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Hello Etsy Video: Robin Chase

Aug 14, 2013

by Katie Hunt-Morr

At Etsy we believe that the solutions to the biggest problems facing our species will come from a collective movement of shared ideas. The Hello Etsy ideas conference was designed to inspire the discourse that will shape the next generation of commerce.

We wanted to share some of the highlights from our most recent event, Hello Etsy at Pratt, with our whole community, to further amplify the discussion. We’ll be posting one of our featured talks each week for the next month. Feel free to share them with friends, and keep the conversation moving!

Robin Chase, founder and former CEO of Zip Car, contributed an inspiring talk on reimagining commerce. Driven by personal experiences and the goals she has set for changing her own consumption, I found this talk particularly compelling.

No matter how conscious you are about your purchases, imagining sustainable consumption for an exponentially growing population can be daunting. With an endless number of factors to consider, it is easy to feel too overwhelmed to even start changing our buying habits.

Chase’s talk puts responsible consumption in a digestible framework. She asks us to start by escaping the trap of seeking status and happiness through ownership, and instead consider functionality, sharing, and community through our purchases.

She shows us that top-down, passive consumption is being replaced by active co-creation, and that companies and consumers are now acting as partners. As customers, we have more options — and therefore more power — than ever before.


  • vinylclockwork

    Scott from vinylclockwork said 6 years ago

    Nice Post Good stuff

  • SimpleThymePrims

    ronda Tedder from simplethymeprims said 6 years ago

    Very nice presentation. Thoroughly enjoyed spending time to watch this. thank you.

  • SusanFaye

    Susan Faye from SusanFayePetProjects said 6 years ago

    It seems so obvious: "you can't solve exponential problems with linear solutions". I'm so happy to see creative innovators working on exponential solutions! Just wish our legislators and conspicuous consumers could understand the concept and jump on board.

  • handmadebycecilia

    Cecilia Escobar from HandmadebyCecilia said 6 years ago

    Powerfull presentation! I was raised under the mentality that we had to consume and use our goods to the end of their usage life. That's one of the value I want to pass on to my children. I'm glad am not alone and it's coming back for our own good and the good of our planet. Thank you for sharing.

  • scarvesinfinity

    Le Chelle from ScarvesInfinity said 6 years ago

    Love this post. The presentation was very interesting and informative!

  • bournepor

    Emily Blunt said 6 years ago

    Robin Chase,has brought the infinite splendid content.

  • BlueEggUpcycling

    MARLA from BlueEggUpcycling said 6 years ago

    this woman in the presentation seems enthralled with IKEA, and when i listened to the video a second time i found much hypocrisy in in her green platform. "While almost all commodity prices are on the rise, IKEA’s cost-cutting innovations are helping the retailer lower the listed prices on nearly all of its merchandise by 2% to 3% this year, and IKEA expects to decrease prices another 2% or so next year. (MORE: How IKEA Seduces Its Customers: By Trapping Them) How does IKEA do it? By always increasing efficiency, for one thing. For another, it engages in practices that some say make IKEA “the least sustainable retailer on the planet.” That quote comes from Ellen Ruppel Shell’s book Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture, and it was an environmentalist, not Shell, making those claims. In a Q&A with TIME, Shell explained some of the problems consumers concerned with sustainability might have with IKEA: The Ikea people I met in Sweden are the nicest people you can imagine, but they were also like a cult. Their allegiance to Ikea was just beyond belief, to the point where they weren’t really thinking about what their day-to-day activities meant. They design to price: they set the price first and then do what they need to do to keep the price where it is. So whether it’s a 50-cent coffee mug or a $100 table, they do what they need to do to keep the price at that point. So if that means buying wood from eastern Russia, with its questionable timbering practices, hauling it over the border to China, with its questionable labor practices, to produce furniture for American consumer, that’s what they’ll do. Read more:

  • michelsun

    Michel Sun from SunspotGlassShop said 6 years ago

    very interesting! thanks

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