An Ongoing Commitment to Sustainability

An Ongoing Commitment to Sustainability

In 2019, after a successful year in our cafes and online, Populace went looking for more. We made a decision as partners that it wasn’t enough to simply grow the business, we had to look at how our business could positively impact the planet. Populace’s business would not only continue its commitment to delivering world-class coffee, but we would do it in a sustainable and considerate way.

Fully compostable coffee packaging.

Over the past two years, we’ve taken strides in nearly every single aspect of our business, be it eCommerce, Retail, or Wholesale.

Here’s what we've done so far:

  1. Our packaging for our coffee has removed nearly all plastics (still has the valve!) and is now made of fully compostable material. 
  2. Our mailers for eCommerce are now fully compostable through, removing our previous bubble wrap mailers from circulation. 
  3. Within our eCommerce expansion, we’ve focused on highlighting our presence on the Shop app to encourage carbon-neutral shipping through their pledge. 
  4. In branded merchandise space, we were aware and concerned about the environmental issues new textiles create (shown through research by companies like TheRealReal), leading us to launch the Branded New platform, of embroidered quality second-hand apparel that dramatically reduces water waste.
  5. Within our cafes, we’ve focused on zero-waste initiatives and a strong commitment to recycling plastics and paper products.
  6. On our site, we’ve focused our writing to inform customers on the full lifecycle of the product. How to process and compost our bags and also how you can reuse grounds after the coffee has been enjoyed. 
  7. For our Wholesale partner, we’ve replaced all packaging and mailing material with fully compostable material.


Compostable packaging from Noissue


Looking Forward:

Our focus and commitment towards this mission is still strong in 2021, and Populace has a number of initiatives we’re working towards this year and into the future:

  1. Taking the success of our Small Business Support Bags, we’re working to identify local artists and environmental non-profits to create Cause Bags that contribute proceeds to charities and activist groups making positive impacts.
  2. With the expansion of our eCommerce business, we are working to find solutions to minimize our footprint within the shipping and logistics space. The work with Shop is certainly a step in the right direction, but we are committed to going deeper here.
  3. Populace is working to launch volunteer meet-ups at our Bay City location to commit our time and our labor to organizations improving the waterways and ecosystems in the Saginaw Valley area, and will incorporate in all future locations going forward.


We’re proud of the actions taken to date, but know that we have a long road ahead of us still. The importance here is that we know we’re not done, and that with all new challenges/decisions that come our way, we have changed the lens in which we view and address them. We have permanently changed the mission and purpose of our business for the better, something we’re all very excited about.

To a better future! 

Oh...and as a thank you for reading to the end of the post, please enjoy 20% your next coffee order with promo code IKNOWMATT. A discount and an investment towards a clearer world should feel good and taste delicious.

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