September 7, 2011

The World Gets Greener...

As one of our core beliefs here at MBF Trend Consulting, environmental responsibility is a trend that we firmly believe in, and one that we expect to last and continue to see as an influential factor in all industries. From what we wear, what we eat, to how we get from one place to another, we have seen many new eco-friendly alternatives and are excited to see the green movement become a global, holistic effort.

Today, we highlight some of the most recent and influential ideas that are shaping today's culture. While in no particular order, here are some of our favorites!

video via: YouTube
Most of us know what it feels like to clean out the closet each year and find piles of clothes, house gadgets, and other little knick-knacks we no longer want or need. Occasionally, we will take the time to drop it off at the nearest Salvation Army, but more times than not, we usually throw these things out or tuck it away somewhere deep down our closets, not wanting to deal with it.

The founders behind Givmo realized this frustration and unnecessary waste, and decided to actually do something about it. Like an online Goodwill with extra perks, Givmo allows people to upload photos of things that they want to give away, and people from all over the country can see your listings in an organized online shopping space. When someone decides that they want your item, he/she agrees to pay the shipping cost for you to mail it to them. For your convenience, Givmo will provide the shipping label and your item can be dropped off or picked up by your local UPS courier. And what's even better, Givmo will donate $1 to charity for every item donated on their site. Considering both eco and social responsibility, Givmo is an easy and creative new way to give away (or find) free stuff.

photo via: Springwise

Ze O Ze
Five pairs in one, Israeli industrial designer Daniela Bekerman's "ze o ze" shoe (translated as 'this or that' in Hebrew) transforms into five uniquely different styles. Using modular attachments, the plain flat shoe transforms to a brogue-inspired lace-up, a Mary Jane kitten-heel, or a casual strappy sandal. Fit to adjust a wide range of multiple occasions, the smartly designed shoe uses less material, produces less waste, and is a great buy for those with a tight budget. With the varying styles all at the price of one, this shoe definitely gives you your money's worth.

photo via: PackWebAsia

Last May, Proctor & Gamble announced the launch of their Supplier Environmental Sustainability Scorecard and rating process. As their next step to environmental sustainability, the scorecard was designed as a holistic effort to encourage P&G's suppliers and partners to track down their total environmental footprint and work collaboratively in becoming more environmentally sustainable. Earlier this month, P&G announced that it is extending their scorecard to another 200 of it's current 400 top suppliers with goals to improve it's corporate environmental performance.  As P&G works with a wide range of industries all across the globe, including packaging, logistics, manufacturing, chemicals, and financial services, this sustainability scorecard program will make huge, lasting impacts in many areas. 

photo via: NY Times

The story behind the San Francisco surfboard company Hess Surfboards is truly as inspiring as the owner himself, Danny Hess. A former building contractor, Hess is a keen surfer who loved surfing but hated the fact that most surfboards are made of non-recyclable materials and must constantly be replaced. Combining his passion for surfing and his life philosophy of being thoughtful about your resources, Hess quit his job and devoted himself full-time to creating environmentally friendly and long-lasting surfboards made from reclaimed and sustainably harvested wood, recycled cork, and nontoxic and recyclable foam. Handcrafted at his California studio, each board is made with the utmost respect and love. Check out his blog to see his latest products!

photo via: AHA Life

Style meets function with S'well's stainless steel water bottle. Made with the highest quality stainless steel, the bottle is designed to keep cold beverages cold and hot beverage hot - for hours. Because the bottle is insulated, there is also never wet condensation on the outside. Perfectly sized to fit into car and stroller cup holders, S'well bottles are ideal for people who are always on-the-go. It's also easy to clean and toxin-free, making it a convenient, chic, and eco-friendly alternative to plastic bottles. In addition, S'well donates 10% of net sales to WaterAid, an NGO that provides access to safe drinking water in the world's poorest areas. Coming in 4 different colors, S'well bottles make a perfect gift for friends or loved ones. Buy yours here!

photo via: Telegraph

A brand with 40 years of heritage, Esprit makes a comeback by teaming up with the Royal College of Art to create 'Esprit RCA Limited Edition'. In a two year design collaboration, Esprit and RCA created a capsule collection, incorporating sustainable fashion design, and selected three students from the competition for their winning designs. Reworked by the company's in-house design team, the collection includes 15 pieces and will be on sale in selected Esprit shops at the end of September. From large-scale, chunky knits, palazzo pants, and dip-dyed draped jersey tops, the collection is young, fresh, and right on trend.

photo via: Replenish

Looking for a non-toxic yet effective household cleaner may sometimes be difficult to find. However, with Replenish's Ultra Concentrated Multi-Surface Cleanser, you not only get a safe (even drinkable) cleaner, the bottle is also long-lasting and reusable, with a patented concentrate mixing and delivery system. 

Each bottle is designed to last up to 3 years with enough concentrate pod at the bottom of the bottle to make 4 bottles worth of cleaner. Simply add your own water, mix, and Replenish will automatically add just the right amount of concentrate to make your cleaning spray. With this innovative design, Replenish has set a goal of eliminating 1 billion bottles from landfills and 1 billion pounds of chemicals out of the environment. 

photo via: Ecouterre

McDonald's may not be one of the first companies we think of when it comes to sustainability, but when we heard about their new eco-friendly uniforms, we were all pleasantly surprised. Worn Again, a resource efficiency business that upcycles corporate textile waste into new products, is partnering with British designers Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway to create a closed-loop system, taking old uniforms and reprocessing them into raw materials for new ones with zero waste. Working with Alexandra, a leading uniform manufacturer, this collaborative project is a young, innovative way to think about sustainability in a broader aspect. The uniforms are expected to be revealed just in time for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. It is planned that employees of the Olympic Park restaurants will be the first to wear the new uniforms. After the games, the outfits will make their debut all across the 1,200 restaurants in the UK. And hopefully, it doesn't end there as we'd love to see this change make their way across the Atlantic. 

photo via: Inhabitat

Who would have thought that the world's largest rooftop farm is located right here in the bustling city of NYC? Brooklyn Grange is a 40,000 square foot elevated organic garden located on top of a six-story warehouse built by Bromley Caldari Architects. Grown by urban farmers, the rooftop cultivates 40 various fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, fennel, kale, beets, carrots, and a variety of herbs. While it's first farm is located in Long Island City Queens, their goal is to put more farms on roofs throughout New York and beyond, growing more food and improving the overall quality of life in the city. The Brooklyn Grange hopes to reconnect it's city dwellers to its farms and farmers by improving the local's access to good, healthy food. If you live in the city, click here to learn how you can get involved.

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