Saving our planet; one bag at a time

December 30, 2006

Colour of the Year 2007: Green

Filed under: Branding, Environment — Kaajal @ 5:37 pm

Green is the color of 2007

Thomas L. Friedman, world affairs correspondent for the New York Times and author of the book “The World is Flat” recently said that if he were the editor of Time magazine, his year ending cover would be a green colored one which says “Colour of the Year”.

He believes we reached the tipping point this year, and that green issues are now totally and irrevocably mainstream. Wal-Mart, in addition to using green to improve its image, also finds that being more energy efficient is highly profitable for itself and its customers. Politicians no longer consider green issues of interest only to elite audiences.

Now living, acting, designing, investing and manufacturing green has come to be understood by a critical mass of citizens, entrepreneurs and officials as the most patriotic, capitalistic, geopolitical, healthy and competitive thing they could do.

Using our reusable cloth bags for promotions and events instead of plastic is a quick, inexpensive and elegant way to establish your company’s green image.

December 14, 2006

Green businesses are hot for 2007

Filed under: Branding, Environment — Kaajal @ 6:20 pm

Green is where the action is in 2007

Everybody who’s anybody is forecasting a major move towards green businesses starting 2007.

Executives from some of Britain’s biggest firms, with a combined total of 250 million customers, met at 10 Downing Street yesterday to work out a combined plan for a new range of “green” products, to be launched in 2007, says this report in the Independent..

Companies such as Tesco, Marks & Spencer, HSBC, BSkyB, B&Q, O2 and The Carphone Warehouse have committed themselves to “accelerating the roll-out of practical, simple solutions” to help consumers reduce carbon emissions.

Meanwhile features green businesses as the hottest in their section on What’s hot in 2007.

Trends, says futurist John Naisbitt, are like horses, easier to ride in the direction they are going.

It benefits you to have a green image. One way to do it is to use our reusable fabric bags to spearhead your message. They’re more economical than you can imagine.

December 12, 2006

Green fashion goes mainstream

Filed under: Branding, Environment — Kaajal @ 5:40 pm

Green is the new black. Eco fashion goes mainstream.

Designer Linda Loudermilk offers a luxury eco line featuring dresses made from sustainable chiffon silk and lyocell, a biodegradable fabric spun from wood pulp.

Designer Heatherette exhibits a recycled polyester bustier and an Ingeo taffeta skirt at FutureFashion, a show for environmentally friendly designs at New York Fashion Week in 2005. (Courtesy of Earth Pledge). Patagonia is making fleece from recycled plastic soda bottles…

What’s this all about?


December 6, 2006

Governments wake up to green GDP. At last!

Filed under: Environment — Kaajal @ 12:44 pm

United Nations

Think before throwing that plastic bag into the river. You might actually be lowering the country’s gross national product (GNP).

The government is working on a methodology that will add the value of things such as clean environment as part of natural resources for calculating the GNP.

Thus far, economic development indicators like GNP and GDP, didn’t consider the stock and flow of natural resources.

It is a fact that industries grew at the cost of degrading natural resources, so a more sustainable development indicator was needed. So in 2003, the United Nations presented a general framework of integration of environmental and economic accounting that can be used for macroplanning of a country.

The good news is that the Indian government has taken serious note of this. At last.

The first step in achieving such an international standard of green GDP is for every country to have a national database of natural resource accounting. The second step is to calculate the cost of recovery of polluted resources. While many European countries have already prepared such databases, India made a beginning in 2003. However, incorporating the data into a green GDP figure has acquired momentum only now.

December 5, 2006

Unilever’s Brand Impact concept will definitely make them a stronger company

Filed under: Branding, Environment — Kaajal @ 2:58 pm

Unilever's Brand Impact

I was thrilled to read this morning that Unilever has woken up to the fact that addressing consumers’ social and environmental concerns is as important for a brand as its functional attributes.

These guys are getting it!

I’ve been saying it on this blog for months now and I’m happy to see this happening.

Unilever Group CEO Patrick Cescau believes the successful brands of will be those that not only satisfy consumers’ functional needs but also address concerns as citizens.

The group is developing a new process that enables a full analysis of social, economic and environmental issues relevant to each brand to be built into brand innovation and development strategies. Unilever terms it as ‘Brand Imprint’, which is being piloted with a number of its key brands.

For example, initiatives from HLL, its Indian subsidiary, are expected to play a vital role in this pilot study. Innovations like Surf Excel’s ‘save two buckets of water per wash’ enables the Indian consumer to get the same results with less rinsing led to a 50% sales increase for Surf Excel 50% in 2005, in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, where water availability is a constraint.

Water is going to be a major issue in the future and these guys are on the right track.

Another big issue is plastic bags.

If companies like Unilever introduce initiatives to persuade their retail channels to encourage the use of reusable fabric bags instead of plastic or paper bags, they’d derive huge branding benefits.

In addition to just looking at the Brand Impact of their own products they also need to take cognizance of Ogilvy’s Shelly Lazarus’ concept of 360 degree branding, where she says that every touch-point at which stakeholders come in contact with a product needs to transmit the same, consistent message.

The total experience influences brand perceptions, not just the product or its advertising.

This includes the retail experience.

A brand that claims to be environmentally sensitive shouldn’t be sold in a harmful plastic bag, should it?

Reusable bags made from fabrics are a simple, elegant and affordable solution to this looming problem. I sure hope Unilever extends its thinking to this level.

December 2, 2006

Kids can see the writing on the wall. Businesses should learn from them.

Filed under: Environment — Kaajal @ 5:18 pm

Kids against plastic bags
Kids are faster than businesses in catching on that plastic bags are a big issue for the world today and one of the easiest problems to solve.

At a Boston school a group of 14- and 15-year-olds has laid out plans and secured sponsors for a publicity campaign to boost the use of reusable polypropylene bags at stores in Hanover.

The group has already secured a commitment from the Hanover and Lebanon Co-ops to buy and sell 5,000 of the bags.

Meanwhile, Joey Baum, a senior at Boulder High School, has already turned this into a business.

Baum saw plastic bags at grocery stores as a big waste problem with a simple solution.

He designed a reusable polypropylene shopping bag and sells them for $3 each at grocery stores.

He’s received an entrepreneur award in the 15-17 age categories.

“As the leading nation in the world, we were putting the environment on the back burner,” Baum said. “I wanted to do something.”

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