Improving the world through business

GoodBuy aims to do business in a climate-friendly and socially responsible way. Founder Simon Böhnlein explains how this enabled him to make it through the corona crisis.

 Simon Böhnlein would like to improve the world in a sustainable way.
Simon Böhnlein would like to improve the world in a sustainable way. privat

How can business become not only climate-neutral, but also socially responsible? This was the question the Berlin business founder Simon Böhnlein asked himself. That’s why he opened GoodBuy, the socially responsible (online) store, with Paul Berg in November 2019. Since then he has been trying to make the world a little better through caring consumption.

Simon, what is your business idea at GoodBuy?
We only distribute products that create very concrete solutions to global and local problems. We have opened a small store with a dispatch facility in Berlin. Although we sell our products online, you can also buy them in the shop.

 GoodBuy is currently looking for new retail premises – the old ones are already too small.
GoodBuy is currently looking for new retail premises – the old ones are already too small.
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What kinds of problems have you faced as a result of the crisis?
During the initial weeks of the first lockdown we sold almost nothing at all, which was naturally a shock for us. But we recovered again relatively fast and eventually even exceeded the 2020 targets we had set ourselves before the pandemic.

How did you manage to recover so fast?
The concept of solidarity plays a big role here. Many of our customers supported us by buying vouchers for use after we recovered.

The crisis has shown that very rapid change is possible. That gives me grounds for hope.

Simon Böhnlein

Through a friend I made a guest appearance on Gemischtes Hack, Germany’s most listened to podcast, at the beginning of May. I presented our business there. It was a real stroke of luck. Shortly before the second lockdown in December, lines of customers were regularly forming in front of our shop.

Do you feel that the focus has moved more firmly onto sustainability as a result of the crisis?
I believe that had already begun before corona – for example, with Fridays for Future. For me personally, corona has moved social sustainability more into the foreground. How, besides a green revolution, can we also manage to improve people’s situation worldwide?

The GoodBuy team actively supports an economy that shapes the world in a positive way.
The GoodBuy team actively supports an economy that shapes the world in a positive way.
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What gives you grounds for hope about the pandemic?
The crisis has shown that very rapid change is possible. That gives me grounds for hope. I hope that the political will, the political feasibility and the courage that we have seen during the crisis will also continue to exist afterwards when the focus will be on the social and green transformation.

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