Product Of Change Spring 2023 – Issue 3

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PRODUCTS OF CHANGE

SILC 22: “THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENT FOR INDUSTRY IN DECADES”

The Sustainability in Licensing Conference revisited and in pictures

BLACK LIVES MATTER IN THE METAVERSE

The movement is making its metaverse debut

LICENSING, A FORCE FOR NATURE?

Explore the concept of Regenerative Licensing with RSPB, National Trust, and English Heritage

KI REVEALS NEW GLOBAL FAMILY RESEARCH

MEMBER NEWS, INDUSTRY VIEWS

PEOPLE PURPOSE DRIVING SUSTAINABILITY REGENERATIVE BUSINESS
SPRING 2023: SUSTAINABILITY EDIT

Eden’s SUMMER prograMMe: Martian mega-monster CO2-Zilla threatened to destroy the world... starting with Eden. Visitors were encouraged to team up with Dennis, Gnasher, Minnie and friends on an epic quest to defeat CO2-Zilla, rebel against climate change and Go Wild for the planet.

IT WAS A WILD, UNFORGETTABLE AND BLAM-TASTIC ADVENTURE, PACKED WITH EXCITING EDUCATIONAL GAMES AND ACTIVITIES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY TO ENJOY. AN EXAMPLE OF SOME OF THE ACTIVITIES EDEN ARRANGED AS PART OF THEIR PROGRAMME.

X
Get in touch with the Beano team… International - Rob Glenny –
UK - Melissa Satterly - melissa@rocketlicensing.com
A Beano Studios Product © DC Thomson Ltd 2023
rob.glenny@beano.com
How much methane is created by cows and can we stop it? Discover the world of pollination and how we can help it. Giant bug hotel Help rewild an area of land What would you like to see change? Discover what plants are the right ones to go in your garden

MEET THE TEAM

WELCOME W

ell, here we are. Issue number three of the Products of Change Magazine and the first of a new year and there’s already so much for our industries to be proud of.

The fascinating thing about producing a magazine like this – about working with and observing the Products of Change community in general – is that we get to evolve and develop along this journey of sustainability with you.

We concluded our previous Edit (the Autumn 2022 Sustainability Edit) noting that the level of understanding around this topic was deepening. Today, we can proudly say that it is maturing, too.

Knowledge and awareness of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals is being embedded not only in

products but into the day-today actions and operations of businesses across the spectrum. We challenge anyone to come away from London Toy Fair or the Gift of the Year 2023 shortlist of Sustainable and Ethical Gift category finalists and not feel encouraged and inspired that the level of ambition to embrace true circular economy thinking is not only growing but far exceeding anything we’ve seen before.

Thanks to your efforts, the pages of this magazine can present new conversations; those of equality, representation, education, even the importance of peace and justice (check out this issue’s KI research) all with the overarching ambition of driving real, positive change for people and the planet.

This is no longer ‘business as usual’. This is the year of business for change. And that’s something to be proud of.

LEADER COLUMN PRODUCTS OF CHANGE
Products Of Change Media Ltd United House North Road London, N7 9DP For general enquiries contact: helena@productsofchange.com For press enquiries please contact the editor: rob@productsofchange.com DRIVING SUSTAINABLE AND POSITIVE CHANGE ACROSS THE INDUSTRY Copyright© 2023. While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of publication, the publishers cannot accept legal liability for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility for the standing of advertisers nor any organisation mentioned in the text. Views of contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the publishers.
This magazine has been created using fully recycled, FSC certified material, printed with vegetable ink and traditional saddle stitch techniques. We encourage you to share your copy and while we hope it stays on your shelf for a very long time, you can recycle it when you’re ready.
CONTENTS Brand New Sustainably Sourced Cotton Range for 2023! By choosing our cotton products, you’re supporting our investment in Better Cotton’s mission 07 NEWS The latest in sustainability updates from across the industries. 12 SILC 22 REVISITED We look back on the inperson Sustainability in Licensing Conference debut. 18 BLACK LIVES MATTER Black Lives Matter brings representation to the metaverse. 20 KIDS INDUSTRIES RESEARCH KI uncovers the biggest conversations families are having today. 22 REGENERATIVE LICENSING We explore how licensing can be a force for nature. MEMBER NEWS 27 The latest news from the Products of Change member base. POC’S BIG REVEAL 30 Products of Change unveils a special educational project with Hyve Group. DESIGN FOR LIFE 31 Biomimicry and what it means for business. END CONSUMER? 33 Heidi Florence asks, is it time to reconsider the idea of the ‘consumer’? FOOD FOR THOUGHT 37 A roundup of insight and aspirations from the POC network. 12 CONTENTS 18 20 27 30 31

Having a clear vision is important to us. Working closely with leading organisations such as POC, we have developed strategies helping us to create a sustainable future for everyone.

At Smiffys we take our responsibilities seriously, and whilst we don't have 20/20 vision, we can see the future. And it looks good. This expertise will deliver our vision through eco-friendly goods, recyclable packaging, and a greener supply chain.

Serious fun today for tomorrow

KEEPING YOU UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST STORIES

ECOFFEE CUP NETS ARSENAL FC COLLAB IN MERCH WITH PURPOSE INITIATIVE

The frontrunner in the mainstream reuse market, Ecoffee Cup has partnered with Arsenal FC to create a co-branded collection using the club’s IP portfolio and packaged under its new Merch with Purpose initiative.

Ecoffee Cup’s collection spans Arsenal FC’s retro Bruised Banana kit, Heritage collage, and kids’ Gunnasaurus designs all prominently featuring its Choose To Re-use messaging.

The partnership is part of a longerterm campaign to encourage Emirates Stadium to go single-use free on game days by helping fans understand, embrace, and feel comfortable with the reasoning behind it.

“Every weekend, sports fans eat and drink their way through hundreds and thousands of coffees, burgers, and beers – all in single-use containers,” said David

THE WOMBLES CELEBRATE 50 YEARS OF ENVIRONMENTALISM WITH TV AND FILM PLANS

McLagan, brand director at Ecoffee Cup. “Our mantra has always been that the only way to make re-use the ‘new normal’ is to make it popular, accessible, and inclusive of the 97% who remain unaware or disengaged with the issues.

“We are able to deliver a strong message to a mainstream audience, particularly among men. Meanwhile,

the influence that clubs and players alike have over their supporters is extraordinary, but change will take a holistic approach.”

Despite the many challenges that consumer markets face this year, Ecoffee Cup has teased ‘several very big announcements’ to come over the next couple of months as conversation around re-use at a mainstream level begins to pick up.

“Since 2014, we have stayed on point with the same message. Despite our fantastic partners such as Boston Tea Party, Monmouth, and Bloomberg removing 100% single-use, sometimes we have felt it’s been falling on deaf ears,” said David.

“But early signs suggest that 2023 might be the year that things tip and go mainstream. Fingers crossed.”

CONSCIOUS SHOPPERS FUEL RECORD DECEMBER AT SHARED EARTH

Film, TV, theatrical productions, and a yearlong partnership with the UK charity Age UK to promote its high street stores and local upcycling centres are all on the cards for the original recycling ambassadors, The Wombles this year.

Marking 50 years since The Wombles first appeared on television screens across the country, major plans are scheduled to launch in February 2023, led by the release of a commemorative coin collection and a host of events around the UK.

The Wombles team will also be detailing new film, TV, and theatrical production plans in the coming months with the aim of streaming new content before the end of the year.

“Since we came out of hibernation at the beginning of 2022, we have focused on reintroducing ourselves and our positive environmental message to a new generation,” Great Uncle Bulgaria, the official spokesWomble for the brand, told Products of Change.

In that time, The Wombles brand has featured across a range of environmental campaigns, including the annual Great British Spring Clean, #EcoSchoolsAtHome, WRAP’s recycling initiatives, tree-planting, beach-cleaning, and upcycling. The Wombles were even the UK government’s mascots at COP26 at the tail end of 2021.

“We want to become the standard bearers for sustainability within the licensing industry,” added Great Uncle Bulgaria. “Our fans expect that everything we do embraces sound environmental principles, including the partners we work with and the products to which we will apply our IP.”

The cost-of-living crisis hasn’t deterred the British public from shopping Fair Trade this season, the ethical product and retail specialist, Shared Earth has told Products of Change after posting record sales for the month of December across its two shops.

Shared Earth saw sales rocket 30% across its high street shops in Liverpool and York in December 2022, an increase mirrored in its overall retail sales since pre-pandemic.

The business had been preparing itself for leaner takings this year with Christmas landing at the height of a cost-of-living crisis and soaring energy prices. However, Shared Earth has instead celebrated the ‘fast-rising’ eco market championing today’s consumer for their evidential ‘better shopping habits.’

“Tackling climate change becomes a higher priority every year and consumers want to do their bit,” Jeremy Piercy, md of Shared Earth, told Products of Change. “Ethical issues are really important for today’s shoppers and so is Fair Trade. This is something we have championed since we started in 1986.

“When consumers find a retailer who cares and has good products, they don’t just buy – they tell their friends and come back again and again.”

Shared Earth is now gearing up for Spring Fair where it will launch its new collection of Genki clothing, a range made in India from recycled silk. The business is pitching the collection as “having mainstream market appeal” this year.

PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023 07
INDUSTRY NEWS
©Amscan 2023, ©Anagram 2023. All Rights Reserved.
Sustainable Alice Batman & Batgirl The Flash Sustainable Pirate Sustainable Goldilocks Matilda Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Sustainable Rosie Riding Hood Superman & Supergirl Bluey
EXCITING SUSTAINABLE LICENSED & GENERIC COSTUMES! Want to know more? Scan me!
Sustainable Police Officer & Firefighter

GENDER EQUALITY AT FOREFRONT OF THE SMURFS 2023 STYLE GUIDE

The Smurfs will be promoting gender equality across its global fanbase with the launch of a new style guide for 2023, placing the Sustainable Development Goal number five at the centre of its look.

The new style guide places Smurfette at the front of the campaign to drive gender equality with messaging like ‘We Smurf All Equals’, ‘Equality has no Gender’, and ‘He For She’ featured on various graphics depicting the strength and resilience of the only female Smurf.

“As an IP with such a privileged relationship with audiences all around the world, we know it’s our responsibility to carry and deliver the right messages. We are now in 2023 and it is as important as ever to remind all kids and parents about gender equality. No matter who we are, we can Smurf it,” said Sebastien Dumont, marketing and communications manager at The Smurfs brand owner, IMPS.

