue to operate as we have in the past: choosing to provide alternative options — virtuous, secondhand, alternative options — to the choices currently available as a means of educating and supporting a shift in social norms.
Given the IPCC mandate to cut global emissions by 50% within 12 years, and given what we’ve learned about production emissions and how secondhand items make it possible to avoid firsthand carbon dioxide exposure, we know we’re on the right track.
And so, as we get going again, there are many things that *will not* change:
-We will continue to innovate around scalable 100% remanufacture.
-We will continue to innovate around emissions measurement and communication.
-We will continue to work toward viable supply chain methodologies.
-And we will continue to involve others.
And, speaking of involving others, I’d welcome your help getting the word out about the climate-informed class offerings we announced in today’s press release. If you’d prefer to share something that *doesn’t* directly infer profanity, we’ll be shifting gears into less edgy product and class titles over the next several days… stay tuned.
Thanks, everyone. This journey continues- and I look forward to sharing so much more in the days and weeks ahead.
For those who will be celebrating tomorrow, safe travels.
For those who find it difficult to celebrate on the fourth Thursday each November, we see you.
So much love,