“We are moving from high waste to recycling and a
circulareconomy; from worshipping the new to valuing
high quality; from highly processed foods to fresh, gourmet
and organic foods; from suburbia to cities; from
disposability to maintenance.”
* from the article: http://www.stylus.com/ytdfxy
Carlota Perez, professor at the London School of Economics
during "London Technology Week"*
NOW IS THE TIME TO QUESTION
THE ESTABLISHED MODEL OF
We are gradually realising that our choices inﬂuence
the brands and the society in which we live. Quality,
ethics, respect and collaboration are our new
WE ARE DIVIDED BETWEEN OUR WILL
TO CHANGE AND OUR DESIRE TO
In the era of a new paradox, responsible consumption
has become a less binding commitment. It is
primarily the accumulation of lots of small initiatives
that enable us to evolve.
Overexploitation, pressure on the environment, waste
accumulation: in order to reverse these trends, alternative models
are developed ("green" & "blue" economy, collaborative
consumption, circular economy, etc.) to preserve the planet and
reduce wastage of resources, whether these resources are human,
cultural, material or energy related.
Reason No. 1
A MODEL OF LINEAR UNTENABLE
52% of people say they want to consume better, and this depends
primarily on buying products that last longer (44%), purchase of
products good for health (37%), purchase of more environment-
friendly and quality products (36%)
See the case study: http://bit.ly/XRMNwS
"In the red economy [sic, including: industrial economy], we can never repay. Always
seeking to make more money, we run after sales and try to cut into proﬁt margins of
Gunter Pauli, founder of Ecover Company
in We Demain No. 3
We ﬁnd the loopholes in system and doubt the
traditional players increasingly. All our benchmarks are jostled at
a time when numerous scandals (health, political, humanitarian,
etc.) continue to disrupt our model.
Reason No. 2
In 2004, 57% people trusted the companies in general -
they are only 29% in 2014
ETHNICITY Report 2014
"There has never been so many questions about the functioning
of our society and its boundaries, questioning the direction of
Victor Ferreira, President and co-founder of Newmanity,
In "Sustainable Revolution" of Ethicity - Greenﬂex
Being successful in life is no longer synonymous with
professional success and possessions. Today, we emphasise on
"living well" by ﬁnding balance between health, work, hobbies,
commitments and human relationships.
Reason No. 3
PERSONAL FULFILMENT IS
SYNONYMUS WITH "LIVING WELL"
The 3 main concerns of the French people are:
- welfare of my family and my loved ones: 50%
- health: 46%
- cost of living: 36%
"We do not want to be passive victims of over-consumption. By resisting ourselves from
buying everything, 'responsible consumption' is encouraged, It becomes a topic of
attention again, one reconnects to the active part of oneself"
Anne Gatecel, about DIY
For Femme Actuelle, No. 1550
ETHNICITY Report 2014
BACK TO NATURE, IN CITY
Amidst the crowded buildings and polluted streets, the city dwellers seek to make use of their space and bring nature close to
"LES COMPOSTEURS DU 107"
One of the ﬁrst urban garden projects in Paris was established in the
12th arrondissement. The Santerre garden started out with a collective
composting to nurture the plants of balconies. It then went on to
become a garden of 45 plots, as well as beehives, a chicken coop, a mini
orchard and shelter for animals and insects.
BEEHIVES OF PARIS
The beehives are multiplying in Paris. While many are educational
apiaries, intended to train students in bee-keeping, any individual can
create his own beehive, if a fairly large space is devoted to it and
specialised training is followed. Today, there are more than 300 beehives
The green roofs, as part of biodiversity plan of the city of Paris, also
enable a better insulation of buildings. Every person can get involved in
this initiative by creating a green roof in his building and thus
participate in greening the city.
Creator of participatory urban gardens, INFARM is currently
developing a micro-greenhouse project, to ensure that anyone can grow
vegetables shoots at home. It takes 10 to 14 days to obtain shoots of
carrots, rucola or leek without much maintenance.
The change in our consumption model goes through multiple collective actions today on a human scale to change things step
To shop or not : power is in your hands. Carrotmob, civic association,
offers to have an agreement with the owner of small stores: the
carrotmobers bring their customers to these stores and part of the
money collected is used to invest in responsible consumerism projects.
