Part One: A round-up of what new products and services have caught our attention to protect the planet
There has been a noticeable prioritisation in sustainability and climate change, with consumers and businesses taking urgent steps towards doing the right thing. As this shift in consumer behaviour grows, movements throughout society are helping to fuel this change. As well as the undeniable Greta Thunberg effect with the School Strike for Climate movement, David Attenborough has recently launched the feature documentary A Life On Our Planet, a powerful first-hand account of humanity’s impact on nature that implores viewers to consider the urgent changes that need to be made to protect our planet from the damaging effects of climate change.
In exploring what these changes mean for the future landscape of consumers, our team at KD have captured a roundup of what has caught our eye recently in the world of sustainability as part of a three-part sustainability series.
Skincare: Grown to order
A Margate based beauty company who have always been innovating with regards to sustainability. This spring they launched a new under eye mask which is grown to order, from an agar membrane extracted from seaweed and then cultivated in house for 3 weeks. The bio restore membrane is then dried and sent to customers in compostable packaging with a petri dish for home activation of the mask, using water.
To naturally plump and hydrate skin, while being zero waste, zero plastic, and entirely compostable.
Designed to eliminate single-use packaging waste with a refill ecosystem, combining smart packaging, a D2C refill model and front door user experience.
Keep your primary pack, add an NFC label to cover payment and personal preferences, request a refill from an e-fleet of dispensing vans which include a selection of your favourite consumer goods, refill as much as you need or can afford right on your doorstep, and never struggle carrying home 4 litres of detergent again.
This is a fantastic example of what a tied-together, holistic refill system should look like, thereby cutting cost and waste and ensuring that valuable resources are kept in the circular loop for longer.
Especially important is their insight around ‘poverty tax’ – where low-income households/areas (and, as a result, the planet) are penalised for purchasing smaller format consumer products. Their ‘by gram’ refill model makes more sustainable choices on personal care goods accessible to groups beyond those who can afford the often-times more premium eco-options.
What? BMW geo-fencing technology
BMW plug-in hybrid models automatically switch to electric driving mode when they enter a defined area of a city. Initially in the UK, with London and Birmingham due to be implemented in 2021, and over 80 cities covered in Europe.
GPS geo-fencing technology enables zero emissions for the BMW plug-in hybrids in designated zones.
It avoids the need for behaviour change by being smart about switching driving modes automatically rather than having to remember to manually switch.
Environmentally minded shopping
A Visa card linked to an app that shows the CO2 impact of every purchase made on it. If the purchase is shown not to be sustainable, Mitto offers a sustainable alternative and cash back as a reward if the user chooses that alternative.
A more practical way for sustainably minded people to put their money where their mouth is. A shortcut to hours spent trawling online to work out which purchases are more sustainable, and financial reward for sustainable choices.
A fashion rental site that allows people to pay less for designer clothes and return them after use. Customers can select an item of clothing from online or in store in Selfridges. Each item has a savings rating of how many trees and CO2 are being saved by renting instead of buying new. Directed towards up-market buyers, in which a common behaviour is to wear a new outfit once.
Concepts like this encourage slow fashion and reduce landfill without taking away the joy of wearing something ‘new’.
Rethinking plastic packaging
Tide laundry detergent switched from its plastic bottles to Tide Eco-Box. The container itself is shipped, then turns into the detergent dispenser. The new product has around 60% less plastic and 30% less water than the previous plastic packaging. This collaboration was part of Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging initiative that has so far resulted in the elimination of 458,000 tons of packaging materials.
Using less resources creates less waste and uses 60% less plastic and 30% less water than the original plastic bottle. This move to using less and allowing areas of the product to be recyclable cuts down on the landfill that would be produced by Tide. If everyone switched from the plastic bottle to the Eco-Box, Tide would save enough plastic to cover 5,000 football pitches a year (just over 1,400 tonnes of plastic).
Gousto has replaced its plastic cool bags with an Eco Chill box, a recyclable cardboard insulator to ensure food is kept fresh and cut down on plastic waste.
Gusto’s sustainability mission is to make all packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2022. The Eco Box itself will remove 74.5 tonnes of plastic from their boxes.
Stay tuned as we release the next chapter to our bi-weekly sustainability series.