Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Reports from Le Tour de France

One of the teammates from the Boston Road Club made it across the Pond to attend a few stages of the Tour de France this year. Check out his photos and commentary here.

A quote from the mighty Kioko,

"I rode up Pla D'Adet where Hincapie won and I have a new respect for the tour riders after doing it. Pla D'Adet is a Hors Category climb which was like the beginning of hill number 5 on the Tuesdays hill ride but stretched out for 6 miles with crazy switchbacks. I had to take 4 breaks going up because it was so steep and I almost threw up."

Climb rating = Barf Worthy

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Cyclocross in July

Cross Nationals in Providence, RI. This will be a blast. I am beside myself with anticipation. As a matter of fact, I could feel the adrenaline pumping through my body like some enraged serpent of excitement as I contemplated lining up for the start.

I fell in love with cyclocross in 2003, the first season I tried it. The atmosphere around cross races is less intense than road races and crits; The idle chatter that takes place at cross race starts is usually absent at road events. Cross is just as, if not more intense than road events, but there is certainly less of an "edge" in the mood. I like the fusion between mountain bike and road bike racing, as both cultures bring their distinctive feel to the events.

Autumn is a beautiful season in New England; the trees are bursting into their multi-colored displays of oranges, reds, and yellow, and there is a cool nip in the air, reminding us that summer is gone and winter is on the way. The races are short, and easier to view for spectators, making it a place where more friends and family can gather to share in the racers' enthusiasm for the sport. It's nice to take a feed from my wife at a race, it's just another form of support spouses and friends show for one and other. The potential for beautiful races outweigh the potential for the soggy and cold ones that make us question waking up at 5:30AM to make it to the race.

I am not sure what motivated me to buy an old Univega touring frame from Bikes not Bombs in Roxbury for $70.00 with the intention of building a cross bike. I was working at Harris Cyclery at the time; being surrounded by all kinds of bicycles and parts, from NOS Dura-Ace seatposts to Brooks saddles to Miche track hubs, fostered some sort of bicycle construction virus. I just wanted to build bikes that I could ride.

With a classic novice unfamiliarity, and an under-appreciation for the strength of road components, I assumed cross bikes needed to be built like tanks. The frame weighed something like 5 pounds, with beefy Sun CR-18 36 hole rims laced with DT triple butted spokes to LX hubs. The wheels weighed about 5 pounds too! Weight was a non-issue, and it showed. The bike weighed in at about 27 pounds. Heaving that thing onto my shoulder for some of the long run ups made me understand why weight becomes an issue in 'cross.

I spent the entire 2003 cross season racing the C-race, to get familiar with the techniques and bodily demands. I managed a few podium finishes, and enjoyed myself immensely.

I am learning how to post pictures to the blog. I am already thinking about 'cross, I decided to put this one taken by Sheldon Brown at the Gloucester ECV Gran Prix of Cyclocross Race in October of 2004. It was a great weekend of racing at picturesque Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, Massachusetts. I'm pretty tired in this mouth's hanging open.

Maybe we will see Mr. Lance Armstrong at this year's Cyclocross Nationals in Providence, RI? He mentions the sport as something he may dabble in for fun as he enters retirement. This paragraph appears in today's NYTimes:

"He said he might dabble in triathlons, marathons, cyclocross events, for the pure jock pleasure of them. And he said he would spend time with his three children, who were by his side this weekend, the last of his career."

Racing Cross (my favorite) in Gloucester, MA

Friday, July 22, 2005

Big Box Greening

Wal*Mart is received some positive press from Renewable Energy Access and Solar buzz recently for its adoption of green technologies at a new Supercenter in Texas.'s article, Wal-Mart Deploys Solar, Wind, Sustainable Design appeared July 22nd, while Solarbuzz's article, RWE SCHOTT Solar Lights Up New Experimental Renewable Energy Wal-Mart Solar Panels appeared July 21st. Media outlets from Grist Magazine to The Wall Street Journal have mentioned Wal*Mart's new efforts at social responsibility as most publicity about Wal*mart has been overwhelmingly negative over the past few years.

Wal*Mart's own web page, referring to the McKinney, Texas location as a Wal-Mart Experimental Store, has the typical nuts & berries look to it, with the quasi-handwritten font and natural shades of muted green and earth tones. Isn't it soothing just to look at it?

