Products Of Change Summer 2022 Issue 1

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POC MAGAZINE COVER 2022 4 METHOD.qxp_Layout 1 18/06/2022 11:29 Page 1



 i  d E h c n u a L THE UNITED NATIONS Conscious Fashion for the Fashion Conscious Sustainable Development in Business

STAY IN THE LOOP Love Island, eBay, and Life in the Circular Economy Gruffal-Oh-M-G! - Wow! Stuff Go Naked (A Plastic Packaging Striptease)

PRODUCTS OF CHANGE NEWS - Big Reveals - Exclusive Insights - Reasons to Join Up Today






Quorn A4 Advert Artwork3.pdf















BRAND LICENSING OPPORTUNITIES IFC_POC Summer 2022.indd 1 +44 (0) 07859 362323

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MEET THE TEAM Robert Hutchins Editor

WELCOME ho would have thought two years ago, when our journey really got underway, that one pandemic later, we’d be here: in print in our very first and very own Products of Change publication? It had always been the dream, to celebrate the industry’s journey towards a sustainable and regenerative future by sharing the stories of all those carving the path ahead. So, consider this, that you hold in your hands – or flick through on your screens – a dream realised. With this launch we only begin to tie the narrative of our journey with sustainability together. In two short years, we’ve come a very long way. And that deserves the fanfare. Yet, the reality is

Helena MansellStopher Chief Executive Officer

we’ve only just set foot out of the Shire. Imagine the adventure still to come… We can’t wait (rail strikes permitting) to bring the industry together, in-person, at the Sustainability in Licensing Conference in London on 18 October this year, where we’ll finally be able to celebrate the real heroes of this story. And that’s you. An industry in transition, driving change across sectors and into households around the world. Take a close look at the cover of this magazine… closer! Spot yourself? This is a magazine dedicated to your work. So, congratulations on all you’ve achieved so far and welcome to the Products of Change Summer Sustainability Edit. Rob Hutchins - Editor & Community Manager Helena Mansell-Stopher - Founder & CEO

Rob Willis Director

Ian Hyder Director

Jakki Brown Director

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.


For general enquiries contact: For press enquiries please contact the editor:

For advertising enquiries please contact: Company Number: 12564033 ICO Registration: ZA777043

Copyright© 2022. 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.


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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


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The latest in sustainability updates from across the industries.

17 MEET THE FAMILY Introducing our fantastic network of Products of Change Ambassadors

Exclusive research and insights from the experts






Staying in the Loop with the Circular Economy

Spotlighting a trio of industry innovators

THE POC ADVISORS 39 The experts that allow Products of Change to help an industry in transition

27 MEMBER NEWS The latest news from the Products of Change member base

Magic Light and Wow! Stuff go Gruffal’au Naturale


19 THE BIG INTERVIEW: The United Nations and something for the fashion conscious





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Making sustainability affordable.

Piping Hot is on a mission to help families save money and protect the ocean.

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PEPPA PIG SWAPS MUDDY PUDDLES FOR OCEAN CLEAN-UP PROJECT Peppa Pig swapped muddy puddles for the British coastline this month with the launch of branded beach-clean activities, resources, and a George at Asda clothing line all in celebration of World Oceans Day. Partnering with Cleaner Seas Project and the online learning platform, Twinkl, Hasbro delivered rubbish-sorting activities and educational games to teach kids the importance of maintaining a healthy ocean. Coinciding with the United Nations’ World Oceans Day on Wednesday, 8 June, the partnership will see a further ten beach and river clean-ups take place across the country. Figures have shown that 32% of the 78 million tonnes of plastic packaging produced annually is left floating in our oceans. “Peppa Pig’s World Oceans Day partnership with Cleaner Seas Project aims to inspire little

ones on how to take small steps to reduce waste in our oceans,” said Marianne James, vp EMEA, consumer products at Hasbro. Asda marked the occasion with a line of Peppa Pig x World Oceans Day clothing developed by its fashion brand George. It features ocean-themed designs produced using sustainable and recycled materials. “Asda is an important partner to Peppa for many reasons; a key one is the values we share,” said Marianne. “We’ve worked closely to build more sustainable products across our everyday business and elevate them at key moments. “World Oceans Day is an example of coming together with incredible partners such as Cleaner Seas and Twinkl, as well as with key licensees who share our passion, to educate our consumers about how they can help.”

CAROUSEL CALENDARS JOINS THE SCIENCE BASED TARGETS INITIATIVE The parent company of Carousel Calendars, Otter House, and Calendar Club has joined the Science Based Targets Initiative to reduce Scopes 1 and 2 Greenhouse Gas emissions by 46% in the next eight years. Zebra MTD has been working on improving its environmental impact for several years by setting internal targets to reduce emissions across its entire operations. The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) is a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute, and the World Wildlife Fund. It’s a programme to help limit global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to cap temperature rises at 1.5°C. Prior to joining, Carousel had already removed shrink wrap from 65% of its calendars, Otter House had introduced plastic-free jigsaws, and the team had implemented renewable electricity across each of its offices. “Our prior activity has been enormously helpful in setting us up for the initiative,” said Steve Plackett, md of Carousel Calendars. “It’s important for us to have clear objectives so the company, suppliers, customers, and our staff all know where we’re heading. The SBTi focuses on cutting carbon, which is important for us. It takes away concerns about off-setting which troubled us for a year or more.” As part of the initiative, Zebra MTD must onboard at least 50% of its key product suppliers with the SBTi by 2025. “If our suppliers adopt SBTi it means they will be pushing their suppliers, so the whole supply chain reduces its carbon footprint in line with the science-based targets,” explained Steve. “It’s not just our print manufacturers, it’s our major UK and American calendar publishers who supply us in Carousel and Calendar Club, too.”

A NATURAL SELECTION: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM TAPS TSBA FOR GLOBAL LICENSING TSBA Group has underlined its commitment to the Natural History Museum’s ‘Before Life; Shelf Life; After Life’ values of sustainability with a tight focus on partner credentials as it grows the brand’s international licensing portfolio. The Museum has already made important strides in driving environmental awareness and sustainability within licensing across its UK partner base. “Sustainability will be looked at holistically across product, packaging, and promotion and how each stage of a product’s lifecycle can be developed with this as a focus,” said Jo Edwards, TSBA Group’s global head of licensing. “This may be based on the fabrics chosen, the manufacturing processes, the ability for packaging to have a second usage, or a campaign that gives back. We hope to shine a spotlight by collaborating with companies that make considerate products that appeal to consumers while minimising their impact on the world around us.” Maxine Lister, head of licensing at The Natural History Museum, added: “I’ve always been a fan of TSBA’s licensing programme, they have created some incredible products. “Together, we’ll be looking for international brands, licensees, and retailers that have the same ethos in terms of sustainability, but also create beautiful products that inspire an appreciation of the natural world.”


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Be a Hero

and save the planet!

View our sustainable licensed costumes, available online now!

©Amscan 2022, ©Anagram 2022. All Rights Reserved.

