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China Greenpeace opens online shop on Taobao
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Environmental campaign group Greenpeace has opened an online shop on Taobao, the Chinese version of eBay.

Environmental campaign group Greenpeace has opened an online shop on Taobao, the Chinese version of eBay.

Environmental campaign group Greenpeace has opened an online shop on Taobao, the Chinese version of eBay. 

The products on sale include chopsticks, notebooks, T-shirts and shopping bags, and are mainly surplus campaign materials, according to Sze Pang Cheung, the interim campaign director of Greenpeace China.

The organization has also licensed Joyo Amazon, one of the biggest online shopping brands in China, to sell products bearing the Greenpeace logo, said Mr Sze.

"Other NGOs, including the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), have opened e-shops in China. We thought we should open a shop since so many Chinese people are interested in Greenpeace and our products," said Mr Sze.

Greenpeace branches in other countries already sell products online, but Mr Sze said Greenpeace China will not promote the Taobao shop on its official Website. "This is not about making money," he said. "It's more about giving Greenpeace supporters access to our products. People who have participated in our events often ask where they can get hold of stuff. In the past, they had to come in to the office. Now, they can shop online."

"It's also a good way to make use of surplus articles. Instead of piling up in our office, they can be sold and help spread the ideas of Greenpeace."

There are dozens of products available online but the organization doesn't intend to add new lines or undertake major promotions. "We will not manufacture products for sale," said Mr. Sze, "and every penny we receive from product sales will be put into Greenpeace campaigns."

According to Mr Sze, Greenpeace mainly produces T-shirts for staff and volunteers and items designed for specific purposes, such as chopsticks manufactured for the campaign against disposable chopsticks.

"Occasionally we create items specifically for promotional reasons. For example, the items we sold at the popular Midi Music Festival," said Mr. Sze. "But they account for a very small proportion of our products."

"If colleagues or designers come up with good ideas to promote Greenpeace and environmental protection, we will consider them."

Mr. Sze said the Taobao shop is being managed by volunteers who are interested in online business.

(China.org.cn by Huang Shan April 27, 2009)

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