Let there be no misunderstanding; Wal*Mart's publicity of its adoption of renewable energy technologies is well calculated to help turn its increasingly negative image around. Wal*Mart Watch, a watch dog group scrutinizing Wal*Mart's operations, makes mention of the Wall Street Journal article entitled "Counterpunch -- Wal-Mart Boss's Unlikely Role: Corporate Defender-in-Chief" profiling CEO Lee Scott's PR problems that have afflicted his tenure. With its status as the SUV (another scapegoat, perhaps rightfully so) of the retail world; the one people blame for everything from sweat shop labor in the developing world to suburban sprawl, they need to make some positive PR steps.

So what? The goal of creating sustainable businesses is to get all types of businesses to adopt sustainable measures in their facilities. Progress is step-wise, not made in one fell swoop. Maybe they read Thinking Outside the Big-Box: Report Suggests Smart Growth for Retailer Siting Decisions, realizing it is their shareholder's best interest to start adressing the negative environmental impacts of their stores. Time will tell where this leads.

I will not sit here and sing the praises of Wal*mart's work for the environment. The manufacture of consumer products in countries where labor conditions are far less healthy to feed our need for inexpensive stuff certainly has negative social and environmental implications. I wonder how much energy is consumed to ship these items? What is the impact of energy prices on the long-term financial efficacy of this model?


When it becomes uncomfortable to participate in the activity one enjoys, perhaps it is time to seek help.

I visited a physical therapist yesterday, someone with cycling background, to help me correctly diagnose an imbalance in my posture on the bike. Of course, this imbalance extends to regular walking as well. In short, I feel all messed up. The back of my left knee bothers me on and off, I feel like I'm supporting the majority of my upper body weight on my left arm, and no matter how I nudge myself, I can not seem to find an acceptable place on the saddle. I've been in touch with the professionals through as well to help me determine what I have done to myself. It is self-inflicted, as most things are.

The good news is; I confirmed that my pelvis is tweaked, no doubt contributing to the other maladies I am complaining about. It may be from a persistently high saddle, coupled with riding that way for too long. That would lead to the body choosing one side, eventually leading to a lean to one side, therefore strengthening and skewing one side causing my pelvis to face a bit to the right when trying to sit straight...whew!

I've been told many times that the core is immensely important to athletic comfort and performance. Now I am learning first hand how true this really is. The hard part will be maintaining my discipline with the exercises and follow up work to fix the problem. The shim I have under the left pedal is a Band Aid for the real problem of not having symmetrical posture, pedaling action, or strength.

I wonder if I have long legs relative to the rest of my body? Maybe that means the bike I've been riding does not fit me as well as I thought it did when I bought it three years ago. If I knew then what I know now...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Energy Policy Roundtable

I attended the New England Roundtable on Federal Energy Policy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute today. I must admit that my business background gets me antsy at policy meetings. I feel like we are not accomplishing anything, that we would be better off out "doing something". The error in this assumption is that regulators and legislators need feedback of all types to understand the market barriers and opportunities that policy could help overcome and develop. The challenges to policy-makers are great, making long term decisions with incomplete data, partisan and self-serving polls and statistics, and lobbyists from left, right and center.

The meeting location, at WPI gave me an excuse to visit my alma mater; I graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree in 1994. Despite my feeling that my purely technical education failed to provide me with a healthy grasp of the social impacts of design decisions, I still enjoy wandering the alleys and lawns (some of them new) of the campus. There is something about college campuses that I enjoy; a feeling of safety, of quiet potential and of nurturing one's thoughts. It is hard to describe. But I digress.

I am now involved in the working group, "Bringing New RE Technologies to Market". The conversation was interesting as we rambled round the edges of the issue early in the session, feeling around for what we were really doing, and what we could possibly recommend for federal action to spur market acceptance of "new" renewable energy technologies. We discussed briefly what "new" technologies were, though there was nothing drastic about our conclusions. Photovoltaics, wind, biomass, geothermal, waste-to-energy, alternative fuels, hydro, wave power, etc.; the usual players. Where was hydrogen? It's in there somewhere.

