Is Wholesale a Green Model?

At first, this might seem like a bit of a moot point. Whether it is sustainable or not, the wholesale business is here to stay. Shipping goods in bulk for a low unit price is one of the cornerstones of the modern economy. Moreover, there is scarcely a business which can survive without it. Excepting perhaps exclusive boutiques that stock expensive items in low quantities, every retail outlet – online or off- – makes use of the wholesale model. So, green or not, it is necessary.

As things happen though, wholesale also has a lot of environmental credentials to recommend it. Things can vary a lot between company and product, but there is a general principle behind wholesale that has the potential to be very eco friendly.

This is the principle of shipping the maximum number of things in the smallest number of shipments. Consider an expensive television, shipped by unit, to outlets. Now think about wholesale sunglasses, the kind normally found on ecommerce sites or on racks just by the counter in brick-and-mortar retail outlets. In a similar sized shipment, thousands of pairs can be sent.

This is certainly one thing that wholesale has going for it in the environmental stakes. Utah-based sunglasses wholesaler Olympic Eyewear also notes that, where the distance between outlet and wholesaler can be kept to a minimum, the carbon footprint can also be slashed.

Bulk designer sunglasses actually offer us a neat example of sustainable wholesale in action. This is simple because they are such popular products, and popular because of their low price and practicality. To look more into sustainable wholesale, this is a good example to stick with.

Sunglasses – Green and Effective

A bulk shipment of designer sunglasses supplies an outlet with everything they need to supplement their inventory with a fast-selling, popular, and useful product. Unlike with many other wholesale products, a shipment doesn’t necessarily contain only one type.

Sunglasses are fashionable products (which requires variety), and they can also be used in many more contexts than just protecting your eyes on a sunny day. Often, customers in a retail outlet are in need of sunglasses in a pinch, and when these products come in assorted batches from the wholesaler, the variety offered is sufficient to ensure they find a pair they like.

This is another green benefit of sunglasses wholesale and one that applies to many other products too. Variety can be offered wholesale, quality can be offered wholesale, and the price can be kept low.


When it comes to wholesale – or indeed any product that is shipped – the carbon footprint is the best measure of how sustainable that process is. A product has a low carbon footprint when the maximum number can be sent in the minimum number of shipments. However, there is an important issue here.

The first comes back to variety, reducing the carbon footprint of a wholesale order means fitting as much into each shipment as possible. And this means as much variety too. No small business is going to be able to sell a large wholesale order of many identical product types.

We’ve already seen how sunglasses circumvent this problem, but other products may not be able to. The result could be many different orders (from different clients) for smaller shipments of a product.

Where this is the case, sustainability needs to come from elsewhere. The carbon footprint of a wholesale order can be limited if it doesn’t come from far away. Accordingly, local distribution centers and even manufacturing plants are usually the answer, if indeed the company does intend to go green.

Wholesale isn’t going anywhere. What a relief, then, that it has real potential for true sustainability.

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