There are lots of new, disruptive retail brands out there who are putting environmental values at the core of their proposition. But we’re particularly pleased to see some of the big players taking steps to incorporate change into their existing offer. Here are 3 news stories making us feel a little more optimistic about the future of the planet.
We’re pleased to hear that Adidas has announced plans to more than double the production of its shoes containing recycled waste plastic this year. In partnership with the environmental organisation Parley for the Oceans, the sportswear giant has pledged to increase the production from five million in 2018 to 11 million this year.
It’s Parley’s job to collect plastic waste from beaches and transform it into yarn. Adidas then uses it to produce apparel and footwear aptly stating that they are turning ‘the threat into a thread’.
The Parley range on the Adidas website consists of a range of different designs in aqua colours with wave like patterns, giving a clear nod to the ocean’s aesthetic. The range extends beyond shoes too, including both men’s and women’s tops, shorts, leggings, sports bras and socks.
The range started with the production of one million pairs of shoes in 2017. The fast-growing line shows customers desire to live an ethically responsible lifestyle without having to sacrifice shopping with the fashionable and established brands they love.
To rise to this consumer demand, Adidas has also pledged to “get rid of virgin polyester by 2024”, removing fresh plastics from its supply chain altogether.
Marks and Spencer
If you’ve ever arrived home from a food shop feeling dismayed at the amount of plastic you’ve bought, it might be time to take a trip to Marks & Spencer in Southwest London. A new trial will see the sale of more than 90 lines of loose fruit and vegetables free of plastic packaging at the store.
The range includes hard fruit and vegetables like potatoes and bananas. More delicate items, such as soft fruits and berries, will be sold in compostable baskets made from paper pulp. M&S also removed “best before” date labels as part of the three-month trial.
Fruit and Vegetable experts will be available to help customers pick and weigh their items and offer advice on how to best preserve produce and prevent food waste at home.
M&S also committed to launching additional lines of loose produce, replacing plastic produce bags with paper ones and phasing out plastic barcode stickers in favour of eco-friendly alternatives in an effort to save 580 tons (1.3 mm) of waste over two years.
If that wasn’t going far enough for their eco-friendly customers, they’ve also launched a new initiative in partnership with technology Company ‘Dow’ to enable customers to return non-recyclable plastic packaging to their shops.
All those items that are banned from your recycling bins at home, such as ready meal trays, crisp packets and some cosmetic containers will be taken my M&S and used to make store fittings, furniture and playground equipment for schools.
Laura Fernandez, senior packaging technologist at M&S, said: “Customers often don’t know how best to recycle certain types of plastic or where it goes after being collected by local councils. We’re on a mission to provide a greater awareness of landfill avoidance and plastic recyclability, while ultimately helping our customers to give plastic a new purpose and support a truly circular economy.”
Late last year, Apple opened the doors to its flagship outlet in Paris that pays homage to the city’s rich history and creativity. Apple Champs-Élysées, built by architecture firm Foster + Partners, effortlessly blends history with modernity as the design leads visitors through an elegant 19th century Parisian passageway, before greeting them with a contemporary interior space.
Situated above the courtyard is an amazing Kaléidoscope solar roof-light consisting of mirrored pyramids that reflect dappled sunlight onto the internal façade below. But one of the most impressive aspects of the beautiful building is not only it’s outer beauty. “Like all of Apple’s facilities, Apple Champs-Élysées is powered by 100 percent renewable energy,” declared the tech brand.
Foster + Partners explains on its website, “The Kaléidoscope – covered by photovoltaic panels above – reflects fragmented images of the surrounding building fabric when you look up from within the courtyard, referencing the Cubist tradition. The effect changes throughout the day and night and as you move through the building, offering a new experience from every corner.”
It’s proof that being beautiful doesn’t have to cost the earth.