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The global meat alternative, Quorn, has tapped Pink Key Character World Brands has outlined plans to measure Licensing to pioneer a new consumer products programme to and reduce its Scope 3 and Greenhouse Gas emissions, drive its ‘better for the planet’ messaging across the market. having been inspired by the positive response it’s seen The brand’s move coincides with a “cross-generational surge” in to initial company sustainability efforts. audience engagement as consumers change their diets for reasons of Early changes made by the bedding specialist better health and environmental impact. include a significant reduction of card used in its duvet Sustainable values will play an integral role in the licensing packaging as well as a switch to fully recyclable bags programme and Quorn has stated that it will only be working with made from recycled content. partners that uphold its commitment to a healthy planet. Positive feedback to these and other measures – “Quorn has become a brand for everyone with including a partnership with LEGO to overhaul its 49% of 18 to 34-year-olds now reducing their meat branded bedding packaging and the launch of its consumption,” said Sam Blunt, commercial operations Coverless Carefree Bedding range – has spurred the director at Quorn Foods. “Quorn is now a massteam to “look at further activations.” market brand, so now is a good time to be taking “We’ve made great strides within our whole supply our message into the licensing arena.” chain to bring more sustainable options to retailers and Launched to UK consumers in 1985, Quorn consumers,” said Hayley Maguire, commercial director aligns itself with a pioneering approach to at Character World Brands. “We’re working on plans food production and consumption, health, to measure Scope 3 emissions and understand how to and sustainability. Pink Key will now translate reduce our Greenhouse Gasses.” these credentials into the brand and lifestyle Character World Brands will also work with its licensing space. factories to understand their GHG emissions and reduce “There’s real momentum now, not just from carbon impact across its whole supply chain. the consumer but from the industry, for brands “There’s lots to do and some challenges along the with something different to say,” said Richard way, but we’re confident the licensing industry will help Pink, founder of Pink Key Licensing. “And Quorn has a lot to say. This generate positive and long-lasting change in the drive is a brand that holds health and sustainable consumption at its core to a more sustainable future,” added Hayley. and that is exactly what we’ll be conveying through a very considered licensing programme. Quorn’s message of regenerative business and planetary health will be fundamental to the strategy.” Sam added: “We are about putting far more back into the MATTEL BRINGS FISHER-PRICE INTO ITS TOY environment and society than we take out and when that comes to licensing, we’re talking ethical sourcing, recycled TAKE BACK PROGRAMME materials, and sustainable production. “We’re not going to compromise an inch over how we do this Mattel has expanded its toy takeback programme to – that’s the last thing Quorn would do as a brand.” include non-electronic Fisher-Price products, enabling families to give their toys a second life once they have finished playing with them. BEANSTALK GROWS ITS SUSTAINABILITY Fisher-Price now joins Barbie, MEGA, and Matchbox as AUDITING PLANS participating brands in the Mattel PlayBack scheme, a programme designed to recover and reuse materials from old The international licensing agency, Beanstalk, is toys in future Mattel products. exploring ways to provide a sustainability auditing The Mattel PlayBack platform service between licensors and licensees as an extension supports the firm’s goal of its adopted role in supporting the climate action to achieve 100% recycled, plans and targets of its clients. recyclable, or bio-based plastic As the industry’s only agency with a dedicated auditing materials in its products and division, Beanstalk’s goal is to add language to the packaging by 2030. licence agreement to reflect the key client sustainability “The Mattel Playback targets that licensees would be expected to adhere to. programme has been eagerly Beanstalk’s auditing team would then evaluate whether received by consumers and the licensee has met, or is on the path to meet, those has provided tremendous required targets. learning specific to the Having identified it as one of the most important topics durability and disassembly of in the licensing industry “for quite some time”, Beanstalk our products which will aid in already plays an active part in helping licensees the future design of products understand its clients’ sustainability initiatives to help made for the circular them meet their respective climate action goals. economy,” said Pamela “We are at a critical juncture in climate change and we Gill-Alabaster, svp global head of sustainability and social must be proactive and take responsibility to educate impact at Mattel. ourselves and pass the knowledge along,” Linda “We’re also exploring new technologies in plastic processing Morgenstern, vice president of brand management at and recycling with our longer-term goal to use materials Beanstalk, told Products of Change. collected through Mattel PlayBack in future toy production.” “We feel responsible to understand sustainability as Launched in the US, Canada, France, Germany, and the fully as possible and share that information with the UK in 2021, the company now celebrates the one-year clients, licensees, and retailers we work with.” anniversary of its Mattel Playback programme.


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A Good night ’s sleep doesn’t have to cost the earth

- Reusable Packaging

- Made from PET Plastic bottles

- Recycled Polyester Fibre Fill

For more information about our exciting range of Original Coverless Carefree Bedding or other sustainable Home Lifestyle solutions please contact us CONTACT US

0800 358 6471 @characterworldbrands

The first museum in the world to set a science-based target in line with the Paris Climate Agreement to drive the Museum towards net zero by 2035

In 2020, 318 solar panels were installed at the Natural History Museum at Tring in 2020, supplying enough energy to power the ornithology building

All electricity bought from the national grid is from renewable sources

Bottled water is only sold in glass bottles, the sale of which helps fund clean water projects across the globe

None of the Museum’s waste ever goes to landfill

The amount of single-use plastic has been reduced by providing china cups and plates, metal cutlery and paper straws

NHM licensing is working hard to ensure that the most sustainable routes are taken for product development at each stage of a product’s life cycle



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Copyright (C) 2022 Character World LTD. All rights reserved.

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NEWS CONTINUED... FRUGI COMMITS TO CIRCULAR CHILDRENSWEAR The Cornish lifestyle and fashion brand, Frugi has become the first kids’ clothing label to join the Circular Textiles Foundation. Working with the Foundation (the CTF), Frugi will embed circular principles throughout its design, development, and manufacturing process to create a range of fully recyclable clothing for spring/ summer 2023. The certification will apply to 22% of the new collection, with the aim to encompass the complete organic cotton range in the future. Certification signals that the garment has been designed to be recycled and processed into new fabric which can be used to make new clothing. Customers learn where to recycle each item by scanning its QR code. Sophie Scanlon, head of circular design for the CTF, said: “Frugi has taken to heart what it means to make garments circular. We’re delighted to be supporting them in transforming the way future generations value and interact with their clothes.” Frugi Group’s ceo, Sarah Clark, said: “Our commitment to eliminating waste is strengthened by our partnership with the CTF. We can’t wait to launch our SS’23 range to show that we are serious about making a genuinely circular product and protect the planet we play on.”

MOVING THE NEEDLE ON FASHION RETAIL Retail ambassador for Products of Change and ceo of The Radius Group, Damian Hopkins applies his 20 years’ sourcing and supply chain expertise to explore the shifting world of fashion retail.

The retail industry is one of the largest contributors to Greenhouse Gas emissions. Goods sold to consumers account for over 30% of all emissions, while the fashion industry accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions and nearly 20% of wastewater. This saddles the industry with a huge responsibility in combating climate change, but it also presents a huge opportunity. The retail sector has now set the goal to reach Net Zero by 2040, and we’re seeing a positive movement by many brands to drive that change. In my career, I’ve always been an early adopter of people and planet first initiatives. At times I’ve gone too early and profit has continued to trump ESG time and again. PRIMARK PLEDGES AFFORDABLE Today, however, consumers are driving the SUSTAINABILITY FOR ALL ESG narrative as much as brands and retailers. Now, we’re moving the needle towards better Primark has committed to using recycled or sustainably sourced practices together. materials in all its clothing by 2030 while maintaining affordable One of my favourite retail initiatives comes prices for its customers.. from Inditex, the parent company of Zara. As part of a wide-reaching sustainability strategy, the retailer will Through its Sustainability Innovation Hub, reduce fashion waste, halve carbon emissions, and improve the lives Inditex helps start-ups, academic groups, and of the people who make its products, all with the promise to make tech centres scale up materials, technologies, sustainability accessible to all. and processes to reduce the impact of fashion. Primark will also ensure that all men’s, women’s, and kids’ entry price Most recently it landed a €100m partnership point t-shirts will be made with sustainably sourced cotton in the next with Infinited Fiber Company to advance new year as well as work to improve the durability of its garments and tech towards textile-to-textile circularity. systems to ensure they can be recycled at the end of their life. With Elsewhere, H&M has begun to move away from the goal of reducing fashion waste, the team will ‘work to define new fast-fashion with science-based targets now set industry guidelines on durability’ with the UK circularity charity, WRAP. to reduce its GHG emissions and a Conscious “This is a new and exciting chapter in the Primark story,” said Paul Collection made of materials like organic cotton Marchant, Primark and recycled polyester. ceo. “Our new There’s plenty of room for improvement, of commitments course, but the direction of travel is positive. For mark a significant best practice, however, we should look smaller. acceleration in the Founded in 1991, People Tree is considered pace and scale of a pioneer in sustainable fashion with change, requiring transparency and sustainability built into us to think every garment. A member of the World Fair differently about Trade Organisation Guarantee System, how we do business. People Tree adheres to strict environmental “We’re committed guidelines, while promoting fair wages and safe to work in working conditions. partnership with Some may say that these are only small steps. the industry to But they are steps forward. Sustainability is not drive real change just a fad now in fashion, it’s becoming a driving at scale.” force for fashion brands around the globe.


