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Product, Service & Design Innovation

The latest products, services, design approaches and business models that are helping organizations of all sizes deliver on their sustainability ambitions and establish a new business as usual.

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Kuli Kuli's Socially & Nutritionally Sustaining Moringa Superfood Bars Debut at Whole Foods

Six months after successfully raising more than $50,000 through one of the highest-grossing crowdfunding food campaigns of all-time, Oakland, Calif., startup Kuli Kuli has launched its first line of moringa superfood bars at 10 Whole Foods locations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.Kuli Kuli Bars are gluten-free, vegan and made with just a few simple all-natural ingredients, the company says. The bars are low in calories but contain high amounts of fiber, protein and vitamins. The primary ingredient? Moringa.

Entrepreneurs Hoping to Fix Food System by Taking the “Ick!” Out of Cricket

Earlier this year, the United Nations released a report on incorporating insects into the diet as a means of increasing nutrition in developing nations and reducing the carbon footprint of the food production industry. While many might have taken this report as a bit of a novelty, it has captured the imagination of several mindful entrepreneurs set to change the way we eat.

Uber Spreading Holiday Cheer with Christmas Tree Delivery

International on-demand car-service app Uber has announced a partnership with Home Depot to deliver Christmas trees to residents in 10 US cities. With a bit of luck, good timing and holiday magic, Uber will deliver a live tree to your doorstep today for $135, according to its blog.What to do:

Scrappy Start-Ups Finding New Options for Crowdfunding

Ryan Kushner and his wife, Amanda Ravenhill, launched their non-profit start-up, Hero Hatchery, whose mission is to “wake society up to the imminent threat of climate change, and illuminate the possibility it holds as a call to reinvent current unhealthy systems,” in October. They hope to raise $30,000 for the world’s first crowdfunded fellowship to support a climate-change activist who will bring out the climate change hero in us all and work to ensure climate change maintains its relevancy in the cultural zeitgeist.

BBMG-SHFT Partnership Helping Brands Engage Savvy, Values-Driven Consumers

Last month, brand innovation consultancy BBMG and sustainable-lifestyle platform SHFT announced they are joining forces on a new branded content offering for organizations aiming to reach and engage Aspirational consumers, a fast-growing consumer segment that cares about looking good, feeling good and doing good.Combining BBMG’s consumer insights and brand-building expertise with SHFT’s creative and production capacity and the SHFT.com lifestyle platform, the partnership offers a new approach to developing and delivering original branded content designed to disrupt and delight.

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Beyond the Manifesto: Holstee's Mike Radparvar on the Company's Reframe

Holstee’s mission has always been to encourage more mindful living, whether that meant enabling consumers to proclaim their principles boldly on a graphic poster or to purchase with a purpose. Originally finding its niche in apparel and then in poster design, Holstee has again pivoted, this time landing in fine art with the launch of the Reclaimed Frame project — a subscription service that sends subscribers new prints every month to be rotated in and out of a frame made of wood from Detroit’s 78,000 abandoned structures.

What Do People Really Want?

Cross-Posted from Marketing and Comms. What people want was the nub of the most exciting conversations at Sustainable Brands London earlier this week.

Bureo Poised to Make Waves of Change in the Skateboard Industry

Cross-Posted from Waste Not. For Ben Kneppers and David Stover, the dream was always sun, sand and a great day of skateboarding and surfing. But their passion for sustainability and the environment made them keenly aware of plastic pollution in the oceans — when the two took on beach cleanups as a hobby, all it took was a brief epiphany that this plastic could be put to use, and Bureo Skateboards was born.

Back to the Roots, Revolution Foods Team Up to 'Grow Food, Give Food' to U.S. Schools

Oakland, Calif., start-up Back to the Roots (BTTR), which has made a name for itself with its DIY mushroom kits and new “AquaFarm” home aquaponics system, has taken another step in fulfilling its commitment to “making food personal again.” Through a new joint campaign with healthy school-lunch provider Revolution Foods, the two like-minded organizations are furthering both of their missions to educate and inspire children about healthy food.

Social Enterprise Uses Baskets to Build Schools, Empower Women in West Africa

A social enterprise called Jjangde is tackling two of the largest problems in West Africa — lack of access to education and employment — by connecting handmade goods from rural communities in Senegal to global markets, and using the profits to fund schools in the communities where the goods were made.With a test run of baskets, Jjangde says it was able to fund a summer program that gave 300 students extra support for the upcoming school year. The company also fully funded one year of school for 110 students and developed an exchange program to strengthen the relationship between high schools in Senegal and the United States.

