As the focus finally falls on sustainability in our disposable culture, many startups are waking up to the demand for
We’ve finally woken up to our impact on our fragile planet and we’re increasingly demanding products that align their own eco credentials with our own.
From our clothes or our food, to our choice of electronics, these startups make products that minimise their impact on their environment and offer a more sustainable option for the conscientious consumer.
The disposable fashion culture has spawned a monster, with around 15 million tons of textiles and clothing discarded in 2013. And of course, that amount has only grown since then.
Spanish brand TwoThirds are aiming to make their entire supply chain zero waste and currently already use organic cotton, recycled polyester and other eco-friendly and organic materials.
They also make all their clothes in Europe, minimising the effect from their supply chain, they use organic dyes and avoid using harmful chemicals throughout the production process including aiming to recycle the water used.
With the world’s biggest shoe brands mostly producing their footwear in developing countries, many people are aware of the fact that their shoes probably came from a sweatshop.
Baabuk is a manufacturer of wool shoes, which is already a material with eco credentials, who produce their shoes either in Europe or in well supported communities in Nepal.
They also only source wool that is mulesing free, a cruel practice that involves cutting the sheep’s skin to create more wool. So not only are their wool shoes biodegradable, sustainably sourced and
The fact that disposable electronics are even a thing just highlights how critically the world needs a company like Fairphone. This Dutch company aims to change the disposable tech culture, encouraging us to upgrade parts of our phone rather than the whole unit.
The modular phone makes it easy to replace faulty or outdated parts, uses responsibly sourced or recycled metals and minerals and encourages people to recycle their old phone by sending it to Fairphone for a discount off their own model. Outdated parts can be sent back them for recycling – so next time your phone is up for renewal, consider this great eco friendly alternative.
Although they’re not really a startup, Patagonia
Although by their own admission they’re not 100% there yet; Patagonia
In fact Patagonia’s approach to sustainability has created a bit of a knock on effect with a lot of the big brands with many now scrambling to up their eco-credentials. And for that they surely deserve a nod.
5. Impossible Foods
You might have heard the hype about the veggie burger that bleeds, and whatever you think about that at least someone is doing their best to give the world a real alternative to meat. Although many people aim to avoid processed food, Impossible Foods might be giving them something to chew on, especially as veganism has gone mainstream.
The Californian startup has been backed by the likes of Bill Gates and a whole host of celebrities, which has perhaps upped its profile even more. Their thing is growing a plant based meat substitute which tastes and looks exactly like meat, but without the huge resources of raising an animal for slaughter. Is the future Impossible? It just might be…
Chances are if you’re reading this that you’re one of the lucky ones who access to electricity pretty much on tap. It’s something that many of us take for granted. But what of the 4 billion people worldwide who live at the bottom of the world’s socio-economic pyramid? 1.5 billion of whom have no constant access to electricity…
SolarKiosk are a Berlin based startup aiming to scale up the accessibility to cheap and sustainable power through their solar technology, based around hubs. These kiosks generate power through solar panels and offer the surrounding community access to essentials such as refrigeration, the internet, water purification and medicine.
The aim of SolarKiosk is to give back the power (so to speak) to the world’s poorest and enable them to improve their lives. And by using clean energy they hope to reduce the developing world’s dependence on diesel generators and disposable batteries – so the world’s poorest can have the luxury of reducing their carbon footprints too.
7. Food Waste Recycling
OK, this one isn’t a company per se, but a whole industry that is springing up around our global capacity for wasting food. From apps like Olio, Too Good To Go, Food Cowboy and Feedie which all aim to prevent food waste by allowing consumers to pick it up for cheap or free; to the growing sector of companies aiming to help manufacturers and food producers minimise their food wastage.
For example Spoiler Alert, which helps companies keep track of food in their inventory that is about to go out of date. Or Vital Fields which helps farmers manage their crops more effectively. Both of these companies are just the tip of the iceberg of this new eco focused tech trend aiming to minimise the 1.3 billion tons of food that are wasted every year.
It’s technology like this that makes the internet’s success stories. And perhaps this industry can work to reduce the amount of starving mouths, minimise our absurd food wastage and finally end world hunger.