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brating Earth M e l e c s i ro o b nth s a H

© 2022 HASBRO

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Our plastic-free packaging goal is expected to reduce the company’s use of virgin plastic by an estimated

19.5 million pounds annually

By 2033

Our goal is that all Hasbro toys and games will be made with recycled or renewable materials removing ~155 million pounds (70,000 MT) of virgin materials from our supply chain.

We offset virtually 100% of energy used in our owned and operated facilities

with investments in renewable energy projects like wind farms, through the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits.

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Sustainablity Page.pdf












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NEWS CONTINUED... PIPING HOT RIDES WAVE OF SCALABLE SUSTAINABILITY Piping Hot is eyeing a move into new territories to bring its Heroes for the Ocean x Marvel licensed collection of sustainably produced swimwear to retailers across the international scene. The plans follow a hugely successful launch for its Marvel-licensed collection that got “snapped up by consumers as soon as it landed instore.” The positive response to the collaboration has spurred a range extension beyond swimwear into family casuals. “Heroes for the Ocean is our platform for partnering with the world’s best brands to inspire ocean action and sharing our purpose with passionate brand fans is a powerful way to catalyse change,” said Piping Hot’s brand and marketing director, Amy Low. Encouraged by the spotlight on sustainability at this year’s Licensing Expo in Las Vegas and having seen strong positive reaction to her session on the Products of Change Sustainability discussion panel at the show, Amy is keen to build out Piping Hot and its Heroes for the Ocean’s brand licensing portfolio. “Licensing allows us to rapidly scale our impact and give more consumers access to affordable solutions to reduce their environmental impact,” said Amy. “Our partners can tap into our sustainable supply chain management, verified product impact claims, and positive action for ocean protection.”



The print-on-demand fashion brand, Supacult, has laid plans to build a direct-to-consumer audience of fans for whom sustainability is top of mind. Following a stockless model that reduces both risk for retailers and waste by design, Supacult wants to pioneer flexibility in the licensed apparel space “while bringing to life some of the greatest iconic properties in a sustainable way.” Unveiled at the Products of Change Sustainability Business Lounge at Licensing Expo this year, Supacult sources its blank t-shirts from a GOTSlicensed supplier with facilities powered by green, renewable energy. These blanks are then printed to order at Supacult’s London production hub using water-based inks and shipped using sustainable packaging. “It’s good to see that sustainability in the licensing industry is becoming fully recognised and taken on board by licensees, retailers, and licensors,” said Rick Lowe, managing director of Supacult. “Supacult products sit at the heart of a process that is as sustainable as possible, including the print-on-demand model. Our aspirations are to build a profile with our direct-to-consumer audiences and fans where sustainability is valued.”

KITCHENWARES’ FACKELMANN TURNS UP HEAT ON SECTOR SUSTAINABILITY In a bid to lead environmental conversations across the home and kitchenware market, the German manufacturer Fackelmann is to deliver its first report into the business’ sustainability and ethics. The family-run outfit is overhauling its portfolio of more than 10,000 SKUs, adopting sustainable materials and removing single-use plastic in its packaging where possible. The team wants to lead market sustainability by reducing waste, plastic pollution, and CO2 levels with targets set for the next ten years. Its strategy is underpinned by its newest range, Ecolution – a kitchenware line made from renewable PE and FSC-certified wood. Also new is Fackelmann’s first climate-neutral baking mould range produced with Carnauba wax coating from Fairtrade-certified palm trees. Martin Strack, ceo of Fackelmann, said: “It’s exciting to pioneer new systems and new models in the market. On a product level, it requires a lot of innovation. “We were one of 50 climate leader companies to represent at COP26 and are working to get closer to the UN’s 17 SDGs. Our next step is to deliver our first sustainability report and lead the conversation across housewares.”

The reuse and sharing of pre-loved products and repurposing materials to make new ones is tipped to become the next tentpole in toy industry sustainability. As demand continues to grow, experts at Toy Industries of Europe expect to see businesses shift to a ‘more circular approach’ at a faster rate in the coming years. Major headway made in driving circular models in the sector include toy take-back efforts from The LEGO Group, Hasbro, and Mattel, while toy repair platforms continue to emerge. “A ‘circular approach’ for our sector means toys are around for as long as possible to be reused, shared and don’t end up as waste, but as primary materials for more toys or other products,” said TIE’s director general, Catherine van Reeth. “It’s exciting to see how the sustainability agenda of toy companies is becoming more ambitious.” Reflective of evolving industry sustainability, TIE recently enlisted Products of Change to reformat its Play for Change Awards’ Sustainability Category. Submissions will now be assessed on their ability to deliver an overall positive impact for the environment across all stages of their lifecycle. “To reflect an industry maturing to sustainability, we have raised the bar on how we will assess and measure good industry practice,” said Catherine.


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FAMILY TREE rom gaming and fashion to toys, sports, and the fundamentals of circular principles – the Products of Change network has tendrils tapping into all areas of consumer industries

and beyond. And it’s the roles each of our fantastic family of POC Ambassadors play that make bridging those sectors and connecting those dots light work. Let’s explore then, the Products of Change family tree of Ambassadors.

“ Sport has such an important role in

Paul D’eath, course leader at University of The Arts London EDUCATION AMBASSADOR

James George, strategic advisor at Pyxera Global CIRCULAR PRINCIPLES AMBASSADOR

sustainability and the protection of the planet’s future. I’m committed to drive change in the area of licensed sports merch, kit, and products. ” - Simon Gresswell, Sports Ambassador

Michele Pearce, director, Brand Focus GAMING AMBASSADOR

“ With the complexity of the global

challenges we face as a species, we all need to find new ways to raise ambition, ideate, and collaborate. Working alongside Helena and the POC team hopefully we can help the industry learn a new path and tell a new story. ” – James George, Circular Principles Ambassador

June Kirkwood, founder of Nutmeg Licensing NET ZERO AMBASSADOR

“ Consumer behaviour is changing, with people increasingly shopping according to their values. I want to use my sustainability knowledge to make a difference and influence change; POC provides a great framework for this. ”

Sine Moller, sustainability transformation director, The LEGO Group TOYS AMBASSADOR Simon Gresswell, md at SGLP Licensing SPORT AMBASSADOR

Products of Change’s family tree boasts branches that span the consumer industries, each represented by an expert in their field. We’re an ecosystem of working parts pulling together to effect positive change. “ Sustainability shouldn’t just be

about the materials we use in producing our products, we also all need to think about how we behave as businesses and weave it into the fabric of our operations. People, Planet, and our Purpose from design. ”

Damian Hopkins, ceo, The Radius Group RETAIL AMBASSADOR

Mike Swain, packaging innovation expert PACKAGING AMBASSADOR

“ Packaging may

not be the most materially impactful but it’s certainly the most visible and tangible part of what needs to change in the public’s mind, as well as the most vilified. POC is an immensely important forum to get the right message across to all those who touch packaging. ”

Sara Allwood, director of design and marketing, Difuzed AMBASSADOR FOR THE NETHERLANDS Lian Huddle, General Manager Licensing, Events & Brand Strategy at Designworks Clothing Company Pty Ltd AUSTRALIAN AMBASSADOR

