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Wish We'd Thought Of That

Five innovations so good we secretly wish we'd thought of them first.

This article is published in issue #4 of our print magazine, Side A. Get in touch if you'd like a copy.

1) UpCircle

Used coffee grounds, fruit stones, and residual chai spices. Where some see waste, UpCircle co-founders Will and Anna saw opportunity. Each product in the UpCircle range sources and rescues by-products from other industries—the food and drink industry in particular—and repurposes them into cruelty-free, ethical skincare. The London-based sector innovator also runs a refill scheme (they truly are zero-waste). And they’re now available in the US via Whole Foods and Credo Beauty!

2) Nella By Ceek

While working in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry Ceek founder Fahti Khosrowshahi noted the stark contrast between the commitment to medical advancement in high-need areas, and the almost complete lack of innovation in women’s health. So, in 2015, determined to bring about change, she founded the Portland-based product development company Ceek and launched the Nella line—a modern speculum with accessories.

Nella’s smooth design and temperature-neutral polymer fabrication minimizes patient discomfort, while the improved handle and toggle lock make examinations easier for clinicians. Say goodbye to cold metal and clumsy cranking! Thank you Ceek!

3) Adaptive Accessories

The traditional computer mouse and keyboard—fairly uniform and static in their design—often pose obstacles for people with limited mobility. And so, tied to their mission of empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, and demonstrating their commitment to inclusive design, Microsoft has created a set of adaptive accessories. The collection, which will launch this autumn, has been developed by Microsoft’s inclusive design incubator, the Inclusive Tech Lab, in partnership with disability communities. Comprising of an adaptive mouse (with tail extension and changeable thumb support), an adaptive hub, and a suite of adaptive buttons, the range can be customised to suit different bodies and needs.

4) Farewill

For many, the processes around death are tough. The sadness of losing a loved one, or even facing down death yourself, can be compounded all too easily by an unfamiliar task list, the impenatrable language of legal documents, mounting costs of admin, and a deep-seated fear of getting something wrong. Enter Farewill. Since setting up shop in 2015, Farewill has successfully positioned itself as “the simpler way to deal with death” by coupling customer-centric thinking with smart technology. They’re the UK’s best-rated death experts on Trustpilot, and they’ve won National Will Writing Firm of the Year two years in a row. You can write your will online in as little as 15 minutes. It’ll be approved by experts and costs just £90. What’s more, they've partnered with Macmillian to tackle the taboos that prevent us from talking about death, cancer, and end-of-life care.

The tech start-up changing the way we deal with death.

5) Stripe Climate

Removing excess carbon from the atmosphere is vital if we are to combat the most catastrophic effects of climate change. Existing carbon removal solutions (such as reforestation and soil carbon sequestration) are important, but not enough to tackle the enormity of the problem we face. That’s why Stripe is helping to scale up early-stage carbon removal technologies with Stripe Climate. The initiative allows businesses that use Stripe’s payment systems to contribute a percentage of their sales to Stripe’s science-backed portfolio of carbon capture and storage projects. The projects they are financing include 44.01—a company that injects CO₂ into peridotite (an abundantly available rock) for permanent storage, Running Tide—who remove carbon by growing kelp in the open ocean, and Mission Zero—who are developing direct air capture technology that removes CO₂ from the air and concentrates it for a variety of sequestration pathways.


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