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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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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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Yellow Leaf Hammocks: Enriching Lives East and West

What started out as a backpacking tour through Southeast Asia in Spring 2010 serendipitously turned into an entrepreneurial venture for San Francisco-based Boston native Joe Demin. One morning, while his friends dozed on the sands of the coast of Northern Thailand, Demin ventured through a nearby jungle on a bike and literally stumbled across a small wooden shop selling artisanal hammocks by a local hunter-gatherer community, the Mlabri. Visiting with this rural community, he learned of their story and struggle for economic independence and immediately wanted to help. As Demin explains, ‘I literally sketched out a business plan on the back of the plane’s airsick bag.’

Liberty & Justice for All: How Africa Is Challenging Fast Fashion's 'Race to the Bottom'

Chid Liberty was born in Liberia, his father the nation’s ambassador to Germany — where Chid grew up before his family was exiled and moved to Silicon Valley. After 28 years abroad, Chid returned to Liberia in 2009 inspired by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Liberian Women’s Peace Movement and founded Liberty & Justice with social entrepreneur Adam Butlein.

O2E Technologies: Turning the World's Waste Into Food and Fuel

Cross-Posted from Waste Not. 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 the SBIOL public vote winner, O2E Technologies.

Business Model Innovation

Choosing the right path to sustainable customer delight is no trivial task. After all, you have to arrive at a business model that delivers on customer expectations and is radical enough to make a dent in pressing sustainability challenges of the day. This channel discusses note-worthy principles, methodologies, processes and tools used in business model innovation around the globe.

Sustainable Brands Innovation Open London Finalists Announced

Sustainable Brands has been running a startup competition for the past 6 years but this is the first time we have run it overseas. Over the past few months we have been searching for the best and brightest new ventures disruptively innovating for a sustainable future.

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Sustainable Startups Finding More Than Cash on Crowdfunding Platforms

When the principals behind Peppermint Energy decided to tap into crowdfunding in 2012 to boost their start-up solar enterprise, they found money, but they also discovered another type of equity.“What became obvious to us is that the type of people who support crowd-funding initiatives can be very helpful to vet out what is, what is not and what should be,” said Chris Maxwell, president of Peppermint. “We used our Kickstarter campaign to get market feedback, to get a bunch of people to tell us whether we are on the right track.”

SHFT and BBMG Join Forces to Create Branded Content Offering

BBMG and SHFT are joining forces to announce 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 powerful new approach to developing and delivering original branded content designed to disrupt and delight. The new initiative launches with an impressive roster of clients, including Sprint and Recyclebank.

Target Takes Important Step Toward Sustainable Product Standard

Target today announced an important step toward increasing product transparency, which the company says it hopes will lead to more sustainable and innovative products.

F-Cubed: Poised to Save the World from Pathogens

Chicago start-up F-Cubed, LLC (F3) is helping to stem the recurrence of infectious diseases across the food, health and environmental testing sectors with its disruptive invention — a portable diagnostic device that can analyze raw samples for pathogens in less than an hour.What does that mean?As an example of environmental testing, F3’s innovative analyzer can help swimmers avoid unforeseen illnesses by testing the bacteria levels within bodies of water.

2.5 Billion Aspirational Consumers Mark Shift in Sustainable Consumption

A new global consumer study by BBMG, GlobeScan and SustainAbility 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, The 2013 Aspirational Consumer Index, 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%). The study draws from telephone and in-person surveys of 21,492 consumers across 21 international markets conducted in April 2013.

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