Brenda Seto, licensing advisor NORTH AMERICA AMBASSADOR – CANADA

Andrea Green, founder of Globally Green Consulting NORTH AMERICA AMBASSADOR – USA

Gary Pope, co-founder and ceo, Ki KIDS AMBASSADOR

Duncan Shearer, client services director, Seymour PUBLISHING AMBASSADOR

Peter Rooke, director, Smart Toys and Games PLASTICS AMBASSADOR

Kate French, head of UK & Ireland retail development, Hasbro CP FASHION AMBASSADOR

Tracey Richardson, licensing and partnership director PARTNERSHIPS AMBASSADOR

“ Since joining Products of Change we have enjoyed the benefits of learning from fellow members, which means our journey towards sustainability has been primed with rocket fuel – carbon free, of course. ” – Tracey Richardson, Partnerships Director

“ There’s never been a time when

change has been more important. Children want to change the world and it’s our job, collectively, to empower them and make this change happen. Actually, it’s our responsibility. POC gives us the framework we need to do what we have to do. ”


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ABOVE: Peru children from the Amazon River hold aloft the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. ABOVE RIGHT: Kerry Bannigan, founder of The Fashion Impact Fund, and Lucie Brigham, chief of office for the UN’s Office of Partnerships.

t’s staggering, the things you can create during a pandemic. Some of us (not mentioning names) created an 11-second stop-animated clip of a Play-Doh monkey eating a banana. Meanwhile, Kerry Bannigan and Lucie Brigham – two names you’ll see adorning your SiLC agenda this year – created a United Nations-hosted platform to drive sustainable development across the multi-billion-dollar fashion industry. While the Play-Doh monkey video has since accrued 238 views and 26… 27 ‘likes’ on Instagram, the Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network has pulled together some of the biggest names in fashion, media, and celebrity culture to expedite social change and mobilise industry stakeholders in support of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The Network even comes with its own mission statement: to

harness the creativity of leaders in the fashion and textile industries to design solutions that advance lives of dignity and equality for all on a healthy planet. Play-Doh Monkey just wanted to get a few laughs. We shan’t be mentioning him again. Not when the far more pressing matter is the work that both Kerry and Lucie are at SiLC 22 this year to discuss. Kerry is the executive director of the Fashion Impact Fund, a platform that supports women entrepreneurs lead educational initiatives to accelerate the fashion industry’s transition to a sector that values people and planet. Lucie, meanwhile, is the chief of office of the United Nations Office for Partnerships, helping to co-create partnerships for the UN system to advance the 17 SDGs. Together they make a formidable duo in driving fashion industry change.

Kerry Bannigan and Lucie Brigham are the duo behind the Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network, a UN-hosted platform for accelerating sustainable change in the fashion sector. We explore the role that licensing has to play in its sustainability story. “Today’s fashion industry is responsible for vast negative social and environmental impacts, including water pollution, textile waste, exploited labour, poverty, gender inequality, and climate change,” Kerry tells Products of Change. “Globally, the $2.4 trillion fashion industry employs more than 300 million people along the value chain. “Of the 75 million garment workers, 80% are women aged between 18 and 35 and the majority earn less than $3 a day. Additionally, the fashion industry accounts for about 10% of global carbon emissions and nearly 20% of wastewater.” The impact of the global fashion industry makes for some uncomfortable reading. Rare is it today that a licensing business will remain unaffiliated, at least on some level, with the fashion space; it’s a market that touches all of us. But this isn’t a doom and gloom piece, and the CFL Network isn’t here to wrap knuckles. Rather, it’s a platform to lift the industry and inspire change, by bringing together those at the forefront of it. That includes the licensing audience.


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With your support, we can help protect our land, seascapes, wildlife, and birds by leading the industry with our plastic and carbon reduction commitments. Our SBTi commitment to cut carbon emissions by 46% by 2030 sees us doing our bit to keep global warming to within 1.5°C. Our trailblazing range of plastic-free calendars and diaries now includes over 500 titles free of plastic packaging and are all printed on FSC stock.


WWW.CAROUSELCALENDARS.CO.UK Carousel Calendars – a subsidiary of ZEBRA MTD Ltd

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“Like all sectors, the $275 billion licensing industry has a role to play, especially as sustainability continues to build momentum across consumer products,” continues Kerry. “The licensing industry can set terms and requirements that value people and planet for manufacturing, materials, and packaging. As consumers demand sustainably sourced products, the licensing sector will need to lead on this conversation. “Given its global reach, the fashion industry is uniquely positioned to be a driving force of the Sustainable Development Goals; particularly in relation to climate action, gender equality, and responsible consumption and production.” Products of Change was recently selected to be one among the CFL Network’s advisors to provide updates from the licensed fashion sector. It’s a clear indication that the role licensing will play in this story of sustainability really cannot be overestimated. It’s Kerry’s 14-year career as a social entrepreneur, leading global fashion and media initiatives to “advance the creative economy as a driving force for sustainable development” that’s given her keen insight into what that role spans. It’s why SiLC 22 has been earmarked as an agendasetting event by the pair for “convening sector leaders to share knowledge, resources, and best practices to inspire action and strengthen engagement for sustainable development.” It all comes down to one thing: the facilitation of collaboration. “The pandemic has underscored the importance of partnerships,” says The UN’s Lucie Brigham. “Response and recovery efforts across the globe have strengthened

existing relationships and forged new collaborations, demonstrating the potential of partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals. “The Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network aims to highlight the collective power of collaboration for a better world.” Ask the chief of office for her take on the most exciting developments in the fashion sector today and she’ll give you a comprehensive breakdown of some of the most pioneering organisations to be driving change on a global scale. Among them is a company called Recover

Fiber which boasts a system that uses textile waste from pre- and post-consumer and post-industrial origins as raw material to create high-quality recycled cotton fibre, helping, says Lucie, “to tackle the huge quantities of textile waste disposed of worldwide.” Another is Arch & Hook, a team on a mission to eliminate the use of virgin materials and “empower the use of sustainable ones” through new clothes hanger designs. “It’s a business that demands responsible production and consumption for our partners and industries,” Lucie explains. “And its sourcing and materials ensure circularity, alongside pollution clean-up and protecting life. Through research and innovation, the team promises to empower even the most negatively impactful industries on the planet to act on these fundamental goals.” These companies, and others like them, have fallen under the gaze of the CFL Network for more than their pioneering approach. Each is acting on the influence of the global fashion sector and their role within it, to drive change in alignment with those SDGs. That same kind of potential is held by every company and individual in attendance of the Sustainability in Licensing Conference this 18 October. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to a long and beautiful relationship between the planet and its people. If we take inspiration from the Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network today, then the time to get creative for our future prosperity is right now.

LEFT: Harvesting cotton in a cotton field, Maharashtra, India.

LEFT: Kerry Bannigan delivers the opening remarks at the Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network annual meeting this year.

BELOW: The United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, a blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and planet.


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THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY INSET: Teemill shows off its circular credentials through the Remill take back and repurpose scheme.

WHEELS ABOVE RIGHT: Products of Change’s advisor and circular expert, Arthur Parry.

RIGHT: The Little Loop’s founder Charlotte Morley with Dragon’s Den investor Deborah Meaden.

FAR RIGHT: Teemill proudly shares its latest ocean plastic stat.

he Natural History Museum decided to mark Dinosaur Day – the day on which the UK gathers each year to celebrate the Mesozoic era (it’s on 1 June, stick it in the diary) - in a typically charming and planet-conscious fashion. Or should that read in not-sotypical fashion? Because it did so through a new partnership with the sustainable print-on-demand clothing specialist, Teemill. And in doing that, it brought licensing one step closer to the circular economy. Slightly easier to frame than Dinosaur Day, the circular economy is, as explained by Arthur Parry, Products of Change’s advisor and expert on circularity, “a model that takes inspiration from natural systems that don’t create any waste.” Or, in other words: “the output from one part of the system becomes the food for another.” Teemill is an expert in material circularity. Housed on The Isle of Wight, it’s a clothing manufacturer that works on a carbon neutral level and is recognised by the

World Economic Forum, the United Nations Environment Programme, and The Queen’s Award for Innovation for its pioneering approach to fashion industry circularity. This is because every item made by Teemill is designed – from the very start - to be sent back to Teemill once it has reached the end of its useful life, where it is broken down and repurposed into the next garment.

