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With some exciting, alarming and inspiring news coming from the world of responsible business, it was hard to shortlist our favourites this month. So read on to see what made the cut…

First hybrid cruise ship launches


This month we saw some good progress in the cruise industry, the biggest polluters in the travel space. Norwegian cruise operator Hurtigruten has launched the world’s first hybrid electric–powered expedition ship. The 530-passenger vessel utilizes battery powered technology that will cut down on fuel consumption and carbon emissions by 20%.

Lego encourages customers to regift their old bricks


In a new pilot program in the US, customers package up their old bricks in a ‘Give Back Box’ and send them off for free to a social enterprise that will clean the toys and repackage them for a local teaching charity. Lego is virtually indestructible so it’s already common for boxes of bricks to be handed down from one child to another. The company says: “We don’t want to compete with anything that’s already going on, if people are already giving bricks away to friends or family or local charities . . . it deserves to be played with by multiple generations.”

Farfetch teams up with Thrift


There’s a lot happening in fashion in the moment especially with the rise of clothes rental services but we think this initiative from Farfetch is particularly interesting. The luxury etailer is encouraging shoppers to donate their unwanted clothes to Thrift. The money raised will then be split – a third will go to the customer’s chosen charity, a third back to the customer as Farfetch credit and the last remaining third will help with the running costs of the service. However, customers will also have the choice to opt to donate their credit value straight to the charity. The unwanted clothes get a new life and charities benefit too.

Ovo launches billboard which removes pollution


Ovo has launched a clever one-off outdoor ad which ‘eats pollution’. The poster, which reads ‘we can live zero carbon’, is treated with a photocatalyst that reacts with natural UV light to remove pollution. The treatment, from brand PURETi, enables the poster to clean the air around it and is also self-cleaning – reducing the need for maintenance. We’re interested to see which brands adopt this on a wider scale and any other brand applications for the PURETi technology.

Colgate launches bamboo toothbrush


Following the success of the Humble Brush, Colgate has now launched its own biodegradable bamboo toothbrush. The toothbrush is coated in beeswax to make it more durable and also comes in plastic free packaging. Unlike many big brand sustainable innovations, this one is already being stocked in major supermarkets and pharmacy chains. Let’s just hope there’s still room in the market for the breakthrough brands that pioneered this environmental lifestyle change.