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Image: Perfect Day's Brave Robot ice cream is the first product made from its animal-free dairy protein | Perfect Day/Facebook
It’s that time of year again, when Fast Company calls out its favorite World-Changing Ideas. Here are a few of that we’re especially keen to keep an eye on, because of their work …
Too Good to Go is an app that connects customers with a grab bag of leftover goods and food from local stores. First launched in Copenhagen in 2016 and now used in 15 countries, it’s already saved 200,000 meals from going to landfills.
Developed by students from Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art, this AI-powered browser plugin — called shADe — blocks digital marketing efforts from fashion brands with poor sustainability scores, and instead suggests items from brands that have the data to back up their environmental claims.
According to a National Center for Transgender Equality survey, one-third of
transgender people reported harassment or denial of service after showing ID
with a name or gender marker that didn’t match their appearance; and 68% of
respondents didn’t have a single ID that reflects their chosen name.
So, in 2019, Mastercard
unveiled the idea of the True Name
wouldn’t require a legal name change — aiming to help transgender and nonbinary
cardholders, in particular. But the idea became reality in October 2020, when
Citi became the first major bank to launch the True Name feature across the US,
giving massive scale to the initiative and providing customers the ability to
use their self-identified chosen first name on eligible cards.
Last summer, Levi Strauss launched its most sustainable jeans
— made with organic cotton and Circulose®, a breakthrough material made from
20 percent recycled denim and 20 percent sustainably sourced viscose.
The Levi’s recycled denim collection is the result of a unique collaboration
between Levi’s® and re:newcell — the Swedish innovators behind Circulose —
and marks a significant milestone in the fashion industry’s transition to
circularity. Its like-for-like fiber input means the garment itself can be
recycled through chemical recycling processes; and production of the garments
greatly reduces the water, chemical and CO2 footprint associated with
Deeply embedded systemic inequities within the US’s fundamental structures have
resulted in, among many other imbalances, lack of access to capital for Black
and Latinx communities. And while renewed attention to the need for racial
equity since the murder of George Floyd last year has seen companies
beginning to work to address this
business ownership rates by people of color remain significantly lower than
other racial groups.
Pharrell Williams’ new impact-investing initiative, Black
Ambition, aims to correct this imbalance
through a set of prizes to fund bold ideas and companies led by Black and Latinx
entrepreneurs in the areas of Consumer Products and Services, Design, Healthcare
Cows may be feeling canceled — after Epicurious’ recent decision to chop beef from its culinary content; and the emergence of tech startup Perfect Day’s cow-free process to grow whey and casein, the proteins found in cow’s milk. In a new lifecycle analysis of its products — which include ice cream and soon, cheese — the company calculated that producing its whey protein reduces greenhouse gas emissions between 85 and 97 percent, compared to traditional dairy.
The construction industry — and production of concrete, in particular — is
responsible for roughly 4 billion metric tons of emissions per year, roughly
four times as much as the airline industry. But a company called
Solidia may have figured out how to eliminate
the carbon footprint of concrete production: By injecting captured CO2 into the
process, it can eventually make concrete carbon negative.
The company, which uses a chemical process licensed from Rutgers University,
reduces emissions in a few different ways. Its recipe uses less limestone (a key
ingredient in cement, which emits CO2 as it’s processed); requires less heat;
and, instead of curing the concrete with water, the process has been tweaked to
use CO2. The new material is stronger and brighter than typical concrete, and
cures much faster — in roughly 24 hours, instead of nearly a month.
See the rest of Fast Company's 2021 World-Changing Ideas here.
Published May 5, 2021 8am EDT / 5am PDT / 1pm BST / 2pm CEST