From Mattel and The LEGO Group’s individual toy take-back schemes to eBay’s tie-up with ITV’s Love Island to push pre-loved fashion, the circular economy has never been more in vogue. Products of Change explores its place in licensing. The company’s Remill programme acts to ensure that Teemill products never enter landfill. Its clothing is made from GOTS-certified organic cotton, its factories are powered by renewable energy, and its print-to-order approach means waste is reduced to zero. “It’s a fine example of a business model,” says Arthur, “that is only making what they know is going to be sold. It’s an elimination of waste by design to begin with.”


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THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY But you’ve likely met with the circular economy before. Anyone with a library card… or a Milkman, come to that, has at one point been a part of a working circular economic model; collect, return, reuse. It’s only in the face of today’s runaway – and throwaway fast moving consumer goods sector (fast fashion being the leading example) that the circular economy seems a novel concept. But the truth is it’s not. Described as a model of production and consumption which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible, the main goal of the circular economy is to avoid waste and pollution by design, keep materials in use at their highest value state to be productively used again to create further value, and to regenerate natural systems. For anyone thinking it’ll never catch on, think again. Because the circular economy is already in our mainstream. “Some of the leading examples of successful circularity includes IKEA’s recently adopted approach to resale,” explains Arthur. “Recognising the frequency with which their products are resold, they’ve taken ownership of that themselves to resell items in their stores. It means they can learn about their own business model and more importantly, keep those materials in use at their highest possible value.” Closer to home for the licensing industry, the Mattel PlayBack programme is an excellent example of a working circular model. Through the platform, families can return their well-loved Barbie, MEGA, Matchbox, and FisherPrice toys to the manufacturer, which will then repurpose or recycle those materials to be used in new products or for energy. The LEGO Group and Hasbro have, too, had similar models in play for a number of years. It’s been only recently, however, that the circular economy has hit the big time. We’re talking Gen-Z appeal – the holy grail of appeal. And it comes down to Love Island. The ITV reality TV series has this year, ditched its historical allegiance with the perpetrators of the fast fashion scene to promote possibly the world’s largest, best-known, and most successful circular model to

ABOVE: eBay takes sponsorship of ITV’s Love Island to push pre-loved fashion. FAR LEFT: Mattel PlayBack means families can give their pre-loved toys a second life.

date – eBay. That’s right, resale and recommerce have never been more in fashion than right now. In its 2021 Recommerce Report, eBay has underlined ‘a surge in demand for second-hand from young consumers’, while a recent report from thredUP predicts the total second-hand apparel market to double within the next five years, reaching $77 billion. Rather more importantly, both suggest that the resale fashion sector may surpass the fast fashion market within ten years. And when you consider that eBay UK has sold one pre-loved fashion item every second so far in 2022, that’s a future not too hard to imagine. It’s now eBay UK’s aim, says Jemma Tadd, head of fashion at the recommerce giant’s local division, “to inspire the nation to choose pre-loved first when shopping.” “Even if it’s only one or two preloved items to start with, it’s a step in the right direction,” she says. The collaboration follows research and data from eBay revealing that one fifth of Brits now buy more second-hand fashion compared to two years ago, while 16% of their wardrobes are now made up of pre-loved clothes. There’s

a burgeoning market for resale that can’t be denied. “Another great example is Little Loop,” says Arthur. “They specialise in kids’ clothing and are a blended model of purchase, rental, and leasing. In all cases, they will take the product back, clean it and refurbish it and then give it another life. They can purpose five or six iterations out of each item… that’s five or six transactions; another five or six times the number of transactions you would normally get from one item. “This is how you take advantage of the retained value in a product.” But how do you transpose the circular model onto the licensing industry? Perhaps the most accessible and immediate means is in the resale sector itself? Consider a branded store housed on a platform excelling in resale - like eBay – that presents a shop front for branded excess or pre-loved product with a pricing structure that allows brand owner and seller to take advantage of the retained value of its products listed. Products of Change is already having these conversations. There’s no better time for you to be a part of them. If you want to learn more about unlocking value in your business through the circular economy, come join Arthur at the Circular Economy Workshop on 13 July.

LEFT: Teemill showcases its supply chain heroes across its sustainable production methods.


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Gary Pope is the cofounder of Ki and the Products of Change ambassador for the children’s sector. Given the climate emergency we all face, Gary reiterates why the time to act is now.

Products of Change’s packaging design guru, Mike Swain, is to lead a two-day design and innovation course aimed at helping attendees realise the full potential of product packaging and the role it plays in the circular economy. The course is designed for anyone involved in the packaging industry, including brand owners, manufacturers, and packaging designers tasked with delivering responsible change and innovative packaging solutions. Running over two days from 12-13 October and taking place in central London in association with Products of Change, Part One of the course will deliver lessons on the context of the Circular Economy for the packaging industry. Part Two will Copyright: Pack IDS Ltd. focus on new tools and techniques to help develop solutions today and in the future as the Circular Economy becomes normality for industry and consumers. “We want this course to arm you with some answers. There is an urgency for us to do things better and we all have a part to play in heaving the packaging circular economy into action, and to ultimately leave the world in a better place,” said Mike Swain, packaging consultant at Pack4CE, packaging design course co-ordinator, and Products of Change ambassador. “Not all packaging out there is circular economy compatible, yet change is inevitable and often difficult if you are not familiar with it. This course is intended to help all those involved with this journey, irrespective of their role in the industry, with relevant and pragmatic models, tools, and methods.” Get in touch with Products of Change or Pack4CE@ for more details.

POETIC BRANDS READIES 3D TECH TO ERADICATE LANDFILL-BOUND SAMPLING The licensed apparel specialist, Poetic Brands is working with numerous retailers to implement 3D sampling technology to “eradicate the huge amount of sample items” that have historically ended up in landfill. It’s just one part of an ongoing journey the team is currently on towards implementing better sustainability across the company and its wider supply chain. Poetic Brands’ factories are already making keen headway having adopted rainwater harvesting processes and a water treatment plant in one factory that currently recycles 20,000 litres of water a day. When it comes to energy use, solar panels generating 75,000 KWH are helping those of its factories with an average monthly consumption of 60,000 KWH give energy back to the grid.

I advocate for children through the work Products of Change does. I’m a link between grown-ups now and the grown-ups of the future. In the six months since taking on the role, it has become unquestionably clear how important this advocacy is. One of the wonderful things about the consumer products industry is that we genuinely care about the people we make stuff for. But now, more than ever, we need to double down on that care. You see, it’s them that are going to have to deal with the myriad problems climate change brings in the future. But it’s us that has the power to help now. On 4 April, the IPCC report was released. It made clear that by adapting our behaviours we can make a 40 to 70% reduction in Greenhouse Gas emissions by 2050 – and that might be enough to save the future. Maybe. We need to limit warming to 1.5ºC and to do that, Greenhouse Gas emissions need to peak before 2025 and be reduced by 43% by 2030. Simultaneously, methane needs to be reduced by 30%. This is not going to happen. We will exceed this temperature threshold. BUT, we might be able to get it back down again… if we act together. NOW. It’s not you, it’s them that will have to deal with the calamity that climate change brings. We need to do something. As you think about your next big hit, consider choosing partners that are behaving as the planet needs and the children deserve. Make sure they put the consumer’s future before their quarterly reporting. Children know there’s a problem with the planet, but they don’t know how to make a difference. A Kids Industries study for POC found 41% of children in the UK and US do not think the efforts they make can make a difference, but they still want to do something. We have a responsibility to give that ambition hope. As the providers of all things that inspire, educate, and define them, we have the power to do just that.

