Issue #093

Megan Hotson


Welcome to your weekly dose of TooXToo, this week featuring Tony’s conversation bars, Adidas’ entry into the metaverse, Patagonia’s they/them film, and the first net-zero McDonalds…

Tony’s Chocolonely Conversation bars

The chocolate makers Tony’s Chocolonely have launched a powerful campaign designed to stimulate conversation around provocative social issues. Tony’s already have a well-established reputation as a brand committed to social justice with their campaigns against modern slavery, and their most recent conversation bars are an extension of this.

Their new bars are premised off the idea that change begins with conversation. The packaging of their bars asks questions such as “what does (in)equality mean to you?” or “what does (in)human mean to you?” Their hope is that not only will some of the key moral topics within the chocolate industry be addressed, but those across the world, too.

Jo Lane, Chief Marketing Officer at Tony’s Chocolonely explained: “we hope to drive more support for our mission to eradicate modern slavery and illegal child labour. Because it’s only together that we can make all chocolate 100% slave free.”

This social campaign from Tony’s is particularly relevant today with over 1.56 million children working illegally, and at least 30,000 victims of modern slavery on cocoa plantations in Ghana and Ivory Coast.

This is an effective and impactful way for a brand to stimulate discussion to affect change. Using their packaging as a canvas for a social campaign to appeal to a consumer’s empathy, Tony’s are reminding their customers of what and who they stand for.

Hurry! They are only available at Waitrose and partners until 25th January.

Adidas’ entry into the metaverse  

2021 may be over- but talks of the metaverse are not. The discussions surrounding the future, and of NFT’s are only getting louder, and louder. Adidas has entered the realm of the metaverse by releasing an undisclosed number of NFT collectibles. However, this launch is unique because the NFT’s also grant access to users to virtual experiences as well as wearables in Adidas’ land in ‘The Sandbox metaverse’.

Adidas’ metaverse debut is the result of months of discussions, and collaborations with important members of the NFT space: GMoney, PUNKS comics, and Bored Ape Yacht.

Commenting on Adidas’ collection of NFT’s, GMoney stated: “And I think we’re seeing that play out now, as Adidas has had the most authentic entry into the space so far.”

The digital assets released by adidas went on sale at the end of December at the starting price of 0.2 ETH (£590). Adidas expressed its interest in the space, stating that digital worlds that constitute the metaverse will be a place “where anyone can express their most original ideas and be their most authentic selves.”

Adidas outlined their ongoing passion for digital worlds that constitute the metaverse- a place, or space “where anyone can express their most original ideas and be their most authentic selves.”

Watch this (Meta) space- a facilitator of expression, creativity, and forward-thinking commerce. What must be considered is that this shift to digital trading, requires a change in mind-set and living, a change not all are ready to embrace. At present there is a fear or anxiety from some who fear the intangibility of this world that is seemingly taking over. For brands, engaging with it is inevitable, however, as a refusal to might mean getting left behind.

Patagonia’s they/them film

Patagonia is well-known for being a purpose-led brand. They are hoping their recent campaign will paint a more honest and accurate picture of their community.

Their recently created documentary ‘they/them’ follows Lor Sabourin, an Arizona-based climber, guide and coach who identifies as trans, and uses the pronouns – they/them. In the film, climbing is explored as a means of expressing and inventing identity that allows Lor to develop resilience in response to great adversity.

Nina Hajikhanian, ecommerce director at Patagonia expressed: “I would advocate that all responsible organisations follow this same path – taking a deep and honest look at where you could be stronger and where you could have impact”.

This action from Patagonia is worth shining light on because it illustrates not only the importance of understanding an organisations community to ensure inclusivity, but also because it demonstrates the power of storytelling for brands, like Patagonia.

Consumers can appreciate the outdoors and its positive effects on those like Lor through watching and following their story, leading them to be more empathetic toward the issues Patagonia address- subsequently investing in their brand and what they stand for.

The first net-zero MacDonald’s

2022 is set to be a year of more impactful discussions around issues surrounding the climate leading on from 2021, with brands making moves to protect our planet. Fast-food giants, Mcdonald’s have opened the UK's first net-zero carbon restaurant.

Screenshot 2022-01-07 at 10.43.58

The concept and initial design was developed by Hertfordshire studio Scurr Architects, alongside the Manchester-based AEW Architects who handled site design. The building has been built from natural or recycled materials and is fuelled by both wind turbines and solar panels. The restaurant is in Market Drayton, Shropshire, and aims to fulfil net-zero standards in not only its construction- but everyday operation.

Commenting on the sustainable move from Mcdonald’s- Beth Hart, McDonald's vice president of supply chain and brand trust said: "At McDonald's, we believe that our food needs to be served in restaurants that are sustainable for the future".

Key features that allow the restaurant’s design to meet its environmental criteria, include the walls that are insulated with wool from British sheep, as well as the cladding, which is made from recycled IT equipment and white household goods. The signs used are made from used McDonald's coffee beans- a clear example of Mcdonald’s introducing “Circular waste solutions".

Impressively, the car park features over 1,000 kerbstones that are each made from 182 recycled plastic bottles- this alone has reduced their carbon emissions by 25 kilograms per kerb compared to conventional concrete examples.

Despite the positive impact, and example this restaurant is having already on conversations concerning missions to go net zero- there is more to be done. McDonald's recently outlined consumption-based emissions derived from its menu that is “beef heavy” has not yet been properly considered. If This structure and the operations taking place within it want to meet the criteria of net-zero in the strictest sense, this will need fully addressing.

Nonetheless, kudos to Mcdonalds, Drayton for taking strides in the right direction.

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