In this blog we highlight one of our amazing Impact Investments, Zigzag Global, which is having a significant impact on the waste associated with the returns process for retailers.
Returns logistics may not sound ground-breaking at first, but current inefficiencies in this high demand retail service creating unnecessary waste of resources, both material and energy. UK-based tech company, ZigZag Global, a Christian Super Impact Investment through Circularity Capital, supports retailers with return logistics, through software and service solutions that reduce cost and waste.
Zigzag’s mission is to reduce the cost, waste and friction associated with returns, boost customer loyalty and make retailers more profitable and sustainable. Founded in 2015 by Al Gerrie and Laurence Guy, the company has already become a leader in returns management working with some of the world’s largest retailers and brands.
The problem with returns in retail
The way we shop and interact with brands has changed with the rise of online retail, particularly in the area of fashion. The demand for premium customer experience and expectations for service as online shopping has become prolific around the world. There has also been a dramatic shift in the ability of the fashion supply chain to rapidly refresh product lines. Coupled with the increased demand from customers for shorter use items, or “fast fashion” the result is a highly wasteful industry where goods are shipped great distances, often needlessly and where goods are also unnecessarily wasted.
Zigzig Global offers retail businesses technology and services which optimises returns processing, data analysis and return logistics. They provide retail businesses with access to over 220 localised warehouses, 200 international carrier services, across 195 countries, with 320,000 drop off locations worldwide. Through their software analysis and logistics network, the company helps retailers to reduce the cost of returns, to quickly re-stock items for resale, reduce unnecessary transportation of goods and reduce the environmental impact of packaging.
ZigZag Global’s impact is to reduce the cost and friction of retail returns
and eliminate the proportion of uneconomical to returns – which might otherwise end up in landfill. With recent high-profile cases of retailers destroying returned products, Zigzag’s services provide a much-needed sustainable returns model for retailers.
Zigzag has implemented the following solutions to support sustainability outcomes:
- Paperless Returns – providing labelless technology has eliminated the need for 2 million return labels to be included in delivery parcels.
- Circular Economy – 100% of goods are kept out of landfill as all international returns are consolidated before being returned, resold or recycled.
- Reducing your carbon footprint – using data analytics, ZigZag’s returns goods in the most energy-efficient way possible, reducing journeys by more than 60%.
The ‘Take Back’ commitment
Large retailers such as H&M, Marks & Spencer and Zara now offer a garment end-of-life solution to their consumers, with ‘Take Back’ schemes that allows customers donate their second-hand clothing. This helps keep used clothing out of landfill by encouraging recycling through convenient channels.
ZigZag became the first returns management solution provider to introduce ‘Take Back’ functionality to its offering. Retailers can now offer recycling and resale options for returns, directly addressing the huge landfill issue in fashion. ZigZag’s solution allows for:
- Goods to be returned in-store.
- Goods to be returned directly to the warehouse.
Your super is supporting this much needed returns software and service, which helps retailers provide a sustainable returns model. This lowers the demand on our natural resources and keeps more garments out of landfill.