This #BCorpMonth, we're taking a look at the innovations going the extra mile to help consumers be more eco-conscious.
Throughout March 2021, Springwise will be exploring the five themes of B Corp Month. This week, the focus is on how to be a better steward to customers. Springwise, and our partners at Re_Set, are both proud Certified B Corporations.
Although Springwise always seeks to cover innovations which have purpose and sustainability at their heart, this B Corp month we want to highlight the innovations that place customer behaviour at the forefront. In order to address the most pressing social and environmental issues of our time, it is vital that businesses and customers work together to create new and better consumer habits.
From a system that rewards beer drinkers with business stock when they recycle their cans, to a build-your-own-bag experience, here are seven innovative business ideas we have spotted encouraging new consumer behaviour in fun, interactive and impact-driven ways.
1. STARTUP PAYS CUSTOMERS TO RECYCLE CLOTHES THEY NO LONGER WEAR
The startup For Days has developed an initiative that gives users store credit in return for their old brand clothes, which will then either be resold or recycled.
The process begins when For Days sends a “clean out crap” bag to fill up with your old garments. Once full, this can be sent to the company in return for €8 in shop credit. More can be earned if the clothes were originally from For Days.
The Closet and Credit system ultimately aims to create a closed-loop system that can set an example in the fashion industry. For Days also makes all of its clothes from organic cotton and uses its own technology to recycle the garments into new ones.
2. BRITISH CRAFT BREWER OFFERS COMPANY STOCK FOR CANS
Aberdeenshire-based brewery and Certified B-Corp BrewDog developed a “Cans for Equity” programme that rewarded anyone who traded in 50 empty BrewDog beer cans with stock in the company — making them a so-called “Equity Punk.” It was part of several company initiatives that BrewDog’s co-founder and CEO James Watt hoped would “inspire a new kind of business, with sustainability at its core”.
With these empty beer cans, they also promised an “upcycling revolution”; old cans will be “refilled with craft beer and given a new lease of life”.
3. CONCEPT STORE REDUCES WASTE BY USING DIGITAL PACKAGING
Lush’s all-naked concept store in Shinjuku, Japan replaced all signage, ingredient lists and price tags with digital packaging. Shoppers used the Lush Labs app to access the icons and videos that are used in place of the traditional elements. As well as preventing waste, digital packaging is especially useful for its capacity and flexibility. In the Lush store, it was the perfect space to provide bonus material, such as makeup tutorials.
4. CARBON OFFSETTING PLATFORM PROVIDES FULLY TRACEABLE CONTRIBUTIONS
New Zealand technology company CarbonClick recently introduced its e-commerce platform for businesses. Rather than require every business to research, build and track its own carbon offsetting programme, CarbonClick provides high-quality, internationally-vetted and fully traceable projects that support the work to reverse climate change.
Businesses add a CarbonClick option to their checkout processes, allowing customers to decide how much of their purchases to offset. Individuals can set up a monthly subscription to cover the cost of the carbon emissions of their regular activities.
5. SWEAT-YOURSELF-SHOP OFFERS A BUILD-YOUR-OWN-BAG EXPERIENCE
The Swiss brand Freitag recently invited customers to take part in the creation of their own bags in an interactive space named the Sweat-Yourself-Shop. Freitag specialises in practical bags made out of recycled truck tarpaulins. The company buys the old tarpaulins from trucking companies, cleans them, cuts them and sews them into durable, waterproof bags.
The Zurich “micro-factory” allowed customers to choose the individual tarpaulin panels for the main bag and the outer pocket, and watch them being cut and stitched together. Customers could even operate the conveyor belt carrying the tarpaulin panels. The shop is designed to resemble a factory and also features large windows to allow passers-by to watch the assembly process from the street.
6. WATER-SAVING, SALON-QUALITY HAIRCARE SETUP FOR THE HOME
L’Oréal recently teamed up with a Swiss environmental innovation company, Gjosa, to develop unique water micronisation technology, which was inspired by the way rocket engines work. Unveiled at the CES 2021 tech show, the Water Saver combines a micronisation technology with a showerhead cartridge containing haircare products by Kérastase and L’Oréal Professional. With this system, L’Oréal expects one billion gallons of water to be saved annually.
7. AN ONLINE MARKETPLACE THAT MAKES SUSTAINABLE SHOPPING EASY
Sustainable products can sometimes be challenging to source and turning to old comfort foods to keep our shelves stocked may seem easier. Startup Hive has developed a solution, with their online marketplace and a one-stop shop for conscious consumers. The company curates its products by only stocking delicious goods that have low impact ingredients, environmentally-friendly packaging, a low-carbon footprint and a commitment to social good.
When shopping with Hive, customers receive a full report at checkout that shows how their purchases made a positive impact in terms of recycling, fighting deforestation or causes that have been donated to. Eventually, customers will be able to see the cumulative effects of their purchases. Over 400 of Hive’s products are verified for fair or direct trade practices and sustainable agriculture, and 65 environmental and social certifying groups are represented across the brands that the company works with.
Written By: Holly Hamilton
10th March 2021