Each month we pick three things that have inspired us. From art, design and branding, to food, drink and beyond… Welcome to the June edition.

1. Absolut Vodka 'Mix Your Neighbourhood'

For all the doom-mongering about AI, it’s important to remember it’s only as good as the input it receives. Far from destroying creativity, we’re only just scratching the surface of what can be achieved by working with it. The point is, it still needs a ‘big idea’ as a start point. And Absolut Canada’s ‘Mix Your Neighbourhood’ campaign is exactly that.

Expanding on the brand’s global platform ‘Born to Mix’, Absolut paid tribute to Canada’s iconic neighbourhoods by developing a range of cocktails mixed by AI. It asked locals and bartenders to identify the attributes or ‘ingredients’ that make their neighbourhoods unique, using their answers as prompts for AI. The result is a series of striking and fantastical cocktail portraits, each one representing a different Canadian neighbourhood. Absolut then worked with bartenders to bring the AI artworks to life via curated cocktail recipes.

To see the full line-up of virtual cocktails, visit absolut.com and check out the real-life recipes that accompany them. They are quite literally a feast for the senses – the Plateau Mont Royal took our fancy!


2. Forest Green Rovers

Missing a football fix, Caroline, (and her football-obsessed kids), are big fans of Forest Green Rovers as a sports brand that’s leading the charge when it comes to sustainability.

Not just green by name, green by nature

Famous for being the first and only vegan football club in the world, Gloucestershire-based, Forest Green Rovers’ commitment to the environment goes well beyond being simply plant-based. It’s spent the last decade showing others what can be done by retro-fitting sustainability into an existing site. So much so, that in 2017 FIFA described it as the greenest football club in the world.

Solar panels provide around 20% of the club’s electricity including powering state of the art pitch-side LED boards. The remaining energy is 100% renewable and provided by Ecotricity.

Electric vehicles transport players to and from matches and the club organises group travel for fans to get to away games. They even have their own park & ride scheme, cycle parking and EV charge points.

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As catering and food service is usually such a major source of waste, FGR has introduced a wash and re-use system for all cups and chip trays. They’ve introduced a ban on single-use packaging and condiment sachets (refillable pump dispensers are used instead), and it produces all its cleaning materials on site using refillable bottles.

FGR’s focus on sustainability continues on its lush green organic pitch, which has been designed to recycle rainwater for irrigation. Even water from the toilets gets cleaned up and pumped back onto the pitch! The entire site is managed without chemicals or pesticides and the perimeter of the club is planted with wild flowers to encourage pollinators and sustain its very own FGR bee hive!

In a recent trial, the team tested football kits made from used coffee beans. Boasting both environmental and performance benefits, the club sold the match-worn limited-edition prototypes with a very special coffee blend from local roasters and The Collaborators’ client, Rave Coffee, with proceeds donated to Gloucestershire NHS and One Tree Planted.

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The future's even greener...

Despite being relegated back to League Two this season, with a legion of new fans, Forest Green Rovers is set to take its eco-credentials a step further with a purpose-built new stadium, Eco Park. Sustainably built and designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, it blends in with the landscape and allows natural light to flood the stadium interior. Surrounded by trees, fields and hedgerows, it will be entirely solar and wind powered.

Who can’t help but be fans of such a brilliant, boundary-pushing club? We certainly are and can’t wait for next season! Visit fgr.co.uk to find out more.

3. Jnck Bakery Cookies

It’s fair to say some of us at Collabs’ HQ have a sweet tooth, so the thought of a ‘healthy’ cookie piqued our interest this month.

Founded by brothers, Alex and Sean Brassill, Jnck Bakery is making waves with a new range of non-HFSS (high fat, sugar, salt) cookies that achieved a nutriscore of zero. Made with pea protein, sweetcorn fibres and a bespoke low sugar protein chocolate, their fresh, chewy cookies promise 90% less sugar, 50% less saturated fat, 3 x protein and 5 x fibre compared to existing products. They’re also palm oil free and come in fully recyclable packaging.

Sounds like it’s time to put the kettle on…

"The growth of the protein snacks market shows there is a demand for a much healthier approach to grab and go food, but we felt strongly that we could create products that still tasted, felt and looked like indulgent treats, as opposed to high-protein gym products... We have used a range of techniques to develop the desired high quality, sweet, chewy, crunchy, cookie. And by tripling the protein and adding prebiotic fibre, we have enhanced the nutrition and looked after gut health."

Alex Brassill, Co-founder