🌱 How Fluus are pioneering Flushtec® technology, and your guide to the Sustainable Marketing Compass.
Featuring Fluus, Great Wrap, The Plant Based Seafood Company and more...
This week we cover:
Quick Take: Aligning your business with the Sustainable Marketing Compass
Brand Spotlight: Fluus: Products that are gone in a flush, with an impact that lasts a lifetime.
In case you missed it: Behind the B Corp: Words of advice from 3 B Corp Project Managers, by Laura Matz, Lead B Corp Consultant at Greenheart Consulting.
We’re growing the Following the Footprints team! If you’re passionate about consumer goods and sustainability, and have a few hours a month to volunteer, we’d love to hear from you. Learn more here.
> Good News Last Week
🎯 Great Wrap announced its launch of the world's first 100% Compostable Pallet Wrap made from food waste! They also have compostable cling wrap for your homes that break down in 180 days without ANY microplastics. This milestone is one step closer to their mission of removing the 150 000 tonnes of plastic wrap that reaches Australian landfills annually.
🎯 GOOD Meat received FDA clearance for their cultivated (lab-grown) chicken meat alternative, recognising that the cultivated product is safe for consumption. GOOD Meat becomes the second company, after Upside Foods, to achieve this milestone. The next step includes final approvals from the U.S Department of Agriculture before the products can be sold to US consumers.
🎯 The Plant Based Seafood Company have announced their collaboration with the Coral Restoration Foundation, supporting coral restoration projects around the world by donating 1% of their profits!
🎯 Little Dish announced they’re launching their latest range of kids meals in packaging made from 85% wood fiber. This material is easier to recycle at home than baby food pouches which require specific collection points.
⭐️ Allbirds announced the first Zero Carbon shoe achieved without any offsetting! What’s more? They’re making their toolkit open-source so that other brands can follow their lead and achieve more together. Stay tuned for their launch date!
⚡️ The British Fashion Council announced it has developed a 10-point strategy to reduce returns and boost a circular fashion model. The suggested strategy includes technological changes (e.g., process automation and size advice), industry standards to set return policies, cultivating consumer awareness, and governmental support through pro-circularity policies.
> Click on each link to read more.
> Quick Take
Aligning your business with the Sustainable Marketing Compass.
Purpose-led consumers now make up the largest segment of the global consumer base, and as such, purpose-led businesses are thriving. In 2019, Unilever reported that its purpose-led brands were growing 69% faster than the rest of the business, and B-Corp companies are growing 28% faster than the UK economy year-on-year.
In the new landscape of commitment-based capitalism, it’s vital that brands’ marketing aligns with customer values - and celebrates all the good behind the scenes. Enter The Sustainable Marketing Compass.
The compass was founded by marketing consultants, Alexis Eyre and Paul Randle, with a clear purpose: to leverage marketing’s potential as a “powerful catalyst for positive change”. By embedding sustainability at the heart of marketing, the team, alongside Sustaineers, have created a strategic framework to help businesses align themselves with recognised sustainability frameworks. This helps them to translate their purpose into genuinely impactful marketing campaigns through four steps.
The compass puts the UN Sustainable Development Goals at the centre of the strategy, with the intention to redefine the concept of commercial ‘success’ to the achievement of social and environmental goals (sound familiar? Check out our piece on Beau’s Gelato and the new ‘triple bottom line’).
Given that nearly half of UK customers think companies are obliged to tackle societal problems, there’s every reason to be confident that the intrinsic moral benefits of SDG alignment translate into benefits for your business too. Even then, despite the fact that 83% of companies support the SDG’s, they rarely feature in key marketing messages. However, Tony’s Chocolonely and Mindful Chef are breaking that mould, and it’s paying off.
To achieve the SDG’s successfully, the compass takes four pillars of traditional marketing principles and revamps them, fit for purpose-led business.
Success is no longer solely reliant on revenue generated from marketing, but the ‘orchestrator of controlled performance across the pillars of sustainability’.
Value is no longer synonymous with financial value for shareholders but shared value in the good it provides to broader society and environment.