“Like so many businesses, we’re at the beginning of this journey,” said Anne Bradford, commercial director of Poetic Brands. “The teams in the UK and at our factories are constantly looking at how we can strive towards a much greener, cleaner future. “We’re happy to collaborate and plan how we can collectively build a better future for us all.”


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Liverpool FC has revamped its sustainability strategy to The purpose-driven brand extension agency, Louis Kennedy put the FA Cup winners on a clear and considered path has renewed its partnership with Living Streets and its towards Net Zero. WOW Walk to School campaign for a further three years. The Red Way is the club’s Reaching over 600,000 children commitment to “look after our people across the UK, the campaign GET SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATED and lead the way in taking action, challenges kids to walk, scoot, or WITH THE POC PLATFORM individually and collectively” and a cycle to school once a week for a move that leverages the power of month to earn a WOW reward badge. sport to create a “better future for Produced in the UK from recycled communities and the planet.” and sustainably-sourced materials, Significant plans are in place across the 11 collectable badges follow a the club to achieve its Net Zero different theme each year. targets, while recycling and other initiatives to ensure landfill waste is avoided and plastic is swapped out for better materials have long been in place. Products of Change has launched a raft Even the team’s football kits – of online educational modules to arm supplied by Nike’s ‘Move to Zero’ members with a deeper understanding initiative are constructed with 100% Above: WOW Walk to School’s hero character of sustainability. recycled polyester made from Strider pictured in badge form. Created to break the often-complex plastic bottles. subject into digestible units, the course Louis Kennedy will develop a BELOW: The Liverpool offices in London played is free for POC members to complete. licensing programme around the host to POC’s latest Sports meeting. Each bite-sized unit takes no more than campaign’s hero character, Strider, 30 minutes to finish, with topics spanning to help increase awareness of the the subject of sustainability and how to charity’s message. implement measures at work or at home. “This is possibly the first time that “We know people want to learn how schools’ communication around to transition their business to more recycling and sustainability arrives sustainable models, but are extremely time from a trusted voice outside of poor,” said POC’s Helena Mansell-Stopher. media and entertainment,” said Grant “We’ve built modules that can be easily Morgan, ceo of Louis Kennedy. completed in the working day.” “The measure of success will be the The modules can be found under the Official and licensed merchandise will greater awareness of Strider and how Education tab at now play a major part in The Red Way many schools will engage with WOW sustainability strategy and its strategy over time, while motivating more to keep the Club’s Scope 3 emissions children to walk to school.” at the forefront of its aims. The team is working to implement a recycling At a POC Sports Workstream meeting, Liverpool FC’s programme with national retailers to act as regional dropoperations manager, Claire Callinan, said: “Liverpool FC off centres for redundant or excess badges. These will be wants to embrace sport’s opportunity to deliver positive returned to the factory where the materials will be used social and environmental change.” for new badges or products.

WASTEBUSTER CALLS ON TOY INDUSTRY TO SUPPORT WORLD’S BIGGEST TOY SWAP Wastebuster, the team behind the Recycle to Read campaign, is calling on the UK toy industry to support its attempt at the world’s biggest international toy and book swap as it gears up for Waste Week 2023. Heading into its tenth year, Waste Week is an annual campaign through which schools and students across Wastebuster’s international education network learn the benefits of waste reduction, reuse, and recycling. Waste Week 2023 is looking to land the largest international toy and book swap in history, working with kids’ toy, publishing, and media supporters and schools to engage families across the globe. The campaign will promote reuse and the wider circular economy. It follows a

successful Waste Week this year in which a partnership with Microsoft and Currys saw the recycling of electronics increase by more than 500%. Beyond its own network of 24,000 schools across 94 countries, Wastebuster will team with the Foundation of Environmental Education and its network of 100-plus in-country NGOs to encourage over 56,000 schools to hold local community toy and book swaps. “We’re going for something really unique, we have always advocated entertainment for social change and have grown a popular environmental education programme with this at its heart,” said Katy Newnham, founder of Wastebuster. “This time, we are teaming up with some of the greatest storytellers in the world

to inspire children with their character content, inform with compelling education opportunities and bring learning to life by encouraging children to give their toys a chance to be loved again to help protect the planet.” Below: Kids learn the benefit of reuse and recycling through UK schools’ campaign


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Jonathan Watson Chief Product Officer at The Insights Family


HOW THE NEXT GENERATION CONTINUES TO DRIVE REAL CHANGE ince I began working in children’s research in 2017, I have been astonished at times with our findings. Whether it’s the access and impact of digital technology on kids’ lives, or their awareness and reaction to social issues, the speed of change and the complexity of the children’s and family market – in the five years that I have been studying it and scrutinising it – is like nothing we have experienced before. What’s clear is that across the globe, children’s voices throughout

societies are becoming stronger and more relevant. The influence that a child now has over their parents, the brands they engage with, and the organisations that surround their market, simply continues to grow every day. In a short space of time, both the Sustainability in Licensing Conference and the Products of Change platform have managed to unite the industry and drive positive change. It’s been a privilege to take part in previous events – representing The Insights Family - and talk about how children’s attitudes are changing. However,

SWITCHED ON AND CONNECTED Across the 22 countries The Insights Family now surveys, 52% of three to five year olds now have access to a tablet, 50% of tweens (ages ten to 12) are now watching videos on YouTube, and 31% of that age group are using TikTok. Digitally enabled kids are learning and expecting to access the content they want when they want. And as those kids become more exposed to technology and social media, they become more aware of the issues affecting society today, and that includes a greater likelihood to harbour concern for global issues. Globally, since the start of 2021, concerns among children have risen over: Animal Cruelty (+79%), Gender Equality (+38%), Racism (+18%), and Human Rights Issues (+42%). Children as young as six in the UK now rank the Environment (placed at number four) and Racism (at number five) as some of their biggest concerns today. Take it to the next age group up and children aged ten to 18 in the UK are now making the environment a key topic of conversation. In fact, a quarter of this demographic now name climate change as a major concern – that’s an increase of 11% over the last 12 months alone.

while it’s clear that popular attitudes have indeed shifted, the question we get asked the most is whether these attitudes have translated into action. Have behaviours and consumption patterns changed enough to justify brands making a change? This year, we’d like to demonstrate further how integrating sustainability into your business strategies not only results in an increase in brand advocacy, but also saves the planet.

THE INSIGHTS FAMILY’S MAKING IT MATTER REPORT The Insights Family’s Making It Matter report discusses the rising importance of sustainability to engage kids in further detail as well as explores others trends such as the increasing influence of children in the household and strategies for engaging the modern family. Released in April, it is the first report produced by the company’s new Industry Knowledge team, dedicated to identifying the next big opportunities for brands and organisations in the kids, parents, and family market. Download yours for free by visiting: familyreport2022 or by scanning the QR Code on this page.


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IS THE VALUE-ACTION GAP NARROWING? At last year’s Sustainability in Licensing Conference, we highlighted the ‘value-action gap’ between the attitudes and behaviours of kids when it comes to sustainability. Let’s take food as one example. In 2021, 14% of kids globally considered the environment when choosing food and drinks – that’s lower than the 22% who say they were concerned about the environment in general. This shows an 8% value-action gap, suggesting that concern does not directly translate into action. In 2022 so far, however, the value-action gap has shrunk to 5%. The whole industry continues to shift, and we are constantly tracking the impact of various announcements from brands. And there’s been plenty from some very influential sources. News surrounding Love Island’s partnership with eBay for the latest series was of particular interest for us. The TV show is renowned for setting fashion trends, particularly among younger audiences who look to fast-fashion brands to purchase outfits that they have seen on their screens. Following the recent tie-up with eBay, ITV has revealed that contestants on the reality TV series will now be wearing second-hand clothes to promote reuse and encourage sustainable purchasing. The production company even issued a statement that it hopes

to combat a disposable attitude to fashion which some of the series’ past contestants have been criticised for promoting. Our data suggests that this will be a particularly strong move for the show. Love Island is currently the number 21 favourite TV show for kids aged nine to 18 in the UK, and these fans are 11% more likely than average to strongly agree that it is important for the products they buy to have eco-friendly credentials. They are also 9% more likely to shop online than the average kid.