The concept suggested by one of the panel participants that interested me the most was tying federal dollars to a renewable energy goals at the state level through block grants. It brings the power of federal money while leaving the decision for action in the hands of the states. This removes the potential resistance from states to federal mandates; preserving states' desire to take care of things (like energy) in a way that fits their regional needs. There would be a check list of sorts, items that the states would be judged upon that would serve to determine how much money a state received from the federal trough. If I am not mistaken, transportation funding is divvied up in a similar way, though in some cases the optional items are more like requirements since the dollar value tied to the desired state policy makes it politically impossible not to implement. We talked about the national security benefits, increase in entrepreneurial activity, economic and job growth, and reduction in the impact of volatile fossil fuel prices promotion of renewable energy technologies could make.

Some of the check boxes we thought about were:

A national security credit for procuring energy domestically, this would have to be tied to efficiency
A state has a RPS
A state has an energy agency
The state has a commercialization incubator for entrepreneurs
Commercial incentives for energy efficiency
Residential program to encourage smaller and more efficient homes.

The last check box came from a challenge to the current energy efficient mortgage programs; people save money on energy, get a lower rate, qualify for a larger mortgage, and buy a bigger house, therefore negating the potential energy saving on a smaller house. It's a perverse subsidy. People buy homes based on square footage, kitchens, bathrooms, schools, etc. There must be another way to encourage energy efficient technology adoption for builders and consumers.

The comparison we made between transportation and energy infrastructure (and funding) is a good one; both have inefficient delivery systems, with energy losses along the way. One delivers electrons over wires and one delivers goods and people over roads and rails. Distributed resources, whether it's energy generation, food production, or manufacturing would increase national security, reduce energy use, and spur the development of robust local living economies. Transmission losses in the utility grid run at about 6% (add generation losses of approximately 65% and the system efficiency is much lower, about 45%), the drive wheels of a car receive about 25% of the energy produced by burning gasoline (approximately 80% drivetrain efficiency and 30% thermal efficiency in the combustion process). Overall industrial efficiency is much less efficient, something like 1-2% from beginning to end. For a striking example, read this excerpt from Natural Capitalism.

The kicker today; I came home and opened the latest issue of Mass High Tech. What greeted me on page 19 but an article entitled Competitive Energy Strategies can Provide Economic Edge, dated July 18-24 by Bob Kinscherf. The highlight of the article is energy providers helping industry leaders remove the volatility in energy prices to increase the state's competitive edge. The author has a vested interest, as he is part of one of the companies that provide these services, but that does not invalidate the point.

What was I most interested to hear? That ACORE has an intern investigating sports marketing opportunities for renewable energy. Sustainable Cycling Team anyone?

It will be interesting to see what we come up with.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Sputtering expletives exited my lips

It's not something I'm very proud of, but for some reason when the guy gave me the horn as I was taking a left on my commute to work, there was no hesitation in releasing Mr. Dirty Birdie. Say "hello" Mr. Birdie! You just made a new friend. What pisses me right off is the fact that there was practically no traffic at the intersection Main Street and North Ave. in Wakefield. It's 6:30 AM; the most activity is at the D&D on the corner, where the morning caffeine fix is delivered with swiftness and skill.

I stopped at the RED light in the left turn lane like a good law-abiding cyclist. No need to rush, we get a green arrow. I was "setting a good example" and do not trust bleary-eyed morning commuters. I've taken this left a hundred times since starting this commute last year, and always take off smoothly and quickly, just like another car in the stream of traffic. Mr. Fatty Pants behind me in his "Cool in the 80's" Van decides that the 2.5 seconds he lost because he couldn't floor it to get to the next red light is a problem. "Toot"...and as I said before, out came Mr. Dirty Birdie. As he passed, after he introduced me to Mr. Birdie's twin, I was literally sputtering as I screamed at him. I think I used the term "fat f%$k" and "a$$hole", etc., etc. I was really lit up with adrenaline. The kicker was that he WAS a fat f&^k. I think his belly rubbed the steering wheel. Talk about a stereotype of Americana that I try to avoid. The enviro-weenie commuter cyclist v. the overweight fossil fuel burner. Isn't self-righteousness a great way to rationalize your behavior.

