See what's coming up at SB’21 San Diego

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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How Forward-Thinking Brands Are Disrupting and Delighting Through Innovation

Calling all innovators and implementers! Sustainable Brands and BBMG have launched a new Issues in Focus editorial channel examining the most creative, inspiring and disruptive cases of brand innovation.Guest editor Carola Beeney — joined by BBMG founders Raphael Bemporad and Mitch Baranowski and the SB editorial team — is curating a broad selection of articles to help illuminate this emerging paradigm, for publication throughout the year.

Remade in the USA: A Conversation with Designer Shannon South

Cross-Posted from Waste Not. In the world of sustainable fashion, few designers are pulling off the business model with as much style and substance as Shannon South. BBMG’s proprietary community of Aspirational consumers, The Collective, recently partnered with Shannon for the Remake My Leather Challenge, and we sat down with her to discuss what makes Shannon’s line, Remade USA, different from other sustainably designed product lines.How did you get started as a handbag designer?

Celebrating the Emergence of a New Generation of Business Innovators

When you look at the environmental and social challenges we face, it's often tough to stay optimistic. The worst predictions of climate science are coming true. Resource scarcity — especially water — is a major threat to business and the economy. Worker conditions around the world, like those that led to the unfathomable recent tragedies in Bangladesh, can seem like intractable problems. And the political system that we need to tackle big issues is mostly broken.

Lego Thinking: Key to Futureproofing Your Brand?

Key to futureproofing is creating a brand that fulfills your customers' higher order needs — things such as meaning, authenticity, self-fulfillment and all those other wonderful aspirations at the top of Maslow’s pyramid.But what if your consumer finds him- or herself in flux, discovering a purchase that felt meaningful a short time ago suddenly seems, well, less so today? How can you keep up with this sort of rapidly evolving ‘higher order’ demand?With Lego thinking.

When It Comes to Sustainable Innovation, Corporates Can Learn a Lot from Entrepreneurs

One of the core ideas behind sustainable branding is that, by thinking of social problems as business opportunities, companies can gain a competitive advantage. It follows then that a very important core competency in the quest for sustainable branding is the ability to identify social and environmental opportunities and to turn them into innovative business solutions.In other words, much of sustainable branding is about human-centered innovation and understanding how to continuously create relevance and value in the lives of individuals. This is a field that has advanced significantly in recent years with the increasing prominence of approaches such as design thinking, co-creation and customer development.

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Learning How to Share Again [Video]

As toddlers, most of us had to learn how to share against our more basic instincts.

Consumers Believe Brands Can Have Positive Impact but Are Failing to Do So

For all the talk about how important brands are in people's lives, the evidence points firmly in the other direction.

More Life Now! A Manifesto for Rejuvenative Technology

At a time when authoritative studies highlight our lack of progress on existing environmental goals and the scale of the threats we may face, we need to turn away from incrementalism, from rationing our unsustainability, towards new models of technological and economic innovation.

Ecopia Working to Reduce Plastic Waste, Increase Quality of Life for Small Farms in Developing Countries

Cross-Posted from Waste Not. In the final week leading up to the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) finals on June 5th, where the runner-up will be decided via live online public vote, we will feature daily articles introducing our semi-finalists. Today, meet Ecopia.Minnesota-based start-up Ecopia offers environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional plastic and paper products, while also driving social value within the communities that create its goods.

Engagement and Innovation: Lessons from CLIF Bar's Latest Eco-Challenge

To commemorate Earth Day 2013, Clif Bar’s offices in Emeryville, California, went paperless for one week.

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FreshPaper: Saving the World from Spoiled Food

Cross-Posted from Waste Not. In the final week leading up to the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) finals presented by Target on June 5th, where the runner-up will be decided via live online public vote, we will feature daily articles introducing our semi-finalists. Today, meet Fenugreen.Some of the best ideas are the simplest ones.Boston-based social enterprise Fenugreen is using its simple product, FreshPaper, to tackle a complex problem — global food waste.

LaborVoices Using Worker Feedback To Paint More Accurate Pictures of Supplier Practices

Cross-Posted from Supply Chain. In the final week leading up to the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) finals on June 5th, where the runner-up will be decided via live online public vote, we will feature daily articles introducing our semi-finalists. Today, meet LaborVoices.As an AAAS Science Policy Fellow for the U.S State Department’s Office of International Labor and Corporate Social Responsibility office, Dr. Kohl Gill was inspired to found LaborVoices while on a trade and labor delegation to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Blue Box Cleaning Up Equipment, Bottom Lines for the Industrial Sector

Cross-Posted from Chemistry, Materials & Packaging. In the final week leading up to the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) finals presented by Target on June 5th, where the runner-up will be decided via live online public vote, we will feature daily articles introducing our semi-finalists. Today, meet Blue Box.Blue Box is positioning itself as an innovative method of cleaning industrial equipment with very little chemicals, at very low cost.

BMW i Poised to Redefine Sustainable Mobility

The BMW brand arguably defines automobile performance, engineering and technology.

Efficiency Exchange Leading 'Charge' To Improve Supply Chain Sustainability from the Ground Up

Cross-Posted from Supply Chain. In the final week leading up to the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) finals on June 5th, where the runner-up will be decided via live online public vote, we will feature daily articles introducing our semi-finalists. Today, meet Efficiency Exchange.

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New Research Finds UK Consumers Earning and Saving £4.6 Billion Through the Sharing Economy

New research commissioned by The People Who Share shows that 65% of adults in the UK are already part of the sharing economy, and a further 28% would consider taking part, if they don’t already. Conducted by Opinium, The State of the Sharing Economy polled 2,005 adults in the UK to demonstrate the growing consumer appetite for the sharing economy, just in time for Global Sharing Day 2013 on Sunday, June 2nd.

Run Up to SB '13: Nick Miller on Startups in the Sharing Economy

Nick Miller is the CEO of Parking Panda — a service that enables parking space owners (both individuals and commercial lots) to capitalize on underutilized parking spaces by renting them to a community of drivers. On the flip side, drivers can save time and money by reserving a spot in advance and paying online.

Report Finds Peers, Consumer Reviews Now as Trusted as Certifications for Sustainability Claims

Cross-Posted from Marketing and Comms. A recent study by BBMG, GlobeScan and SustainAbility claims social sources such as consumer reviews, blogs and message boards as well as friends, family and co-workers now rival traditional sources such as certifications and media reports as consumers’ most trusted sources for determining whether a product is socially and environmentally responsible.

How Might We Re:Imagine Consumption? Conditions for Success and a Call for Collaboration

Cross-Posted from Behavior Change. Consumption (noun); the action of using a resource. We know consumption is a primary driver of the inherent unsustainability of modern living. For those yet to be convinced that our way of life is not sustainable (adjective — able to be maintained at a certain level), reflect on the fact that last Friday, May 10th, levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere peaked at 400 ppm. Also reflect on the fact that the desire for a $1 T-shirt has driven the most appalling standards in many apparel supply chains and the recent deaths of over 1000 garment workers in Bangladesh.

Run Up to SB '13: Neal Gorenflo on the Cultural Shift Around Innovation and the Sharing Economy

Neal Gorenflo is the co-founder of the non-profit Shareable, whose mission is to empower everyone to share for a more joyous, resilient and equitable world. Shareable is best known for its online magazine covering the sharing economy.At Sustainable Brands ’13 (June 3-6), Gorenflo will be moderating and participating in panel discussions focused on entrepreneurial trends and the importance of connecting innovation with purpose. I asked him a few questions about how sharing fits into the picture.

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