Island, demonstrating a crossover in audience. This suggests that the partnership could encourage more viewers to look to resale sites to find pre-loved items and follow the sustainable living trend. We’re looking forward to the Sustainability in Licensing Conference this year. We have run some special research which will be shown – for the first time Let’s take food as one – at the event, offering some example. In 2021, 14% of great insight into how children’s kids globally considered the consumption continues to be environment when choosing driven by the environment. Children’s voices are food and drink. becoming stronger and more relevant. Understanding what attitudes kids hold in realtime and how these affect their purchasing decisions is a critical advantage for Meanwhile, eBay currently brands. Building sustainability ranks as the second favourite into your business not only online shop for kids aged three results in an increase in brand to 18 in the UK. Fans of eBay advocacy and financial growth, among this age group are now but it also saves the planet. 56% more likely to like Love


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WITH MAGIC fantastical tale of daring and guile set to the rhythms of the UK’s woodland areas, Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo has not only become an iconic work of modern children’s literature but has helped bridge the lives of a generation of young and fascinated readers with the wonders of wildlife. The driving force behind it all is Magic Light Pictures, a team which has – since the creation of the first Gruffalo style guide in 2009 – ensured that consideration of the environment in which Julia’s portfolio of stories are each set, has been at the forefront of its licensing activity. In the same year that The Gruffalo celebrated its 15th anniversary by pairing with Forestry England for themed forest trails across the country, Magic Light had struck partnerships for The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom with Eden Project to drive education of the natural world. A year later, in 2015, the brand had partnered with Yorkshire Tea on its Yorkshire Tree campaign, culminating in the planting of 2.5 million trees with the help of the Woodland Trust. Meanwhile, it’s according to Magic Light Pictures’ senior brand manager, Alexandra Sanson, that “sustainability has become the focus of an

expanding licensed product portfolio.” It would seem, that with every success, Magic Light continues to bring environmental awareness closer to the consumer audience. “We create content and products for future generations, and we recognise the importance of showing them how to engage with the natural world, explore their surroundings, and connect with the environment,” Alex tells Products of Change. “The more children understand the natural environment, the more we can inspire them to be a part of the necessary changes to overcome and adjust to issues like global warming.” These values are now beginning to filter through to Magic Light Pictures’ consumer products portfolio, where conversations with licensees increasingly centre on sustainability. “As a company whose voice speaks directly to young children, we have a responsibility to do what we can to minimise the impact of our products on the environment,” explains Alex. “We know that we still have so much to do, and sustainability will be a constantly evolving element to our licensing business, but we are laying a path for learning, growing and improvement.”

From The Gruffalo to Stick Man, the canon of Julia Donaldson has formed a longstanding relationship with the UK’s natural environment. So it stands to reason that rights owner Magic Light Pictures has some big plans ahead for sustainable development. That’s being modest about it. Truth is, Magic Light Pictures has been the catalyst of an innovative step forward from The Gruffalo master toy partner, Wow! Stuff and its bold, new reconfiguration of toy packaging. Through a collaborative effort, Wow! Stuff Gruffalo toys will now arrive in a new packaging concept that reduces waste without dampening the extended user experience. And the potential for what it brings the toy space simply cannot be overestimated. “We love it,” teases Alex. “We know that change in this space will be gradual, but each new licensee with a sustainable approach, and each partnership with an angle of conversation, reassures us that we are moving in the right direction. “And this new packaging concept with Wow! Stuff is very exciting.” So, what is the big idea? Let’s talk to the team to uncover some more about it…

TOP: A young visitor to Eden Project high fives Stick Man while on a nature trail. TOP LEFT: Children gather for a photo at the entrance of Twycross Zoo’s The Gruffalo Discovery Land.

BELOW: Young fans of The Gruffalo gather for a telling of their favourite story.


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Gruffal’au naturale


The Wow! Stuff team has gone naked before. But never like this. Products of Change sits down with ceo Richard North and cofounder Dr Graeme Taylor to document the team’s plastic-free sustainability journey with Magic Light Pictures’ The Gruffalo.

TOP: Richard North (top left) and Dr Graeme Taylor (top right) adopt cartoon form for POC’s exclusive Q&A. ABOVE: Before and After. The Gruffalo ‘imprisoned in plastic’ packaging before Wow! Stuff’s sustainable packaging overhaul.

s an innovator of the toy industry, Wow! Stuff is routinely celebrated for thinking outside of the box. Its latest development with Magic Light Pictures and its master toy partnership for The Gruffalo Family brand has, however, tasked them to do quite the opposite. When it comes to sector-defining innovation in sustainability, Wow! Stuff’s attention has been trained well-and-truly on its insides. The insides of its toy packaging. Richard North, and head of technologies and sustainable development and co-founder, Dr Graeme Taylor reveal all... Wow! Stuff has built a strong reputation on innovation in the toy space. How does this fit with your approach to sustainability? Richard North, ceo and co-founder: To be frank, we’ve been kicking ourselves for a long time on the sustainability issue. My co-founders Graeme and Kenny come from scientific backgrounds and have been shouting in my ear for ten years to get our house in order and utilise our innovation and skill to address this elephant in the room.

Dr Graeme Taylor, head of sustainability and co-founder: Yes, we’re a little unusual within the toy industry with two of us coming from that background. Both of us did our studies in life sciences and became involved in post-grad and post-doc projects in International Development (in Kenny’s case), and environmental toxicology on my part. We fell into the toy industry by accident but loved developing and innovating new products. We were always running at full speed to grow the business and sustainability got pushed to the back of the queue - which always weighed heavily on our minds. We just didn’t feel we had the time, resources, or flexibility to address them. So, what changed? How did sustainability become an important topic for you? Richard: The wake-up and smell the coffee moment came when Magic Light Pictures, the licensor for The Gruffalo brand family, reviewed some early samples of licensed product and really challenged the packaging. That was a blow for us because we were proud to have secured the master toy licence for this well-loved and respected brand. I think it was a bit of a perfect storm in a way, with other things aligning at the same time. Graeme? Graeme: It was, yes. The team at Magic Light quite rightly objected to how much single use plastic we were using in our packaging. We had blister trays and even double blister trays inside our boxes. We


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Q&A: WOW! STUFF knew they were right, and we knew we had to do something about it. We were also staring down the barrel of the new ‘plastic tax’, and similar costs for this wasteful use of plastic that were being brought in within lots of different countries, which was not just a financial burden, but a pain in the arse to administer. The final piece of the jigsaw was the groundswell of effort and collaboration within the industry to tackle the issue of sustainability. We were in danger of being stuck in the dark ages. The tie-up with Magic Light Pictures speaks volumes for industry innovation and collaboration. How did this all come together? Richard: Magic Light didn’t just do the right thing by the brand they represent and point out the problems, they were understanding and willing to help us fix things. The launch of POC was good timing for us. Helena helped us enormously and worked with our team to find us connections and expertise to review our packaging and come up with better solutions. Graeme: POC was already on our radar but became a lifeline in our time of need! We got in touch and had a very honest discussion, explaining what we do as a company, and what we needed to change. Helena suggested we talk to the packaging expert, Mike Swain. We had a few meetings with him and agreed a plan to work together to not just deal with the immediate concern but bake-in a more sustainable approach to packaging within our business. What was the process that made this concept deliverable? Richard: Mike was keen for us to understand that our packaging wasn’t just sub-standard in terms of sustainability, but that we could make it ‘work harder’ to show off the product. It wasn’t going to be a quick-fix; we needed to transfer his expertise to our team. We agreed to use Mike as a consultant and create a new position of ‘packaging designer’ within the company for Mike to mentor. We used The Gruffalo brand product range as our initial packaging focus.

toys from slipping them into their pockets. We did it with a combination of paper ties, recessed inserts, and cut-outs. Oh, and we switched to using FSC materials. We also made far more use of the interior of the packaging to bring the products to life. The result was so much better than what we started with. No comparison. A success then? Graeme: We hope so. Magic Light are much happier with the packaging now. We aren’t just happy we have a more guilt-free and sustainable packaging design, we also think the look, feel, and overall presentation of product is vastly better.