At the end of it all, I felt a bit foolish for my outburst, yet, in a way it felt deserved, like after a certain number of idiotic auto driver moves, I am allowed a meltdown.


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Sustainable MBAs; The Wave of the Future

The recent interview from the June 19th edition of the NYTimes with Jeffrey Garten, retiring dean of the Yale School of Business drew my attention. Mr. Garten believes American business schools are failing in their mission to create innovative thought leaders, that the way business is taught is missing the mark. I remember reading another article earlier in the year with a different retiring dean that echoes these same concerns. Another blogger, pursuing an MBA has some thoughts on this as well.

I agree. I started researching MBA programs over the past year or so, starting with programs listed in Beyond Grey Pinstripes. This site rates MBA programs according to their integration of sustainable business principles in their curricula. Dartmouth, Yale, Michigan, George Washington, York (Canada) are but a few highly ranked in this survey. One program that truly caught my attention, though it is not part of this survey, yet, is that of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute. This is a new educational institution, founded on the premise that sustainable business practices would not be an add on to an existing program, but be integrated and intertwined so as to become inseparable from the program. That caught my attention. It appears to combine my passion for sustainability with my whole-hearted belief that business can, indeed must, be engaged in the process of creating environmentally responsible and restorative markets. It is encouraging to see institutions like BGI working to change the way we learn business, maybe even to change what business is.

An article published on May 16, 2005 in GreenBiz backs up my own perceptions about the working world; people are looking for careers and educational opportunities that have a connection with their values. BGI received three times the number of applications as the previous year, while overall MBA applications dropped 30% as reported by BusinessWeek in July of 2004. Granted these statistics are from different years, but it may still reflect an exciting trend.

Large companies like Timberland, BP, Unilever, DuPont, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, American Electric Power, Florida Power & Light, ConocoPhilips, and most recently and publicly GE among others are venturing into the CSR world, looking to add value to their businesses by engaging stakeholder groups. Nike and Gap's efforts are detailed in this recent article from

Imagine the capital available in this list to tackle sustainable development. Where will it go? Is it a trend? Is it green-washing? Will it fall out of favor or will companies that embrace sustainable business practices gain a competitive advantage in an era of resource depletion?

Imagine contributing to a wholesale change in the fundamental relationship between business and society.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Eco-friendly Bicycle Companies

I received the latest issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News today, and was pleasantly surprised to see the second article in as many issues about a domestic bicycle industry participant making the commitment to eco-efficient facility design. In the June 15th issue, an article entitled "United Bicycle Institute Chooses Solar Power to Provide Electricity" highlights UBI's commitment to using clean technology to provide power to their facility.

The most recent article appears in the July 1 edition, this time on the front page. The headline reads "Eco-Conscious Companies Opt For Green Digs". This one, set in Ramona, CA highlights Ellsworth Bicycle's effort to adopt green technology in their facility. Not only did they install a photo-voltaic system to help offset their electricity use from the local utility, but the building is also constructed to take advantage of the earth's insulating qualities. The building is built into the ground, reducing their cooling needs, and therefore saving more energy and fossil fuel use.

The article goes on to mention the green manufacturing efforts adopted by Chris King, more well known by the general cycling population for their premium performance headsets and hubs than their efforts to create zero waste in their manufacturing. Quality Bicycle Products, the largest bicycle component distributor in the country, is mentioned for its plans to build a United States Green Building Council LEED Certified Gold $8 million expansion.

It is very encouraging to see these companies committing to these environmental measures. Cycling by it's very nature is an environmentally friendly activity. XtraCycle builds bicycle add-ons that make a regular bike into a load carrying work horse; just add your own leg power! Replacing car trips with bike trips helps reduce our use of fossil fuels and the release of green house gases. We help preserve the air we breathe and the pristine places we like to ride. With manufacturers (I am sure there are many more than I have mentioned here) taking these steps, it is one more reason to love bicycling.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Growing Chinese Infatuation with the Automobile

A story by Howard French in today's NYTimes tells of Shanghai's struggle with the faster than expected adoption of the personal automobile in that city. To read it online, you will need to create a membership account here A City's Traffic Plans Are Snarled by China's Car Culture.

The automobile has so successfully become a symbol of personal freedom, as well as a symbol of one's wealth, that developing economies want them with a fervor that can not be quelled. This demand is aided by some government's willingness to make the large investments in the infrastructure to support the automobile's use.

