"Red Carpet Green Dress" Drives Fashion Industry Toward C2C Design

Friday, October 12, 2012 10:38

[Reposted from c2ccertified.org]

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There is no doubt of the media and entertainment industry’s impact on fashion. The designs worn onscreen and in real life by leading personalities can inspire the choices of millions. One of the best examples in recent pop culture is in

the film The Devil Wears Prada. Meryl Streep’s character, Miranda Priestly, reminded us of the impact of leaders in the fashion industry, stating that the exact color of our lumpy blue sweaters is directly influenced by the pantone choices of the couture fashion houses in previous seasons.

With design, it is often the most aspirational creativity that drives the look of our cellphones or the color of our socks. Today, consumers are increasingly aware of the “story” of their fashion – wearing clothing that reflects a personal belief or philosophy about where fabrics come from and how people and the planet are affected along the supply chain.

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute believes that consumers have a choice in the health, safety and social responsibility of the clothing they wear. The problem today is that very few affordable choices exist in “eco-fashion” and consumers are not well informed about what exactly “eco-fashion” means. In fact, many consumers may avoid engaging in sustainable fashion purchasing decisions because the landscape has been too complicated for self-education.

As the Institute moves forward with implementation of the new public version of the Cradle to Cradle certification standard, our mission is to build capacity for certifying products and to drive the demand. This will happen when leading designers demand it, large retailers make a commitment to continuous improvement of their products, AND when consumers ask for those kinds of products.

One way in which the Institute plans to change the fashion industry is by partnering with Suzy Amis Cameron and the Red Carpet Green Dress design contest, which places a “sustainable gown” on an actress who walks the red carpet for the 85th Annual Academy Awards on February 24, 2013.

Last year, actress Missi Pyle, whose film The Artist won the Oscar for Best Picture, wore the winning design. The dress was made with many materials that reflect a lower impact on our planet and human health. This year, our goal is to have the winning design be a Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM dress. It isn’t enough to say that a product is sustainable. We need to specify what we mean by “sustainable.” Cradle to Cradle product certification achieves this goal by providing a continuous improvement, multi-attribute standard. Now consumers will have a more transparent view into the material health, material reutilization, energy consumption, water stewardship, and social fairness imbedded in the product’s manufacturing process.

Our team is actively seeking sustainable textile companies who develop materials that embrace Cradle to Cradle design principles (learn more here) and also are beautiful and appropriate for a red carpet gown. The end result will be newly certified materials for use in viagra sale apparel design and an increase in demand for more certified materials.

2013 entries are due November 5, 2012.
Get full contest details at redcarpetgreendress.com

Stay tuned over the coming months as our teams share more information about the companies coming onboard with preferred materials to contribute to our finished Cradle to Cradle Certified dress. And if you or your company is interested in certification, textiles or other information, please contact me at lewis@c2ccertified.org.

Missi Pyle photo courtesy of AMPAS.

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Talk at Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) on Global Sustainable Design & Marketing

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 9:16

FIT Global Sustainable Design & Marketing Guest Lecture

Guest Lecturer at FITShare on Facebook

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Backhausen Leads the Way with Cradle to Cradle Certified Textiles

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 11:00

By Lewis Perkins, Sep 11, 2012

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Today, many apparel brands are joining the sustainable metrics journey. When companies such as Walmart ask their suppliers to provide them with detailed accounting of the environmental impact of their products, we know the world is changing. But Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) thinking captures only one part of the picture. We also need to look closely at how the product was designed in the first place and whether the design will allow a product’s materials to be reused. As the Institute’s certified products program envisions, there will be no waste in the new economy, only nutrients for continued value to nature or industry – polymers to polymers, metals to metals, and safe biodegradables back to soil.

This proposal becomes more of a challenge when we looks at textiles and apparel, as many fiber types are not easily reclaimed. At best, they are down-cycled or composted. At worst, many fabrics are complex blends of fibers that can’t be easily separated on the backend. Institute co-founders McDonough and Braungart called these fabrics “monstrous hybrids.”