LEFT: Before: The Snail and the Whale held in plastic packaging captivity. After: The Snail and The Whale spring to life by going plastic-free.

Richard: It was even better than that, though! I had assumed that switching to FSC materials, and the extra labour in tying all these toys to the packaging instead of securing them with a plastic blister, would mean our costs, and therefore process, were bound to increase. But that wasn’t the case, was it Graeme? Graeme: Ah I almost forgot to say… We also put effort into optimising the size of the boxes in terms of protecting and displaying the toys and minimising their size for efficient shipping, which has become a critical cost these days. The net effect of all our changes was at worst cost neutral, but overall cost negative, which was an amazing result, and of course ensured full ‘buy-in’ to extend this into all our products going forward, throughout the business. What message does this share on the importance of close collaboration between licensor and licensee to drive real change in the industry? Richard: When a licensor has a culture of collaboration and isn’t driven first and foremost by profit then great results can be achieved – because you’re both focused on doing the right things for the consumer and not short-term gains. It’s an irony that the right values, that are not prioritising profit, ultimately lead to it.

BELOW: There’s no room to move, let alone on the Broom until Wow! Stuff goes plastic free in this before and after.

So, what changed in the packaging? Graeme: Everything. We focused on removing all the single-use plastic – not as easy as it sounds. Some of the toys were play-sets with small figures included, but we wanted all our boxes to be open to show the product as much as possible and allow customers to engage with it. We also wanted to position the toys as ‘live’ within the packaging, rather than, as Mike pointed out, looking like they were in jail! The tricky thing was figuring how to hold the products in position, pass transit and drop testing, and stop those little hands that want to touch the


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INDUSTRY INNOVATORS MATERIALS DREAMTEX EARTH When it comes to stepping up sustainable practices in the bedding sector, director Jo Duckworth explains how the company is walking the talk. “At Dreamtex, sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. Since developing our sustainability strategy and branding it Dreamtex Earth, we have expanded its portfolio with our sustainable Bluey collection – made using 100% Better Cotton Initiative-sourced cotton. We are proud to be full members of the Better Cotton Initiative, the world’s leading sustainability initiative for cotton which helps cotton communities to survive while protecting and restoring the environment. We intend to grow our Dreamtex Earth portfolio this year and bring in other licences to join our movement. We are continuously researching new sustainable materials and methods of production to offset our carbon footprint. We can’t wait to share our future product innovation that will create a better environment for all.”

Spotlighting a trio of companies helping an industry in transition.

DIVERSITY BLACK LIVES MATTER LICENSING From licensing consultancy to retail education, Black Lives Matter Licensing Movement is on a mission to bring authenticity to industry diversity. Black Lives Matter Licensing Movement is driving education and conversation on diversity and representation across the industry, focusing its efforts on not only the licensing sector but facilitating and enabling positive change across the retail landscape, too. The team has made it its mission to engage mass retail with the topic of race and representation to help the high street address the ‘mismatched matter of diversity’ to ensure that the black voice is represented authentically. Black Lives Matter Licensing Movement wants to create a unified approach to the issue that drives authenticity across all operations within the retail space. The ambition is an extension of Black Lives Matter Licensing Movement’s current consultancy work within the licensing industry. It was recently announced that the group had partnered with the children’s audio story-telling platform Tonies, to assist with product and creative development strategies. The partnership sees Black Lives Matter Licensing Movement working closely with the Tonies team to demonstrate ways to “diversify product ranges to ensure authenticity and inclusivity.” Saphia Maxamed, founder of Black Lives Matter Licensing Movement, said: “We are aware that not every category can carry our licence, after all, the products and partners need to make sense. However, we are extremely happy the industry is open to working through how they can best support the movement and make the changes needed to be supportive of the black community.” Money received from the Tonies partnership will be given back to the black community through the Black Lives Matter’s Giving Back Initiative. This is the movement’s platform for empowering the black community while working to improve education to help eradicate systemic racism.

TECHNOLOGY DEPENDABLE SOLUTIONS Compliance documents, contract terms, approvals? As Maksua Hoque, marketing manager of Dependable Solutions explains, help is at hand. “When it comes to licensing management software, Dependable Solutions boasts an innovative suite of specialist tools to help creative, financial, legal, and commercial licensing teams operate efficiently and effectively. Its centralised tracking system means that compliance documents and approvals, as well as contracts terms - all those elements that make up the groundwork of forward-thinking licensing partnerships - can all be handled from a single, access-controlled system. ‘We set out to make communication – the sharing of assets and providing feedback to licensing partners – as easy as possible, while linking to existing systems to

reduce the need for manual data entry. On top of that, our business intelligence offers over 200 reports and a series of customisable dashboards, all exportable in several different formats. Dependable Solutions is the provider of choice to over 65 licensing companies around the world. We have been supporting licensors, licensing agents, and licensees for over 17 years. Our 40 expert staff take pride in their work and look forward to supporting the licensing industry for many years to come.”


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MEET THE PRODUCTS OF CHANGE ADVISORS Circular economy aficionados with Net Zero nouse and experts across all fields of sustainability; Products of Change couldn’t do what it does it today without them. It’s time to introduce the POC Advisors. membership network and educational hub developed to help the consumer products industries transition to a positive and sustainable future, Products of Change often works with companies in a consultancy capacity to help deliver the best and most impactful change. To do so, the team is armed with a line-up of fascinating and fantastic POC Advisors, each an expert

ARTHUR PARRY An independent sustainability consultant and member of the Solar Impulse Foundation Expert Community, Arthur led the development of the P&G Global Total Oral Care Sustainability Strategy and has since been supporting organisations in the integration of their sustainability strategies and activity systems.

June Kirkwood, founder of Nutmeg Licensing and a Net Zero expert

in differing fields of sustainability; from Net Zero and material impact and innovation, to the circular economy and supply chain sustainability. It’s through this network of Advisors that Products of Change is able to deliver its educational activities - from regular group workshops to one-onone sustainability strategy development and consultancy sessions. So, let’s meet the team of experts that help make it all happen.

Arthur Parry, sustainability consultant and expert on the circular economy

JUNE KIRKWOOD June boasts more than 20 years in licensing including hands-on experience of sustainable licensing and education in business sustainability management. As owner of Nutmeg Licensing, she is the licensing agent for the Eden Project, working to put sustainability and its associated values at the heart of its growing licensing programme.

CATHY TEASDALE Cathy is an independent brand and strategy consultant with extensive experience of running global projects for global brands in the field of sustainability, notably packaging, recycling and re-use of existing products. She has an interest in identifying how brands can develop lasting behaviour changes that can lead to more sustainable lifestyles.

Andrea Green, founder of the sustainable licensing consultancy, Globally Green

Cathy Teasdale, brand and strategy consultant, marketing expert

ANDREA GREEN A name well-known and well-respected within consumer product circles, Andrea has worked at some of the biggest entities in licensing and entertainment, including ZAG and Activision, before setting up her own sustainable licensing consultancy, Globally Green.

If you would like to discuss how POC Advisors can support your journey to a sustainable future, please contact us at for an initial discussion.



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Contributing to a more diverse, equitable, inclusive and sustainable future.

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