A new year arrives shrouded in uncertainty. The continuing twists and turns of COVID make planning difficult whilst further complexity is emerging through a growing cost of living squeeze, more extreme weather events and the full implications of Brexit becoming apparent. This is leading to an increasingly divided society, with people facing different daily challenges and, partly as a result, developing opposing and entrenched views. It is against this background that Hubbub has decided upon the following priorities.

Demonstrating social and environmental impact

2022 will be the ‘Year of the Squeeze’ with wages stalling, inflation rising, taxes increasing and energy prices soaring. Many households will feel the pinch: struggling to pay bills and put food on the table. At the same time, we are an incredibly profligate society, wasting food, chucking away numerous valuable resources, and with inefficiently heated homes.

Hubbub will put renewed efforts into ensuring that high quality resources are not discarded and instead are made freely and openly available. This will include an ambition to double the number of community fridges in partnership with Co-op, to expand our redistribution of free, pre-loved smartphones plus data in partnership with Virgin Media/O2, and new initiatives designed to cut electronic waste and promote energy efficiency.

Innovation

New solutions and thinking are required to address the scale of the climate challenge we face. Our partnership with John Lewis will invest £1 million in new initiatives designed to create more circular solutions. Plans are underway to secure similar levels of investment promoting the uptake of reusables. Organisationally, we are acutely aware of how easy it is to lose the culture of innovation and will be taking every step possible to embed this precious asset as the organisation grows.

Fashion

2022 will be the year that Hubbub increases our focus on fashion. Debate around the environmental and social impact of fast fashion is growing but hasn’t led to a mainstream shift in consumer habits or scalable solutions. We will be seeking to partner with fashion brands to increase the life of clothing promoting renting, repairing, upcycling and better care. We will seek to highlight the environmental impact of returns by partnering with an innovative tech company to bring this story to life.

Breaking out of the bubble

We are determined to broaden the environmental debate, demonstrating its importance to all sections of the community. Thanks to funding from Rothschild & Co we will be working with young people currently not engaged with the climate debate to co-design and deliver environmental campaigns that are relevant to their lives. We will continue to invest in communities facing hardships building on campaigns such as ‘In Our Nature’ in Manchester and the Bike Library in Tower Hamlets. A new campaign will work with LGBT+ communities and there will be more investment in work on diversity.

Staying positive, playful and fun

It is easy to feel ground down by the impact that COVID has had on our society and well-being. The scale of the climate crisis and the lack of urgency in response has led to an increase in climate anxiety and stress. Against this backdrop, we believe it is important to retain a sense of cheeky playfulness in our responses, making solutions accessible, engaging and capable of generating a smile and glint in the eye. Our positive tone and simple calls to action continue to inspire people to make a change and are key to delivering significant impact at scale.

Once again, we face a challenging year but have bold ambitions driven by a determination to create a better society with reduced environmental impact. This can only be achieved through collaboration with a wide range of partners and we would like to thank all of them for their continuing support, risk-taking and creativity.

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