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  • Estrid Razors: Are They Worth the Hype?

    The health and beauty industry has a significant impact on the environment. According to Zero Waste, 120 billion units of health and beauty packaging are produced every year. However, although a large proportion of this packaging is recyclable, most are thrown away for convenience. Research carried out by Garnier found that over 56% of Brits don’t recycle bathroom products due to the inconvenience. This is where brands such as Estrid come in. Estrid is a Scandinavian razor brand. The brand creates razors which are good for the planet, wallet and body with the packaging being 100% recyclable. With a 4.5 star rating from the IndyBest Buys 2023, the Independent rates Estird as the best overall razor. The razor is made from steel to withstand many years of use. This means customers are less likely to re-buy plastic razors, minimising waste. All that is swapped out is the razor head, further minimising the use of plastic. The brand creates razors which are good for the planet, wallet and body with the packaging being 100% recyclable. However, the razor heads cannot be recycled yet. This is because they’re a mix of plastic, metal and rubber. The individual metal blades can be recycled, melted down and used again. Estrid states that they’re looking at recycling opportunities but that some legal obstacles are in place for the entire category. Another issue that could occur with subscription schemes such as Estrid’s is under-use and over-consumption, with too many razor heads being delivered. Whilst this could prove a problem, Estrid allows you to personalise your subscription to align with your use, or cancel the subscription and buy when you need. I ordered the starter pack from the website which cost me £7.95, along with a free gift of the travel case which is usually £5.95. Whilst more expensive than a standard plastic razor, if the product really does last then it would be a great investment. I have started on a three-month subscription with four razor blades arriving every three months for £9.95 but you can personalise to every second or fourth month along with the option of buying the replacement blades as and when you need them. The razor arrived in a pastel pink cardboard box with words of inclusivity and encouragement on each side. The razor itself feels weighty and durable and gives a smooth and gentle shave. The lubricating strip to the head of the razor is vegan-friendly and made the razor glide over tricky ankles and knees. The aesthetic and minimalist razor is reminiscent of the simple beauty of Scandinavian design, reminding me of the sleekness of Chilly’s bottles, or the simplicity of Glossier branding. The brand is expertly tapping into Instagram/TikTok influencer culture with its inclusivity and design. The ice cream pastel shades make the razor a statement, something you want to last which aligns with their influencer marketing strategy and overall inclusive vibe. Overall, I think this brand is paving the way for needed changes within the health and beauty industry. The constant re-buying of products which are unrecyclable or come in excessive packaging and are thrown away after a few uses needs to be challenged and changed. Additionally to this, the brand’s design, inclusivity and success of the product itself make it a worthy investment. With their referral code, you can give up to eight friends 70% off the Starter Kit and you’ll receive free razor blades. This is another great incentive to get people to be more sustainable and talk about the impact of the health and beauty industry on the environment. A real win, win!

