Nat Faust has spent years in the e-commerce business – he was a vice president at Quidasy (who ran Diapers.com and Soap.com), co-founder and COO at Jet (a $ 3.3 billion acquisition by Walmart) and then a vice president Chairman at Walmart.
Over time, he said that it gradually dominated him that it was “insane” that 25 years after the industry started, it still relied on “single-use, one-way packaging”. It is annoying for consumers to deal with and has real environmental impact, but Faust said, “If any one retailer was already trying to deal with this problem, they would have to pay for it.” Will participate in a large cost increase. Expensive packaging and this is two-way shipping. “
He therefore wants to make changes with his new startup Olive, which reinforces a shopper’s purchase in a weekly delivery in a reusable package.
Olive works with various apparel brands and retailers, including Adidas, Anthropologie, Everlane, Hugo Boss, Outdoor Voices and Saks Fifth Avenue. After consumers sign up, they can install the Olive iOS app and / or the Chrome browser extension, then Faust said, “You shop directly at retailers and brand sites that you would normally do, and Olive gives you that. Assists in the checkout process and enters automatically. Description of your olive. “
Products are sent to an Olive Consolidation facility, where they are held for you and combined into a weekly shipment. Because retailers are still shipping products like normal, packaging is still being used – but at least the consumer does not have to dispose of it. And Faust said that eventually, Olive can work more closely with retailers to reduce or eliminate it.
Until then, he said the real environmental impact comes from “consolidation of deliveries into fewer last mile stops” – the startup estimates that doubling the number of items in a single delivery reduces its per-item carbon footprint by 30%.
Weekly shipments are delivered by regular mail carriers in most parts of the United States and local couriers in dense urban areas. They arrive in reusable shippers made of reusable materials, and you can return any product simply by selecting it in the Olive app, then putting them back in the shipper and reverse the label.
In fact, Faust argued that the convenience of the withdrawal process (no labels to print, no visits to local FedEx or UPS stores) should appeal to Olive to shoppers who are not attracted by the environmental impact.
“To have the greatest environmental impact, the selling point may not be the environmental impact,” he said.
Olive delivery is available at no additional cost to the consumer, who only pays what they normally would for shipping.
Faust acknowledges that Olive races the counter between Amazon and other e-commerce services so that purchases can be delivered as quickly as possible. But he said the startup’s consumer survey found that shoppers were willing to wait a while to get other benefits.
Also, Olive is starting with apparel because “speed is not the same expectation” that you find in other categories, and because items cost so much that delivery economics still work out, even if you spend a week Order only one product.