There are many ways of going green.
For example, you can choose to buy energy-saver light bulbs to replace your old incandescent bulbs. Or you could use energy-efficient versions of electrical appliances that typically would suck up huge amounts of electricity, e.g. refrigerators and air-conditioning units.
These products might cost you more to buy, but will cost you less to use. So they will save you money in the long run. Savings cents definitely makes sense.
However, there are other ways of going green which will not save you any money. In fact, it might even cost you more.
There are many wonderful items made from recycled and reclaimed materials. Buying them consumers less resources and reduces the impact on our environment.
But would (or should) you spend US$52.95 on a soft toy made from old sweaters?
Or an eye-watering £1,500 (US$3,000) for a rocking chair made from an old cinema seat?
Now, why are they charging such high prices? Is it because of:
1) high cost of materials?
Unlikely, these are recycled materials after all.
2) high cost of labour?
Maybe. Incorporating recycled materials into your products is an hands-on affair and mostly eschews the use of machines.
3) low and inelastic demand?
This would be my guess. Such products are very niche, finding willing buyers in a miniscule group of people. However, they are usually able to pay the high asking prices. Faced with such a market, it would only make financial sense to demand more for your green products.
Bamboo flooring is also a green product. So why are we not tapping into this niche market and charging high prices for our products? After all, I have come across bamboo flooring companies who charge 30% more than us for the equivalent product.
Even though the costs of producing bamboo flooring is higher than simply chopping down trees and milling the logs, my aim is to price them to wooden flooring as closely as possible.
My hope is that one day bamboo flooring would no longer be considered a niche product for the eco-conscious consumer, but a mainstream product that everyone could enjoy.
High pricing would automatically discourage the typical consumer from considering it or even finding out more. We would have missed out on the chance to educate and inform them about the benefits and beauty of bamboo flooring.
What a pity that would be.