How many jobs does the purchase of an automobile create? The manufacturing processes for the sundry parts and components that come together to make the auto, the jobs to maintain the infrastructure the auto uses, the service station jobs and various after-market accessory company jobs. What about the jobs disposing of used tires and junked cars? How about the waste side of the equation?

With the increase in mobility, what is the increases purchasing power of the consumer? Since they can travel at their will, do they have access to goods and services that they would otherwise not purchase? Of course, this purchasing power goes along with an increase in disposable income (a term that is quite interesting in itself) that would allow the purchase of a car in the first place.

Do we have a complete picture of the externalized costs of an auto-centric development pattern? Not yet.

Bike Racing

I raced over the weekend at Wells Ave. It was the first time on asphalt since last August and the first race of any kind since cross ended in December last year. As much as I over-analyze recreational competition as unnecessary to my function as a member of humanity, I do enjoy it so. It may have something to do with team work; the social aspect of the activity. Many of my miles are spent alone, riding to work and back. I enjoy the commute, but find that too much time spent alone riding can be a detriment. When I race, there is a coming together of people that share the same passion, that are eager to push themselves out there and put a little risk in their lives, then share the feeling afterward.

There is something primordial in the urge to compete, whether it is in business, in sport, in intellectual pursuits, or in life. The sport/life metaphor, some would call a cliche, has been used and written about for centuries. It is a well-used and well-deserved metaphor. In a culture where many people are not wanting for the basics of survival (at least in the middle class) sport provides the outlet to challenge oneself, create friendships, and grow as an individual.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

More on the London Bombings

In the wake of the rush hour bombing attack in London, there has been a renewed interest in the most efficient form of personal transportation. Bicycle Mania Grips London.

In an article entitled "The Half Life of Anxiety" in today's NYTimes, Dr. Lynn Eden, a senior research scholar at Stanford University's Institute for International Studies comments about the effect on continued and severe terrorist attacks on cities, "
Even if we hypothesize attacks like this for a week, what would happen? They would shut down the subway, let's say, and my guess is that there would be a run on bicycles. There would be a difficult adjustment period, there would be some economic ramifications, but people would learn to function."

Will cities re-evaluate their auto-centric planning and development strategies to incorporate easier access for bicycles? I must assume that lobbyists on the payroll of automotive and fossil fuel interests will play the national security cards well and thoroughly to discourage investment in public transportation. After all, imagine the exorbitant cost and inconvenience securing the public railways would entail. The only answer is to build more roads and encourage the continued reliance on the personal automobile. This will continue the dependence on imported petroleum (90% of surface transportation modes rely on petroleum products), adding to the increased demand from developing economies in the east, hastening the depletion of oil reserves, and the political turmoil that may erupt from such scarcity in supply.

Imagine if policy-makers had the foresight (and the people had the will to listen to such visionaries to invest in the next generation) to check the continued growth of energy dependent development. What would that look like?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Coordinated Bombings in London (transit future)

Flipping on the local news this morning to get my weather check before biking to work was a bad idea. I learned about the bombings in London, nothing more.

I listened to talk radio channel 680 WRKO's hate-filled rhetoric this morning as I showered, just to hear what the right leaning side of the equation would say. It was the typical tough line thought, with a caller referring to the terrorists that were assumed to have planned the attacks as cowards. One reason they are cowards, she said, is because they wear towels on their heads. That's incisive.

They referred to religious zealotry, cultural wars, etc. The root of the problem is global inequality. "It's the economy, stupid."

I can not help but think that the attacks in London's Tube will have a detrimental effect on the future of public transportation in the US and elsewhere. I can easily envision the continued attack on rail systems. Amtrak's funding has been cut, and I can easily see attacks on continued "subsidies" for public transportation launched in the ensuing weeks. The anti-transit lobbies may wait a while for the smoke to clear.

I suppose this means more people will drive. Of course, that could be a bad thing according to the Mobility 2030 study published in mid 2004 by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Imagine; the attack serves to raise doubts in the minds of British citizens about their support of the United States in Iraq. Debates rage, arguments in local pubs escalate, they distance themselves from the US. A few well timed attacks over the next few years weakens the G-8. They retreat to protectionist policies, protecting themselves with trade barriers and political battles.

