New Etsy Sustainability Attributes For The Eco-Conscious Buyer
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Say hello to the new Etsy Sustainability Attributes. Every year, more and more people are adopting a sustainable lifestyle. To meet this growing demand for sustainable products, Etsy has been making efforts to attract both sellers and buyers who are eco-conscious.
To take their effort to the next level, Josh Silverman, the CEO of Etsy, In February 2021, announced that they are pledging to Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2030.
Etsy will use these attributes to develop unique and sustainability-focused shopping experiences in the future which will allow shoppers to easily find sustainable products. This means that it is high time for sellers to adapt to this change.
What are the Etsy Sustainability Attributes?
According to Etsy, sustainability attributes are the “new optional listing attributes that allow you to indicate if your items are made from environmentally conscious materials or are designed to be reusable to reduce waste.”
As this is just the initial phase of this lunch, currently the Etsy Sustainability Attributes are available in only four product categories which are –
- Home & Living
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How many Etsy Sustainability Attributes are there?
At the moment, Etsy is giving you 13 different sustainability attributes. Let’s take a look at each of them –
Recycled content is the material used in a product that is recovered from the waste stream of the manufacturing process or recycled after being used by others
Etsy will require you to specify exactly which materials used in your products use recycled content, and what is the ratio of recycled content to the original material. You will also need to certify that at least 50% of your product contains recycled content.
A few examples of recycled content as stated by Etsy are –
- Recycled Metal
These are products made from recycled metal, including precious metals, and must contain 100% recycled metals.
- Recycled Glass
This is used for products made from recycled glass, and must also contain 100% recycled glass.
- Recycled Paper
These are products made from recycled paper, and must also contain 100% recycled paper with a minimum of 30% being post-consumer recycled content a.k.a. PCR.
- Recycled Cotton
If you’re selling textile products that contain recycled cotton, the blend must contain a minimum of 50% recycled cotton. Both pre and post-consumer recycled cotton would be acceptable. Repurposed, upcycled, or reclaimed cotton is not considered recycled cotton.
- Recycled Polyester
If you’re selling textile products that contain recycled polyester, the blend must contain a minimum of 50% post-consumer recycled polyethylene terephthalate (RPET).
- Recycled Plastic
Products made from recycled plastic must contain 100% recycled plastic.
Any material used in its original form to produce something new or more valuable will use the Upcycled attribute.
A reusable item or product is something that replaces single-use items. The reduced amount of waste resulting from reusable items helps the environment. As of now, this attribute category will not include reusable bamboo textiles.
A plastic-free product refers to an item that would originally have contained or been packaged with plastic, but those plastic elements have been removed. Note that this attribute applies only to product packaging and not shipping packaging.
All the gemstones that make up a product must be at least 20 years old. All other parts except the gemstones can be of new construction.
This attribute will be used for any fabric product or material input made from cotton that is not grown using synthetic chemicals. You need to specify the inputs in the item that contains organic cotton and also certify that a minimum of 50% of all the inputs are organic cotton. You also need to mention the certification for the cotton in the product description.
Products made from 100% linen fiber extracted from the flax plant with the exception of thread and fasteners will use this attribute.
Products made from 100% hemp fiber excluding the thread and fasteners will use this attribute.
Products made from wood that has FSC certification will use this attribute. FSC certification simply implies the wood that comes from responsibly managed forests. The seller needs to certify that the product contains 100% FSC-certified wood.
Ingredients for products like food, household, personal care items, etc, grown without synthetic chemicals will use this attribute. The product ingredient needs to be at least 70% organic, and a minimum of 20% of the product volume has to be organic ingredients.
Only the products that don’t contain any animal inputs or their byproducts will use this attribute. The use of this attribute is limited to Bath & Beauty and Food & Drink categories.
Leaping Bunny certified
This attribute implies that the seller has been certified to the Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals, which is the “Leaping Bunny” standard. What this means for the buyers is that all the products including all major product inputs made by the seller are 100% new animal testing free. Only products in cosmetic, household, and personal care categories will use this attribute. Even the suppliers of these products need to be Leaping Bunny certified.
Sellers will use this attribute for products when all the gemstones, including diamonds, are ethical. Sellers need to explain what this attribute means in the product description.
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How will Etsy ensure the accuracy of the Sustainability Attributes?
Etsy will ensure the credibility of the Sustainability Attributes reviewing them to make sure they match their guidelines. They will also randomly ask sellers to verify the documentation that supports their sustainability claim.
These documents can include receipts of sustainable goods purchases, official sustainability certifications, or any record of the sustainable sourcing processes used to produce your products. Etsy is also encouraging sellers to list any relevant information in the product description that supports their claims.
Will the new Etsy sustainability attributes affect your ranking?
There are two parts to this answer. First, during this introductory phase of these new Etsy Sustainability Attributes, adding them to your listings will not have any direct impact on the search rankings. Second, in the future, Etsy will create unique and sustainability-focused shopping experiences which could define how the Etsy search will work. For example, the search results will become more and more relevant and there could be search filters for sustainable products.
Important things to consider when using Sustainability Attributes
In the official announcement of the new Sustainability Attributes in the seller handbook, Etsy has laid down a few general guidelines so to speak for its sellers. Let’s see what the guidelines say –
- Sellers shouldn’t use words that imply a general environmental benefit like “Green” or “Eco-friendly” in their product listings. Sellers should list down all the environmental benefits of the product and the processes used in making the product when using the sustainability attributes,
- If there are any certifications or Seals of approval involved in producing a product, then the Seller should list down the environmental benefits of the certifications or the Seals of approval for helping their buyers understand the product better.
- Sellers shouldn’t make claims of their products as “Compostable” or “Biodegradable” unless they have solid scientific proof that the products will break down and return to nature within one year after disposing of them.
Note: You must follow all Etsy and judiciary policies and guidelines when listing your products for sale on Etsy.
The introduction of the Etsy Sustainability Attributes will change how eco-conscious buyers will shop on Etsy in the future. This means that sellers getting on this trend early will reap the rewards when sustainable products start picking up momentum. We hope that this article will help you push the sail in the right direction.