small business sustainability

eBay is doubling down on reducing the environmental impact of eCommerce with global eco investments and direct help to improve small business sustainability.

eBay has announced two new business initiatives to bolster the online marketplace’s global position as a more environmentally friendly shopping choice 

The first announcement comes out of the UK, where eBay has launched a new training program called the Carbon Academy. The second announcement sees eBay Ventures, the venture capital investment arm of eBay Inc., leading Series A investment in the Australian luxury dress-sharing platform, The Volte. The Volte is a designer fashion rental marketplace connecting borrowers and lenders.

The Carbon Academy 

eBay UK has launched a new training program called the Carbon Academy, in collaboration with Climate Partner, to help small businesses improve their environmental sustainability.

The online marketplace is targeting its 200,000+ seller community to address the skills gap hindering SMEs reduction of their carbon emissions.  

The Carbon Academy comprises seven interactive training modules covering topics including:  

  • Climate Strategies for Businesses 
  • Carbon accounting 
  • Carbon reduction 
  • Circular economy 
  • Carbon offsetting 
  • Communicating climate action 

eBay’s online academy makes the program easily accessible to sellers who can complete each module at their own pace. In addition, businesses can purchase Climate Partner’s carbon impact report at a discounted rate. This report helps businesses understand the environmental impact of their products on the marketplace and take steps to reduce it. 

Improving Small Business Sustainability

Eve Williams, General Manager at eBay UK, highlighted the importance of helping small businesses reduce their carbon footprints. She said: “Most small business leaders know that reducing their carbon impact should be a priority; becoming a more environmentally conscious business will ultimately help all businesses to become more commercially sustainable in the long run. But in reality, when you are a small team, it can be really difficult to know where to start and to navigate some of the jargon. The Carbon Academy has been designed for small and medium businesses to help them overcome these challenges by providing practical guidance and bitesize modules to get them started on their climate action journey.”  

The Volte – Investing in Recommerce 

In the second announcement, the luxury dress-sharing platform, The Volte, has completed its Series A capital raise, led by eBay Ventures, eBay Inc’s venture capital investment arm.  

Additionally, The Volte and eBay plan to form a commercial partnership that aims to benefit sellers, buyers, and brands.  

Speaking to journalists about how the investment reinforces the global consumer shift away from disposable fashion,  The Volte CEO and co-founder Bernadette Olivier said, “Investment reinforces the global consumer shift away from disposable fashion. 

“Key to the fashion industry becoming sustainable is for better-made, high-quality items to stay in circulation for longer. Our partnership with eBay will strengthen The Volte’s ambition to grow the circular fashion economy in Australia, and we are already working with eBay Australia on several initiatives that will reduce fashion disposability,” says Olivier. 

eBay Australia’s Head of Fashion, Brooke Eichhorn, said, “eBay has long been a champion of fashion e-commerce, with 16 million pre-loved fashion items listed for sale on in previous years. This partnership with The Volte will enable us to continue challenging and changing what it means to buy, sell and love fashion,” says Eichhorn. “Buy now, earn now, sell later are opportunities that last a lifetime. By pioneering greater accessibility, transparency and sustainability – we are way ahead of the curve in making fashion go further.” 

Luxury Fashion Rental 

The Volte has become a highly popular designer rental marketplace, with over 70,000 dresses listed and has more than 300,000 monthly active users. Unlike traditional businesses, The Volte does not hold inventory; instead, it allows individuals to monetize their designer wardrobes and earn income. In 2023, the platform has experienced a surge in bookings, with a month-on-month doubling rate. On average, a dress is rented out nine times on the platform. However, some highly sought-after dresses receive hundreds of requests, enabling many lenders to earn over $100,000 a year. 

eBay’s Environmental Credentials  

Anyone who has attended eBay’s recent small business roadshow events around the UK will know eBay is taking the environmental impact of the online marketplace’s ecosystem very seriously. 

eBay’s environmental credentials can also be seen in the marketplace’s commitment to promoting commerce in the fashion, home and garden, consumer electronics, and motors categories. 

Learn More 

To learn more about how Frooition can help you build a more sustainable, greener business on eBay, schedule a call with one of our eCommerce experts today.  

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