IMPS has worked with the United Nations as ambassadors for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals since 2017. Under the partnership, the brand routinely champions the SDGs through activations and campaigns, such as the European Beach Clean Up.

The SDGs are recognised as building blocks towards a better and more sustainable way of life for people and the planet. Goal number five, Gender Equality, is the strive to achieve equality and empower all women and girls around the world. It is set out to tackle vital issues surrounding inequality.

For instance, between 2007 and 2021, only 57% of women aged 15 to 49 were empowered to make their own informed decisions on sex and reproductive health care.

“We could all feel at last year’s Brand Licensing Europe, the whole industry is on a journey with sustainability. It’s already 2023, and it’s time to continue on this pathway and accelerate,” added Sebastien. “Reaching the 17 SDGs is a journey we’re all involved in. We have seven years remaining to achieve it. We can Smurf it!”

GIBSONS GAMES MAKES PLAY FOR B CORP STATUS

The family-owned British games and puzzles specialist, Gibsons Games is closing in on its goal to become one of the first in the UK toy industry to achieve B Corp status.

A Products of Change member, the team has already taken major strides along its sustainability journey over recent years working not only to reduce the impact of its products on the planet but the impact from its head office operations, too.

To date, Gibsons has reduced waste, switched to solar energy, and begun to utilise local suppliers, while removing all shrink wrap on its jigsaw puzzles and reducing box sizes across the portfolio. With a focus on ‘raising standards continuously’, the B Corp process ‘seemed to be the obvious next step for the business to take.

“We will be one of the first companies in the toy industry to achieve B Corp status in the UK, which makes us extremely proud,” Kate Gibson, managing director of Gibsons Games told Products of Change. “Hopefully it will encourage others to follow and recognise the part they play in the global efforts to reduce our impact on the planet.”

Gibsons Games is currently a certified carbon neutral company and is exacting plans to ensure all its products will be too by 2025. It will also maintain and strengthen other initiatives including its charity work with Jigsaw4U.

“Following the pandemic, strengthening our core business has been a huge priority. To have been able to progress our B Corp journey alongside this, including the support we give to a number of charities, makes us incredibly proud,” said Kate.

SAMBRO SETS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT TARGETS FOR 2023

The international toy and licensing expert, Sambro, has set itself a list of 16 sustainable development targets to achieve this year, including the launch of a range of plush toys made from 100% recycled materials and a complete packaging overhaul.

Each target aims to progress the company’s pursuit of sustainable operations across the whole business, an area that is being led by the company’s recently appointed ethical and sustainability manager, Lisa Longley.

Sambro has kickstarted its journey of sustainable development by calculating its Carbon Footprint, making it among the first of its size in the toy industry to do so. Using 2019 as its base, the team has seen a 22% reduction in emissions for Scope 2,

and a 4% reduction overall. Among its list of targets for the year, Sambro will carry out Environmental Assessments on at least ten of its factories to gain a better understanding of its Scope 3.

Elsewhere, Sambro will ensure all new lines are costed in a more sustainable packaging option, while all packaging used to ship goods from the company’s warehouse will either be recycled or recyclable by the end of the year.

To drive circularity, the business will also set up an internal system for regular charity donations of unwanted stock, choosing local charities to be regular beneficiaries.

“ESG has been brought to the forefront of our business and I am genuinely seeing a change in how we operate,” Lisa Longley, Sambro’s ethical and sustainability manager, told Products of Change.

“We are getting support and encouragement from our board and ceo as they understand this is becoming more and more prevalent from the likes of customers and licensors. And this is filtering down into all our teams. As such, I am working closely with the product and design teams on a daily basis regarding new product development and how we can continue to engineer our products to be more ESG friendly.”

Alongside stepping up its environmental efforts, the toy maker will also expand on its Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion policies to “focus on comprehensive practices across the business.” Sambro will also introduce a programme for menopause awareness and training, including the appointment of menopause ‘champions’ across the teams.

More information on Sambro’s major sustainability plans can be found online at https://www.sambro.com/sustainability

INDUSTRY NEWS
PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023 09

VAN GOGH MUSEUM AND MUD JEANS GIVE OLD DENIM NEW LIFE

The Van Gogh Museum is extending its partnership with the circular fashion expert MUD Jeans to develop an Autumn/ Winter 2023 collection all made through the brand’s pioneering and sustainable production processes.

The Dutch clothing brand is a leader in sustainable fashion, applying design principles with end-of-life recyclability in mind. It’s a practice that has put the team ‘ahead of the curve’ when it comes to Extended Producer Responsibility while “promoting a way of business where brands take responsibility for the afterlife of their products.

For a start, MUD Jeans collects worn out jeans to be shredded down and woven into new fabric. This fabric is then transformed into a new pair of jeans designed with this end process in mind.

Building on a partnership that kicked off last year, the 2023 MUD Jeans x Van Gogh Museum collection will feature special details and made more accessible to broader audiences. The collection has already been presented at international fairs in Berlin and Amsterdam and met with “very positive reactions”.

“MUD Jeans is a pioneer in circular denim and a fantastic partner to collaborate with. The brand believes in creating a world without waste and applies that circularity throughout their production process,” said Marijn Veraart, head of global partnerships and licensing at Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam.

“As a museum, our mission is to inspire people with the art and life story of Vincent Van Gogh. As we are striving towards better sustainable working practices in the Museum itself, we also like to see this ambition reflected in our collaborations with licensees.”

JIGSAW EXPANDS CIRCULAR PLATFORM WITH IN-HOUSE REPAIR REWEAR SERVICE

The fashion brand, Jigsaw, has expanded its Jigsaw Forever circular initiative with the launch of a new in-house Repair Rewear service and the opening of a new London pop-up dedicated to pre-loved fashion.

Launched in January, Repair Rewear will be free of charge for one year from purchase of a garment, after which customers will pay a small fee for any repairs. These repairs will be carried out by Jigsaw’s in-house repair team – a mother and daughter duo based out of the brand’s Swindon warehouse.

The launch of the service coincides with the opening of a new pop-up housing a curated collection of pre-loved and archival Jigsaw garments. Created in partnership with the clothing rental platform, My Wardrobe HQ, the pop-up is located within the brand’s Kensington High Street store.

“With the secondary market growing 11 times faster than the primary, sustainability is undoubtedly going to transform the fashion industry over the next 10 years,” said Beth Butterwick, ceo of Jigsaw.

“Our research tells us our customers value the beauty of our products, often keeping them in their wardrobes for years. Our partnership with MWHQ not only allows existing customers and new to enjoy standout pieces via rental and subscription, but as excitingly, discover unique pre-loved Jigsaw unicorn pieces.”

Jigsaw is one of a handful of fashion brands to have adopted circular initiatives in recent months, joining the likes of Zara which launched its own repair platform and plans for pre-loved fashion in-store and online last year.

TEXTILE CIRCULARITY IS KEY TO SURVIVAL, SAYS TEEMILL

The European Union is getting tougher on fashion and textiles with the introduction of several pieces of legislation, rules, and guidelines that will set in motion an industry overhaul this year.

The move, at least in the European market, is to bring under control a sector that until now has been largely unregulated and allowed to operate with minimal interference.

Plans to tackle fast fashion, textile waste, and the disposal of unsold stock are expected to begin rolling out as early as this year all with the aim of a complete overhaul of the industry by 2030 under the overarching Strategy for Sustainable Textiles.

The initiative will propose actions to make the textile ecosystem fit for the circular economy, addressing current weaknesses in sustainable production, sustainable lifestyles, improving textile waste collection, and recycling in the Member States.

It will look at incentivising ‘product as a service’ and other sustainable business models.

Sofia Voudouroglou, head of communications and marketing at the sustainable apparel company, Teemill, said: “The Ellen MacArthur Foundation predicts that circular business models could make up almost a quarter of the global fashion industry by 2030. And it’s evident that a fast and smooth transition to a circular model is now paramount to a business’ success.

“This is a real opportunity to change how things are made and create an industry that is circular from the start. For businesses, this is key to survival.”

RETAIL STANDS FIRM ON SUSTAINABILITY DESPITE COST OF LIVING CRISIS

UK retailers continue to take a hardline on sustainability, despite the pressures from the cost-of-living crisis, rising inflation, and squeezed margins on products.

Talking at the Sustainability in Licensing Conference at the end of last year, Asda’s senior sustainability business manager, Jade Snart said that “with ongoing headwinds and the change in the economy, it’s sometimes the case sustainability becomes a nice to have.”

However, she reaffirmed that Asda’s position on the subject was “immovable” adding it is “absolutely a must when it comes to our business.”

With incomes being squeezed right now, sustainable shopping is under pressure. According to Richard Lim, ceo of Retail Economics, “consumers are prioritising costs over quality, costs over experience, and costs over sustainability in some senses.”

Crucially, 50% of consumers said “they are not prepared to pay a little more for sustainably produced goods,” he said.

Despite this, Primark Cares, Tesco, George@Asda, and Walgreens Boots Alliance, remain committed to the cause with strategies to make sustainability accessible and affordable to the high street shopper.

“[We need to] stop putting sustainability in an ethereal magical box and start thinking about it as a business programme and the efficiencies you can find,” said Sarah Hawkins, manager of Primark Cares.

FASHION & RETAIL NEWS
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SiLC 2022:

‘THE MOST IMPORTANT DEBUT IN DECADES’

SiLC 2022
12 PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023

Alive documentation of the licensing industry – its various tendrils into all the fantastic sectors it touches, included – and its relationship with sustainability to date, SiLC 22 became the event that ‘left no stone unturned’. Topics spanned net positivity and purposedriven business, sustainability at retail, innovation in packaging, circularity in fashion, and even Web3 and the metaverse. And that was all before lunch. With industry collaboration at the centre of each conversation, SiLC brought together not only the biggest brand names in LEGO, Mattel, Tesco, and Asda but the most pioneering and innovative businesses and individuals, too – from Teemill’s co-founder Mart Drake Knight and the author and business

“SiLC 22 was a thoughtprovoking conference and probably the most important for our industry in decades,” said Richard North, ceo of Wow! Stuff, who went on to heap praise on the conference’s keynote speaker,

SiLC 2022
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It was hailed a “thought provoking success” to be considered “probably the most important for our industry in decades” when the Sustainability in Licensing Conference made its inperson debut at the Royal Geographical Society in London in October 2022.
innovator, Alan Moore to Glyn Mitchell, a carbon farmer and compost specialist and Amanda Evans, creator of the Sky Kids series, Obki. 1: Pindy O’Brien, international licensing and market development director, Walker Books and Lindsey Chester, senior licensing and retail manager at Larkshead Licensing. 2: Tanya Ashton, head of sustainability WBA Global Sourcing Europe. 3: Warren Parker Mills, founder of BeforeStores and the BeforeStores Podcast. 4: Gemma Lawson, vp creative: direct to retail/ direct to consumer, Paramount.
1 3 2 4 5
5: Sine Klitgaard Moller, sustainability transformation director, the LEGO Group.