My personal background with the apparel industry goes back more than a decade when I worked with Argentine fashion designers to export products to the U.S. and Europe. My partner and I toured the United States, schlepping samples to Coterie, Designers & Agent, and various apparel marts. The sustainable fashion conversation was only just beginning. Ten years ago, all the average consumer heard was a small murmur from a few “hippy” brands. And I was only beginning to scratch the surface of what sustainable textiles would mean in my work. While I had consulted an organic cotton t-shirt company, I did not truly begin my deep-dive into this field until I joined Mohawk Industries as their Director of Sustainable Strategies for the commercial division in 2007. Even then, my knowledge of the development, recyclability and reuse of fibers in the textile world was limited to nylons and polyesters. That is until now – with my new role as a sector specialist for textiles and apparel with the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

With passion for the subject and suitcase in hand, I travelled to Europe earlier this month to assist the Institute in opening our European office. This tour gave me the opportunity to meet with several leaders in the world of innovative textiles and fibers. One such company is Backhausen, a 200 year-old weaver based in Austria. The company is still owned and run by the Backhausen family and, in fact, their Vienna showroom boasts a wonderful collection of textiles from generations past. This museum includes design sketches, iconic textile examples, photographs of their products in historic settings, and the biographies of the many world-class artists and designers who have partnered with the company over the years.

What is truly innovate about this company is their continued dedication to leadership in product design, right down to the performance of the fabrics in this new age of quality-awareness and solution-based thinking. In 2008, their president, Reinhard Backhausen, led the company into their next era of innovation by working with Cradle to Cradle® principles to develop a new textile line called Returnity. This latest innovation is the world’s first environmentally friendly produced and 100% recyclable fabric using Trevira CS, a textile fiber based on the Cradle to Cradle® principles. At the end of a long use phase, the fabric is taken back to be infinitely resourceful in new products. Because Trevira CS has been assessed for its impact on human and environmental health with strategies for continued optimization in place, it has achieved the Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM Silver Mark.

Keep in mind that today Backhausen produces fabrics and textiles for commercial, hospitality, and home applications. And while these fabrics are suitable for use in clothing, so far this has only been done occasionally to demonstrate and inspire designers. For this reason, we are recommending that a sampling of appropriate Backhausen textiles be cheap canadian pharmacy included in the portfolio for the 2013 Red Carpet Green Dress design competition. This design competition is a high-profile opportunity for the Institute to convey the benefits of the Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM Products Program to apparel textile producers via a winning designed dress on the famed red carpet at the Academy Awards (stay tuned for a future story about the competition next month).

Bachhausen textiles will not be the only certified apparel textiles in our designers’ portfolio. We have been working with partners such as Source4Style to identify sustainable textile products and dyes that already embrace many of the concepts that comprise product certification. We are encouraging these fabric producers to seek Cradle to Cradle certification in order

to be included for this year. To learn more about these concepts, check out our website.

We can learn a great deal about the potential for truly sustainable apparel if we look to the commercial fabric/textile companies who have paved the way in working with single material fibers and creating programs for product take-back and material reuse. The carpet industry is a grand example of this leadership. The majority of commercial carpets being sold today have face fibers made from one synthetic material that can be reused. As many of us are aware, the “monstrous hybrids” we so often see, particularly in the outdoor and athletic apparel industries, are the major reasons why clothing can’t be easily recycled. Material innovation and new product design will solve this conundrum. This leaves me wondering how quickly we could advance the apparel industry if more companies would experiment with materials such as Trevira CS.

Those of us working in the design and material innovation movement often hear ourselves saying “don’t make perfect the enemy of good.” The Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Program inspires continuous improvement. We enthusiastically celebrate companies who begin the journey and aim high. So I encourage more apparel companies to begin their transition to safe, healthy, and infinitely resourceful products. Getting on the path begins today and I commend industry leaders like Reinhard Backhausen and his team for starting their journey nearly 5 years ago. I can’t wait to see what they innovate next. And I encourage any textile producer who wants to get their company started on its product certification journey to contact me today.

