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Thoughts from September 2008

hug me

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Isn't this just the cutest hat, or rather hoodie hat, you've ever seen? In fact, it may well be the first hoodie hat you've ever seen. But that's okay. It's still pretty darn special. We think this week's hat of the week is an early contender for hat of the year. I've been parading it around the office since it's arrival, to many an 'ooh' and 'aah' of delight. I mean, just look at how happy that bottle looks, all snug and warm and hooded. Great work Rachel Phillips. You sure know how to knit a good hoodie hat.

the cat in the hat

Not Jamiroquai but Sam the sham's glamorous model of her first ever Big Knit hat. As found in our Big Knit 2008 Flickr group.

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We also love it when technology and craft overlap each other. Like in that film Tron. Here's a knitted QR Code that later became a very cool hat. Knitted by Purple Heather, who's a one lady hat knitting machine at the minute by the look of it.

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And an old C-60 cassette hat for anyone born before 1985 and who prefers the old to the new.

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If you are currently knitting your own hats please feel free to take some snaps and upload them to our flickr group. We're very intrigued to see what you are all up to and there are special prizes for the best pictures.

For everyone else why not have a nose around for a sneak preview of what you'll have a chance to find on our smoothie bottles in November.


even more foraging

We're suckers for a bit of wild foraging here at innocent, Ceri and Meera went last week in Wales and Lucy and the girls went last September by the seaside. Our Simon even does it for a living with the help of Carlos, kind of.

So I thought I'd have a crack at it myself on Saturday, but in the heart of London on Hampstead Heath with Andy ( a fungi to be with). Here's my haul which is largely made up of laccaria laccata, or deceivers as Andy likes to call them.

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I also found that mushrooms that live on fallen trees and are the same colour as your wellie boots are edible surprisingly.

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Spot the mushrooms.

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Spot the foragers.

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A lovely autumnal day for it.

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Please note: Never eat anything you find in the wild unless you are 110% sure you know what it is, or the professional you are with is 100% sure. Especially if it lives on fallen trees and is the same colour as your wellie boots.

here’s a question for you...

Do you think the following item is:

a) A tool for working out where we get our fruit from
b) A really fancy cheese plate
c) The Barclays Green Leaders in Business Award trophy

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Yep, it’s C (we know the silver plate at the bottom gave it away).

This week has been a great week - not only did the sun shine for about 15 minutes on Wednesday, but we also won a Barclays Green Leaders In Business Award. The awards were designed for British businesses to demonstrate how they are addressing the global environmental challenges we all face through the use of new processes, technology, products and services.

We really liked the philosophy behind these awards as it was about proving that sustainability and being a successful, competitive business can go hand in hand. Becoming a sustainable business is something that we passionately believe in and all of us are committed to delivering our sustainability goals.

We know that there isn't always a perfect solution but there is definitely always a better one and we’re not afraid to work hard to achieve our goals. As the old saying goes, if at first you don’t succeed – keep trying until you do. It's been a really busy year on sustainability for us so far. We've been working on:

  • Getting our pineapples from Rainforest Alliance certified farms - The first pineapple farms in Latin America were certified at the end of 2007, and we took the first delivery of certified pineapple earlier this year.
  • Rolling out our own set of minimum standards for sustainability with our suppliers which cover all relevant social and environmental issues.
  • Introducing a brand new label for our bottles made from 25% recycled paper and 75% paper from forests that have been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
  • Reducing the amount of paper used in our kids’ wedges and 1L carton by 10%.
  • Introducing key performance indicators for all our production, packaging and logistics suppliers to drive forward continuous improvements in the areas of energy, water and waste.
  • Whilst we’re immensely proud of the work we’ve achieved so far, we know we have a long way to go, and the journey never really ends.

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Sustainability is always a process of constant improvement to ensure that we are running the business in the best way possible and that we make the most responsible choices as we grow. Every day we are looking for new ways to become a more sustainable business and encouraging our suppliers to do the same. Our plans going forward are to make the step change from ‘greening’ our current business model to what we are calling ‘advanced sustainability’ (until we think of a catchier term). Basically, we want to challenge everything about our business to make sure we’re doing everything that bit better.

In terms of this award, we were up against some pretty tough competition so we are extremely chuffed that we won. A big thanks to the judging panel for picking us as a winner, to our suppliers for working towards our sustainability goals with us, and to everyone who works at innocent for doing their little bit.

Right, where's the cheese?