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French shampoo brand Dop is inviting consumers to adopt a piece of rubbish from a digital beach to help promote its new organic range. Visit the Dop site, where you are invited to select a piece of rubbish on a beach, name it, choose a godfather and godmother for it, and publish the adoption on Facebook. When consumers click on their chosen piece of rubbish, they're presented with information about the damage it does to the environment. When the adoption is complete, Dop will send €5 for every kilo of rubbish adopted to a beach clean-up charity. Which, as an ironic treatment of a serious issue, makes cleaning up the environment seem less dour and just a bit more fun. (source: Iconoculture).

Rags2Riches doesn’t just sell a line of high-end handbags and foot rugs crafted from discarded scrap fabric, they are also sustainably made by women from marginalized communities, giving them a new source of income and empowerment. Rags2Riches begins by collecting scrap cloths discarded by garment factories. Working in partnership with local designers, it then hires women from disadvantaged communities to create the resulting handbags and rugs for sale in partner shops. For each item they make, women earn between 30 and 50 percent of the retail price, depending on how many they make. Each eco-minded item created reportedly bears the company story along with the signature of the woman who made the product. (source: Springwise).

The days of buying a new dress that you shove in the back of the wardrobe and never wear are over after John Lewis announced it is scrapping its 28 day return limit for a 'never ending refund'. The retailer is the first major high street name to scrap the refund limit. The policy was introduced to give confidence to shoppers that they can return unwanted items and even applies to those bought before this year. The only catch is that the clothing or appliances must be unused and accompanied by the original receipt. Andrew Murphy, Retail Director at John Lewis, said customers are more cautious about spending during times of austerity. He said the policy would give people confidence to shop again. However he insisted the scheme would not back fire, with a huge amount of last season dresses suddenly returned, as relatively few people keep the receipts. “We are not doing this so people can clear out their wardrobes,” he said. “We are doing it to underline to people in economically difficult times that there is one shop you can buy from where you will not end up regretting it.”(source: Telegraph).

Urban beekeeping has seen its patrons in London double in the last year, helped in no small part be The GLA introducing their Capital Bee Scheme, while the latest contributor to bee welfare is the UK Cooperative, who have recently embarked on a new ethical business strategy. The Cooperative’s ‘Plan Bee’ initiative is impressive in the scope by which it aims to tackle the receding numbers of honey bees: it supports research into Colony Collapse disorder and provides wildflower seeds to Cooperative Customers. The most worthwhile endeavour they have embarked upon was providing a year-long funded training program for 24 budding beekeepers. The expertise which beekeeping demands is often underestimated, so by providing a support network with appropriate training and resources the UK Cooperative have made a significant contribution to furthering the important cause of urban beekeeping. (source: PSFK).

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