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Perkins to join leadership team of Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 11:28

Lewis Perkins has joined the Institute as Senior Vice President, Development, and Textiles and Apparel Specialist. Many of you will recognize Lewis from his work as director of sustainable strategies viagra generic canada with the Mohawk Group, as well as his consulting with numerous companies on creating programs and awareness for environmental and social initiatives. His passion for nonprofit work has put him in advisory or leadership roles with EarthShare of Georgia, the Green Chamber of the South, the Captain Planet Foundation, and Sustainable Life Media.

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The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute is a non-profit organization created to bring about a large scale transformation in the way we make

things. Our mission is to guide product manufacturers and designers in making safe and healthy things for our world.

The Institute, using the Cradle to Cradle® framework, works with leaders from academia, the NGO environmental community, government and industry to establish a rating system for assessing and constant improvement of products based upon five categories:

1. safe and appropriately sourced materials;
2. material reutilization;
3. renewable energy;
4. release of clean water; and
5. social fairness.

Products that meet the transparent criteria of this rating system will receive the Cradle to Cradle CM certification mark.

McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry has licensed the certification mark along with the Cradle to Cradle ® protocols to the Institute, which will be responsible for certifying products moving forward. Many companies representing multiple industries have already demonstrated the viability and benefits of designing products according to the Cradle to Cradle® framework, such as Herman Miller, Shaw Industries, Ford Motor Company and Aveda. To date, nearly 400 products and 90 companies have engaged in the Cradle to Cradle certified CM process.

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EarthShare of Georgia on BADTV – Episode 2: "EARTH DAY"

Thursday, April 19, 2012 8:02

What are you doing online prescription viagra to celebrate Earth Day? Today’s episode of EarthShare of Georgia on BAD TV is all about the special events during the week of Earth Day. Guest host Lewis discount propecia rx Perkins will talk to Jim Driscoll about how Kaiser Permanente supports healthy lifestyles and a healthy planet.

You’ll hear from Tami Willadsen from The Nature Conservancy, and their big Earth Day event “The Hoochie” that supports conservation in Georgia. We’ll also learn from Tammy Bates from the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper about how to clean up the Chattahoochee in a unique and fun way.

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Tweet this episode #EarthShareGABADTV and follow @EarthShareGA!

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Sustainability and the Digital Nomad

Monday, April 2, 2012 9:05

This exciting new partnership with iMeet and Mother Nature Network (MNN) will feature quarterly conversations with

leaders about corporate sustainability. Stay tuned for more exciting news on this lowest price for viagra front.

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EarthShare of Georgia on BADTV

Thursday, March 29, 2012 9:05

Check out the first episode of our EarthShare of Georgia series on BADTV – (Broadcast Atlanta Daily).   We talk with Celia Tully of Natural Body Spa & Shop, and EarthShare of Georgia member company, and Madeline Reamy, Executvie Director of EarthShare of Georgia, about the many benefits of being a partner to this FANTASTIC environmental organization.  This is the first of many episodes to follow.   (In fact we are filming the Second Show today at Chastain Park).

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WATCH IT HERE!

This video is the first episode in a monthly series that will focus on the great work EarthShare of Georgia is doing to make our state sustainable. Guest host Lewis Perkins will introduce you to Executive Director Madeline Reamy. She’ll tell you all about the ways EarthShare of Georgia supports local non-profits dedicated to keeping your air, land and water healthy.

You’ll also hear from Celia Tully of Natural Body Spa and Shop about their commitment to sustainability and why she encourages her employees buy pfizer viagra online to support EarthShare of Georgia.

Stay tuned for future videos where you’ll hear more about the big plans for this year’s Earth Day celebration and how you can get involved.

Tweet this episode #EarthShareGABADTV and follow @EarthShareGA!

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A Working Nomad – Reducing My Footprint Through Technology

Saturday, March 10, 2012 8:03

Consultants are known for being road warriors – hoping on a plane Monday morning for some new destination and returning home Thursday night (generally). We clock tens of thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of miles a year traveling to be with our clients. Oftentimes, the face to face meeting is the only way we get the job in the first place. It is true that people like doing business with people they like. However, even when working with clients or job prospecting in town, in the past I found myself logging a lot of miles and hours commuting across metro-Atlanta to meet colleagues for coffee. This means a 1 hour meeting might be a 3 hour venture by the time all is said and done.