  • Featured: Climate Culture

    “We're just a group of creatives and curators and connectors from all across the world. And honestly, we just care about our planet. And so we just want to, you know, slowly, slowly step by step to help protect.” Climate Culture is an organisation aiming to promote a culture that is diverse, interconnected, regenerative, collaborative and circular. They are a collective of artists, curators, and connectors who utilise events, digital experiences, material, and films to motivate people to take action on climate change. Its multidisciplinary approach offers a systemic, and practical impact storytelling. Isabella Martin, relationship director and co-founder of Climate Culture, was drawn into the organisation after meeting the other two co-founders at a climate leadership training. She began talking to them and found herself wanting to help. “I loved the idea of communicating the climate crisis through film, and so I wanted to help out. I started helping out and then eventually that led to me jumping on board for them as a relationship director, which means raising money and sort of creating partnerships, but also just general stuff for the Film Festival,” Isabella says noting it has been three years since her journey with Climate Culture. And in those years changes have been seen in the organisation, from expanding film festivals to rebranding the entire organisation. The origination was originally called Climate Crises, created in a time the time where the language surrounding climate change was around the crises aspect of climate change. Now the language has changed and the organisation has rebranded to change with it, now being called Climate Culture. “Last year we decided to rebrand to climate culture. And we rebranded because we realised that when Susanna and Simon started the first Film Festival, in 2019, the language around climate was very much still on the climate crisis so trying to educate people as to the crisis before us. But we know that the climate movement has moved on a lot since then. And it's become more mainstream. So last year we decided that the language climate crisis, we didn't believe in that language anymore because we see that this sort of doom and gloom the world is ending, sort of narrative doesn't motivate people, and we're seeing a lot of cognitive dissonance. So we decided, as the climate movement had moved on to being more solutions and action-oriented, we wanted to also move on. And so we decided to found this creative agency, which we call a creative agency for the planet and it is centred around climate action and we do that through events. For example, for corporate film nights, we do programs for other film festivals. We do what we call digital experiences, so we can also design and develop websites. We develop content, we do some exhibitions. And we do all of this because we believe in this notion of storytelling, and so all of our storytelling is very human-centred.” Human-centred stories around climate change have the power to communicate the issue on hand on a more emotional level. Climate change is a complex and often abstract issue. Human-centred films help to personalise the impacts of climate change by focusing on individual stories, struggles, and emotions. This emotional connection can resonate deeply with audiences and motivate them to care more about the issue. “What we believe is that humans are motivated by other human stories, the way to communicate to someone the impact of certain events, or the way to show people what it's like in certain parts of the world we've founded by having a lot of our films have central protagonists and it makes it easier for people to try to, I guess, empathise, or try to try to realise what it's actually like in different countries in the world, or what the situation is actually like on the ground,” Isabella states seeing the power in empathy. Personal stories have a way of capturing people's attention and evoking empathy. When viewers can relate to the experiences of individuals affected by climate change, they are more likely to understand the urgency of the issue. Isabella thinks that the power of human stories can make the idea of climate change easier to understand. “I think when we're at home we're just seeing news headlines and it's wildfires here and floods there. It's very easy to just kind of put that in a box of Ohh that's just something happening over there, but actually it is happening to humans and so it is happening to your fellow human. And because we believe that essentially, underneath it all, we're all connected we found that people resonate more with human stories and it makes people more, we believe our sort of theory of change is that makes people more motivated to act on climate. And you can see this, I mean, I mean, climate psychologists are saying this a lot lately, which is that until something happens to you or your family or in your country, it's very hard for people to conceptualise what the climate crisis even means.” Human-centred films can educate the public about the various dimensions of climate change, including its social, economic, and health impacts. These films can provide insights into how communities and individuals are already being affected, making the issue more tangible and understandable. This learning aspect is something that Climate Culture has wanted to expand on. “In the last edition, we added action packs because what we saw was that we're getting this feedback from people that, OK, so they watched the films and they felt moved to act. But then what do I do now? There was a total disconnect between knowing about the problem and acting on it. So what we've tried to do is we try to close that gap. And that's why for all of our film nights or bespoke film festivals, we always provide action packs now. We just did one for a corporate client. The theme was radical imagination. So then we made an action pack all centred on radical imagination. So that's learning and we provide links to learn more about it, the ways you can support different organisations working in the space. And sort of things that you can do with your community. So we always try to do that now because films are motivating, but there's no use providing a film when no one knows what to do after.” They take it a step further by providing a climate directory. The aim is to connect people with organisations that align with their interests and values, particularly at the intersection of different topics. This approach acknowledges the interconnectedness of various social and environmental issues and provides a space for individuals to find and support organisations that address multiple aspects of their concerns. “We have this directory on our website where you can pick what you're interested in. We try to put together a place where you could potentially go search for that. And then find an organisation that represents both those things. So for example, if you're interested in indigenous rights. So you say I'm passionate about indigenous rights and indigenous learning. Ohh, and I also care about the climate. OK, cool, there is an organisation that meets both my interests.” The people behind Climate Culture are passionate about the planet and committed to making a positive impact reflecting a solution-driven approach to addressing climate change. By fostering connections and facilitating engagement, they are working towards protecting the planet through collective efforts and gradual change. Climate culture offers a variety of routes for people to take if they have an interest in climate change. From watching films to understand what climate change is doing to different parts of the world to action packs to know how one can help and a directory connecting people with hundreds of organisations all focusing on climate change.