Scanning a product and knowing if it is consistent with your principles is
the proposition of Buycott, a mobile application. From fair trade to
compliance of labour law, including the rights of women, each product
has a feature through which we can know everything about what the
companies are doing whose products we consume
This association tries to inform and promote alternatives in textile trade
and gourmet industry both at human as well as ecological level. By
educating the public and offering workshops to train pros, establishing
new connections and sharing new methods of distributing products,
Kult & Co wants to promote a new vision of sustainable trade in
The "guerilla gardening" is re-vegetation of abandoned urban spaces,
without getting into the formalities of necessary permits and land
ownership. We garden where we want, when we want: it becomes a
CRAZE FOR LOCAL PRODUCE
The local produce has become a huge success in recent years. At a time when we want to be even more certain of what we
put on our and our children's plates, buying directly from producers of our region reassures us and local consumption
becomes crucial in "eating well".
The Associations pour le Maintien de l’Agriculture Paysanne
(Community-supported agriculture) promote organic and fair
consumption by maintaining direct contact between farmers and
consumers. Anyone can register with us as a member and stay informed
regularly about sales of vegetables, meat and other products obtained
from peasant agriculture.
PURCHASE OF LOCAL FURNITURE
A cooperative society of designers and manufacturers has been set up in
Quebec, offering original and accessible interior furniture, produced
using local resources. We can choose the product that we want and
contact the manufacturer directly to buy the product from him in
person. Personal and human experience!
LA RUCHE QUI DIT OUI
This network, came into effect in 2011, connects consumers and local
producers in order to promote local consumption. No intermediary:
producers will not have to pay 16% service charge for the organization
of the beehive and consumers get the products at the lowest possible
cost. Fair and healthy system!
The craze for local produce encourages up-scaling of labels. "Made in
France", "South West France", "Product of Brittany", etc.: In addition to
the national, almost every region has its own label today to reassure
consumers but sometimes it also spreads confusion among consumers.
The format and channel of our purchases are evolving rapidly. Through new concepts and new methods of consumption, the
choices which value ethics and social responsibility become our favourite alternatives.
The bulk sale, along with returnable packaging to facilitate reuse and
shopping, is attracting more and more consumers. Many chains apart
from supermarkets are adopting this concept, making it possible to save
on packaging but also to avoid the proliferation of waste due to
packaging. In Italy, Negozio, in USA, Walk-in Cookbook, and in France,
Recharge are three brands of bulk sales.
BUY AND GIVE TO OTHERS
Have fun! Do good to others as well: double pleasure! Innovative brands
now allow responsible consumption by promising for each purchase
either an equivalent donation for the disadvantaged or allocation of a
portion of proﬁts to such Associations. This is the case with Toms or
Gandys Flip Flops, two brands of latest footwear who are popular for
their social commitment.
These days, e-shops enable the promotion of social and ethical
companies. The "Ethical Super Store" and "Shop for Social" are two
examples of online stores, promoting only the products in accordance
with our responsible commitments, organic and fair trade products of
companies working for humanitarian causes.
Purchasing is not an end in itself. Rent, exchange and other options of
collective use are becoming increasingly popular with consumers. Many
online platforms offer the services of a new type in order to encourage
different kind of consumption.
See speciﬁcations "Le nouveau rapport à la propriété (The new report in relation to property)"
STOP THE WASTAGE OF FOOD
At a time when malnutrition and hunger still affect large populations, the major Western nations are wasting. To ﬁght against
this, a number of initiatives attempt to put an end to the food waste.
The site lists all of the products available around here, which will expire
or spoil soon, along with beneﬁts up to 70% for consumers from
promotions. "Zéros-gâcheurs", people supporting zero-mess, form a
community and try to consume less while acting against waste.
This application warns consumers when the products they have in their
refrigerator or in their closet reach their expiry date and offers two
options: to consume the product as soon as possible or donate it to an
The site lists, for consumer goods, the time after which the product is
still edible after passing the BBD (Best before date).
An American invented the restaurant in dumpster. The concept: consists
of food products which are unsold, donated or unexpired or sourced
from partner farmers. It intends to raise awareness about waste. A part
of the proﬁts is also donated to an association working for sick children.
Recycling and reuse are pillars of responsible consumption. Through simple gestures and also with the help of innovative
initiatives, we have more and more opportunities to act for a better consumption model.
Envirobank proposes to set up vending machines both in public places
and in shops, which can recycle empty bottles to earn travel tickets, show
tickets or discount codes. A similar device already exists in Beijing, in
order to encourage recycling of bottles in exchange for free transport.
