Don’t Buy This Jacket: Patagonia’s Common Threads Initiative

29 11 2011

In a daring and unprecedented move, the long respected Patagonia brand decries consumerism run amok and pledges to improve its own sustainability performance and asks for the same commitment from its customers.  

For a brand inspired by and dependent on the environment, Patagonia is asking customers to pledge to reduce the products they buy and only buy what they need.  It also is asking consumers to repair what’s broken, pass the product onto someone else, and keep it out of landfills or incinerators.

In exchange for the pledge, Patagonia’s pledge is to make products that last a long time, help repair gear that needs it, find home for products you no longer need and will take back Patagonia products that are worn out.

In advertising placed on Black Friday in The New York Times and on-line on Cyber Monday, Patagonia calls itself on the carpet for the environmental impact of the products they manufacture.

“The environmental cost of everything we make is astonishing,” the ad reads. “Consider the R2 Jacket shown, one of our best sellers. To make it required 135 liters of water, enough to meet the daily needs (three glasses a day) of 45 people. Its journey from its origin as 60% recycled polyester to our Reno warehouse generated nearly 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, 24 times the weight of the finished product. This jacket left behind, on its way to Reno, two-thirds its weight in waste.

“And this is a 60% recycled polyester jacket, knit and sewn to a high standard; it is exceptionally durable, so you won’t have to replace it as often. And when it comes to the end of its useful life we’ll take it back to recycle into a product of equal value. But, as is true of all the things we can make and you can buy, this jacket comes with an environmental cost higher than its price.”

The ad concludes: “There is much to be done and plenty for us all to do. Don’t buy what you don’t need. Think twice before you buy anything. Go to patagonia.com/CommonThreads, take the Common Threads Initiative pledge and join us in the fifth R, to reimagine a world where we take only what nature can replace.”

Cheers to Patagonia for honest and authentic communication and for its call for balance and collaboration in a world of too much self-interest and scary levels of divisiveness.

This is world class sustainable branding.

Read more about the campaign on Patagonia’s blog

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newSKY: Shoes that re-imagine recycling from New Balance.

28 11 2011

New Balance has introduced newSKY sneakers—which are made from 95% recycled PET plastic bottles and developed a partnership with Coca-Cola’s bottled water brand Dasani.  Great example of companies who can collaborate to achieve mutually beneficial sustainability objectives.

newSKY shoes are available in both men and women’s styles in many different colors.  An interesting holiday gift for the eco-minded family member and friends.

Since its cyber Monday – shop on-line for newSKY here,





Fruitwash: Organic Soap Label for Fruit

26 11 2011

Here’s a bright idea from New York based electrical engineer and designer Scott Amron.  He has designed a fruit label that contains organic soap.  Just as the name suggests, the new label dissolves into organic fruit soap that helps remove water-resistant wax, pesticides and fungicides.

Amron Experimental is currently selling a 10 percent stake in the Fruitwash Label Intellectual Property (patents) and hopes to bring the labels to market within the next 6-9 months.

 “I’ve always been discontent with fruit labels and felt they could do more than just display product info and be difficult to peel off,” Amron told Gizmag. “We buy, wash and eat fruit. So, the wash step was the next thing the label should help with.”

Whilst the labels ingredients are currently being kept secret, they are designed to “outlast the fruit they label,” says Amron. The process of adding water and rubbing the label triggers the dissolving action, which transforms the label into a fruit wash. Alternatively, the stickers can be peeled off and thrown away.

“[The] best thing is the labels help make the fruit cleaner,” says Amron. “And, there’s no label to peel off and throw away unless you choose to peel the label off and throw it away.”

Original article at gizmag

photo credit: Amron Experimental

 

 





Back to the Start: Inspiration from Chipotle

31 08 2011

Willie Nelson sings Coldplay’s riveting “The Scientist” as Chipotle and film-maker Johnny Kelly dramatically depicit how our food and farming system has spun out of control.  

 

Great effort of sustainable branding from this rare thought leader in the quick service restaurant industry.





Spring Planting: The Sprouting Of The Plant Bottle

27 05 2011

Marketers are recogizing the value of introducing alternatives to traditional plastic bottles.  We encourage continued innovation and adoption of these strong signs of a commitment to sustainability by consumer packaged goods marketers – and support from their customers.  It’s a great sign of spring and summer and the “growing season.”


The Heinz Ketchup Plant Bottle will begin arriving in stores in July.


Pepsi recently announced they have devleoped the worlds first PET plastic bottle

made entirely from plant-based renewable resources.

Pepsi’s bottle is made from bio-based materials including switch grass, pine bark and corn husks.  In the future, the company expects to broaden the renewable resources used to create the green botle to include orange peels, potato peels, oat hulls and other agricutltural byproducts from its food business.  Pepsi says the new bottle is expected to begin appearing on shelves in 2012.

The healthy sign of a race between arch rivals Pepsi and Coke is Pepsi innovation claims to be 100% renewable materials vs. the PlantBottle currently being deployed by Coca-Cola which is made of 30% renewable resources.


Coca-Cola was among the first to pioneer the plant bottle technology in 2009.





Hilarious: Cheers to Yeo Valley

15 10 2010

WE LOVE THIS NEW VIDEO FROM YEO VALLEY – AN ORGANIC DAIRY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.





Kudos To Cub. New LEED-certified grocery store is a shining example of sustainable branding.

12 08 2009

474Cub Foods recently opened a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) Gold Certified grocery store in the Phalen neighborhood of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Having visited the store we send big kudos to Cub.  Not only is the store a inventive and creative way of reducing the energy consumption, carbon footprint and reduced impact in construction and daily operation, but it is an excellent example of conveying the vision and possibilities to its customers.

The statitsics related to the store itself are impressive.

  • 44 skylights illuminate 75% of regularly occupied spaces using a solar powered GPS system to track and re-direct sunlight.
  • Parking lot lighting from LED lighting cutting energy consumption by 50 percent.
  • An overall saving of 35% in lighting expense compared to the average Cub store.
  • Landscape irrigation that uses 50% less water.
  • 75% of building construction waste will be recycled.

But we love how Cub has used the physical environment of the store itself to provide information about every aspect of how the store is operating in a sustainable way.  The subtle signage is designed to educate Cub customers about the important facets of the store’s operations.  

Messages conveyed include how the store uses reduced refrigerant.

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Use of natural light to reduce energy consumption.

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How Cub uses packaging made from only 100% renewable resources.

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How the overall store operates in a more energy efficient fashion.

494LED refrigerator case lighting to conserve energy.

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Special parking places reserved for customers driving fuel efficient vehicles.

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An overall store experience which is designed to be more respectful to nature and healthy for all.

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In additional to many of the customer facing aspects of the store, the new Cub also features creative, energy saving ideas in all aspects of its operation.  For employees, the Cub facility features men and women’s shower rooms for employees to encourage them to ride the bike to work and worked with the city of St. Paul to create an additional city bus route so their employees can take the bus to and from work versus driving.  The facility also features a white roof to reflect heat to reduce energy consumption and special landscaping to absorb rainfall.

All in all, we encourage everyone to visit this very special new store if you have the chance.  And we send our congratulations to the leadership of SuperValu (the parent of Cub Foods) for their courage and leadership in creating and building what we hope will become the role model for retailers everywhere.

Our thanks to the support of  Cub Foods—and in particular Lee Ann Jorgenson, Manager of Community Relations and Communications—for allowing us to fully understand and share all of what the new Cub store is doing to be respectful to its new home in the Phalen neighborhood. 

(Photos by P.J. Milan.  All rights reserved.)