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Trusting my relationships with business partners and trusting my belief in myself to do good work, over the past year I began to shift more and more meetings to online. Particularly for those preliminary “meet and greet” coffees or breakfasts where the point was to talk about what we do or how we might assist one another in business. For many of us, these meetings could take up all of our time. I love to mentor and be mentored. I enjoy meeting new people. I like to assist others in their career goals. But being able to prioritize face to face meetings is an important skill of the independent freelance consultant or entrepreneur.

This past year, I set aside my Prius, which already gets 45 miles to the gallon in town, for increasing the number of online meetings using technologies which would allow face time and voice – and even the ability to record the calls. I am not saving I have given up face to face meetings all together. Of course not. I spend lots of time in client offices and working along side partners. I attend professional meetings and networking opportunities (although I have greatly reduced those as well due to time and environmental savings objectives). One way I have been able to do this is about being more strategic and selective about where I do show up. Once worried that people would judge me for opting to not meet in real presence for meeting over online video conferencing – I soon realized that others were just as grateful to shift meeting styles and lower their environmental impact. Less fuel used and less pollutants released in the air of our city was a benefit in addition to the savings of hours a week I could dedicate to reading, running or yoga. I had reclaimed my life by using technology. And had lowered my carbon footprint. I slept better at night knowing that I was getting more done and taking care of myself in the process.

Now that’s what I call being sustainable! Taking care of the planet and myself at the same time. sale viagra Not to mention the cost savings that adds up from not driving and all those $2 coffees.

Catch me on the “Up in the Air” Panel at South By Southwest – Monday, March 12th // 10a-2p at SXSW

PGi and iMeet Give Next Gen Flair to Collaboration with #shiftSXSW

“Up in the Air”: On the Move with the Working Nomad

According to Forrester Research, 66% of information workers in the US and Europe already work remotely. Evernote CEO Phil Libin, PGi Digital Nomad Cora Rodenbusch and corporate green strategist Lewis Perkins discuss the implications of that trend and tools that have emerged as a result of this shift.

Featured panelists will share personal experiences, successes, failures, lessons learned and where they believe the future is heading. Attendees will

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participate in an open dialogue about working remotely, unconventional workspaces, business travel, and corporate sustainability.

During this decidedly unique experience, we will spark both conversation and creativity. We want to build collaborative relationships amongst peers and create a fun environment where we can share an elevated dialogue about the work we produce. We hope you will join us in Austin.

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THE SOUND OF SOCIAL CHANGE: Green Business at The Grammys

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 19:32

Beyond the initial excitement of attending official GRAMMY Week events, presented by The Recording Academy in Los Angeles this month, was the increasing promise of corporate involvement in sustainable business practices. This continued commitment on the part of business to build smarter, cleaner, more efficient business models was evidenced by thought leaders at the GRAMMY Green Summit on Friday, February 10 at L.A. Live. Many of you may remember reading last year’s article on the greening of the music industry Green Leadership at the GRAMMYs.

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This year’s Green Summit, titled “The Sound of Social Change” moved beyond the industry and expanded to conversation to several of The Recording Academy’s corporate partners and leaders in community engagement and communication. Again, Waste Management, an official sponsor of The GRAMMY Awards, stepped in to present this informative summit on the many ways businesses are going green. The panel participants were Bridgette Bell, Global Sustainability Manager for Yum! Brands, William Brent, EVP of Weber Shandwick’s Cleantech, Michael J. O’Brien, VP of Corporate and Product Planning at Hyundai, Jennifer DuBuisson, Assoc. Manager of Global Sustainability at Mattel, Tim Sexton, founding partner at Sexton Group and Greg Baldwin of the Environmental Media Association. Each company was able to dialogue about the ways in which their business and partners are incorporating a more long term business view when development products or services that meet the needs of an evolving consumer – be that a reduction of packaging waste with toys or a more fuel efficient automobile with Hyundai. For a review of that discussion on GRAMMY.com go here: It’s East Being Green.

