Wish we’d thought of that: Social edition!

Entries for the 2016 round of the New Zealand Innovation Awards close today at 5pm so if you've got an amazing product, service or venture – or you know someone with a great idea who needs to be shoulder-tapped – get a move on.

And to get you thinking about entering – and to do as we always do and celebrate innovation of all stripes – we'll be showing our jealousy and regularly showcasing the best and/or wackiest ideas we come across. Next up, some of the more interesting ideas that could fit into the social innovation category. 

Do you have an innovation worth celebrating? Check out the categories of the 2016 Innovation Awards and tell your story by clicking here. Entries close today at 5pm.

Patagonia

Patagonia, a US-based outdoor wear company, strives to be as socially conscious as possible. From repairing its products for free, to encouraging people not to buy its products. It also has a policy of radical transparency when it comes to where its products are made and what they’re made from.

On its Footprint Chronicles section, Patagonia offers a map of the world where you can get information on every one of Patagonia’s mills, factories and farms, including the gender breakdown of the workers.

In its Materials and Technology section of its website, Patagonia not only goes into extreme detail about what materials it uses, it goes into the minute detail about why they’re used and the environmental impact of each material, giving a history of the company’s efforts to source or produce that material in more sustainable ways. Where a material has negative environmental impact, Patagonia explains why they choose to use it anyway (usually because of durability or waterproofing).

3F

3F (Food, Farms and Freshwater) is developing financial support and incentives to New Zealand farmers for meeting ‘swimmable and fishable’ quality standards. The way 3F wants to that is by introducing tough environmental standards, and auditing processes for all waterways, and then developing a market where farmers get a premium for producing meat that meets those standards.

Voidstarter

Voidstarter is a Dublin-based social enterprise that turns vacant houses into short-term classrooms, education centres and entrepreneurial hubs. Voidstarter takes over the vacant buildings for a four-month period before handing them back in better shape than they were found and, in the interim, it provides four-month entrepreneurship mentoring and training for young people. Win-win!

Patu Aotearoa

Patu Aotearoa is a non-profit gym enterprise started in Hastings which aims to decrease inactivity rates in New Zealand, particularly among Maori and Pacific Islanders. Patu not only helps people work out for only $10 a week (with no contracts), it holds workshops where people are encouraged to build gyms in their own communities under the same model and offers education on physical activity and diet. Its current recipe of the week is prawns in sweet chili and coconut sauce. Yum!

Who Gives a Crap?

2.5 billion people on the planet, about 40% of the global population, don't have access to a toilet. That's why diarrhoea related diseases fill over half of sub-Saharan African hospital beds and kill 900 children under five every day. So, how do we get these people some goddam toilets? Who Gives a Crap? An all-natural, recycled Australian-based toilet paper company that uses half of its profits to support WaterAid.

Good shit!

Entries close TODAY. Enter here