1. A N Other offers premium scents at affordable price point
New York – In a similar vein to Michelle Feeney’s Floral Street range, A N Other has launched a collection of luxury fragrances that cost between £37 ($50, €42) and £60 ($80, €68). The brand chose to forego expensive marketing campaigns and celebrity endorsements to focus on delivering a high-quality product containing sustainable ingredients. The bottles feature minimal branding and each scent focuses on a specific fragrance note, including ‘floral’, ‘woody’ and ‘oriental’.
‘We looked at the cost structure and came up with a simple idea,’ co-founder Gilad Amozeg told Women’s Wear Daily. ‘[We decided to] take the bulk of the money and put it inside the bottle so that the customer gets better products, meaning we can use more expensive and exotic raw ingredients, and eco-friendly materials.’
2. Whisky Foundation introduces prices that fluctuate with demand
Edinburgh – The Whisky Foundation has launched a new e-commerce retail concept in which it sells spirits at a variety of prices depending on demand. Bidding for the rare Springbank 24-year-old malt The Maltman, of which there are only 244 bottles worldwide, starts at £0.75 ($1, €0.85) after which the price fluctuates in relation to the amount of interest shown by customers. The brand estimates that each of the bottles featured would be worth about £410 ($550, €465) if sold in the traditional way.
While global demand for whisky remains healthy, innovations in the vodka sector and the continued popularity of gin mean that whisky brands need to work hard to retain their market share.
3. Ellen MacArthur offers a more financially viable fashion model
Global – In collaboration with the fashion designer Stella McCartney, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has released a report that highlights the commercial value in creating a circular fashion economy. The report shows that more than £372bn ($500bn, €422bn) is lost annually through the current linear model due to a lack of recycling and because garments are thrown away before they reach the end of their life.
Clothing utilisation – the number of times a garment is worn before it is discarded – fell worldwide by 36% from 2000 to 2015, while in China the figure was even greater, with clothing utilisation dropping by 70%.
In a world defined by fast fashion, brands need to think about how they can help restructure the fashion industry to work towards a more sustainable future.
4. Second Avenue Deli opens kosher cocktail lounge
New York – Founded by Josh and Jeremy Lebewohl, 2nd Floor, which offers a kosher food and drinks menu, is located above the brothers’ Second Avenue Deli in the city’s Upper East Side.
The drinks menu features a range of traditional Jewish ingredients such as Manischewitz wine, which is produced under the supervision of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and replaces the crème de mûre in the bar’s take on a gin bramble cocktail. Another cocktail, Shofar, features flavours linked to Rosh Hashanah – Jewish New Year – including apple brandy, pomegranate and honey.
5. Online groceries booming in China and South Korea
As LS:N Global explored in our 2016 Food and Drink Futures Report, forward-thinking brands are developing products and services to enable consumers to access food and drink in more convenient ways, and using artificial intelligence to reduce food waste. Across the world, the online grocery sector is booming.
6. Thought-starter: How can we make coffee culture sustainable?
Following the announcement that a new biofuel that features waste coffee grounds will be used to help power some of London’s buses – undoubtedly a step forward for sustainability – journalist Josh Walker asks whether it will help to tackle the coffee sector’s notoriously wasteful practices.
According to Bio-bean, the UK produces 500,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds every year, most of which is disposed of at landfill sites where it emits methane, a greenhouse gas that is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide, while just 0.1% of takeaway coffee cups were recycled in the UK in 2016, according to the British Coffee Association.
It’s clear that the coffee industry has a problem. But companies such as Bio-bean provide a glimmer of hope, offering a potential solution to the coffee catastrophe, while simultaneously helping to spread awareness among consumers and the wider industry about the scale and impact of the issue.
Perhaps what makes Bio-bean’s approach to coffee so impactful and Pret a Manger’s approach to its cups so effective is not only because they offer a more sustainable way to deal with coffee, but because they evoke a more nuanced understanding of sustainability in the minds of consumers. By alleviating consumers’ concerns about pollution on their daily commute and communicating the financial gains to be made from embracing a more sustainable coffee cup model, initiatives such as these are encouraging consumers to adopt a more conscious form of coffee consumption.
Read the full op-ed here.