Eco innovations prompt sustainable consumer products

Young consumers have a desire for socially and eco-conscious brands, and as technology advances, the greenest products are becoming more aesthetically aspirational as well. Thoughtfully designed biodegradable goods are entering a wide array of categories, from food containers to burial services, and now beverages, vehicles, and fashion.


Of the eco-friendly products that youth are interested in, many told us that better water systems are on their radar. Waiakea is one such company making moves in the right direction; its water is filtered through porous volcanic rock in Hawaii and bottled into plastic that is not only 100% recyclable but also 100% biodegradable. By shortening the typical degradation process of a plastic bottle from 1,000+ years down to 15, the company is significantly reducing its carbon footprint. Waiakea also fuels social betterment; for every liter purchased by a consumer, it donates 650 liters to a country in need of clean drinking water.


Next to big oil, fast fashion is the second-dirtiest industry in the world, and H&M is making efforts to reduce its impact through a collaboration with Danone that will allow plastic water bottles to be upcycled into clothing. Plastic bottle waste from Jakarta will be sorted, washed, and shredded into flakes before being turned into polyester apparel for the retail company. Eco-friendly footwear has been making strides, and H&M envisions a 100% renewable production process using only recycled and sustainable materials by 2030. The partnership also helps Indonesia with its goal of reducing marine pollution by 70% by 2025.


Self-driving cars are advancing rapidly, and the 128-year-old tire company is keeping up with the times with its 3-D printed concept intended specifically for use on such vehicles. While bamboo, tin cans, wood, hay, and orange zest sound like items you might find in a compost pile, Michelin is using them to make the new tires, which are bio-sourced and biodegradable. The tires use RFID sensors to collect data and predict performance and function of the vehicle, and a stop at a Michelin print station will allow users to upgrade them for various driving conditions.