People deliberately moves away from the generic AI-researched ‘customer’, and focus on understanding your actual human customer base.
Efficiency & Governance means moving beyond implicit acceptance of the adage ‘half the money spent on advertising is wasted’. By putting effort into governance, businesses can reduce waste and have a fairer, more successful strategy as a result.
By staying true to purpose, businesses can be sure to never lose sight of their brand identity. This pillar aims to keep businesses on track through:
Partnerships - to understand and deliver benefits to customer, business and society.
Active Participation - to consciously move away from ‘autopilot’ marketing, allowing them to flexibly adapt to circumstances.
Performance Tracking - to ascertain ‘success’ in this purpose-led approach.
Data models & Testing
The final and outer ring points brands towards accurate data as a way of maintaining performance and transparency. Testing is used not just to optimise commercial success but to validate that a proposition is truly beneficial to all stakeholders, as well as scalable and sustainable in itself.
Interested? Why not try out the Sustainable Marketing Compass’ Accelerator Programme!
Like this newsletter? Subscribe for more!
> Brand Spotlight
Fluus: Products that are gone in a flush, with an impact that lasts a lifetime.
It’s estimated that women use over 11,000 disposable menstrual products in their lifetime. With almost 2 billion menstrual items flushed down UK toilets annually (most of which are up to 90% plastic), these products can take up to 1000 years to decompose in landfill, with similar longevity found for those ocean-bound pads. And it’s far from an out of sight out of mind problem; the Marine Conservation Society discovered that an average of ‘4.8 pieces of menstrual waste are found per 100 metres of beach cleaned’ - making them a key villain in our current plastic epidemic.
An uncomfortable reality and at first glance the options don’t seem plentiful - do we encourage widespread behaviour change? Do we petition for better product innovation? Or lobby waste companies? Or, with 30% of period products being flushed, do we make them more flushable?
In 2016, Dr Olivia Ahn and Aaron Koshy decided to tackle the problem - creating first Fluus prototypes. In 2018 they moved to their first production site, manually making their products. 2019 saw applications for their first large scale test top 2,500 sign ups in just a few hours. That same year, their pads were certified as flushable (more on that later).
Now, in 2023, they’re finally ready to launch, and we couldn’t be more excited.
What’s the composition of a Fluus pad? What makes it different?
Let’s take a look, layer by layer…
Using naturally derived adhesive means Fluus’ pads have a shelf life of 6 months before the wings and base start to become less sticky. Unusual at first glance, perhaps, but strangely comforting too. Fluus’ products are used in such close proximity with female bodies, it makes us question why anything that isn’t naturally derived has been so mainstream, for so long.
Can they actually be flushed?
Flushtec® technology is one of the secrets’ behind Fluus’ growing popularity. How can they both be 15% more absorbent than market leading alternatives (according to them), and also be flushable? It all comes down to volume and movement - the flush of your toilet has 100x more liquid than the average period, and the motion of the water pulls the layers of the pad apart as it moves through your pipes. Not convinced? They have proof in the form of a WIS 4-02-06 certificate, and this video to demonstrate!
Making innovative pads hasn’t come at the expense of the environment.
Six hours after being flushed, over 80% of the pad will have dissolved or broken down into tiny plant fibres. When the pad reaches the water treatment centre, the fibres are small enough to safely pass through the screens - meaning your pads go straight to be treated and regenerated into biogas and fertiliser. That’s not all - Fluus pads are also microplastic free, non-toxic, 50% lower in CO2e emissions than market leaders and zero waste.
So what can other businesses learn from Fluus? First up, they’re making a product that requires no behaviour change at all, making products that are already flushed more flushable. After that, they’re executing well - lower carbon footprint, high percentage of natural materials, innovative technology to ensure environmental impact is low.
Most period waste will exist for hundreds of years after use, Fluus’ pads are gone in a flush. That’s an idea we can get behind.
Take a closer look at Fluus:
> In case you missed it
Behind the B Corp: Words of advice from 3 B Corp Project Managers
by Laura Matz, Lead B Corp Consultant at Greenheart Consulting.
> Follow up with…
Resource Collection: Carbon Solutions Hub