  • The Rise of Veganomics: Unveiling the Potential for Sustainable Growth and ESG Investments

    Let's start by understanding the driving forces behind the rise of plant-based diets. Environmental consciousness, animal welfare concerns, and personal health benefits have all contributed to this dietary shift. Did you know that plant-based diets have a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to animal-based diets? It's true! By embracing plant-based lifestyles, individuals are reducing their impact on the environment while improving their well-being. Did you know that according to a study published in the journal Nature, if everyone adopted a plant-based diet, global greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by up to 70% by 2050? This staggering statistic demonstrates the massive environmental influence of embracing plant-based lifestyles. Imagine a world where oceans thrive with marine life, unharmed by commercial fishing. This vision became a reality when the plant-based seafood company, Ocean's Bounty, introduced its innovative line of fish substitutes. Not only are these products indistinguishable from their fish counterparts in taste and texture, but they also eradicate the environmental harm caused by overfishing and bycatch. Let's continue our exploration of Veganomics and discover the investment potential that lies within the plant-based food industry. The Plant-Based Food Industry sector is experiencing rapid growth, offering enticing prospects for sustainable-minded investors. From plant-based meat alternatives that taste quite like the real thing to dairy-free cheeses and vegan egg substitutes, the variety of products available to consumers is astounding. This rapidly growing market shows a range of possibilities for sustainable-minded investors. Let's uncover the market expansion projections and success stories that present the financial potential within this industry. According to a report by market research firm Grand View Research, the global vegan food market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6% between 2022 and 2030. By 2030, the market is estimated to reach a value of $37.45 billion. This strong growth trajectory showcases the increasing consumer demand for plant-based alternatives and sets the stage for promising investment opportunities. One of the key drivers behind the growth of the plant-based food industry is the development of innovative products that capture the attention and taste buds of consumers. Companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have pioneered plant-based meat alternatives that closely mimic the taste and texture of traditional meat. These products have gained significant market traction, attracting not only consumers but also investors who recognize the potential for disruption in the food industry. Well-established food brands are also recognizing the value of the plant-based trend and expanding their product lines accordingly. Companies like Nestlé, Tyson Foods, and Unilever have made strategic acquisitions and partnerships to tap into the growing demand for plant-based options. This shows that the plant-based food industry is not limited to startups but offers opportunities for established brands to diversify and adapt to changing consumer preferences. Beyond Meat is a prime example of a plant-based company that has gained widespread recognition and success. Their plant-based meat alternatives have garnered engagement for their realistic taste and texture, appealing to both vegans and meat-eaters. Since going public, Beyond Meat has experienced significant growth, expanding its product range and securing partnerships with major food retailers and restaurants. This success demonstrates the market demand for plant-based options and the financial potential of investing in such companies. Ethan Brown, the President and CEO of Beyond Meat transitioned from a career in alternative energy to focus on creating a better food option. Their products offer the same nutritional value as their animal-based counterparts. By utilizing plant-based ingredients like peas, mung beans, and brown rice, they craft healthier, environmentally friendly, and ethical alternatives. After obtaining the Non-GMO Verification in 2018, they went public in 2019, raising roughly $1.5 billion in their IPO. Since then, Beyond Meat has extended its presence in the food industry, securing partnerships with major vendors like Walmart and undergoing improved demand amid the pandemic. Beyond Meat's sensation can also be attributed to its capability to attract investment. Through 13 funding rounds, the company has raised over $120 million from investors such as Sand Hill Angels and Future Positive, maintaining their position and delivering worthwhile guidance for their ongoing mission. Furthermore, their strategic partnerships with eateries and retailers have played a vital role in growing their reach and visibility. Its products are now sold in 17,000 grocery stores and 12,000 eateries and have been able to attract the attention of top venture firms, as well as high-profile backers like Bill Gates and Leonardo DiCaprio. The remarkable journey of Beyond Meat serves as an inspiring success story for entrepreneurs and sustainability enthusiasts alike. With its impressive investor network, strong market presence, and commitment to creating sustainable alternatives, the company continues to pave the way for a more sustainable and ethical food industry. Investing in the plant-based food industry not only offers financial opportunities but also aligns with ESG principles. By supporting companies that promote environmental sustainability, animal welfare, and transparent governance, investors contribute to positive change. The plant-based food industry presents a unique opportunity to invest in companies that are at the forefront of creating a more sustainable and ethical future. Whether you're an entrepreneur, investor, or simply someone interested in the future of food, Veganomics presents exciting opportunities for both financial success and a positive impact on the environment and society.

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