Alan Moore for setting the pace of the event with a talk that “blew the roof off the wonderful venue.”

The basis of Alan’s talk was to convey the importance of placing “beauty” or purpose at the centre of every business decision you make. And it was one that set the scene wonderfully as both the SiLC stage –and let’s not forget the audience of change-makers, too - made way for the industry’s ever-increasing number of champions of purpose. The reality of the consumer’s relationship with sustainability, the efficiencies of 3D CAD, and the role the toy industry has to play in plugging a knowledge gap for children and families as they nurture the builders of tomorrow; everything was on the table at SiLC22.

A CONFERENCE ONLY AS GOOD AS ITS SPEAKERS… AND AUDIENCE

We provided the venue and the vegetables, it was you who provided the rest. While Products of Change has been overwhelmed with the positivity to the in-person debut – the education and knowledge taken from the event can only be attributed to its attendees.

It has been the industry’s eagerness to adapt and learn that has put it so far along the journey of sustainable development. With an audience made up of those committed to taking the positive steps forwards and driving change across business, SiLC is but a documentation and platform for the progress being made across the sectors.

THE SUSTAINABILITY IN LICENSING CONFERENCE WILL RETURN IN 2023

While there is so much to celebrate, the story is far from over. Which is why the date has already been set for our 2023 event.

Yes, the Sustainability in Licensing Conference will be making its grand return to the Royal Geographical Society in London on Wednesday, 8 November . This year’s agenda is now being curated and tickets are already being reserved.

To make sure you don’t miss out be sure to check out www. sustainabilityinlicensing.com for updates and ticket booking details

The event will – once again – be live-streamed for online audiences tuning in from around the world.

SiLC 2022 14 PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023
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4: Author and business innovator captivated the SiLC audience with his talk on business with purpose.

5: Gary Pope, co-founder of Kids Industries.

6: Katie Ball, commercial director, DTR, Paramount, Thea Chamberlain, DTR manager, Paramount, Gemma Lawson, vp creative: direct to retail/direct to consumer, Paramount, Saskia Harrison, senior royalty audit manager, Smith & Williamson, Alexandra Filetti, creative director EMEA, Paramount, Caroline Navin, senior associate licensing, FOCO.

7: Timo Olkola, co-founder, Flowhaven and Glyn Mitchell, soil specialist at The Carbon Farm.

8: Kate Springett, head of design, Wonder, Mel Beer, group licensing director EMEA, Wonder, Andrew Carley, director of global licensing, BBC.

9: SiLC attendees found the event’s in-person debut insightful and filled with learning.

10: The SiLC team Rob Hutchins, Jakki Brown, Ian Hyder, Helena Mansell-Stopher and Rob Willis.

11: Richard Lim, ceo of Retail Economics.

12: Ivan Colecchia, senior vice president, The Insights Family.

13: Paul Hucker, client services and project manager and Rhys Fleming, sales and marketing director, Dependable Solutions.

14: Naomi Simpson, senior consumer products associate, Mattel, Ella Haynes, event director, Informa.

15: Mart Drake Knight, co-founder of Teemill.

“This is one of the key conversations happening in boardrooms around the world today. SiLC is an opportunity for knowledge sharing, to tell our stories about our paths towards net zero and making more sustainablyconscious decisions day to day.

“The key message for me today is around partnerships and collaboration and sharing best practice. Having speakers sharing their ambitions and what they have done so far is one of the key takeaways from this event.”

“For me, the day was all about learning. Being able to communicate that to others is fantastic. So, being around peers and industry experts has really given me that chance to learn. Being together at SiLC will really help us, collectively, reach all those goals we are striving for.”

“Business has always in the past been about competition, but I think businesses are realising that we can get much further, much faster with collaboration.

“The thing with licensing is, you have massive brands with massive reach and massive power. So, if you’ve got a solution – even if it’s a small one, but an important one – by connecting with a big brand through a licensing model you can really accelerate progress without having to rebuild the whole system.”

“Collaboration is everything, it’s about coming together. We can’t deliver this change all on our own. It’s about using each other to piece it together and help drive that forward.

“We know the old way doesn’t serve us anymore. Progress is here and we need to embrace that. You can look at that in our collective effort, the things we choose to contribute towards: better products, better manufacturing processes, reduction of waste… so SILC leaves me optimistic about sustainability in licensing because I think the drive is there.”

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Anita Majhu, head of licensing softlines and consumer products sustainability manager at BBC Studios. 1: Michael T. Nielsen, business manager, LEGO Systems, Tracey O’ Sullivan, managing director, Seymour Distribution, Duncan Shearer, client services director, Seymour Distribution, Sine Klitgaard Moller, sustainability transformation director, the LEGO Group. 2: Alice Dunbar, marketing intern, Informa, Anna Presland, delegate relations manager, Informa, Laura Freedman-Dagg, head of retail, Informa, and Ian Hart, digital editor, Informa. 3: SiLC attendees enjoy a chance to network in the late autumn sun at the Royal Geographical Society in London.

BLACK LIVES MATTER IN THE

METAVERSE

As partnerships go, they don’t come much more significant than this one right now. And to understand why, it’s important to recognise what the metaverse is, in its current state of construction.

Black Lives Matter has gone meta.

And while Saphia Maxamed, founder of the Black Lives Matter Licensing Movement will be the first to admit that even she doesn’t grasp the full extent of what the metaverse is, she knows she needs the Black Lives Matter Licensing Movement to be there. Because there is where the future is being built.

The Movement is embarking on its voyage into the virtual space with SineWave Breakthrough, a purpose-driven grid – or platform –provider with which the Black Lives Matter metaverse is being created. Together, the partnership is building a world where the conversation can be perpetuated, communities

can be built, and Black Lives and Black History can be celebrated.

On 25 May this year, the Black Lives Matter metaverse is even hosting a George Floyd Memorial Concert and an Africa Day celebration event.

“The metaverse is the interconnectedness we experience today between the real world and the lives we live virtually,” explains Warren Parker Mills, founder of BeforeStores and host of the BeforeStores podcast, the future-gazing platform helping brands harness the potential of the virtual space.

“It’s something that really is only in its nascency. People today are talking about the metaverse and Web3 like it’s here. But we’re not even close to its full potential. It’s a frontier that we’ve only started to build and explore.”

We are in the creator stage. And if the metaverse is our chance to build beautiful new worlds in which to spend an increasing amount of our spare time – whether that’s via gaming or social media, content streaming, or whatever else - it is crucial that these spaces carry on

BLACK LIVES MATTER: LICENSING MOVEMENT 18 PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023
ABOVE: Visitors to the BLM virtual world land on Black Lives Matters Boulevard. RIGHT: Saphia Maxamed’s Avatar meets Georgina Wellman and Brendan Del in the BLM metaverse
In an incredibly exciting development for virtual world building, Black Lives Matter Licensing Movement is launching into the metaverse. Well, it is where the future is being written and as such, where representation and equality is needed the most. Products of Change explores…

the Black Lives Matter message of representation and equality.

“They are an extension of the lives we live in the real world, and as such there is a vital need for morality, equality, and an equal distribution of power and influence within them,” says Warren.

The latest research from McKinsey has found that Millennials, Gen X, and Gen Z are spending between four and five hours a day in the metaverse.

“This doesn’t mean they are sat there with a headset on,” Warren continues. “But this is where they are interacting and learning about the world.”

Development of the Black Lives Matter metaverse is being headed up by Georgina Wellman and Brendan Del, the head of business development and chief marketing officer at SineWave, respectively. The team’s experience in purposedriven world-building is pretty much unparalleled. Projects to their name include the NGO EcoPeace’s recreation of the Jordan River, a virtual world that brings Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli young adults together to discuss climate change; and Splash, a STEM learning platform for underrepresented and underprivileged youth looking to upskill to attain careers.

The team made moves to work with Black Lives Matter Licensing Movement two years ago after approaching Saphia to take on an advisory role in bringing better representation into their virtual worlds.

“Initial discussions revolved around the need for people to create character avatars that actually reflected black people: skin tones, hair, our body shapes; all of this needs to be reflected in the virtual world,” says Saphia. “In the virtual world, you can look like anything you want, but I can’t look like a black woman.”

Saphia has since lost track of the number of projects the Black Lives Matter metaverse has spun since introductions were made; from BLM-branded virtual merchandise to a George Floyd Memorial Concert, virtual recreations of the march along Pennsylvania Avenue or live-streaming Black events from around the world.

“We will even be working with the fashion designer Sibu to live stream his show from London Fashion Week in February in the Black Lives Matter metaverse,” explains Saphia.

“We don’t want to lose sight of the message of Black Lives

Matter and why we are landing in this space. This space is a place in which to push those conversations further and give back to Black Communities.”

In this regard, Saphia plans to work with youths and creators to begin building the Black Lives Matter world, training them in virtual world development and arming them with future skills for the jobs of tomorrow.

Inclusivity and accessibility therefore plays a major part in all of this.

“You don’t need particular hardware, or a headset,” says SineWave Breakthrough’s Georgina. “You could be sat in an internet café and you can participate. Accessibility to everyone is crucial. As a safe space for people to have conversations and build their community, this is a world that needs to be policed. And that’s

what we’ve made for Saphia and Black Lives Matter Licensing Movement, a virtual world that she and the team can control.”

A few days after our initial interview takes place, Products of Change receives a voice note from Saphia. She’s just spent an hour fine-tuning the look of her own avatar with the help of Brendan and Georgina. She’s excited.

“It was such an interesting process. Whenever I’ve seen black avatars before, I’ve always felt these were white people with a colour put on top of them,” she explains. “But we worked through everything I felt wasn’t right. The result was amazing. This is the first time I’ve truly felt included in this world.”

And this, beyond all else – the concerts and the livestreams – is exactly what the Movement is all about. Putting Black Lives well and truly at the table. Whether it’s a virtual one or not.

PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023 19
ABOVE: Saphia Maxamed, founder of the Black Lives Matter Licensing Movement in her avatar form. FAR LEFT: Saphia Maxamed, founder of the Black Lives Matter Licensing Movement in her real world human form.
BLACK LIVES MATTER: LICENSING MOVEMENT
LEFT: The Black Lives Matter metaverse will play host to events, discussions, and even concerts.

THE PRIORITY REPORT 2023

The environment and climate change has been recorded as, globally, the second most concerning issue for children – ringing it at 36.88% in an extensive new piece of global research conducted by the team at Kids Industries.

The most prevalent concern for children - as well as parents - arond the world (across the ten markets surveyed by KI), it may sadden you to learn, is

crime. Those results show higher levels of concern in particular territories; 56.28% of children in Mexico, 56.9% in Brazil, and 34.83% in the USA, where organised crime, gun crime, and school shootings occupy the national headlines.

It’s a telling story. The innocence of youth is being stolen all too early from our children, with fears creeping in from all angles. Perhaps it should come as no surprise? Headlines are filled with talk of war in Europe, injustice and

inequality the world over, and still too little is being invested in quality education and ending disparity.

It’s an important reminder, that while the world’s attention may currently be on the issue of climate change and the environment, there remains a lot of work to be done to help take the world towards a truly sustainable state of development. The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals – pictured below – have never seemed so important.

At Kids Industries, we’ve been working on an exciting new piece of research that surveys 5,000 families across the world to investigate what the global family looks like in 2023.

We conducted a gen pop survey of parents of children aged four to 13 from ten different countries: the UK, USA, France, Germany, Brazil, India, South Korea, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico.

Building on that research conducted periodically over the years, our recent batch of world-wide quantitative insight is wide-ranging in its focus but offers some crucially important insights into the views of parents and children on not only the environment but sustainable development in 2023.

In this issue of Products of Change, we share some of the golden nuggets of information surrounding sustainability. Kids Industries will be holding a conference on 16th March, called the Global Family, which will delve into the results of this research in more detail. Make sure to register at www.kidsindustries.com find out more details.

THE PARENTAL CONCERNS

Being a parent naturally involves taking on a lot of extra worry and responsibility, It’s part and parcel, we’re afraid. And in today’s world, when it comes to the wellbeing of their children, our research shows there is simply a lot for parents to be concerned about. And it’s not always sustainability and the environment that comes out on top.

Given the events of the past couple of years, it’s understandable that worries over illness and pandemics rank higher than the environment, with 28.17% of parents placing this as their highest issue of concern right now . Sadly, worries about crime and violence are what most parents (37.92%) across

the world are worried about, with concerns about financial problems coming second (29.98%).

What this tells us…

Is that the world is a complex place. In order for parents to do a good job of parenting their children, they need to make decisions every day about what concerns them, and what they have capacity to worry about. We can all understand that an immediate worry over things like crime, violence, and money troubles will be higher on the list than those that seem more existential, or larger, such as climate change.

KIDS INDUSTRIES RESEARCH 20 PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023
The average parent in 2023 has a lot on their plate, and climate change isn’t always priority number one. But, new research from Kids Industries proves just how crucial the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals will be from here on out.

SUSTAINABILITY IS A HIGH-LEVEL CONCERN FOR CHILDREN

Across the 22 countrie we asked parents what their children’s top concerns are for the future and across the ten markets we surveyed, the environment and climate change emerged, globally, as the second most concerning issue at 36.88%

Sadly, and like their parents, crime is placed at the top of that list for children globally, at 41.31%,

Similarly to their parents, children the world over are having to worry about these things at a younger age, and sometimes the environment – as something bigger, more existential or more esoteric, is secondary to those of crime and violence that are often closer to home.

In the UK, France, South Korea, and India, the environment and climate crisis is the number one concern for children. This suggests that the youth climate protests that swept the globe in 2019 have had a real and lasting effect, keeping the reality of the climate crisis front of mind for future generations.

However, there is a pinch of salt to be taken with this information. It’s certainly easy to say the environment is a concern and not change your habits. The online fast fashion giant Shein, for example, has seen revenues grow from $3.15bn in 2019 to $15.7bn in 2021, demonstrating that changing your habits is hard to do, particularly in a world that rewards decision-making based on low price or ease of access rather than ethical concerns. Especially when trends change so quickly and the pressure to fit in and keep up doesn’t diminish – kids want to be able to find their own identity and sometimes that involves being a chameleon, trying different clothes at an accessible price point, which Shein offers.

THE GLOBAL FAMILY 2023

If you are interested in finding out more about The Global Family in 2023, their attitudes to the environment, social justice issues, the digital world, and much more, please register your interest at www.kidsindustries.com to come along to our conference on 16th March. We would love to see you there.

NO POINTING FINGERS

All this is not to point fingers at children and parents. We’re not the ‘Old Man yells at Cloud’ meme lifted from The Simpsons, here. But we are suggesting there are more culpable parties here than the raw data would present.

It’s down to everyone to make it easier to choose environmentally friendly options, from parents to lead by example in the home and in their children’s everyday lives, to companies to switch to more ethical practices and supply chains faster than they currently are, to crafty individuals to share their knowledge of sewing, upholstery, and upcycling to make products last longer.

It’s encouraging that the environment and climate crisis has gone from being a fringe issue that kids learn in one-off lessons at school to being far better integrated into their daily lives. With awareness comes a greater impetus for action, and we can confidently say that kids and families around the world are aware of these issues.

But it’s easier to say that from a place more privileged to put environmental concerns at the forefront. What this research highlights wonderfully, is that the pathway to sustainable development the world over is more than about tackling climate change right now. It’s why, featured in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals – the building blocks towards a better and more prosperous future for all around the world – tackling inequality, poverty, improving education, ending disparity, upholding peace, justice and strong institutions, affordable, clean energy, zero hunger and sustainable cities and communities are all factored in.

And what a set of goals to bring into our everyday lives.

PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023 21
KIDS INDUSTRIES RESEARCH

FOR NATURE LICENSING, A FORCE

Towards the end of last year, Paramount declared its SpongeBob SquarePants Operation Sea Change a ‘go,go,go’.

The multi-pronged campaign comes with the purpose of tackling ocean plastic pollution through a series of sustainability and environmental-driven licensing collaborations and initiatives.

As a fit, it’s terrific. With a love of the ocean at its heart, the concept is designed to fund global clean-ups, promote sustainable products, and educate millions of fans around the world to help protect life below water. A suitable endeavour, indeed, honouring the legacy of the IP and the character himself created by the marine science educator, Stephen Hillenburg.

To deliver the programme, Paramount has partnered with NGO experts in the field: Surfers Against Sewage, the Coral Restoration Foundation, and more. As partnerships go, this is one steeped in purpose. And purpose is fundamental.

The licensing industry is one built on partnership. Without it, our $300bn global business simply wouldn’t exist. But understanding the ‘why?’ of it all is crucial. It’s as Kingston Myles, head of commercial development at English Heritage

puts it: “Without the purpose… why bother?”

Partnerships with Purpose are thriving in the licensing space right now. They are driving action – not only across business but across cultures and barriers. Already in this issue, we’ve witnessed The Smurfs partner with the United Nations to promote gender equality, and we’ve deepdived into Black Lives Matter’s collaboration with SineWave to bring its message into the Metaverse.

The licensing industry is seeing its relationship with sustainable development mature into something really rather incredible.

“Many of our favourite character brands are taking up causes, engaging their fanbases, and using their unique voice to raise awareness, encourage behaviour change, and increase financial support for relevant causes,” Tracey Richardson, licensing and partnership director at Louis Kennedy, and Partnerships Ambassador for Products of Change, explains.

“To have credibility, the ‘voice must ring true’ to effectively engage with audiences and drive change. And we’re seeing plenty of that emerge in a new calibre of licensing partnership.”

The partnership between Aardman’s Robin Robin and the RSPB, for example, has seen the creation of Robin Robin Adventure Trails across more than 30 of the charity’s UK nature sites, while Mr Men and Little Miss recently lifted the lid on their partnership with the circular home products company, Ecover. This partnership included the launch of a new character and her corresponding book title, Little

Miss Waste Less. Through her story, she encourages families to reduce their waste by reusing and repairing items instead.

“A partnership with Ecover was the perfect backdrop to create a new character,” says Tracey. “Educating the public about the brand, driving engagement and reaching a family audience adds value to new and existing customers: it’s win, win, win.”

Then, of course, we are seeing a growing input from the charity sector which is growing input from the charity sector which is increasingly turning to licensing as a revenue to plough back into its operations; we’re talking conservation, environmental protection and in some cases, even activism.

It’s something we’ve coined ‘Regenerative Licensing, a concept we’d like to explore in more detail with three key stories.

LICENSING 22 PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023
The licensing industry is becoming a hotbed of partnerships with purpose as increasingly campaigns launch that hold environmentalism, equality, and even activism at their core.
Products of Change’s Rob Hutchins and Partnerships Ambassador, Tracey Richardson explore.
RIGHT: Paramount introduced SpongeBob SquarePants Operation Sea Change late last to tackle ocean pullution. RIGHT: Aardman’s Robin Robin enjoys a special partnership with the conservation charity, RSPB. BELOW: Products of Change’s Ambassador for Partnerships, Tracey Richardson pictured at SiLC 2022 with a pair of Wombles. Great Uncle Bulgaria and Orinoco, to be precise.

A WING FOR NATURE

Hello Louisa, good to catch up! Tell us about the RSPB licensing programme, the strategy and the ethos that drives it. The RSPB’s licensing programme is well established and now consists of around 30 fantastic partners. Our licensing programme is an important way of generating funds and brand awareness for the RSPB, as well as sourcing relevant product for our own retail outlets and using products to educate and inspire consumers about nature. Our strategy is to partner with licensees who can create relevant, sustainably sourced products that convey our values and can effectively generate income that goes towards our vital conservation work.

How is the idea of conservation and environmental protection upheld in the way RSPB approaches licensing?

Conservation is a major consideration when sourcing relevant licensees. We ask prospective partners to complete an environmental questionnaire prior to signing, and development plans and materials are checked with our Commercial Environmental Specialist to make sure they reflect our sourcing policy. We target potential partners that already have good environmental credentials, but also those who have the potential to improve and implement better methods.

Fantastic, so it’s embedded in the strategy. Tell us, how does your licensing programme support the environmental work you do?

