Discover more from Following the Footprints
🌱 Trouble searching for solutions? Ubuntoo and GROUNDED are proving it's possible.
Featuring GROUNDED, Converse, Burt's Bees and more...
This week we cover:
How Ubuntoo can help you search for solutions, and support innovations.
GROUNDED are doing ‘down to earth’ just right.
In case you missed it: 🌱 What about your workers? Pact Coffee prioritise their farmers, so here are 6 certifications to help you do the same.
Big News! Loved our MEASURE database? Just wait until you see our MITIGATE one! Designed to help every brand find the partners they need to reduce their emissions - we’re doing an open call for submissions before launch. Click here.
> Good News Last Week
🎯 Wild Cosmetics announced they’ve raised £5 million from existing investors, led by JamJar Investments.
🎯 Animal-free dairy company Change Foods has raised $12 million in a seed extension round. The US based brand harnesses the power of microbes to create real dairy proteins, fats, and flavors through precision fermentation. Traditional cheesemaking techniques are then used.
⭐️ Driscoll’s joined the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, and took the ‘Berry Sustainable’ joint pledge. They’ve committed to 100% recycle-ready packaging by 2025, with their packaging already including 50% recycled PET (sourced primarily from recycled plastic bottles). They aim to increase circularity within their own supply chain by substituting it with 25% post-consumer resin (PCR) from used products by 2025.
⭐️ Next Gen Foods has raised $100 million in a funding round which it claims marks “the largest Series A to date for a plant-based meat company”.
⭐️ Coca-Cola Company is aiming for at least 25% of all beverages across its portfolio of brands to be sold in refillable or returnable glass or plastic bottles, or refillable containers through a fountain or Coca-Cola dispensers by 2030. Platforms like Packaging Europe are commenting on how this is a ‘landmark packaging pledge’ and an industry leading target.
⚡️Surfers Against Sewage launched their Million Mile Clean 2022, aiming to mobilise 100,000 volunteers across the UK to each clean 10 miles of blue, green and city space. Their lead partner is Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation, and they’re supported by brands like O’Neills Wetsuits. You can register yourself, or learn more about how your business can get involved, here.
> Click on each link to read more.
> Quick Take
Ubuntoo: helping you search for solutions.
Ever had a problem or a challenge that is so specific that starting to look for a solution itself seems next to impossible?
Ever had a great idea that could have a positive impact, but you can’t compete for funding or raise awareness when up against the big names in the sector?
We’ve found a solution: Ubuntoo.
Ubuntoo is a global environmental solutions platform promoting sustainable economic growth. It was founded with the realisation that more and more companies are making bold sustainability commitments, but find it hard to feasibly convert intent into action. Whilst brands can find solutions for sector wide problems, if they know where to look, if brands are keep to explore a niche topic (or want to be the ‘first of their kind’) then getting there can be close to impossible.
At the same time, the growing drive for improvements and innovation has meant that there is now an unprecedented volume of ‘ecopreneurs’ solving these challenges. However, these solutions often struggle to be commercialised because they lack access to the scale and resources of larger corporations.
Ubuntoo hosts the world's largest AI-enabled and expert curated database of environmental solutions. Founded in 2018, and based in the US, Ubuntoo is a cost effective platform - free to search, free to promote your solutions, free to succeed - that breaks down the financial barriers that innovators and businesses often face. It also acts as a community platform with over 35,000 innovators, academicians, scientists, and corporate professionals from over 150 countries in the areas of plastics, packaging, food, and fashion.
Interested? It gets better - you don’t even need to know the solution you want when you search. Through AI and human expertise, the platform offers an additional paid option to find the solutions for you. On top of that, it acts as “white label” platform to coalitions and funds - check out the Safe Seaweed Coalition as an example.
Which brands have used Ubuntoo?
Some of our favourite success stories from the platform include Converse’s attempt to make a trainer that is truly sustainable, from cradle-to-cradle using non-finite resources (a perfect circular economy model). Mondelez found a commercially viable recycling solution for the multi-layered plastic waste of their products. Oh, and Burts Bees have used Ubuntoo to help them create plastic free lip balm packaging.
The solution can be simple, if you know where to search for it.
> Brand Spotlight
GROUNDED are doing ‘down to earth’ just right.
GROUNDED’s USP is power through minimalism. Launched in West London in 2020, these plant-based, all natural and zero-additive protein shakes are already gracing the shelves of Ocado, Selfridges and even Virgin Active gyms across the country. The secret to GROUNDED’s success is nothing… groundbreaking - yet this is a fantastic lesson for all consumer goods brands. Sometimes less is more.
GROUNDED do two things particularly well - natural ingredients, sustainable packaging.
“It's very simple, if it's not 'from the ground,' it ain't going in!”
This perfect line of copy from GROUNDED website epitomises the foundations of their brand identity. Arguably, it’s the first ‘thing’ that GROUNDED are getting oh-so-right. This ‘down-to-earth’ (if you will) identity is infused through all aspects of their business: basic ingredients, sold in paper packaging, marketed through no-nonsense quips. Their ingredients, all proudly ‘pronounceable’, are earthy, and so too is their language: “We make Protein Shakes without the crap”. With the plant-based food and drinks market becoming infamous for it’s highly processed products, veiled in pseudo-scientific language, simplicity itself stands out. GROUNDED saw this and capitalised on it. Simple as.
What else? Let’s take a closer look at their packaging. GROUNDED’s founder, Gabriel Bean, spent 6 months looking for packaging that ‘aligned with their values’. Their innovative recyclable carton results from their partnership with Swiss packaging technologists SIG, known for their forward-thinking collaborations with FMCG brands (check out the results here). GROUNDED even found support via SIG’s SIGCUBATOR - an ‘accelerator program for start-ups with innovative and promising product concepts’. The result? Their packaging is 100% recyclable and made from 75% FSC paperboard.
This collaborative ethos is at the root of GROUNDED’s impressive growth. The brand, along with The Mighty Pea and One Planet Pizza, is part of a community of vegan start-ups funded by Veg Capital. With the pioneers behind Veganuary supporting them, it’s no wonder these brands have become supermarket favourites. GROUNDED invested the time to find like-minded partners perfectly compatible with their goals. For example, they’ve partnered with Ecologi to become a carbon neutral team. Through this approach they’ve been able to leverage the expertise and connections of others. This is more radical than it seems, but it’s something your brand can follow.
Follow up with:
Looking for sustainable packaging partners? Check out SIG
Plant based start-up? See if Veg Capital are the right partners for you
Why collaborate? Here’s our take on Radical Collaboration
COMING SOON - We’re developing our MITIGATE database to help forward-thinking businesses find the partners for them. Are you a brand, or partner, that can help us out? Anonymously submit here.
Support GROUNDED via their shop:
> In case you missed it
🌱 What about your workers? Pact Coffee prioritise their farmers, so here are 6 certifications to help you do the same.
Featuring Brewgooder, Nopla, Minor Figures and more...
> Follow up with…