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Homegrown vegetables, no green thumb needed

Add / Remove Not long ago we wrote about permaculture and Australian Permablitz’s volunteer-based implementation of the concept in urban gardens around Melbourne. Now one of our spotters has come across the first for-profit example we’ve seen. Launched earlier this year, San Francisco-based My Farm calls itself a decentralized urban farm that grows vegetables in […]

Social event planning with a side of local search

Add / Remove When we wrote about Marziplanner’s wedding planning software a little more than a year ago, we noted the related opportunity to devise an online version with more of a focus on the social side. As if on cue, a new site has just launched that brings social networking and Web 2.0 features […]

Avatar fashion for the real world

Add / Remove With the rise of virtual worlds, the burgeoning fashion market for avatars brought real-world brands and designs into the virtual realm. Now, the trend appears to be going the other way as companies begin to let consumers get their avatar fashions made into real-world clothes. Avatar clothes have become big business in […]

Creator of Big Brother looks to crowds for new reality shows

Add / Remove Several years ago we wrote about Reality TV in a Booth, which gave South African consumers a chance at instant stardom, and now Dutch media entrepreneur John de Mol is tapping the crowds to find the next big ideas in non-scripted television—with big rewards for those that get chosen. Just last week […]

Clothing rental for size-changing dieters

Add / Remove For dieters working to lose weight, maintaining a decent wardrobe of clothes that fit can be an ongoing—and expensive—challenge on the way to a target size. With just that situation in mind, Transitional Sizes rents out name-brand clothing for temporary use while the pounds come off. Maryland-based Transitional Sizes, which just recently […]

Online music lessons taught by the artists

Add / Remove There’s nothing like a great song to inspire music fans to want to learn to play it themselves, but doing it right is rarely easy. Enter Now Play It, a UK-based site that offers video instruction taught by the artists themselves. Launched last year, Now Play It aims to get people as […]

Pressed leaves transformed into disposable dishes

Add / Remove When it comes to entertaining and special occasions, eco-minded consumers can be torn by two apparently conflicting desires: the need to be green and the easy clean-up made possible by disposable dishes. Thanks to a new innovation from VerTerra, however, that conflict can finally be put to rest. New York-based VerTerra offers […]

Retailer helps tweens make their own clothes

Add / Remove Last year we wrote about Ridemakerz, a store that lets kids create their own toys in Build-A-Bear fashion, and now there’s a DIY equivalent for tweens focused on fashion. Fashionology LA is a brand-new Beverly Hills store that lets young fashionistas design and make their own clothes. Girls begin the design process […]

New no-frills chic hotel chain opens in Amsterdam

Add / Remove Aiming to bring affordable luxury to modern travellers, a new hotel brand just opened its doors at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. citizenM (the M is for mobile) is targeting guests who view design as a given, need rooms that are comfortable and efficient, but can’t or don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars, […]

M&M’s Faces takes gravanity to another level

Add / Remove Back in 2003, we wrote about M&M’s personalization service, which lets customers pick colours and have texts and logos printed on M&M’s. As we pointed out, it’s a great example of mass customization. And of what our sister-site dubbed gravanity. M&M’s has now taken the concept a step further by allowing […]

Limited-edition lingerie, sold online & made to order

Add / Remove Planned scarcity is a well-known tactic for enhancing a product’s appeal, and a German web retailer is taking that strategy to the max with its new collection of strictly limited-edition lingerie. On the 12th of each month at midnight, Edition12 will debut the newest piece from its collection—the first one was just […]

Wind charges phones at Glastonbury Festival

Add / Remove When revellers at the UK’s Glastonbury Festival 2008 later this week need to recharge their mobile phones, they’ll have a free and green way to do that thanks to a charging station being set up at the festival by Orange. Measuring more than 7 meters tall, the free-standing recharge pod is a […]

Health and wellness shop focuses on seniors

Add / Remove Around the world, the number of people aged 65 and over is expected to almost double in the next 22 or so years, going from just over 500 million now to just under a billion in 2030, according to the US Census Bureau. Little wonder, then, that a brand-new health and wellness […]

Taming the clutter of mass-mailing ads

Add / Remove The average French household receives some 40 kg per year in leaflets and mass mailings, according to Pubeco, a new site that aims to help cut back on that waste. Launched by Sustainable Development Multimedia (DDM) earlier this year, Pubeco invites French consumers to take an eco approach to the problem by […]

Voting transparency for individual investors

Add / Remove Although individuals own more than 25 percent of US equity, only about 20 percent of such investors bother to participate in proxy voting. Why would so many give up their voting rights? A big part of the reason is the difficulty of researching the issues, says ProxyDemocracy founder Andrew Eggers, who is […]

Urban winery & wine bar in NYC

Add / Remove When we first covered San Francisco-based Crushpad back in 2005, the idea of a winery in an urban centre was surprising. Crushpad has since blossomed, and now a like-minded contender on the opposite end of the nation is picking up on the notion and combining it with a wine bar. Due to […]

Game console gets kids outside

Add / Remove Much like LocoMatrix, which we wrote about earlier this year, Swinxs is a new gaming system that encourages kids to get active and play outside. Swinxs offers a variety of games for kids ages 4 and up, all downloadable for free from the Netherlands-based company’s website. Included are traditional games like hide […]

From smoking bans to ashvertising

Add / Remove As the EU’s restaurants, bars and clubs gradually become smoke-free, cigarette butts on the doorsteps of such establishments are an increasingly common sight. Belgium-based Ashvertising hopes to make the best of that bad habit with an outdoor device that combines an ashtray with a medium for advertising. The company’s Ashvertiser consists of […]

Members’ club for moms goes beyond pampering

Add / Remove Earlier this year we wrote about a few members’ clubs for moms in the London area, and now a similar South African contender has added a networking twist. Based in Johannesburg, Triba aims to give mothers physical and mental well-being by providing them with the time, space and resources they need to […]