All the distributable profits from licensing income are donated through Gift Aid to the RSPB to fund vital conservation work, and this covers a breadth of projects. In some cases, we do work on a more localised level, for example with our partner St David’s Gin. The profits from this income go directly back to Ramsey Island, where the botanicals for the gin are foraged, to support its conservation work and wildlife. As part of this funding from licensing, a UV tap has been installed on the Island, meaning that the Island shop could remove the single use plastic water bottles previously sold to visitors.

That’s brilliant! So, licensing here is having a tangible, positive impact on community and environment. How key is it in driving awareness of the work the RSPB does?

It’s a hugely valuable way of reaching new audiences through new channels. Whether this is children learning different birds and bird songs with our singing plush from Wild Republic, youth groups being inspired to take part in Big Garden Birdwatch through our challenge packs and sew-on badges from Pawprint Family, or pottery collectors extending their understanding of the key species on our reserves by purchasing one of our Moorcroft vases, each product conveys important RSPB messaging to differing demographics.

All while telling the RSPB story, of course?

Yes, all product tells the RSPB’s conservation story through the positive choices that have been made regarding sustainable materials and environmentally conscious sourcing. The design work also tells the stories of the species and nature that we are trying to protect. Some of our products also tell a more direct story, for example our wildlife-friendly bare root hedging from Hedges Direct and wildlife-attractor wildflower seeds from Sylvawood Seeds contribute to our mission of creating a shared world where wildlife, wild places and all people thrive. Similarly, our RSPB coffee from Bird & Wild is shade grown to protect the habitats of birds and wildlife.

So, what does regenerative licensing mean to you?

It’s using product to connect a wider audience to nature and encourage consumers to make sustainable choices. With some of our product ranges we tie in directly to RSPB campaigns, and licensing therefore joins in with our call for action for nature.

ABOVE: Louisa Skevington, RSPB’s product licensing manager. LEFT: St David’s Gin generates profits for Ramsey Island’s conservation work. FAR LEFT: Sylvawood Seeds helping wildlife thrive.
LICENSING PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023 23
LEFT: Metal Bird UK’s bird silhouettes are made from recycled steel.
The RSPB is a charity on a mission to protect habitats, save species, and end the nature and climate emergency. It also has a fully-fledged licensing business that funds its efforts. We catch up with RSPB’s product licensing manager, Louisa Skevington to explore the organisation’s regenerative licensing strategy

TRUST

BUILDING

It’s rather a weighty reputation to bring into the brand licensing sector. But as the charity’s success in the space to date would reflect, licensing is maturing to it. More than that, so too are audiences.

“Our USP is that we are Europe’s largest conservation charity, therefore we should be leaders in sustainability,” Clare Brown, head of licensing at the National Trust, tells Products of Change.

“For our licensees, they’re able to authentically be a part of the need to address climate change through our status as a conservation charity.

“They can also play a part in allowing nature to thrive and put people’s wellbeing – our founding principle, that everyone has the right to access green spaces – at the forefront.”

As such, every penny generated by the National Trust – through memberships, admissions, and yes, consumer products, too – goes back into the charity, helping it to look after the environmental and historical areas under its guardianship. Consequently, it has built a licensing programme reflective of its stature and authority on the matter of nature.

The National Trust proactively looks for licensees with “strong

environmental credentials”, the kind that will help the charity tell its story to a wider audience through products “often inspired by, or reflecting, the places we care for.”

“Many of the licensees we approach are also looking for a way of authentically giving back to an organisation such as ours,” says Clare. “Therefore, brand licensing is a good way of doing that credibly.”

With 250,000 hectares of countryside, 780 miles of coastline, and 500 places of nature, beauty, and history under its care, the National Trust stands as an advocate and voice for nature.
LICENSING 24 PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023
ABOVE: A beautiful sunrise over one of the many sites the National Trust protects. FAR RIGHT: Children’s literary hero, Percy the Park Keeper enjoyed a special presence with the National Trust. RIGHT: Barrow & Ball are one of the National Trust’s longstanding partners.

To the National Trust, the story it tells is critical. The better the storytelling, Clare explains, the better consumers engage, “as they want to back a charity that matters to them personally.” And the greater the backing and public support of an organisation like the National Trust, the greater clout, authority, and influence it has over matters that concern the conservation of our natural spaces.

“The most obvious way that brand licensing helps the National Trust achieve its core mission is that the royalties we receive from our licensees are an important source of income that supports this work,” continues Clare. “However, it is much more nuanced than that. Brand licensing allows the Trust to reach different audiences that may never have had contact with us, and by creating products that are authentically inspired by the National Trust, this raises awareness and creates an emotional connection and loyalty to our brand and the work we do.

“If we get the authentic link between our brand and licensee spot on, not only does it appeal to the right audience and sell well; it informs, educates, and inspires consumers to hopefully want to be more engaged with conservation, nature, and history themselves.”

Take the National Trust’s range of Derwent artist pencils, for instance.

Its packaging features sketches - produced with the pencils themselves – of the wildlife found around the River Derwent in the Lake District. Part of the river is under the care of the National Trust.

“By including it on the packaging, we are able to highlight that income from these products funds conservation projects in the area, specifically our Riverlands project which benefits the Derwent,” says Clare.

“It’s a perfect circle. By buying the product a

consumer contributes to a cause that matters to them personally.”

Throw in the fact that the National Trust only works with partners on their journey of sustainable development;

home, garden, and the outdoors. We look for brands who share our passion for looking after places for the benefit of the nation; whether that’s championing nature, the outdoors, or historic houses and the incredible interiors within,” Clare explains.

able to adapt to the most sustainable choices, and you’re looking at the current pinnacle of regenerative licensing.

“We focus on the product categories that are most closely linked to the Trust, such as

“But most importantly, we want our licensees to work with us for a long time and we want them to grow as we are growing. We look for brands with innovative product development, ideally made in the UK, with marketing content that raises the profile of where their royalties are doing good, and discerning audiences who care that their purchase directly benefits a charitable and environmental cause.”

LICENSING PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023 25
Left: Derwent artist pencils plough money back into conservation of the River Derwent. FAR LEFT: A big hotel to encourage nature regeneration. LEFT: The famous National Trust emblem taking pride of place at Morden Hall Park.
“If we get the authentic link between our brand and licensee spot on, not only does it appeal to the right audience and sell well; it informs, educates, and inspires consumers to hopefully want to be more engaged with conservation, nature, and history themselves.”

KEEPING ENGLAND “ALIVE”

The English Heritage licensing programme aims to keep the Story of England Alive - a line you’ll find on all its products.

A conservation and stewardship charity with over 400 historic properties and monuments across England – as well as the custodians of the Blue Plaque Scheme in London (of which there are over 900) – it’s no small task that befalls the charity’s head of commercial development, Kingston Myles.

The reason being is licensing, he tells Products of Change, “is as critical as all the work English Heritage does as a charity.” Not least because of the spaces in which it drives brand awareness; from product in retailers like John Lewis and Sainsbury’s to a portfolio of independent stores and, more recently, pubs and bars.

“Everything our programme creates links back to England through the values of Quality, Authenticity, Respect, Fun, and Imagination. The charity is a much-loved institution, which means our programme needs to embody that and help strengthen the brand and its engagement,” says Kingston. “I want customers to love the product as much as they do us.”

It’s a convincing sell, and that’s because English Heritage’s licensing

programme is rooted in purpose. It is etched in the ‘why’ of it all. CEO, Kate Mavor once described the outfit as ‘a museum of England,’ a summation that captures its story “really well.”

“Beyond just generating income – why bother?” questions Kingston. “Why create a product, invest in design, tooling, production, and marketing? Purpose is why consumers choose a licensed product over another product or brand, it’s a moment in which we can create ambassadors for our story beyond the sites and monuments we care for. Purpose really drives everything this programme does. It can’t be any other way.”

That purpose is also empowering. Kingston sees no value in compromise, if a product or partnership doesn’t bring the charity’s purpose to life, or hold up the values established for the programme, it doesn’t get done. It’s what helps the charity keep its feet planted firmly in the story of England.

“Of course, we’re always going to face the challenges of manufacturing in England. It would be impossible to assume the future of licensed products is purely ‘Made in England,” says Kingston. “But I do think for the most sustainable future in licensing, brands need to be comfortable starting

smaller. Yes, the numbers take longer to mature, but if you can help re-ignite home grown products, and drive business growth – why wouldn’t you?”

With its values rooted in conservation, it’s no surprise that in-house sustainability – the need to reduce its own environmental impact and adapt to climate change – is one currently under the microscope.

“In everything we do, we’re asking ourselves the big questions around sustainability,” explains Kingston. “We’ve recently launched our 202225 climate action plan which best outlines the organisation’s approach to long-term sustainability.”

Meanwhile, to the backdrop of what has been a rather chaotic start to the year with headwinds as yet still unabating, English Heritage is finding many positives.

“The key for us is to stand by our principles and create a programme which can continue to support the charity and all its aims in the long run. It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” Kingston concludes.

LICENSING 26 PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023
With over 400 historic properties and monuments across England under its guard, English Heritage keeps purpose at the centre of everything it does. Including licensing.
ABOVE RIGHT: English Heritage works with English producers, like this gzin. ABOVE FAR RIGHT: The company has a dedicated ‘eco collection’ listed in its English Heritage shop. RIGHT: Working with British manufacturers led to the charity’s partnership with Wentworth Puzzles. RIGHT: Kingston Myles, English Heritage’s head of commercial development.

ESG PLANS DOOMED TO FAIL WITHOUT EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT, SAYS AILUNA

Company culture is ‘the foundation of success’ in bringing business ESG plans to life, the founder of the sustainable habit-building app, Ailuna has told Products of Change.

Lars Ronning, one half of the founding duo behind the Ailuna App, has stated that companies failing to engage employees will not be as successful in hitting their sustainability targets and will ‘struggle to recruit and retain the best talent’ now and in the future.

“Furthermore, since customers want to buy from companies that truly embrace sustainability, without employee engagement their brand values, revenues, and profitability will be impacted,” he told Products of Change.

Ailuna is a behavioural change app and platform, a ‘Couch to 5K for sustainable lifestyles’, that helps users integrate sustainable habits step-by-step into their daily work and home routines. It’s a platform inspired by thought leaders in the field of behavioural change, such as James Clear and backed by behavioural scientists including Professor CB Bhattacharya, the author of ‘Small Actions, Big Difference’.

Three years in development and testing with individual users, Ailuna is launching its business and corporation-facing platform to help companies build sustainability into their company culture progressively and for longevity.

