In good company: How Obvious Ventures is disrupting venture capital

Impact investing isn’t about being”cute.”

eKutir: The Human-Digital Platform Curating the Future of Food

As we get ready to select our semi-finalists for the 2018 Sustainable Brands Innovation Open, we wanted to check in with last year’s semi-finalists to learn about the impacts they continue to have on the business world. Here, we catch up with eKutir Global. eKutir Global is a US-based Public Benefit Corporation (and the first B Corp-certified organisation in India) whose digital technologies and data science provide a first-of-its-kind human-digital marketplace. Through a continuous stream of data points and information, eKutir’s platforms have helped create more efficient markets for smallholder farmers, with proven increases in productivity, income and

This startup is creating biodegradable fabric from methane-eating bacteria

The founders of Mango Materials stumbled across their idea by accident.

H&M Foundation Reveals Winners of 2016 Global Change Award

Initiated in 2015 as a way to drive the transition towards a circular, waste-free fashion industry, the H&M Foundation’s Global Change Award invites startups and innovators to pitch game-changing ideas that can help reinvent the entire industry. On April 5 at a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, the Foundation announced the five winners of its 2016 innovation challenge. A one-million-euro grant was split between them by the global public in an online vote, which was held between March 27 to April. The winners include: Grape Leather: Rosella Longobardo and her team have pioneered a process to use waste from

Startup Going Head to Head with Tesla in Solar-Powered Smart Home Market

In 2016, clean energy giant SunEdison set its sights on acquiring Vivint Solar, a rooftop solar panel installation company. In what unfolded as a sordid affair, Vivint terminated the deal. SunEdison didn’t have the funds to make good on the agreement due to an ill-advised acquisition spree. In order to recoup, it looked like Vivint would

McDonough Innovation’s Fashion for Good Is Redefining How We Design, Make, Reuse Fashion

The apparel and textile industries have long struggled with environmental and social impacts and the rise of fast fashion has only aggravated the problem, with its unsustainable business model that is based on an unrealistic trajectory of growth. But with the launch of Fashion for Good, McDonough Innovation is hoping to change all of that. The joint-

Back to the Roots, New York City Schools Take ‘Undo Food’ Movement One Step Further

A recent move by the New York City public school system signals a major win for small food companies and champions of better nutrition. The pressure to provide wholesome, nutritious foods is considerable for public schools across the U.S. following the introduction of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010, and many rely on products from large companies such as Kellogg, Post Foods and General Mills, which are both affordable and accessible, for their breakfast programs. But recently, when the Kellogg Company discontinued two cereals that New York City schools served on their breakfast menus

New Timberland X Thread Collection Made with ‘Most Responsible Fabric on the Planet’

Global outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland has launched the Timberland X Thread collection in partnership with Thread, the Certified B Corporation that transforms plastic bottles from the streets and canals of Haiti into what Thread calls “the most responsible fabric on the planet.� The collection goes beyond environmental sustainability, creating social value and impact in the form of cleaner neighborhoods and meaningful new job opportunities. “The Timberland X Thread collection is incredible proof that style and sustainability

Back to the Roots, New York City Schools Take ‘Undo Food’ Moment One Step Further

A recent move by the New York City public school system signals a major win for small food companies and champions of better nutrition. The pressure to provide wholesome, nutritious foods is considerable for public schools across the U.S. following the introduction of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010, and many rely on products from large companies such as Kellogg, Post Foods and General Mills, which are both affordable and accessible, for their breakfast programs. But recently, when the Kellogg Company discontinued two cereals that New York City schools served on their breakfast menus, the schools found themselves with a void

How a German Startup Is Making the ‘Magic of Light’ Affordable in Developing Countries

Beatrice Akyoo doesn’t need to spend as much money lighting her home, and her children have more time for homework without inhaling the nasty fumes from kerosene lamps. She also earns extra income by charging her neighbours’ mobile phones. “I am proud to own my personal electricity source,â€� she says. “At night, my family now has clean and bright lights – and we can even power a refrigerator.” It may not sound like much to those in the West, but some two billion people around the world don’t have a reliable electricity source to meet their daily energy needs. In the 90 percent of households in rural Tanzania, Kenya or Rwanda that don’t have electricity,

Trending: Biomimetic Design Breakthroughs for Wind Energy, Protective Materials

Mother Nature knows best: Even more companies across industries are harnessing biomimicry principles to drive forward renewable energy and develop strong, durable materials that provide protection and promise higher performance. Tyer Wind, a startup based in Tunisia, has developed a new wind turbine technology based on the flapping of hummingbird wings. Instead of converting linear motion into a

