Green wash

KL Design Week 2009A lot of you know that I am involved in a business selling eco friendly toys and games. We recently signed a major outlet who wanted a bespoke line. Their idea was to have something designed for them. Their price point was very aggressive but we agreed to the bespoke design and gave them a good price. Then the scope creeping happened when they also requested for the package to be their own design. This was also agreed and work started. I will admit that I took my eye of the ball and let somebody in my team take care of the final arrangements.

The goods were eventually delivered and shipped to the customer. A few days later a phone call came to my office saying that the goods were wrongly packaged and would need to be returned. Because of miscommunication between ourselves, the designer in the US and the factory in the Far East the bespoke designed item were in fact packaged in the normal packaging. Neither the factory, the designer or my team member would take responsibility for the mistake but the issue still needed to be sorted out. I took responsibility and rang the customer. The easiest way to sort things out was to offer a discount on the goods and although this particular deal would have not made any money it would have been swift. The buyer in this particular large retail outlet however decided that this was not acceptable and requested the goods are returned to us and re-packaged. Fair enough I hear you say but let me give you a little more information about the retail outlet I am dealing with. It is a very large outlet that sales itself as ethical and green, who made us fill in a twenty eight pages dossier on our green and ethical practices. First of all they screwed us on prices, scoped-creeped and then made us take the goods back i.e. another return on the back of a lorry, destroy the current packaging and have the product repackaged i.e. a few more trees cut down to print new packaging. Wouldn’t it have been greener and ethical to accept the current packaging and take the price reduction I was offering?

Anyway, after personally repackaging everything, the goods are on their way back to the retailer.

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