“We are launching leaderboards and enterprise dashboards, implementing CO2 impact measurements and reporting as well as an ‘experience points’ system and improved gamification,” said Lars.

Ailuna is also developing a methodology to enable clients to reduce costs of energy and transportation, all largely driven by employee behaviour.

“We hear from many companies we speak with that energy and transportation are two of their top priorities to address, so this is very exciting for us and for large building owners and managers. We are truly excited about the road ahead.”

KEEPING MEMBERS UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST NEWS

CREATURE & CO DRAWS ON THE UN’S 17 SDGS FOR NEW CARD GAME

The creative agency, Creature & Co has launched a new game designed to raise awareness of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the shared building blocks to peace and prosperity for people and the planet.

Called Go for Goals, the card game is designed for two to six players as they act to collect and secure the United Nations’ 17 SDGs to contribute towards ending world problems for the good of humanity.

The game follows a similar mechanic to popular titles such as Ticket to Ride or Pandemic and features three types of cards: World Problem cards, Event cards, and UN SDG cards. Unpredictable Event cards act to scupper player progress or help them on their mission to drive positive change.

“Gamification is a great tool for simplifying challenging topics, and that’s exactly what we’ve done with Go for Goals; used the game as a tool to help people understand how positively contributing to the UN SDGs creates real, tangible impact for the good of humanity,” said Oliver Selby, Creature & Co’s senior content creator.

TIE BACKS EU PROPOSAL FOR HARMONISED PACKAGING RECYCLING

EU proposals to harmonise packaging recycling across its member states have been backed by the international toy group, Toy Industries of Europe.

Plans to introduce a common EU sorting label explaining what to do with single-use toy packaging have been described as “a vast improvement on current solutions,” that require companies to create different packaging for each European member state.

Lidia Galus, sustainability policy officer at TIE, said today’s system ‘does nothing but defeat the goal of sustainability in the industry’ as each market in Europe has different requirements for packaging.

The proposed changes are part of a larger European Green Deal which is now in the review stage across the EU Commission.

“A common EU sorting label to explain how to properly dispose of packaging waste will be a real improvement on the current situation where EU Member States have hastily implemented their own sorting rules,” said Lidia.

In its role to ensure the toy industry remains ‘vocal and visible’ throughout the EU’s “rollercoaster law-making process”, the TIE is drawing a hard line when it comes to the Green Deal’s designs for reuse and circularity in packaging.

“Mandatory reuse targets are impractical for toy packaging,” said Lidia. “Packaging functions as safety, security, promotion, and display. We want to ensure that safety takes precedent and sustainability rules achieve their goals by being workable.

She added: “We want to ensure that toymakers’ sustainable innovations – such as those who win the TIE’s Play for Change Awards – raise the bar for the industry as a whole.”

RIGHT: Lars Ronning (left) and Helene, the founders of the Ailuna App
PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023 27 MEMBER NEWS
INSET: Lidia Galus, sustainability policy officer at TIE.

RAINBOW PRODUCTIONS KICKS OFF 40 YEARS OF FLUFF WITH SUSTAINABILITY TARGET

Last year, Rainbow Productions won three Chamber of Commerce Awards: Best Large Independent Business, Best Creative Business, and Best Business of 2022. This year, the team has its sights trained on the Best Sustainability Award. This is the target being set by managing director Simon Foulkes who is placing sustainability at the top of the company’s initiatives for 2023.

Coinciding with Rainbow Productions’ 40th anniversary – 40 years of fluff, as it calls it – the team is bringing sustainability to the forefront by establishing an in-house Green Team to collect data and assess the trajectory of the business’ lean into impact reduction for the year ahead.

As part of her third year dissertation at the University of Greenwich, Business with Finance, Sophie Elliot will intern at the character costume specialist to evaluate Rainbow Productions on how the business can most efficiently restructure and implement its sustainability strategy to increase performance.

AYKROYD & SONS TO DRIVE SUSTAINABILITY ‘WITH RENEWED ENERGY FOR 2023’

The licensed apparel specialist, Aykroyd & Sons is preparing to publish its very own sustainable sourcing policy document, Sourcing for the Future as part of its renewed push for better sustainability both in-house and across its supply chain.

The team made major moves to restructure its Compliance and Sustainability division at the end of 2022 to bring on board a revitalised team to implement some major sustainability plans for the new year.

Other initiatives that fall under this new focus include the “accelerated rollout” of its 3D Design and Technology service powered by Optitex and the publication of its first responsible sourcing document, Sourcing for the Future.

“This is something we’ve been working on for some time as we wanted to make clear to both our licensing and retail partners what our strategy and aims are in this area while making ourselves accountable for achieving them,” Rob Broadhurst, commercial director at Aykroyd & Sons, told Products of Change.

“We’re coming in with a real energy to ensure the sustainable message stays at the forefront of both ours and our partners’ plans, despite all the challenges of the retail and economic climate.”

Sophie’s report will look to complete four objectives, the first being to assess the company’s current impact, procedures, and culture. It will then identify the five most impactful projects Rainbow Productions can undertake dependent on resources while reviewing the activity of competitors and consumer trends in sustainability.

The report’s fourth objective will be to identify return on investments into sustainability and efficiencies that will “give cost savings to offset the price of employing a sustainability manager’.

“Last year we were lucky enough to win three Chamber of Commerce Awards: Best Large Independent Business, Best Creative Business, and lastly the top award of Best Business 2022,” said Simon Foulkes, Rainbow Productions’ md. “This year, I want to set a target that we win the Best Sustainability Award.”

ANNIE MALS JOINS POC WITH MISSION TO LEVEL-UP KIDS’ LEARNING

Annie Mals, a children’s IP on a mission to empower youngsters, has set its intentions for sustainable development by joining Products of Change.

Created by the award-winning charity fundraiser, Emily Samuels, Annie Mals aims to help kids aged three to eight face today’s evolving world “without fear” and adopt behaviours that will prepare “future leaders and individuals to think and respond differently to achieve a better future for us all.”

Recognising that sustainability sits at the core of those behavioural changes, Emily has joined the Products of Change community to work alongside like-minded companies to be a part of the solution.

“Part of kids’ learning is to understand that everyone has the ability to impact change, that should be embedded in young children’s learning so they grow up believing that anything is possible,” said Emily.

“Two heads are better than one and collaboration is key in driving significant change. POC has already showcased the opportunity for like-minded companies to work together to be part of the solution rather than the problem.”

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM AND LEGO ‘BUILD THE CHANGE’ WITH KS2 RESOURCE

by looking to the example of birds. Kids will learn that humans can have both negative and positive effects on nature.

Course documents will include lesson plans, presentations, and speaker notes as well as case study sessions tackling issues of habitat loss, water pollution, light and noise pollution.

The Natural History Museum is using small bricks to convey some big messages, teaming with the LEGO Group to deliver new Key Stage 2 classroom resources.

Called Build the Change: Human Impact, the course will have students explore human impact upon the planet

Beth Stone, head of learning at the Natural History Museum, said: “We love collaborating with the LEGO Group because there is such a clear synergy between our teams and values, and we recognise the importance of igniting young imaginations through play.

“Our collaborative activities with the LEGO Group nurture problemsolving and creativity in children while encouraging the next generation to take an interest in protecting the natural world.

Above: Rob Broadhurst, commercial director at Aykroyd & Sons.
MEMBER NEWS 28 PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023
Above: Simon Foulkes, Rainbow Productions md.

ROCKET LICENSING BRINGS ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION ‘TO LIFE’

Rocket Licensing has declared its intention to work “as sustainably as possible” across its partnerships while placing purpose at the centre of all of them.

The licensing agency has had a successful run of award-winning, purpose-driven partnerships over the last year, including a summer stint at Eden Project Cornwall for the iconic British comic IP, Beano and The Very Hungry Caterpillar Story nature trail at Kew Gardens.

Beano’s Eden Project delivered a bespoke comic strip to convey some serious messages on climate change in a fun and engaging way, while The Very Hungry Caterpillar used its title character

to explore the importance of biodiversity conservation.

Beano also enjoyed its own campaign with Kew Gardens in which the fragility of global food systems were explored from the perspective of the beloved banana.

“Sustainability and positive purpose will always be important to our licensing activity and how it is executed,” said Melissa Satterly, brand manager at Rocket Licensing. “And where the brand voice fits, it makes so much sense to build a programme around these themes.

“Of course, in all our licensing we are working with our partners to develop product as sustainably as possible.”

HONEST BOTTLE AND SIPPLE PARTNER TO PLUG UK’S PLASTIC PROBLEM

Co-Cre8, the plastics recycling and waste management expert behind the Honest consumer brand has partnered with Sipple on a project to find a solution to the production of single use plastic water bottles.

Honest launched to the consumer space with its Honest Bottle last year, a reusable drinks bottle produced from recycled PET plastic. In doing so, the team became the first in the UK to bring single use plastic into a circular system in such a way.

To support the launch of the product, Co-Cre8 has established its Honest Project, a campaign to end consumer reliance on single use plastic water bottles by increasing public access to water refill stations.

“We understand that people today are driven by convenience, so until is it accessible and convenient to refill their water bottle, they will opt for the single-use alternative,” Georgia Bell, sales and marketing manager at Co-Cre8 told Products of Change.

“But removing revenue of water bottle sales will naturally create a reluctance for retail. However, ideas like water vending machines that dispense free tap water or filtered water at a small cost create a solution.

“We are working with the UK company, Sipple, to do just this with the Honest Project.”

Co-Cre8 is using sales of its Honest Bottle to fund the advance of its Honest Project and help develop a UK infrastructure for public access to reuse and refill.

The Honest Bottle has been shortlisted for Sustainable or Ethical Gift of the Year 2023 and will be showcasing its development at Spring Fair this month.

LICENSING INTERNATIONAL TIEUP IS ‘KEY TO 2023 GROWTH,’ SAYS DELIVERING GOOD

Delivering Good, the US charity supporting communities in need, has pitched itself as ‘the ideal choice’ for companies looking for a ‘more sustainable alternative’ for handling excess merchandise.

Over the course of 2022, the outfit connected over 15 million units of new, donated merchandise – valued at over $139 million – with individuals and families dealing with poverty, disaster, and other major challenges.

For 2023, a recent tie-up with Licensing International will be a key driver in building awareness around the charity and ‘how working with us can help companies meet sustainability goals, create social impact, and promote their commitment to business for good.’

Matthew Fasciano, president and ceo of Delivering Good, said: “Rather than filling landfills, new, unneeded items can be put to use helping individuals and families who are struggling with a range of social and economic challenges.”