Since 2011, this start-up offers to teach us to ﬁx ourselves using
electronic products. On their sites, we can ﬁnd spare parts, all necessary
tools but mainly free user manuals online. Step by step, we can now deal
with the damaged vibrator of our iPhone or broken screen of our
ADVENT OF "UPCYCLING"
On March 5, 2014, ﬁrst "Upcycling Day" was held at the Cergy-
Pontoise University. The central idea: any object or material can have a
second life and we can all contribute to a new production model by
innovating and promoting reuse of goods for new varied uses. Going
beyond recycling, upcycling imagine a circle of endless life of materials
LE COMPTOIR GÉNÉRAL
This "den of ghetto culture," as it is called, set up the Centre des Objets
Perdus (Centre of Lost Objects) in which one can ﬁnd many items
recycled by modern rag-pickers of Paris. Kings of the recycling craft
and champions of recycling; they bring their ﬁndings to the Centre and
are remunerated decently, while promoting the "upcycling" of found
objects. An excellent social and responsible initiative!
REINVENTION OF FARMS
New farming systems are developing in the rural areas as well as in the city. In order to produce locally or to capitalize on
resources which are still little exploited, new concepts are deployed for the prevention of pollution and transportation costs.
LYON URBAN FARM
A new concept of gardening was imagined: in an area of 1000m2,
salads are placed on a conveyor belt and illuminated with LEDs, on
three ﬂoors according to their maturity. Less pesticide is used, a little
space is wasted: a concept of the future that can be adapted for all fruits
and vegetables once the salad testing is conﬁrmed.
FARMING IN CONTAINER
In Berlin, an aquaponic farm was developed: two containers are stacked,
there is ﬁsh farm in the bottom one and vegetable farm in the top
container. Plants purify the water, and are fed ﬁsh excreta that turn into
a kind of compost. Production takes place in a closed circuit, with zero
URBAN MUSHROOM FARM
Inspired by the principles of the blue economy, advocating the
adaptation of models of the environment in our production systems,
UpCycle launched the ﬁrst urban mushroom farm of Paris in 2012.
From bio-waste, mushrooms up to 10 tonnes can be grown on an area of
30m2. Enough to feed a large number of people, with local produce!
Breeders can now have a new source of income while contributing to
the energy generation in a new manner. The emission of methane from
animal excrement, greenhouse gas emissions, can be recovered to
generate electricity and is then sold to EDF. An initial investment which
is quite cost-effective for many farms.
FINANCE IS FOR THE PLANET
The world of ﬁnance can also become more responsible. A more sustainable global economy is developing from new forms of
investment and savings.
SRI (Socially Responsible Investment)
Despite the lack of information on Socially Responsible Investment, the
idea of investing responsibly interested more and more people in France.
By ﬁnancing companies or public organizations working for sustainable
development, SRI is a new way of commitment towards a new
The group works for the reforestation of the Panama and seeks to create
and restore forests for economic gains and to manage them sustainably.
We can invest, through Livrets Arbre (€ 33/month) or a CacaoInvest
(commitment over 25 years), while helping to create ﬁxed jobs for the
local population working in the forest industry.
Crédit coopératif offers commitment of savings to its customers. When
selecting the type of cause for which we want to act, we can ﬁnd the
proper placement, allowing us to combine performance and responsible
To accelerate the energy transition, more and more businesses and local
communities are using the "green bonds" to seek funds. In the bond
market, Green bonds and standard bonds are little different. An
exception: the green bonds are intended to ﬁnance only ecological
projects - and these days they are better rated than the standard ones.
Hence the increased craze!
want to feel good
to know that
Sarah Young, spokesperson for Levis Strauss & Co.
in Stylus: http://www.stylus.com/mdjdtn
AT A TIME WHERE THERE ARE SO MANY
DEVELOPING NEW MODELS IS CRUCIAL
Even if the social consciousness is indeed present, consumers do not always
know what to do. To invest in a new economy is not only a real necessity, but also a
real opportunity for brands.
IMPACT ON BRAND/
TAKE THE LEAD NOW
TOWARDS ESTABLISHING A RENEWED
RELATIONSHIP OF TRUST.
43% the French nationals say that they
consume more responsibly, and 41% say they would
contribute to reducing their energy consumption
#1 ECHOING THE ASPIRATIONS OF THE CONSUMERS
The French people want to consume better, but this is not always motivated by purely altruistic aspirations. Whether it's for
their personal well-being or that of their families, to enjoy things longer or to have fun with a clear conscience, their goals
should be understood and appreciated without being judgemental.
