This post is sponsored by Koko. But rest assured, all thoughts and opinions contained within are genuine and our own.
Sustainable shopping is becoming a higher priority for customers every day.
I think it’s a fair assessment to say that we all learned something new about ourselves during this pandemic. We’ve been forced to adapt in so many ways and it’s only natural that we discover the things that do and don’t work for us during times of stress.
I was never a big planner when it comes to grocery shopping. I am lucky enough to live in a very walkable neighborhood with a grocery store less than a 5 minute walk away, so making multiple trips to the store was something we did regularly. When the stay at home order was announced last spring, that all changed.
Suddenly, I found myself paying a lot more attention to trips to the store, planning in advance, and making larger purchases less frequently. And that lead me to one of the biggest self realizations I have had in my life: we create so much freaking trash.
When buying little things here or there, it wasn’t as noticeable. But with bulk buying making its way into my life, I realized just how much plastic we were bringing into our homes every month.
That self realization is often the first step that brings customers through the doors at Koko. Living in a sustainable way isn’t easy in today’s world. Everything is meant to be convenient and disposable. But the reality is that there are over 7 billion of us on this planet, each throwing away over 4 pounds per day.
Koko is the perfect place to take your first baby steps into sustainable shopping. Owner and CEO Adria Hall has set up shop in Columbus, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Lexington, with more shops on the horizon.
Koko is a sustainable living shop and refillery with brick and mortar locations and an online presence. So what exactly does that mean? Koko provides customers with a wide selection of home and personal care items that help them reduce waste in their lives. They’ve got refillable toiletries and cleaning supplies, everything from shaving cream to dish soap.
Customers can purchase vessels or containers at the store, or bring in their own. The products are weighed, giving you the opportunity as a shopper to get exactly how much you need, no more, no less.
“A big part of the reason Koko exists here, I’m from central Ohio and these kind of shops are typically available in bigger cities on the coast,” Hall explained. “I thought it was important to have that here in the midwest.”
Realizing just how much waste you produce can be overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to start and how to make a difference. Hall gets that and it’s part of why education is an important part of the process of shopping at Koko.
“I think there is a big sense of overwhelm when you make a lifestyle change like this. There’s a lot of information,” she said. “In the past it’s felt intimidating to ask or overwhelming to take in the information.”
The brand focuses on accessibility and focuses on education to meet customers wherever they are on their path, whether they’ve been living sustainable for years or are just starting out.
“The misconception that shopping more sustainably is boring or expensive, I think one of the things you have to shift as consumers is the mindset of ‘quick and cheap’ vs. ‘well-made and long lasting.’”
One of the most important aspects of creating the customer experience for Hall is selling products based on hope, not fear. “I don’t think it’s the right approach to scare people into shopping more sustainably,” she said. “It’s all about starting small, just like a New Years Eve resolution. If you have some huge resolution that doesn’t fit with your lifestyle, you are never going to follow through it.
Hall’s advice for shopping sustainably is simple: pick one thing to focus on. Be aware of what kind of waste you are creating and tackle it one thing at a time, even if it’s something small like switching to biodegradable floss.
“The first thing is really doing a waste audit,” she explained. “That’s getting comfortable with things that might be uncomfortable. Seeing the waste you create is really eye opening to a lot of people.”
Hall believes that reducing and reusing is going to be the way of the future, and she’s making it easy for Columbus to do just that. In fact, for those looking to dip their toes into sustainable shopping for the first time, a visit to Koko’s warehouse sale at their headquarter office on August 14 (from 9-5, just like Dolly says) is an absolute must. The warehouse sale is located at 1145 Chesapeake Ave suite j, Columbus, OH 43212.
The shop will be making room for new product which means that some products will be discontinued. It’s a great opportunity to try out eco-friendly products at a steep discount, up to 90% off. The event will include pop-up vendors, coffee, and even a photographer snapping portraits.
Koko’s storefront is located at 15 N Westmoor Ave, Columbus, OH 43204. Next month, they’ll be opening a second Columbus spot in Clintonville. You can find out more info or do a little shopping by visiting Kokotheshop.com.