Wanda Williams, Director of Alliances and Industry Relations at Waste Management introduced the panel and clearly articulated her company’s continued commitment to the greening of partnerships and their partner organizations. The company continues to be in a strong leadership position as the largest recycler in North America. For Waste Management, the ability to expand their vision of sustainability depends greatly on their corporate partners and alliances. It’s not unlike Walmart’s commitment to ensuring their sustained growth of it’s partners in reducing environmental impact, knowing that teir impact is reduced as their supply chain responds. For Waste Management, these alliances mean increasing their mission beyond waste collection and growing the business of single stream organics, waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy with their facilities across the USA, China and Europe. As they state, “being

on the back end of waste collection means that Waste Management is the deciding factor in where every piece of it’s customers waste stream goes, what life it will have and what role it will play in an increasingly technology reliant supply chain.”

Each of these company representatives on the GRAMMY Green Summit panel commented on the strong power of partnership in order to advance developments in sustainability. The nature of the work of both Shandwick Weber and The Sexton Group is to elevate the communications around sustainable initiatives for their clients or business sectors as a whole. Which brings us to why each of these companies see the value in bringing their story to an official GRAMMY sponsored event. I suspect most of us are well aware that we live in a culture where entertainment news leads. When we can couple our stories of change with an artist or music related event, then social and environmental change is a sweeter pill to swallow. Tim Sexton spoke of the long term relationship between celebrities and social cause – and their ability to rapidly elevate perceptions and recognition of need in the world. Sexton’s participation as producer of events such as LIVE 8 and Rock the Vote, have given him a front row seat – literally – to directing and witnessing the strong impact of the entertainment industry on social change.

Another leader in environmental change was present at the panel that morning – Allen Hershkowitz - Senior Scientist with the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC). Hershkowitz and I spoke prior to the Green Summit panel discussion. From him I learned about the various ways NRDC collaborated with The Recording Academy to green the show and week of events. The NRDC provided a team of volunteers attending all events to ensure Environmental compliance including:

1. ENERGY: The entire production of live broadcast at the 54th GRAMMY Awards was powered by 100% renewable energy

2. FOOD: The GRAMMY celebration featured reusable china and glassware. The menu included locally grown and produced meet, produce and dairy. All seafood was sustainably sources. Leftovers donated to local food banks.

3. RECYCLING: Waste Management provided recycling bins throughout the LA Convention Center for the pre-telecast and official after-party. All plastic, aluminum, bottles and paper were collected for recycling at both the Convention Center and Staples Center. Organic Waste was composted.

4. PAPER: All incoming ticketing requested handled electronically. Many of the GRAMMY week invitations and RSVP were handled electronically to reduce paper waste. Any paper used was between 50 and 100% recycled content

5. DECOR: Most furniture and set pieces on staged were either rented or reusable.

6. TRANSPORTATION: The Recording Academy partnered with RideAmigos (http://www.rideamigos.com/) to provide sponsored rideshares for award attendees.

You can learn move about the GRAMMY’s commitment to green and their sustainable offices on their website: http://www.GRAMMY.org/green.

My question to other corporate sustainability leaders and clean tech entrepreneurs who may be reading this article is how are you finding your widest audience, and elevating the work of your partnerships and alliances? Finding new outlets to communicate your social and environmental change and successes helps all of us continue the commitment to evolving our own businesses, amplifying our stories to increase awareness. While change will occur in the hands on consumer behavior, the greatest level of redirecting the ship viagra femele occurs at the level of large scale business. And large scale business tooting it’s own horn, potentially at The GRAMMYs.

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Shifting Consumer Behavior: The New Performance Indicators For Being Green

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 12:00

If you have been following my writing for Fast Company, you know that I tend to highlight positive corporate involvement in sustainable measures that benefit planet and humanity. I use this platform to bring forward stories of companies–and the men and women who represent them–committed to positive change. Lately, that interest has expanded into the role of how a company (and the products and services it provides) is able to change not only it’s own behavior, but that of a greater community of stakeholders. The many ways in which we citizens of the planet are called to evolve our behavior to meet the a growing list of environmental and social needs, it can become quite staggering. That is why I believe a company who actively contributes to such shifts in human behavior is one that acts in a more socially and environmentally responsible way.

