#80 – How to Stop Mindless Consumption in E-Commerce

with Anders Ankarlid, CEO of A Good Company

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80 - Anders Ankarlid-A-Good-Company

First-hand encounters with the devastating effects of climate change inspired Anders Ankarlid, a management consultant with years of experience in e-commerce, to quit the management consultancy in November 2018 and instead launch sustainable & social impact startup A Good Company.

It was launched in February 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden and now they are a global company with offices all over the world, including Hong Kong, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. Sustainable everyday products produced include the stone paper notebook, sketchbook, and pocket diary; bamboo toothbrush; and natural grass pen. 

A Good Company is all about inspiring people to transform from mindless energy consumption into taking more conscious decisions in their everyday lives.

One thing they have been very focused on lately is the unsustainable practice of free returns and making sure every consumer knows the real implications behind this phenomenon.

Did you know? An estimated 40% of e-commerce shipments are made up of returns — and much of it ends up being destroyed or sitting in landfills.

A Good Company is a three-pillared organization: their online shop where you can buy sustainable everyday products through their thoughtful product development; A Good Community, where they work tirelessly to inspire people to kickstart and/or amp up their individual climate action; and lastly, A Good Foundation, their social impact platform to which they donate 4% of the online shop’s sales in order to support sustainable efforts and projects in communities across the globe, an effort to stay in good company with those who have the same goals as they do. You can learn more about all three pillars at their website, AGood.com

Anders is clearly a considerate individual, which was demonstrated throughout the entirety of our conversation.

We discussed how A Good Company was able to find quick success through thoughtful execution; his personal and professional priorities; and the importance of reflection, both during times of crisis such as the one we are going through right now with COVID-19, but also more generally.

He is not the kind of interviewee who allows himself to be the sole focus of attention; he turned the tables and asked some questions of us as well, which provided for an insightful back-and-forth conversation about the differences in philosophy between Sweden and the United States.

On top of their wide array of sustainable and ethical products, All of A Good Company’s orders ship out in 100% eco-friendly packaging — from soy ink print to a base made of stone paper. (Yes, we said stone!)

“There is a difference between a role and a person. When you have a conflict, you have a conflict with a role, or you have arguments with a role. It doesn’t mean that you can’t social distance after work and have a remote glass of wine.” -Anders Ankarlid

Topics Discussed: 

  • Anders’ background and what led him to found A Good Company 
  • How the company found quick success
  • The true environmental implications of free returns
  • A Good Company’s 3-pillared company structure: the company, A Good Community, and A Good Foundation
  • Anders’ personal and professional priorities
  • Reflections on both the past and future during COVID-19

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