Being purpose-led can be the differentiator to drive ongoing growth.

2470x990 Danielle Jezienicki

A Q+A with Grove Collaborative's Danielle Jezienicki.

BRAND PURPOSE: To create a world where all choices are sustainable choices.

As a Certified B Corporation™, Grove Collaborative is on a mission to transform home-cleaning products into a force for good — and the brand is constantly creating and curating high-performance, planet-first products that minimize plastic waste, prevent deforestation, and reduce carbon emissions.

With plans to be plastic-free by 2025, Grove is also a brand that believes it’s time for consumer goods companies to start solving environmental crises (instead of creating them).

Currently, every purchase is plastic-neutral, which means that for every ounce of plastic purchased across its site, it collects the same amount of nature-bound plastic pollution in partnership with rePurpose Global. So far, Grove orders have removed nearly 10 million pounds of plastic from nature — and counting.

How has taking a purpose-led stance as a brand helped your business grow?

Grove has the advantage of being purpose-led by design, rather than as an afterthought. This means that sustainability and mission have been foundational to our brand, our messaging, and our customers since inception — ultimately leading to our differentiation and our growth. Grove’s customers come to us primarily as they seek safe and sustainable products that don’t compromise on effectiveness. This means that purpose is really the engine behind our growth — allowing us to further differentiate ourselves as a mission-driven marketplace and family of brands in an increasingly crowded market. The integrity of our mission has attracted both a customer base that is aligned with our values and top talent, furthering our ability to grow.

A key finding of our research is that while consumer interest remains strong in ESG & Purpose-led brands, their willingness to pay more for those products has decreased in light of macroeconomic trends. How do you recommend purpose-led brands respond when times get tough?

In a tough cost environment, we have to lean into the direct benefit to the customer, which is delivering products that are safe and sustainable for our consumers and their families. Additionally, we would view our focus on sustainability as an area that ultimately drives cost savings, especially with continued use.

For example, our concentrated cleaners are less expensive than single-use plastic bottles given that they don’t require the same packaging and rely on a refill system. In addition, they are lighter and easier to ship around (since most formulated cleaners are over 90% water) so they will ultimately save our consumer's money. Another example is our Peach, not Plastic hair and body care bars. Each bar replaces either two or three traditional containers, so transitioning to our products not only saves plastic but offers significant cost savings.

This conversation originally appeared in the 2022 Purpose Up report. To read more about how and why to double down in tough times click on the report download link below.

Download The Purpose Up Report.

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