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Filter For Good

This past February, I had the honor of introducing a panel for the Grammy’s (The Recording Academy) and Waste Management on the topic of the “Greening of the Music Industry”. One of my more recent Fast Company posts highlights part of this event and the themes discussed. As I previously

introduced Drew McGowan of Brita, I spoke about his role with the company’s sponsorships of concerts and music tours. A simple google of “Filter for Good” and you will see dozens of examples of how the brand has interacted with some of the best music performers of our day–Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson, Willy Nelson Cheryl Crow and Lady Antebellum among them. A few weeks back, I was able to track down Drew and speak with him in further details about the company’s involvement with filtered water trends and education–specifically the company’s interest in moving the next generation away from single-use plastic bottled and toward a continued filtered water practice. What better place to do this than at a music concert or campus event.

If you have paid any attention to environmental or corporate social responsibility news over the past few years, you will know that bottled, tap and filtered water industries have all played a part in the delicate dance of producer responsibility, distribution and marketing in this country. In my conversation with McGowan it was clear that Brita wants to fill a market need for a water consumer who prefers the taste of filtered over tap and perhaps the lower environmental footprint of filtered over bottled. The are no grand and sweeping claims than demonize tap water or try to convince consumers that they are poisoning themselves every time they brush viagra without a prescription canada their teeth. The war here (if there is one) is on the vast amounts of consumer packaging in the form of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) that ends up in U.S. landfills or perhaps worse, our rivers and streams, each year. Recently, I met with Dr. Marcus Erikson, marine biologist, and learned more about the 5 ocean gyres of floating plastic around our globe. Talk about an ecological crisis. This topic deserves more attention, but I”ll leave that to he bloggers over at E Magazine or Mother Jones.

So, sticking to the corporate responsibility topic, what’s so great about Brita’s campaign? As referenced above, it partners with college campuses and concert tours which reach the youth market to influence all kinds of sustainable behavior change. The rise of the green music tour allows for more socially and environmentally responsible clothing, food, and concert promotion to influence a rising generation of decision makers. The best example is Brita’s “hydration stations.” These stations allow concert goers to refill their reusable water bottles with filtered water on site. When traveling for concerts and events, these station are portable trailors. Back home, businesses can now install these stations into their facilities to help provide clean filtered water to employees, customers and other guests. Raising awareness of the next generation of American consumers and giving them the tools to make better environmental decisions is the way we will bring about compounded positive change.

There is no doubt that recycling plastic bottles is still very important global initiative and we all want to encourage as everyone along the bottled water life cycle to get those bottles out of the trash and into recycling, so companies like Coca-Cola and Nestle Waters North American can push forward with a stronger closed looped process for PET recycling. I love the vision of a bottle back to bottle world. But remember that it still takes an amazing amount of energy and resources (in the form of coal, petroleum, water and human capital) to produce bottled water in the first place–let alone collect, transport, sort and recycle those PET bottles once we are done drinking from them. And today, only 25% of the PET bottles out there are making it back to recycling. That means the other 75% go to waste. With Brita product solutions, at the end of the concert or any other special event, we reduce the vast volumes of bottles to be collected and sorted as part of the clean up. Let time, less waste.

The future of concert memorabilia will now include a Tour Branded refillable water bottle. And the next trend will be a reusable bottled with a Brita filter included on the lid? This year, Brita launched the all-new Brita Bottle featuring a filter inside allowing consumers to enjoy Brita-filtered water anywhere, anytime. The reusable bottle is BPA-free, dishwasher-safe and recyclable, but I plan on keeping mine for a while.

Yesterday, as I walked into my chiropractor’s office, he announced to me that he is no longer using the bottled watered provided to him by the gym where his office resides. Instead had made an investment in this latest technology from Brita. He is doing his part to reduce his impact, even if it is just in the gym where he works. But he is also influencing others. His small business is working to change behavior of his customers by exposing them to a new way to thinking about hydration while working out. I think I will be the next in line to carry my Brita Bottle in for my next work out.

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