ERVE EARMARKS 2023 A ‘BIG YEAR FOR IMPACT REDUCTION’

The licensed fashion powerhouse, Erve Europe has earmarked 2023 as a big year for CO2 reduction across its operations as it looks to bring 50% of its suppliers into alignment with its environmental targets.

The Belgian apparel specialist has told Products of Change its plans include having a clear overview of its Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, including those of its strategic suppliers and Erve head office and Beconnected offices.

Currently, around one quarter of the strategic suppliers Erve works with follow environmental auditing procedures. This year, Erve will work to ensure a further 25% of non-strategic suppliers are following suit.

Under the company’s three pillars of People, Planet, and Product, Erve has made major headway in bringing sustainable practices to its licensing and apparel business, whether that’s delivered through increased use of sustainable materials in its products or in the reduction of water, energy, or chemical usage across its production processes.

Across Erve’s current portfolio, a total of 44% makes use of more sustainable materials such as Better Cotton and GOTS certified cotton. By the end of this year, Erve also aims to have increased the amount of cotton clothing that is recycled, organic, or sustainably sourced to 50%.

“As the first next step, we are launching a supplier questionnaire on responsible purchasing practices to get their feedback on how responsibly we are buying,” said Kyra Claeys, CSR and project officer at Erve Europe.

“We believe the licensing industry can be a sustainable industry, but to achieve that we must collaborate with different stakeholders. We’re currently looking into opportunities to combine forces with licensors to introduce sustainable collections and make sustainability affordable in the licensing industry.”

MEMBER NEWS
PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023 29

A HYVE OF SUSTAINABLE

RESOURCES

Okay, we know the score. You hear the word whitepapers and suddenly you’ve remembered you left the oven on. The kids need picking up from school. The cat litter tray needs emptying. There are literally a thousand reasons not to read one.

None of them cropped up when Products of Change embarked on its joint venture with Hyve Group – the esteemed team behind Spring and Autumn Fair – to deliver a five-part series of learning and knowledge resources all on the topic of sustainability.

And we hope that says everything you need to know about us.

Yes, you read that correctly. That number again is indeed five. Sustainability is, after all, one hell of a meaty topic to sink your gnashers into. But it’s also one filled with exciting potential to unlock new business models, new revenue streams, and a whole new age of working in harmony with the planet and its resources, rather than battling against it.

And the best part is, that knowledge is all at our finger tips, now.

It’s all part of Hyve Group’s ongoing Power of One campaign, by the way. Spring and Autumn Fair regulars will know all about this. But it’s perhaps always good to refresh.

You see, Spring Fair is using its portfolio of events as a chance to make a positive impact on people and the planet. The February buying show has demonstrated its commitment to the cause through the launch of its Power of One campaign built upon three powerful pledges to help retailers take steps to “change the world, their mental health, and their environment.”

“Our aim, though collaboration, is to assist retailers and brands with their journey to operating a more sustainable, ethical, and regenerative business,’ explains Lucy Green, senior marketing manager at Spring and Autumn Fair. “And the aim of the whitepapers is to continue the show’s Power of One activity by providing

businesses with the tools to build action, and together reduce the collective impact over the next eight years across industry.”

Hammer. Nail. Head. [metaphorically speaking!] This ethos sits at the heart of Products of Change (the sustainability bit, not the DIY reference). Which is why Spring Fair 2023 marks the grand unveiling of a new suite of resources for retailers, or indeed anyone with a vested interest in the planet. And if you’re reading this, that could very well be you.

The Pathway to Sustainability, The Circular Economy, Consumer Trends, Navigating the Green Claims Code and Avoiding Greenwashing, and Legislation. These are the five foundations of industry’s journey of sustainable development. They also happen to be the five whitepapers Products of Change has been working on – in partnership with Hyve Group and the creative agency NOSY – to launch in time for this year’s Spring Fair.

The resources have been created by the experts at Products of Change, including founder Helena Mansell-Stopher, Products of Change’s Circular Economy Ambassador, James George, and Packaging and Materials ambassador, Mike Swain.

“Education is at the heart of Products of Change and to get the opportunity to deliver some practical guidelines to the industry through our collaboration and help the industry navigate the broad topic of sustainability

to build actionwithin business through these whitepapers, is a real privilege,” says Lucy. “We can’t wait to see how this work is transitioned into business to drive real action.

“Thanks to our partnership with Products of Change, we can deliver real education to our audience of retailers and suppliers, with which they can begin to build actionable steps as part of a wider strategy to transition towards sustainability and business practices that benefit people and the planet.

“We are really excited to deliver this first series of whitepapers through the lens of the expertise at Products of Change and look forward to seeing the positive change we can all drive across business around the world together.”

The Power of One x Products of Change whitepaper series will be made open source available to everyone across the retail industries. Be sure to check out www.springfair.com and www.productsofchange. com to stay updated.

PRODUCTS OF CHANGE: THE WHITE PAPERS 30 PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023
RIGHT: Lucy Green, senior marketing manager at Spring and Autumn Fair, Helena Mansell-Stopher, founder of Products of Change, James George, POC’s circular economy ambassador, and Nikki Griffiths, group communications and ESG director at Hyve Group.
A bold new partnership between Spring Fair organiser Hyve Group and Products of Change has seen the grand unveiling of a new series of educational resources designed for retailers, buyers, and industry folk alike taking their first steps with sustainable development.

IMITATES LIFE WHEN ART

forms of biomimicry: ecosystem, process, then form,” he explains.

No, it isn’t yawning when someone else does.

Biomimicry, as the Institute refers to it, is a ‘practice that learns from and mimics the strategies found in nature to solve human design challenges… and find hope.’

As such, it’s a fundamental element of designing for the circular economy. Particularly when it comes to designing out waste. Nature doesn’t create waste. James George, Products of Change’s circular economy ambassador will readily tell you that “waste is a failure of human design.”

“We are the only species on the planet to create waste through our activities. It is a fundamental failure of our design processes,” he says.

Biomimicry holds the solution.

“Many creatives have been deeply inspired to develop products and services through the observation of nature around us,” explains Paul De’Ath, Products of Change’s ambassador for education. “If we look back to Da Vinci in the 15th Century, he was inspired by the falling leaves of maple trees to create his sketches for a helicopter.

“Okay, it was unworkable at the time due to our limited technological development of machines, but a great example of how inspiring nature can be.”

There are actually three different types of Biomimicry; copying

form, copying process, and mimicking ecosystems. Da Vinci was a ‘copying form’ kind of guy. But while each come with their benefits to design, it’s arguable that the most relevant and valuable is at an ecosystem level.

“Nature is a finely honed, interdependency of climate and environment that self-manages and self-modifies,” says Paul.

“The human impact has been to disrupt that balance. But by understanding the critical interdependencies, we will be better informed and more able to replicate balanced ecosystems.”

This is because it is empathetic with nature. Janine Benyus, an American natural sciences writer and innovation consultant says inventors simply need to ask one thing: ‘What would nature do here?’

“What we are trying to do is emulate the natural world to create a more sustainable one; whether it’s in products, policies, and new ways of living that will allow us to live more gracefully on this planet.”

The next question is, how do we start to apply biomimicry to our business? According to Paul, it’s a five-step process.

“First, you must identify your own business challenges and then break them down into the three

“Then comes the fun part. Begin researching how nature resolves similar challenges. Seek out examples of purity and purpose that exist in nature and look deeply into the complexity behind that purity.

“This will help you with step four: Questioning why your current approach exists and how would nature solve the problem.

“As a final stage, when everyone is agreed upon the direction and development, it’s worthwhile reflecting on the knowledge gained through the process of researching. We know that nature’s balance also delivers change – evolution – and at some point, a small discovery along your development process (which may seem irrelevant to the task today) at some point in the future, will become a key aspect of the next change you face.”

For an industry of deeply creative thinkers, the potential that the Biomimicry principle offers to work in tune with nature’s balance is limitless. They say life imitates art. It’s time we switched the narrative.

BIOMIMICRY PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023 31
Looking to nature for inspiration isn’t a new concept, but it is a skill that today’s inventors need to reawaken to strike a balance with the planet. Products of Change explores the concept of Biomimicry.
ABOVE: Paul De’Ath is the course leader, BA Products and Industrial Design College, Central Saint Martins. He is also POC’s ambassador for education. BELOW: Nature knows the answer. The natural world has been running the longest R&D department known to the planet.

END CONSUMER? YES, PLEASE

Heidi Florence, the founder of the sustainability impact consultancy Fair

Enough would like to address the elephant in the room. It’s high tide we did. Have we got a problem when we refer to our audiences as consumers?

There’s consumer demand, consumer products, consumables. It’s all consuming. Take, make, throwaway. Repeat. Is it perhaps the way we perceive our role in society that has led us to where we are now? The answer’s a resounding ‘yes’, we know this. But are we ready to address it?

“When it comes to talking about ‘consumer demand’, I think we need to be careful,” says Heidi. “When we label people as ‘consumers’ our individual responsibility for the product we’re buying feels diminished and we see ourselves at the ‘end of the line’ rather than as part of a cyclical and interconnected process and with the world.”

In her line of work, helping businesses understand their operational impact on people and the planet to build strategies to “reduce their negatives and increase their positives”, Heidi has been trying to say ‘demand from customers’ or ‘demand from people.’ And that’s led to another crisis of conscience.

“Then, by focusing on consumer demand, we diminish

the responsibility of business to influence what people want. Advertising and marketing have a huge part to play in helping people make the right choices.”

The crux of the conversation is obvious. It’s about putting the responsibility back into each of our roles. ‘Consumer Demand’ after all, is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This is all ‘B Corp’ thinking, by the way. We say that because it’s a process Heidi knows insideout. She’s a self-confessed ‘big advocate’ of the B Corp assessment framework for its coverage of “all aspects of social and environmental impact.” It’s one of the many ways in which her business, Fair Enough helps customers – by preparing them for B Corp accreditation.

B-what? You may be asking.

So, let’s explore. At the end of last year, a new milestone was announced that there are now 1,000 B Corps here in the UK. That was an increase of 77% in just one year. To date, the movement has been largely driven by small businesses recognising the need to transform our global economy to benefit all people, communities, and our planet. In fact, you may already know – or even work for - a few.

Across our own sectors, Talking Tables and Pure Table Top have in the last year achieved B Corp certified status, while in the toy industry, the likes of Gibsons Games and Geomag, small, independently-

run businesses, are in hot pursuit of their own accreditations.

