In Pictures | Products of Change sets new agenda for Licensing Expo 2023

In Pictures | Products of Change sets new agenda for Licensing Expo 2023

The tone of the “most defining decade for business” was well and truly set last week when Products of Change and its community of members, ambassadors, advisors, and subject experts landed at the Las Vegas Licensing Show to bring an agenda-setting roster of activity to life within the halls of the Mandalay Convention Centre.

Whether it was the panel session featuring Disney, the LEGO Group, NFL Players Association, and Bravado, the merchandise arm of Universal Music; and the fashion-focused fix from Hasbro’s director of UK licensing consumer products, Catrina O’Brien; or the line-up of special Roundtable Sessions developed to bring the North American market together in a whole new way, it has been nothing short of an electrifying week for taking the industry’s sustainability conversation up a notch.

The take-home message of the week that “we are in the most defining decade for business and it’s up to us to find the sustainable solutions for its future” was landed upon when sustainability leads from Disney, Bravado, NFL Players Association, and the LEGO Group gathered to discuss the future of licensing.

Led by Products of Change founder and ceo, Helena Mansell-Stopher, the discussion set out to explore topics spanning the collaborative approach required to measure and reduce scope 3 emissions, the major steps being taken by brand owners to help partners on their journey towards sustainability, and the impact a ‘landscape of environmental legislation’ will soon have on the future of the brand licensing industry in the coming years.

It was on the topic of legislation that the LEGO Group’s licensing sustainability governance lead, Jakob Max Hamman delivered a rallying cry for collaboration across the licensing sector if we are going to solve the common ambition of sustainability.

“Since the European Green Deal was adopted in the EU market, there has been a landscape of legislation that will demand new approaches to product and packaging design, reporting standards, and many other areas of licensing. Collaboration will be key to the understanding of how to approach this all,” he said.

POC’s Helena Mansell-Stopher was joined by Disney’s Yalmaz Siddiqui, Bravado’s Matt Young, NFL Players’ Sagan Harlin, and LEGO’s Jakob Max Hamman.

You can read the full write up of the panel session here.

On Thursday, 15 June, Hasbro’s Catrina O’Brien joined POC’s Helena Mansell Stopher on the main stage to talk through a special collaboration between Peppa Pig, Asda, and the Cleaner Seas Group that not only saw the creation of a sustainably-made kids’ beachwear collection but the organisation of a nation-wide beach-cleaning event sponsored by Peppa Pig and the creation of environmental educational material for children in partnership with Twinkl.

Helena is joined by Hasbro’s Catrina O’Brien to talk about Peppa Pig swapping muddy puddles for Britain’s beaches last summer.

An exhibition of Products driving change

The Products of Change booth was a hive of activity throughout the show as it played host to an exhibition of products and partnerships each celebrated for taking a more sustainable approach to their design, material use, or even their end-of-life processes, including one particular left-field brand promoting true circular production methods.

Amscan, the fancy dress specialist and POC member, has gone lengths to transform the recyclability of its costume range while adapting its packaging for sustainability, too.
The Met Museum’s partnership with Dr Marten’s was celebrated as a finalist in the Licensing Excellence Awards this year, while the footwear specialist highlighted its commitment to sustainable leather retrieved as a by-product of the food industry.
Goodyear’s callipers won the Licensing Excellence Award for Best Sustainable Product thanks to its commitment to circularity throughout its entire production method of re-manufacture and refurbishment.
Danilo’s journey of sustainability has seen the greetings specialist remove single-use plastic from its lines.
The LEGO Group showcased its journey from single-use to recyclable packaging with ‘before and after’ story that caught the attention of visitors to the booth.
Magic Light Pictures took us on a journey through its Julia Donaldson collection, each with a story of sustainability to tell.
Sambro showcased what it calls ‘egg-gate’, a yet-to-be-tested transformation from single use plastic packaging to a more recyclable design.
Skechers’ Our Planet Matters collection has adopted more sustainable processes of production and materials with a reduced environmental impact.
The UCLA, a Products of Change member, brought a selection of product showcasing its journey with sustainability.
King Features’ Popeye the Sailor Man emblazoned on a Von Dutch outfit, created to support the Cleaner Seas Project.
SkyBrands brought its collection of 100% organic cotton Among Us kids wear with a hint of new things on the horizon.

The Roundtable Sessions

Over the course of the week, Products of Change played host to a series of Roundtable discussions centring on Sustainability in US Sports Licensing (led by NFLPA’s Steven Scebelo), Scope 3 Emissions (led by LEGO’s Jakob Max Hamman), and Transparency (led by POC’s Helena Mansell-Stopher.

The aim of the schedule was to bring new conversation around industry sustainability directly to the show floor. A particular triumph of the event was the launch of the Transparency work stream, marking the first time the licensing sector’s service providers had joined conversation – en masse – about the evolution of sustainability and technology in the industry.

The NFL Players Association’s president, Steve Scebelo, Products of Change’s Ambassador for Sports in the US, led the sustainability in sports work stream at Licensing Expo.
The event filled the Products of Change booth proving the popularity of the market and its power of influence.
The Roundtable brought a mix of brand owners and licensing partners to the table to discuss the next steps for sustainability in sports licensing.
The POC Carbon Roundtable was joined by Disney’s Yalmaz Siddiqui and Christian Del Maestro and led by the LEGO Group’s Jakob Max Hamman.
UCLA’s Elizabeth Kennedy and ICTI’s head of business development, Todd Merton supported conversation around methodologies required and tools available to calculate and capture scope 3 emissions data within the industry.
Licensing Expo 2023 marked the very first Transparency workshop and the first time the industry’s service providers – Octane 5, Flowhaven, Dependable Solutions, and Fabacus had gathered to discuss sustainability in the industry.
The Transparency Roundtable even marked the occasion with an ‘official’ photograph to celebrate the beginning of a new industry conversation.

A Fashion Statement

Rounding off Products of Change’s presence across the 2023 Licensing Expo a fashion showcase played host to some of the pioneering brands driving change in the fashion and apparel sector, including KENT, a compostable underwear brand; Smiley and its Future Positive collection; and Piping Hot, the Australian swimwear brand focused on producing its lines with sustainability at the centre of each collection.

Piping Hot is on a mission to help protect the oceans by removing plastic pollution.
We Are KENT is a clothing and textiles brand that has developed a new, fully compostable clothing collection, driving innovation in the fashion sector.
The Smiley Future Positive collection brought not only the pursuit of sustainability in fashion to Expo, but a strive for equity and equality as it highlighted its diversity of future designers.

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