With the campaign "Why
bring a child
world?", Unilever promotes its Sunlight project and it
commitment for a better world. The PGC group values this
goal by echoing a powerful and truthful insight: the world is
what you make it. Thus, it encourages best practices and
Check the video: http://bit.ly/18A286X
A modular smart phone, with room for improvement, both
in its hardware and in its software. Thanks to Google, we can
always have access to the state-of-the-art technology without
having to breaking the Bank, without having to discard and
buy back constantly.
"RAW FOR THE OCEAN"
G-Star RAW & Pharrell Williams associate themselves with
Yarn to create the ﬁrst collection of jeans from fabrics
created with plastic waste recovered from the ocean. Stay in
fashion by consuming responsibly: a beautiful awareness
campaign taking into account the expectations patterns of
Check the video: http://bit.ly/1C59Svv
#2 OFFERING THE POSSIBILITY TO MAKE A TRUE CHOICE
People want to change their habits but do not always know how to do. Be transparent, promote comparison, test, guide them
to understand the issues, make them know the different solutions and engage them to facilitate their contributions: these are
all ways to bring alcohol drinks and brands, with honesty and support at all times.
The shoe brand is committed to producing its products as
ethically as possible. However, it also recognizes that
everything is not perfect and has full transparency in the
project, to avoid any possible consumer side disappointment.
Check the site:
By afﬁxing a label on products which are considered 'responsible', it
helps its customers and leads to the best choice for them and for the
With the "low prices that have nothing to hide" campaign,
Super U demonstrates its promise of trade that beneﬁts
everyone. Detailing each component of the selling price, the
brand highlights its fair remuneration for producers,
demonstrating its social commitment in favour of a more
UNITED BY BLUE
Every in-store purchase leads to a commitment by the brand
to remove a half kilo of waste in the ocean. The brand is
thus doing a good deed on behalf of the consumer, who has
accomplished their B.A. via shopping, without too many
Check the publication: http://bit.ly/1q7RD3q
#3 SMALL GESTURES THAT HAVE MEANING
Sometimes it is the small everyday gestures that make things change, and some brands have clearly understood this. Rather
than working too hard for a great cause, brands can choose to develop small initiatives that raise awareness or make people
act in a simple step by step manner.
An association becomes easier with Franprix and its principle
of rounding. Round up on your races and give a few cents
every time you cash out.
YVES ROCHER FOUNDATION
The Foundation promotes biodiversity and proposes actions
to achieve the same through the brand. "Plant a Tree" is a
simple and applicable option by the brand for a consumer
delighted to have been able to share a simple and fast way.
In June 2014, the brand offered its
Facebook fans the
opportunity to make all
new sneakers, made with the fabric
of their sofa. It thus hopes to encourage less laziness, more
physical activity - and more recycling!
# 4 COMMITTING FOR THE LONG TERM
The relationship must not stop at the purchase and re-purchase. Brands can build a lasting relationship through new services
to diversify the business: rent, buy second hand, repair, recovery, recycling, reuse, reprint, etc. They can prolong the life of
their product and the duration of the customer relationship while creating a much stronger emotional and multidimensional
NUDIE REPAIR SHOP
The jeans brand offers consumers the option to live in their
favourite jeans longer by offering solutions for repair, in-store
or via online guides. Nudie has also implemented recycling
solutions along with repair and reuse of worn out jeans.
PUMA INCYCLE COLLECTION
Changing the production cycle is challenging for any brand. Puma
did for its ﬁrst collection in 2013 - InCycle, manufacturing
biodegradable products and offering it to consumers with solutions for
recycling and reuse.
The furniture giant has several initiatives to promote
recycling, selling second hand furniture, etc. The "second
life" program in France, the "Second Hand" campaigns in
Sweden and the United Kingdom, the possibility of recovery
or repair: these are all measures that illustrate the
commitment of the brand to a more responsible
THANK YOU WATER
Finance brand with a share of its proﬁts used to ensure
access to safe drinking water projects in areas where access is
difﬁcult. With their "Track Your Impact " application, it is
possible to follow the exact impact of our purchase and the
speciﬁc project which we are helping to fund.
!! CAUTION "ETHICALWASHING" !!
Many brands multiply the operations, targeting the buzz to improve their
image without really engaging.
Risk: away from its consumers breaking the established trust!
Because today consumers have all the tools to distinguish the genuine
commitment. Also numerous associations shall ensure help to consumers to
Document produced by Paola Craveiro & Mathieu Genelle
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