Retailers

'Target Zero' Courts Sustainability-Minded Shoppers

Curated collection of eco-friendlier products looks to help customers shop sustainably
Target Zero
Photograph courtesy of Target

Target is taking its curation prowess to the arena of planet-friendlier products, launching a new collection of national- and owned-brand items meant to make it easier for eco-conscious shoppers to find items that align with their priorities.

The new Target Zero collection "features hundreds of products with packaging designed to be refillable, reusable or compostable," according to the Minneapolis-based retailer, as well as items made with recycled/recyclable materials to reduce the use of plastic. With nationally recognized CPG brands, including Burt's Bees and Pacifica in the mix, and home essentials from Target private labels Everspring and Grove Co. joining soon, Target Zero is now live in stores and online, the company said in a March 9 news release.

In-store, a Target Zero icon on shelves flags items designed with less waste in mind. Online, customers can shop a dedicated Target Zero page. 

Intentional interest in sustainable packaging and items designed to minimize waste accelerated during the pandemic, FMI–The Food Industry Association reported last year. A 2021 study from Chicago-based Trivium packaging found that 70% of consumers said it's important that the products they buy contain recyclable packaging, and 70% (including more than 4 in 5 millennials) said they'd be willing to pay more for sustainable packaging.

"When the Target team designed Target Zero, it all started with a question: How do we reduce waste from the products we sell and incentivize our partners to do it with us?" the retailer stated on its corporate blog. Added Erica Shea, a Target senior buyer and sustainability lead for the beauty category: "Our goal with Target Zero is to not only make it easier for guests to find reduced-waste products that fit into their lifestyles, but also to co-create alongside our national brand partners and owned-brands suppliers so we can unlock solutions to some of the historical hurdles for sustainability in the beauty, personal care and household essentials spaces and beyond."

The initiative "uses Target's size, scale and resources to curate a one-of-a-kind assortment that drives innovation and progress to reduce waste," according to the retailer. It also advances on the company's Target Forward sustainability initiative, launched last June, and represents one of Target's first moves to engage national brands in identifying products that meet specific sustainability criteria, according to the retailer. 

See also: Walmart Wants to Help Customers Find Products That Are 'Built For Better'

Target's own Target Forward goals include having 100% of the company's owned-brand plastic packaging be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025 and achieving net-zero emissions across Target's operations and supply chain by 2040.

Another Target Forward aim is to accelerate equity and opportunity within the company and the communities that Target serves; in support of that aim, Target has focused on diversifying its roster of suppliers and spotlighting Black-owned brands across merchandise categories, as through the company's Black Beyond Measure online collection.

"We aim to be the market leader for creating and curating inclusive, sustainable brands and experiences," the company stated.  

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