“B Corps strive to deliver benefits for all stakeholders by measuring their impact on employees, customers, and communities, not just shareholders,” says Heidi. “This means that B Corps are well-equipped to step up to the scale of the challenges we face and, by operating to reduce negative impacts, send ripples through their supply chains and redefine what we once viewed as a successful business.”

For extra clout, B Lab UK data shows that, compared to traditional businesses, B Corps have a faster growth in turnover (27% vs 5%) and employee headcount (14% vs 1%), greater levels of employee retention, engagement, and diversity, higher levels of innovation, and are more successful in securing equity finance (70% vs 56%).

“Even in these challenging times – a cost-of-living crisis impacting customer demand for sustainable product – this is where B Corps will be better placed because they are likely to have forged transparent relationships with customers and are likely to already share transparency about their supply chain and how their products are made.”

So there’s a wealth of success to be had simply by reducing your negatives and increasing your positives. And all this is achievable without the need for a ‘consumer.’

INSET: Heidi Florence is a sustainability impact consultant and founder of Fair Enough, an outfit helping businesses reduce their negative impact.
FOCUS ON: B CORP PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023 33
ABOVE: Business as a Force for Good is ingrained in the B Corp ethos, a framework for delivering a positive approach to industry.
Fair Enough’s Heidi Florence is of the B Corp way of thinking –reducing the negative impact of business and increasing the positive. And like all things, that starts with the ‘consumer’

WE SIMPLIFY SUSTAINABILITY

A membership community to support and educate your transition to a sustainable and profitable future.

We work with:

• Brand Owners

• Licensed Manufacturers

• Retailers

To help you build:

• For the environment

• For society

• For the future

With education and support with:

• Governance

• Legislation

• Guidelines

Products of Change Membership

Products of Change Media

Products of Change Events

Products of Change Consultancy

Driving business towards a regenerative future

POC membership brings you:

Online educational modules

Online digital hub to connect with members

Sustainable research and insights

Live webinars

Topic specific working groups

Discount to in-person workshops

Discount to our annual conference (SILC)

A safe community to learn together

JOIN
TO BUILD A BETTER
US
FUTURE productsofchange.com helena@productsofchange.com
BE A PART OF REAL INDUSTRY CHANGE BOOK YOUR SILC23 TICKETS TODAY sustainabilityinlicensing.com DRIVING POSITIVE CHANGE ACROSS Brand LICENSING, Retail and Product DELIVERED BY

WE DESIGN THE SOLUTIONS THAT MAKE FAMILY BRANDS STRONGER

Sustainability is one of our Six Immovable Pillars of Childhood. We chose it because children will be making the big decisions about our planet in just a few years time.

So let’s inspire them by what we do and what we make.

Products of Change enables us all to do what is necessary and we’re super proud to support the important and tireless work Helena, Rob and the team do.

Team KI

KIDSINDUSTRIES.COM INSIGHT | STRATEGY | CREATIVE 20

THOUGHT FOOD FOR

“CUT YOUR EMISSIONS, DON’T JUST OFFSET THEM”

Steve Plackett, md, Carousel Calendars

We’re proud to say that packaging in our Carousel range is now over 73% plastic free. Every year we try to convert a range and there are still some challenges, especially with our products that go to export markets, so we tend to trial a few titles in a range and then convert it the following year.

Our plastic-free solution for the USA is a bit untested but we are doing a reasonable volume and there is now pressure in the US - from retailers and licensors - to go plastic free, which is great.

With carbon emissions, we’ve measured our 2019 baseline and continued to measure every year since then. This is our journey to reduce emissions, as a group, by 46% by 2030. We’re confident of meeting our target for our direct emissions (Scope 1 and 2). More challenging, and more importantly, is the engagement target of getting 50% of our suppliers signed up by 2025.

We’ve already had a major supplier in China sign up to SBTi and we’re working closely with our European partners to get closer to over 50% signed up by 2025.

We toyed with the idea of Offsetting for a year, but we worried about this route. It’s easy to just pay a relatively cheap price, with a fully accredited broker, to offset using projects around the world and claim carbon neutrality without changing anything. We went for the more direct approach and focused on SBTi which is all about cutting emissions, not offsetting them.

Crucially, it changes behaviour and cuts emissions throughout the supply chain. Offsetting doesn’t.

“WE’RE MAKING GREAT PROGRESS ON OUR SUSTAINABILITY GOALS”

Anthony Duckworth, md, Dreamtex

Last year, we launched Dreamtex Earth, our inhouse sustainability project including our goals and objectives which we have already made great progress in achieving.

We want to give customers a range of choices with the brands they love whilst having a sustainable conscience. This year we have already launched exclusive Bluey ranges made using BCI Cotton in retailers such as Argos, Tesco, and Asda.

We’re also looking to expand our 100% recycled ranges into

fleece bedding with brands such as Gabby’s Dollhouse and Xbox as well as growing our Disney and Marvel offerings into a more sustainable sector with 100% recycled materials later this year.

Last year we started discussions with our retailers to reduce and remove single use plastic by introducing FSC card and reviewing all our packaging across our ranges. These conversations will continue with the prospect of one day having a zero-plastic policy with all our partners.

2023 will see many new sustainable products from our company as we constantly evolve our strategy to be the best version we can be.

MINDFUL OF ITS IMPACT”

Raluca Runcianu, group head of sustainability, Wonder 2023 will be a very challenging, yet also a very exciting year for the industry and for our business. There is no doubt that humankind has had a substantial impact on the environment. Nevertheless, the joint efforts of both individuals and businesses across the world have shown that it is not too late.

Our industry is changing, evolving, and becoming more mindful of its impact. In 2023 we hope to continue being an example to follow and an active participant in the efforts towards a better future, with less plastic, a new innovative approach to products and packaging, and more support for those in need.

To find out more about our sustainable journey, visit us at Spring Fair International 3H31 or Toy Fair Nuremberg Hall 9, A-55/C-58

“WE’RE EXCITED TO OFFICIALLY JOIN THE B CORP COMMUNITY”

Firstly, as a newly certified B Corp we are extremely excited to join the community. We want to use this new network to assist us in bringing together more like-minded people and businesses in the home/lifestyle industries.

Secondly, we can’t wait to bring our brand Purer Home to market in July. This brand is the result of all our research and investment into more sustainable production and consumption. We hope that we can use our credibility from B Corp certification and learnings from Purer Home to influence the purchasing decisions of much larger retailers.

You’ve been at it again, haven’t you? Thinking about things and telling us about them – and we couldn’t be more grateful because this is the food for innovation and a better industry of tomorrow. We round up the latest insight from the POC network.
“OUR INDUSTRY IS EVOLVING AND BECOMING MORE
PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023 37 INDUSTRY FEEDBACK
4-6 October 2023 ExCeL London brandlicensing.eu OFFICIAL PUBLICATION 2023 FIND YOUR NEXT BRAND PARTNERSHIP Thousands of brands looking for their next collaboration. What will you discover?

“WHEN WILL THE US CATCH UP TO OTHER MARKETS?”

While legislation, consumer awareness and market advantages are all front and centre when speaking about sustainability in the UK and Europe, the US has been a laggard. It wasn’t always this way. A decade ago, Walmart pushed for greater transparency of their third party (Scope 3) partners and encouraged their Scorecard adoption. Many licensees jumped on board and in turn, I surmise, lowered their own (Scope 1 and 2) emissions. Then top management changed, and we all went back to everyday low prices.

As over worked/shorthanded as everyone is, sometimes we just need a push. Legislation, most likely starting on a state-by-state basis, will dictate what we can eventually sell. Not to mention expected SEC language dictating the sharing of all corporate environmental risk.

Legislation is pushing faster adoption of sustainable packaging

and a shift to better products. CA leads actions directed to renewables and plastics but it’s not the only state instituting new guidelines and laws for the future.

Global licensors are already seeing the demands and in turn the benefits of better sell through, consumer buy in, and frankly less reputational risk. Retailers are very much engaged, and while they have started on their own vertical emissions, are now looking at their Scope 3 – which is all of us in licensing.

So, why wouldn’t we all take the inevitable call to action and adopt it across the board? Change is hard! But it is coming, and your retailers, licensors, and consumers are driving it forward into the future.

A GENUINE URGENCY AMONG BRANDS TO RUN THEIR BUSINESSES SUSTAINABLY”

Nikki Griffiths, group communications and ESG director, Hyve Group

At Spring Fair, sustainability is essential to us and because of that we are making changes onsite to support our efforts to become more sustainable. We will have water stations on site so you can bring a reusable water bottle and refill it for free, reducing our single use plastic.

For 2023, our Power of One objective is to continue to understand our impact, and to continue to inspire, support, and educate our industry to make those powerful changes, big or small, to create a difference.

Our aim, through collaboration, is to assist retailers and brands with their journey to operating a more sustainable, ethical, and regenerative business.

Marijn Veraart, head of global partnerships and licensing, Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam

The Van Gogh Museum is continuing to work on the overall strategy and policy for sustainability, which focuses on the daily operation of the museum itself and our offices, but also looking at our external partnerships. This is a challenging process since there are many parties involved: licensees, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers. For our licensing activities, we aim to motivate and help our licensing partners to amend their production standards which include choice of materials, origin of production, but also from an ethical point of view. These standards have to be realistic and set for over a period of time. We realise that the entire commercial chain has to cooperate in order to make real impact. We believe that if everyone contributes, from licensor to licensee, from supplier to retailer, and of course the end consumer, we can really make a change.

There is a genuine desire and urgency now among brands and manufacturers to show they are working hard to run their business and produce products ethically and sustainably. It has become a key focus rather than just a second thought.

“WE’VE COMMITTED TO RENEWABLE ENERGY AND THE UN’S 17 SDGS”

For 2023, Gemar is poised to grow at a more sustainable pace. We enter the year with many new ambitious projects, starting with our commitment to sustainability as we present balloons that are 100% bio-based, made with renewable caoutchouc sourced from FSC certified plantations.

Strategic investments in renewable energy will also further reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and contribute actively to our sustainability goals.

This year, communication is key as we equip all our products and packaging with QR codes to provide clear and transparent information about our company’s practices and commitment to the United Nations’ SDGs.

INDUSTRY FEEDBACK PRODUCTS OF CHANGE I SPRING EDITION 2023 39
“THE ENTIRE COMMERCIAL CHAIN HAS TO WORK TOGETHER TO MAKE REAL IMPACT”
“THERE’S

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