Today, the pressure to reduce corporate carbon footprints is forcing a second look at all that plastic packaging. “Reuse, for some types of products and packaging,” Mr. Prindiville said, “can put a huge dent in reducing those climate impacts.”
Household cleaners seem particularly primed for a refill revolution. Whereas shampoo and conditioner involve complicated chemical formulas, many cleaners can be easily concentrated and reconstituted with water. In fact, that’s what makes up the bulk of traditional cleaning products, leading Mr. Prindiville to describe the current system this way: “We’re just shipping around water. And that’s dumb.”https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/17/headway/spray-bottle-clorox-plastic-refillable-recycle.html
Category Archives: sustainability
Cultural Dimensions and Possible Futures
There is a distinction between uncertainty and ambiguity. We live in ambiguous times, not uncertain times. There is relevant information available for us to better understand the possible future ahead. The key to robust foresight is the ability to effectively combine distinct analysis tools to clarify the details of social change.
Central to the toolkit I teach to students and use with clients is a method of applied semiotics called Culture Mapping. Culture Mapping allows us to analyze language as patterns of social change. It provides a matrix to measure the way language migrates in meaning as it is used to express our affirmation or dissent from established societal codes.
Other tools are useful in providing additional context to establish hypotheses for analysis. For example, Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions allows us to establish benchmarks of distinct contextual meaning from county to country. This is particularly useful when determining how social language might affirm or deviate from norms in a country.
The foundation of these cultural dimensions is very useful for discourse analysis. The key is to see how the emerging language is deviating from certain norms. The signifiers of these deviations provide taxonomies that indicate the dynamics of change within that country. Evaluation of the distinction between probable and possible futures is determined by that taxonomy more than any other factor.
In the examples, here, I propose how EV adoption might differ in China vs. the USA. The language in the commercials provides examples of linguistic differences that confirm the hypothesis established by the cultural dimensions. How EV adoption evolves in each country will reflect the expressed synergy of dissonance in each cultural power system. How well each country trusts or mistrusts the social order they are in.
How South Korea emerged as the center of the beauty industry is another interesting case study of cultural dimensions related to the semiotics of everyday life. Beauty in South Korea has become an expression of the tension of cultural dimensions. The innovation in the category has a lot to do with the dynamics of rapid socio-economic growth, rigid competitiveness, perfection, and an emerging desire to break away from all that and be relaxed and comfortable in one’s own decisions.
VW Gets Ready to Reveal a People’s Car for the Electric Age
Volkswagen is about to do what Tesla didn’t during its recent investor day: show off an affordable electric vehicle for the masses.https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-03-15/vw-gets-ready-to-reveal-a-people-s-car-for-the-electric-age
URL To IRL And Back Again: How Digital Fabric Twins Are Defining Fashion’s New Trajectories
For fashion to work, creative design and product development have always required a steady flow of both new ideas and new fabrics to execute them in. So for digital fashion to work, it should come as no surprise that digital ideation, design and development – as practised in popular solutions like CLO3D – will demand a constant source of digital fabrics.https://www-theinterline-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.theinterline.com/2023/02/28/url-to-irl-and-back-again-how-digital-fabrics-twins-are-defining-fashions-new-trajectories/amp/
Pro-Gamers Tackle Virtual Clothing Waste with Vanish ‘ReSkin’ Challenge
Vanish, the Reckitt garment care brand committed to encouraging consumers to re-wear their clothes and raising awareness of clothing waste, has partnered with some of Europe’s biggest gamers and streamers to expand its #ReWear message into the world of gaming – hacking the virtual ‘fast fashion’ trend to drive awareness of the real-life clothing crisis in new and super-engaged audiences.
#ReSkinChallenge sees high-profile gamers including CaptainPuffy, ShivFPS, FreyzPlayz and fifakillvizualz – who combined boast more than 4.4m Twitch subscribers and are known for their frenzied consumption of the latest skins and in-game clothes – uncharacteristically revert to a basic, default skin for a whole week. If this didn’t raise enough questions from their communities – and it did – they also wore the same physical outfit on their streams for the duration of the challenge, starting conversations among their fans.https://www.lbbonline.com/news/pro-gamers-tackle-virtual-clothing-waste-with-vanish-reskin-challenge
Dow said it was recycling our shoes. We found them at an Indonesian flea market
U.S. petrochemicals giant Dow Inc and the Singapore government said they were transforming old sneakers into playgrounds and running tracks. Reuters put that promise to the test by planting hidden trackers inside 11 pairs of donated shoes. Most got exported instead.https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/global-plastic-dow-shoes/
Why Google’s Project Ara Modular Smartphone Was A Complete Failure
Smartphone enthusiasts around the world would almost certainly recall the time when modular smartphones were touted as the next big thing. With several big names in the space — including Google, Motorola, and LG — backing the modular form factor, a large segment of consumers and tech enthusiasts deduced that modular smartphones were, indeed, the future. And why not? The idea of a smartphone that could be customized by the user and upgraded when the time came was downright revolutionary and seemed a recipe for runaway success.https://www.slashgear.com/1179899/why-googles-project-ara-modular-smartphone-was-a-complete-failure/
How Can the Fashion Industry Accelerate Systems Change?
“Fashion weeks don’t need to be focussed on seasonal overproduction. They could be powerful cultural spotlights that supported young talent without driving waste and over-consumption.”https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/sustainability/copenhagen-fashion-week-executive-insights-sustainability-innovation-systems-change/
When Sustainable Fashion Does More Harm Than Good (Op-Ed)
Replace “sustainable” with “less bad” in today’s fashion headlines and you get a more accurate picture of reality: “Less Bad Fashion Trends You Need To Know In 2023.” “Less Bad Fashion Influencers Take On Fast Fashion.” “Building a Less Bad Fashion Industry in 2023.” “Less bad” than the status quo is how I have come to make sense of the industry’s attempts to sell itself as more sustainable. But some of fashion’s favourite sustainability solutions can actually result in outcomes that are worse than the status quo.https://www.businessoffashion.com/opinions/sustainability/op-ed-when-sustainable-fashion-does-more-harm-than-good/
We still use appliances like it’s 1970. There’s a better way.
“If automobiles were regulated to the same extent as household appliances, the average vehicle would be getting 60 miles per gallon and seat nine people,” says Pamela Klyn, an engineer and sustainability executive at Whirlpool, which manufactures 20 million products every year under brands including Whirlpool, Maytag and KitchenAid. Yet these appliances could be saving us even more water, energy and time — if we used them properly.https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2023/01/24/home-appliance-myths-energy-saving-tips/