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Welcome to "nouveau monde", your "nouveau genre" newsletter to better understand how to make the world better through the lens of retail. This is #32

We talk this week in nouveau monde about why you should start to eat fish instead of stopping to take airplanes :-) and the entering of the not-so-sustainable NFT in the retail area.

Things move fast in retail and sustainability, we’re really happy to help you get the right tips and be inspired !

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Today's newsletter is 763 words, a 4-minute read.

Give a Man a Fish

by Anthony

You know the saying : "Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day, teach him how to fish, he will eat forever".

We'll, that's not what Blue Lobster is offering to its customers, but it's still a good phrase to think about in our assisted civilization :-)

Still, Blue Lobster is proposing an interesting solution for people to get a low impact fish in their plates.

Launched in 2019 in Denmark by Nima Tisdall and Christine Hebert, the mission led company is focusing on 3 pillars to develop its services :

  • offering the most sustainable fish to its customers : no bottom trawling and selecting the fishermen with the lowest impact

  • serving a fresh fish : by selecting fishermen with sustainable practices, it also allows them to get a shorter supply chain

  • letting fishermen earn a decent wage, paying them 2 to 4 times more than the standard price

When they started, the company only served local restaurants (food startups are often operating like this to get their first customers), and now opens it services to private customers, in the Copenhagen area.

With a simple app, you can find your next fish or seafood product, or even mandate a fisherman to get you a specific product.

You think that Blue Lobster gets into a niche market and won't solve any sustainable problem ? You might be wrong !

Yes, as every startup, they start small and target a specific range of customers. But, did you know that fishing has a very bad impact on carbon emissions ?

More specifically, Blue Lobster wants to target bottom trawling : when you drag your net on the seabed of oceans to try and catch various fish species. Not only you destroy marine life : overfishing, fishing protected animals or fish that won't be consumed, plants and coral..., but a recent study explained by the Guardian shows that dragging the seabed releases a lot of CO2 into the water, therefore on the atmosphere.

And when I say a lot, it really is a lot : the study says it emits approximately the same amount of CO2 as the aviation industry !

A real problem to solve, indeed !

NFT is bad for the planet, but what’s happening?

by Phil

NFT, aka “non-fungible token”. Heard about it? Wikipedia (sort of a way to highlight some validated definition) says it “is a unique and non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a digital ledger”. In a coming Meta-blurp era promised by some startups and a specific billionaire, you must know about this digital asset, I’m telling you. Watisitfor ? “NFTs can be used to represent easily-reproducible items such as photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital files as unique items, and use blockchain technology to establish a verified and public proof of ownership”. Here is a video for you as an example.

Pretty, but, wait. There's also a lot of discussion about the massive electricity use and environmental impacts of NFTs, like “Individual pieces of crypto art, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), are at least partially responsible for the millions of tons of planet-heating carbon dioxide emissions generated by the cryptocurrencies used to buy and sell them” says The Verge.

The funny knows is that brands are actively using to explore new strategies and engage new audiences: American Eagle Outfitter (woven patches with a corresponding image and a gift card), skin-care and cosmetics maker Clinique Laboratories LLC, part of global beauty brand Estee Lauder (to win a selection of the beauty brand’s physical products for the next decade), and many food companies are example noted in the WSJ (Campbell’s, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Charmin and Pringles have launched NFT-related promotions this year).

Now it’s the time for NFT platforms to develop and link the virtual world with the physical world and real products at scale. WSJ mentions also “R/GA in London is working with brands to help create virtual stores in metaverse platforms, including one that will launch next month for British clothing brand Vollebak on the virtual platform Decentraland. The store’s digital merchandise can be bought and worn in the digital environment and are affixed with NFTs.

DappRadar estimates trading volume for non-fungible tokens increased 704% during the third quarter over Q2 to $10.67 billion, and household brands are jumping on the trend to boost engagement, sales and earned media. Mike Proulx, a Forrester Research research director, warns that headwinds include "legal ambiguity" over ownership and potential backlash over energy consumption required for NFT authentication for those brands that have made sustainability pledges.

Yes, why all these efforts on the ground, in stores, on the Supply Chain, if it’s spoiled on Internet? Gosh, technologies…

Read also: Why NFTs Could Be Luxury Retail’s New Frontier on Forbes.

Quick Hits

John Lewis Partnership has agreed to a new, five-year revolving credit facility in which the interest rate is linked to environmental ambitions.

The £420m facility replaces an existing £500m arrangement due to expire at the end of 2022 and interest paid depends upon meeting three targets over the five-year period to reduce carbon emissions and food waste, and moving away from fossil fuels.

Read the news here.

Bonus track by Anthony