Is this pessimistic? It could just be one of many predictions that are either wrong or right.


Compared to the news of the coordinated bombings in London today, the Tour de France seems a bit unimportant. Yet, it is the disturbance of the status quo that the attackers are wanting. The pause we take to contemplate the situation will reveal thoughts that we otherwise would not pay attention to. Sometimes one wonders if the status quo is the path we should follow.

There is so much unknown. Do we go about things as normal?

With the way I have been feeling on the bike over the past week, it is amazing that I can even think about racing. My legs are like empty cans of Spam, all hollow and jellied.

At least I can read the updates like this one;
Daily podcasts from the 2005 Tour de France; from the the small bicycle manufacturer Cervelo's co-owner Phil White.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

More Notes on Bicycling

I spent part of the July Fourth weekend riding in the foothills of the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. We were visiting my parents in Granville, enjoying the simple pleasures of a small town parade and town green picnic. I look forward to traveling out therewith my bike in the summer time, especially when I am returning to fitness. The roads are sparsely traveled, and a simple turn can lead to challenging climbs.

I found one of those challenging climbs, and quickly realized that I am perhaps not doing so well in my fitness as I thought. Once the road went up, my legs filled with lactic acid while my heart rate refused to budge above 170 bpm. The road pitched up on General Knox Rd. in Westfield and I looked down for my 27 tooth cog. With much dismay, I realized I had a 25, and that was it. OK...I've raced before, I can handle this. I went slow, less than 10 mph, and had to stand a few times to generate enough oomph to get the pedals around. Let's just say I felt pathetic. The weird thing was that it felt like my hamstrings were doing all the work.

I made it over the top, and then remembered why the road looked so familiar; it led to my Uncle Porter's old house in Route 23 in Russell. He lived there with my great grandmother when I was a child. I remember visiting them and playing with the old and outdated toys grandma would haul out when I came. They were in an old wicker basket, and they never changed. Now, I miss that.

There were people sitting outside enjoying the beautiful weather, and I nearly stopped to say hello and mention that my great-grandmother and great uncle used to live there. He built Adirondack chairs out in the shed that were often for sale on the front lawn. I wonder if thy would have given me a tour.

Rainforest Burning; 1987

Over the weekend my grandmother provided me with an issue of Omni Magazine dated October 1987. From what I remember, Omni was a magazine filled with futuristic journalism, fiction, artistry, and whatever else was perceived as "cutting edge". They seemed to get enough support from alcohol and tobacco ads. My father or one of my uncles was a subscriber. I remember looking through its pages as a youngster, as much for the suggestive sci-fi and fantasy imagery as for anything else.

I just finished reading an article, an excerpt from "An Astronaut's Diary" by Jeffrey A. Hoffman published in 1986. He was in orbit on the Space Shuttle Discovery, watching a sunrise and sunset every few hours as they hurtled through the void. I was struck by the author's ability to convey his sense of wonder at the Earth as it passed beneath him. I was also startled to read the final paragraph of the excerpt shown here:

"After a while we came over the coast of South America. I saw the Andes from space, probably for the last time on this trip. It was late in the afternoon in the Andes, and the shadows were in beautiful relief. The eastern side of the mountains was going through the terminator [the shadow line on Earth made by the oncoming night]. You could see the smoke from the fires where the trees are being burned away. Then the earth went dark. I pulled myself out of my trance, flipped over, and watched the day turn into night."

I wonder what the rainforest canopy looked like in 1987.

If you are interested, check out additional articles from Omni Magazine here

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Wholesome Branding and Multinationals

I like this article, Buying Responsibility -- A New Brand Strategy?, most especially this passage,

"Here’s the rub -- if you want to change what people consume on a grand scale, you have to penetrate mass markets. And you can’t do that if you’re a small specialist brand stuck in the organic or whole-food niche, even if that means you are on supermarket shelves. It is a familiar dilemma: stay pure and have a big impact on a small scale, or compromise and have a small impact on a grand scale."

It is worth the read, as large brands pay attention to the trends associated with small, "clean" brand loyalty. No one seems to know exectly what the big companies are up to, but I am sure we shall see.