Predictably, when this challenge has a mission calling for examples of Sustainable Value Businesses, you're going to get a New Zealander pointing to Icebreaker – designer and manufacturer of merino clothing. Here's some insight from a company doing well by doing good from out here on the Edge of Paradise:
From founder Jeremy Moon on the Icebreaker website: "Right from the start, I focused on developing narrow and deep relationships with a small number of key players — merino growers, manufacturers, retailer and staff. Our company ethos says it all: 'It’s about our relationship with nature, and with each other'."
They've got an Ethics page on their website too – which covers topics like:
What's Our Relationship with Nature?
How Do We Treat Animals?
How Do We Treat the Land?
What Is Our Supply Chain?
plus it features their Baacode traceability program
The thing I love about the Baacode is that it takes an issue like traceability and leverages technology to help consumers explore the issue further in a way which is really engaging via Icebreaker's products. "Your unique Baacode will let you see the living conditions of the high country sheep that produced the merino fibre in your Icebreaker garment, meet the farmers who are custodians of this astonishing landscape, and follow every step of the supply chain. We're sure you'll find the experience as inspiring as we do. Enjoy your journey back to the source." One imagines that participating in this may inspire consumers to consider the sources of products they purchase elsewhere.
Check out more from Jeremy Moon on sustainability as an innovation driver.
When this challenge asks us to reflect on how to identify businesses which innovate for world benefit – might innovations around raising consumer awareness also be viewed as part of their impact?
[The Baacode was initially posted during the Inspiration phase of our OpenIDEO Local Food Challenge: So, Where's It Really From?]