30 October 2020

Tech Perspective #20: Raising Sustainability Issues with Tech


Living sustainably is not just a fad. With the growing awareness about environmental issues, such as pollution and overproduction, more and more people turn their heads towards ecological solutions.

Sustainability has entered not only our heads and houses but also workplaces and schools. And it’s here to stay.

It’s also going digital. Thanks to omnipresent digital channels of communication, the news about the importance of sustainability spread like a wildfire. Even “the old guard” of ecology, represented by the irreplaceable sir David Attenborough, decided to go online and spread news and tips on how to live sustainably on Instagram.

Our technology can be our shield in the fight for sustainability. Here’s how.

How to Live More Sustainably

The fashion industry is one of the biggest enemies of sustainability. Even though more and more fashion companies take steps to reduce the environmental footprint of its products, it’s not enough. Fashion giants and chain shops still produce too much, and so-called fast fashion continues to have an extremely negative influence on the environment.

Thankfully, true power lies with the people. More and more fashionistas abandon fast fashion for second-hand shopping. And they no longer have to search for new clothes on the over-crowded racks in second-hand shops. They can do it online.

Thanks to the development of mobile apps allowing you to sell and buy pre-owned clothes, there’s no need to leave your home to buy and sell clothes. Vinted and Less are getting more and more popular, and rightfully so.

However, the sustainability movement doesn’t limit itself only to fashion. Online, people engage with their local communities on Facebook groups to help each other or to exchange goods. The Buy Nothing project, a worldwide social movement, is the largest community of hyperlocal, volunteer-run groups on Facebook where neighbours can offer free items and services to each other, with no expectation to give anything back in return.

In Poland, similar local Facebook groups are being used to exchange things like clothes and books or to borrow tools. People don’t use money but exchange goods.

An Online Market Place

And what about taking this idea to the next level and creating a marketplace for people to swap things locally? By connecting the potential of the second-hand clothing apps and Facebook exchange groups, it would be possible to create a safe space where you can exchange goods locally.

One of the biggest advantages of apps such as Less or Vinted is the security of transactions. Once you order the product you can be sure you will receive it; if anything goes wrong, you get your money back. The system of grading one’s shopping experience can successfully separate frauds from honest users.

Applying this system to the idea of the local marketplace would create a safe and sustainable solution that secures all the transactions, eliminates the risk of scams, and allows you to freely swap things and services. And all that in a spirit of less-waste!

Less-waste Life

The popularity of apps such as Less or Vinted, as well as Facebook exchange groups proves that these solutions are much needed.

People try to live their lives more sustainably and reduce their negative influence on the environment.

That’s why creating a local exchange app would not only be a huge step towards less-waste life but also an amazing business opportunity.

Don’t let your goods go to waste and always remember that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

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Marcin Bartoszuk
Chief Operating Officer

With Microsoft technologies related since 2005. He graduated from the Computer Science Faculty of the Bialystok University of Technology where he was the leader of the .NET Group and the Microsoft Student Partner. Four times finalist of the national stage of the Imagine Cup competition, and later the mentor and the jury member of the contest. Co-founder of the Bialystok .NET Group. He lectured .NET development at the Bialystok University of Technology. Microsoft MVP in the Client Application Development category in 2008-2010, when he actively participated in the IT community. Constant new technology enthusiast and IT consultant.