What impact do the products I buy have on the planet?
When Maryclaire Manard asked herself this question a few years ago, it was hard to find the answer.
But the former journalist knew the data was out there – so she founded Cluey Consumer to make it easy for people to understand the impact their purchases have on the planet.
This was a fun episode and hits one of my favorite topics – the intersection of physical products and the digital world
Below are some highlights from our conversation – you can listen to the full audio on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts. And be sure to subscribe to our channel to get the latest episodes as soon as they drop.
You can catch the full episode here – and be sure to leave a rating or review if you liked the show – it helps others find the podcast.
On why she founded Cluey
“I was becoming more and more discerning of where I was spending my money and that I knew the outsize impact that corporations have on our world, and I wanted to ensure that where I was spending my money was aligning with the world I wanted to live in, and the world I wanted my future generations to live in as well.
But the problem that I kept coming up against time and time again, was that there was no one centralized or reliable place to find the information on the impact that brands have in terms of how they’re operating with various stakeholders in mind, such as their social stakeholders and environmental stakeholders.”
On how small choices can have big change
“Now of course, there are going to be maybe higher prices in some elements because not every aspect of the infrastructure has been optimized for, but the goal is that if consumers can keep showing in small choices, it really doesn’t have to be like totally changing your lifestyle. Just small choices are enough for the unit economics to affect the bottom lines of large companies enough that it will result in a change and it will result in companies investing in the infrastructure to make those decisions more cost effective.”
On why consumers are looking to companies to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges
“Something is, without a doubt, clear is that more and more consumers today, regardless of how they differ in their opinions, want corporations to solve society’s problems. We saw that with COVID 19, we saw that with the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, we even saw with the 2020 presidential elections. So, regardless of the topic, consumers are now expecting corporations to speak out more. And the thing about what we hope that we can provide is giving actual real data behind where that company’s target consumer sits.”
“And some companies have a really good sense of that, and others don’t, and we feel like we can provide actionable data to where they can focus on the things that really matter to their target demographic of customers and consumers. “
On the shared values of consumers
“…We wanted everyone to feel like they had a place to share what those values are. Of course, we have a majority target demographic of individuals who really love this product, but at the same time Cluey is really for everyone. We want to be accessible to everyone regardless of what they care about.”
“But the thing that I find particularly interesting because we also, as I mentioned, capture political impacts and therefore capture political values, is that there’s actually a lot of common ground between people of differing political values who might share importance on things like cruelty free products or animal welfare, or simply wanting better outcomes for the environment.”
On employees wanting to know the impact of the brands they work for
“..We’re seeing a whole avenue of opportunities open up there where we can start working with brands. And what’s great is that it really does show that the opportunity for these individuals who are employees rising into these levels of leadership within their own company have just as much of that desire as the consumer does because they are the consumer. So it’s great to see that shift and change in attitude as well. This is not just a consumer preference, it’s an employee preference, and I really do see it as being a shift worldwide in so many of the ways that we live our lives.”
Listen to the whole episode here – and be sure to stay tuned through the end for one of my favorite “Keep, Kill, Change” segments, where we make Maryclaire decide between deodorant, chocolate peanut butter protein powder (to be specific), and chairs with wheels.
I encourage you to listen to the very end of this episode or at least forward to it – it ends on a very uplifting note!