EXCLUSIVE: eBay aiming to become sustainability 'facilitator' for brands

Major internet company eBay Inc is using its global status to help brands progress their involvement in the circular economy, says the company's head of social innovation.

The internet giant's increasing global reach has meant many brands are now trading on the site and using its platform to leverage their market scale.

eBay Inc head of social innovation in Europe Lorin May says because of this the company is looking to work with brands to ensure sustainability and resource efficiency objectives are being met.

May says eBay Inc's role in these partnerships is to support the brands, mainly in the "downstream impacts of products".

She adds that eBay Inc's mass consumer to consumer and pre-owned goods trading market is the company's "obvious sustainability story" but because the company has grown and become more diverse it is now partnering with retailers, merchants and big brands to help them with sustainability challenges.

"Through this work we are trying to figure out where we can have a positive influence and positive impact on our partners" she says.

May points out eBay Inc's partnership with clothing company Patagonia, which encourages customers to buy used clothes instead of new garments.

"It's about helping brands and retailers manage their downstream impacts, particularly clothing. Many apparel brands have done a lot of thinking around the materials impact of their product and manufacturing impacts.

"Although there is great work being carried out, there is still a lot of work to be done in addressing the downstream challenges," she adds.

May hopes eBay Inc can be one solution for brands in dealing with downstream impacts. "Particularly in the use phase and disposal phase of apparel, where a lot of the environmental impact is - brands need to look at how to try and close that loop".

Leigh Stringer


Circular economy | Innovation | manufacturing


Waste & resource management
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