Saving the planet one discarded item at a time this 2022

Decluttering to help save the planet are goals that many have, going into the new year. Responding to these multiple needs is the strong partnership between circular economy startup Humble Sustainability and LOCAD, a cloud logistics platform that enables businesses to build, expand, and sustain their e-commerce operations. 

Bringing back quality secondhand items into circularity lies at the core of Humble’s sustainable philosophy. Their values are founded on sustainability, carbon footprint reduction, and the art of restoring or recycling hand-me-down goods and similar items. The sensitive and mercurial nature of their business—a first in the country—made Humble Co-founders Josef Werkerand Niña Mirabueno Opida search for a reliable, innovative logistics partner who could keep up with their pace and be open to the novelty of the products they were delivering. Luckily, they found the cloud logistics platform LOCAD to help with the warehousing, fulfillment, and shipping requirements of Thrift, Humble’s online shop. 

“Aside from LOCAD’s efficiency, speed, and reliability, we are thankful that they are essentially bringing our items back into circularity. The items we collect from businesses, they help us collect things and bring it to end-users,” Werker details. 

Empowering communities to embrace sustainability 

Rooted from a shared passion for thrifting and secondhand shopping, Humble’s advocacy encompasses picking up and sorting things from “thrifters” — people who discard items and send them to Humble — that are no longer in use and then restoring them in several ways. 

The social enterprise elevates the concept of giving something back to everyone they collect from — whether these are large-scale enterprises getting rid of their appliances or communities removing their old furniture.

Werker describes their various processes of restoration: “We could resell things, upscale them into something quirky and artistic, recycle them, or break them down into usable raw materials.” 

Humble’s mission also includes changing the prevailing material mindset of habitually buying new things and then just throwing them away. The co-founders underscore the value of simplifying the concepts of sustainability and decluttering to attract and include more people to live mindfully. 

LOCAD champions sustainability

Because of their distinct market and the difficulty of managing and handling used items, the Humble co-founders brought LOCAD’s expertise into play by streamlining their operations and deliveries. LOCAD’s distributed fulfillment network in the Asia-Pacific and their regional experience have also made them familiar with the requirements of groundbreaking companies like Humble and address them with agility. 

Humble Sustainability Co-founders Josef Werkerand Niña Mirabueno Opida

With the help of LOCAD’s immediate dashboard and fulfillment options, Humble can bring secondhand items back into circularity and empower people who want to live sustainably. “Anything that we decide to sell on Thrift is sent to LOCAD. When someone orders, we do not have to worry about the product. It gets delivered and we see a real-time, updated report,” Werker shares. 

LOCAD’s localized fulfillment helps Humble champion sustainability by reducing the carbon footprint often associated with e-commerce shipping. In the near future, the Humble co-founders plan to use tech to measure quantifiable impacts like carbon footprint reduction from recycling or upcycling secondhand items.

Ecosystem for the future 

The thrifters themselves name the advantages in using Humble: reduced anxiety and stress; easy adoption of a sustainable lifestyle that optimizes resources and protects the environment; and implementation of zero waste policy in their own backyard. 

Opida highlights that LOCAD will continue to be a “valuable part” of their journey, ensuring that thrifters are satisfied with their experience as secondhand items are brought back into the market. The co-founders have also become more confident in pursuing their advocacy and business goals with a partner who supports their vision, business goals, and service to the community. 

“What we are trying to achieve in Humble resonates with both of us. We are essentially helping people put their items back in circularity. In the process, we also want to involve people who may not have opportunities in this new ecosystem we are trying to connect,” Opida details. 

“Together, LOCAD and Humble can build a platform that can help a community of people learn, interact, and engage with each other about living mindfully and sustainably. A platform where circular living is the gel that holds people to engage with each other,” Werker explains. “LOCAD and Humble are purely acting as the catalyst hopefully inspiring people to take their first steps. This is how sustainability can be achieved in a mass wave. Small steps from everyone working together count as one.”

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