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Can Aspirationals Help Make Sustainable Consumption Cool?

Cross-Posted from Marketing and Comms. Last month, BBMG, GlobeScan and SustainAbility released The 2013 Aspirational Consumer Index, a report that confirms the rise of nearly 2.5 billion consumers globally who are uniting style, social status and sustainability values to redefine consumption. According to the report, more than one-third of consumers globally (36.4%) identify as Aspirationals, defined by their love of shopping (78%), desire for responsible consumption (92%) and their trust in brands to act in the best interest of society (58%).

New Social Network Helps Community Projects Find 'neighbourly' Corporate Sponsors

Each week leading up to our SB London conference, where the winner of the SB London Innovation Open (SBIOL) will be announced on November 18, we will get to know each of our four finalists. This week, meet neighbourly.com.

Safety-Kleen & Clean Harbors: Working Together to Keep Motor Oil in Cars, Out of the Environment

Cross-Posted from Waste Not. An old Chinese proverb says, “We are all born, grow old, get sick and die,” but those who are interested in sustainability would likely add that we are all then born again. Rebirth and recycling are two themes that have helped us to understand cyclical movement in the business world, and there are a few companies that exemplify those themes.

GravityLight: A People- and Planet-Friendly Bright Spot for Many Without Electricity

Each week leading up to our SB London conference, where the winner of the SB London Innovation Open (SBIOL) will be announced on November 18, we will get to know each of our four finalists. This week, meet GravityLight.UK-based social enterprise Deciwatt is certainly living up to its goal of “doing more with less”: The company is capitalizing on the intangible but powerful natural phenomenon, gravity, to produce light for those who need it most.

Daniel Silverstein: Shifting Fashion's Focus from Waist Size to Zero Waste

Cross-Posted from Waste Not. Since appearing on season two of NBC’s Fashion Star, Daniel Silverstein has made a name for himself in the eco-fashion world. According to the New York Times, the fashion industry generally discards 10-20 percent of the fabric used to manufacture apparel, but Silverstein disrupts the paradigm, using design-driven innovation to create a fashion line without fabric waste. We chatted with Silverstein and brand manager Chris Anderson to see what inspires them about designing without waste and where the future of fashion is headed.

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TOMS Shoes Creates Home for Imitators with New TOMS Marketplace

TOMS Shoes, which has helped provide shoes for children in need around the worldwide with its One for One® model, helped spearhead the burgeoning movement of social entrepreneurs creating similar business models based on addressing a problem while making a profit.But instead of admonishing or suing his growing contingent of imitators, TOMS founder and chief shoe giver Blake Mycoskie has applauded them, and now has taken his support one step further with the launch today of the new TOMS Marketplace.

Walk on the Wild In-side: How Social Intrapreneurs are Disrupting the System from Within

Lou Reed was a rock-n-roll pioneer. While he may not have achieved many solo hits, he accomplished what all sustainability professionals seek: He shifted the system. Brian Eno famously said, ‘The Velvet Underground may have sold only 10,000 records but everyone who bought one formed a band. In David Bowie, Reed had his biggest fan.’With his passing last month, stories about his contributions to music abound. The world of music loves to celebrate its pioneers. The disruptors. The misfits who took music to a new level.

PulpWorks Out to Save People and Planet from Painful Plastic Packaging

Cross-Posted from Chemistry, Materials & Packaging. Each week leading up to our SB London conference, where the winner of the SB London Innovation Open (SBIOL) will be announced on November 18, we will get to know each of our four finalists. This week, meet PulpWorks.

Amp: One-Stop Shopping for Sustainability Resources

Santa Monica-based startup Amp is an open-access directory for professionals and students in the sustainability sector to connect and find resources that support their efforts to drive social and environmental progress.According to co-founder Sarah McKinney, “It’s like Yelp for sustainability resources… a place where people can share, rate and review the links, media, and documents they’re using to inform and amplify their work.”

The Cat's in the BAGGU: Emily Sugihara Talks Sourcing and Collaboration

Cross-Posted from Supply Chain. Named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People this year, Emily Sugihara is the founder of BAGGU, a line of environmentally conscious bags. The eye-catching yet simple designs have caught on with J. Crew, West Elm and others. We caught up with Emily, who co-founded BAGGU with her mother, Joan, to learn more about what’s behind the bag.What is your mission and how does fulfilling it impact the designing, sourcing and manufacturing of BAGGU goods?Our mission is to make bags that fill many needs, are well-designed, are as affordable as possible and are produced in a way that’s mindful of the environment.

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