Groundbreaking AI Tech Could Improve Quality of Life for Older Adults

Yesterday, tech startup Intuition Robotics unveiled an artificial intelligence-based robot companion designed to improve the quality of life of the elderly populations. Until now, most AI companions, like those created by Google and Amazon, have largely been focused on providing assistance. ElliQ, on the other hand, aims to enrich the lives of its users, keeping them active, engaged and thereby reducing loneliness

NooTrees: Fighting Deforestation ‘One Loo at a Time’

There are about 3 trillion trees left on earth, or roughly 400 trees per person. Seems like a lot, but what if we told you that since the advent of human civilisation, half of all trees have been cut down, or that 15 billion trees are lost each year? Or how about the fact that the haze that covers Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia does is a direct result of deforestation, where vegetation is cleared via the slash-and-burn method for resources such as palm oil, paper and pulp? 27,000 trees are cut down every day just to make toilet paper. But

Trending: More Entrepreneurs Giving Ugly Fruit a Chance to Shine

Reducing global food waste seems to be on everyone’s mind these days, and two young health food brands — Barnana and Wonky Juice — are looking to address the issue at the source, giving misshapen fruits and vegetables new life and boosting local economies. Fact: Bananas are the number-one wasted food product in the world, with fifty

For All the Conscientious Consumers in Your Life: SB’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Gifts for our loved ones that also help repurpose waste, benefit people in need, expand the next generation’s horizons, and overall provide alternative to “products as usual” … How is that not a win-win? Here are just a few of our favorite socially and environmentally beneficial gift ideas that will help you celebrate this season of giving (and spending) with a clear conscience. For the ethical footwear

How to make it as a serial entrepreneur

The keys to startup success start with being generous and learning to code.

An Ethical Footwear Force Awakens with Po-Zu and Its Better Shoes Foundation

This week, ethical shoe brand Po-Zu will unveil its Star Wars-themed footwear at the FFANY trade show in New York as part of a major collaboration with the movie franchise. It’s a highly significant launch for Po-Zu, as it will enable the UK-based manufacturer to bring its products to a wider market and raise

Fashion Tech Startup Helps Brands Tackle Supply Chain Efficiency and Transparency

Tom Singh, founder of UK fashion brand New Look, has backed a London-based fashion technology company to help apparel retailers and manufacturers manage their supply chains. Founded in 2015 by British entrepreneur Andrew Xeni and current CTO Ray Noppe, Fabacus is designed to help retailers save money by streamlining the way manufacturers manage complex supply chains by offering access to live

Trending: New Technologies Aiming to Turn the Tide on Home, Business Food Waste

As we head into the most gluttonous week of the year here in the U.S., it’s helpful to be reminded that companies large and small continue to churn out new technologies in the ongoing war against food waste – both at the business and consumer level. First, Boston-based tech startup Spoiler Alert has launched two offerings to help both small and large businesses connect with nonprofits for food

RB, Indiegogo Launch ‘Healthier Tomorrow Challenge’ for Health, Well-being Startups

RB, the leading consumer health and hygiene company behind brands such as Lysol, Durex, Nurofen, Strepsils, Gaviscon, Mucinex, Scholl, and Clearasil, has launched a startup programme on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. The “Healthier Tomorrow Challenge� invites entrepreneurs with innovative health and well-being solutions to enter for the chance to win mentorship, product development support, and access to global supply chains with an RB project partner. “We’re always

Trending: Startups Set to Revolutionize Clean Energy with Off-Grid, Community Solar Models

Two startups are advancing their solar power solutions in big ways: Arcadia Power, an online renewable energy company, has launched the first nationwide community solar program in the United States; and solar lighting and power systems provider d.light has secured a total of $30 million in funding this year for off-grid solar. Despite that more than

Startup Aims to Get People in the ‘Habit’ of Eating What Their Bodies Truly Crave

Habit, a new startup at the intersection of nutrition, technology and food delivery, will offer personalized nutrition solutions for people who want to harness the transformative power of food to improve their lives. Created by Plum Organics founder and CEO Neil Grimmer, Habit – which launches in January – guides users toward optimal health and wellbeing by creating a personal nutrition blueprint for each user. Unlike generic, one-size-fits-all eating fads, which may work for one person but not another, Habit develops nutrition recommendations based on an individual’s unique biology

Brewing a Better Battery: Researchers Pulling Power from Brewery Wastewater

Engineers from the University of Colorado Boulder (CUB) have developed a bio-manufacturing process that uses a biological organism cultivated in brewery wastewater to create the carbon-based materials needed to make energy storage cells. The process could represent a win-win by reducing expensive wastewater treatment costs for beer makers while providing manufacturers with a more cost-effective means of creating renewable, naturally derived fuel cell technologies. “Breweries use about seven barrels of water for every