Sustainable Brands San Diego might be one of our favorite annual events of all time.

The Sustainable Brands team is a great partner of ours (if you’ve been to the conference in the past, chances are the bags you received were ours) and the community of influencers they bring together year after year just keeps growing. This year, we partnered with Sustainable Brands and United Airlines to create bags for conference speakers. 

If you’re planning a trip to San Diego for the conference on June 6-9, here are a few reasons to get excited:

Featured Speakers

I can’t pick which featured speaker I’m most excited about seeing this year. I think the lineup is well-rounded and there’s a little something for everyone inside the featured topics. 

This year, four featured talks will be given:

1. Alex Thompson, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs at REI

Alex is sharing the story of the wildly successful #OptOutside social media campaign that encouraged people to adventure outside rather than shop indoors on Black Friday. This campaign extended far beyond Black Friday. In fact, people are still talking about opting outside as a result of this campaign. 

2. Janine Benyus, Founder of Biomimicry 3.8

Janine is in a league of her own. At the conference, she’ll dive into the topic of biomimicry and how looking to nature can make us better leaders, designers, and more.

3. John Izzo, the bestselling author of Awakening Corporate Soul and Values Shift

Dr. John Izzo plans to take us down the road of faith-based communities and their impact and influence on environmental movements. I think he’ll offer a different - and perhaps deeper - perspective on the topic than what we’re used to experiencing. 

4. Sean Ansett, Chief Sustainability Officer at Fairphone

Fairphone is a purpose-driven smartphone company that’s changing the way phones are created, designed, and recycled. During the conference, Sean Ansett will clue us in on the Fairphone story and how their company is looking to improve the entire supply and value chain of electronics. 

If the featured speakers weren’t enough for you, the breakout and workshop sessions will include speakers from Target, Aveda, General Mills, and more. I can’t wait to attend “New and Evolving Cases of Partnerships Devoted to Circularity and Upcycling” and am so happy to see upcycling and the circular economy highlighted on the agenda. 

Need help navigating the conference sessions? There’s an app for that.


The Activation Hub 

The Activation Hub takes the idea of an expo to a whole different level. The hub is split out into specific focus areas, from supply chain to materials, to the circular economy and leadership. So, instead of wandering aimlessly through the rows of tables (not that this is always a bad thing!), you can focus your efforts and have meaningful conversations in the areas that matter most to you and your business. 

The Innovation Open

While you’re at the Activation Hub, stop by the Target Lounge for the Innovation Open. Now in its 5th year, it’s a competition for purpose-driven entrepreneurs and startups to share their ideas with the entire Sustainable Brands community. Eleven semi-finalists were selected to present at this year’s conference - check them out on the Sustainable Brands’ conference page

Event lineup 

No conference would be complete without some killer events, right? This year, Nestle is kicking off the conference with the welcome reception. You can also catch a showing of ‘KOMBIT: The Cooperative’ - a documentary by Timberland, the Smallholder Farmers Alliance, and Found Object about a partnership that is changing the game of smallholder farming in Haiti. You can also bond with attendees during a stand up paddleboarding session or early morning yoga class (one of my favorites!). 

The other event we’re excited about are the “birds of a feather” dinners, where attendees can create meetup groups throughout the week. Let’s be honest, making meaningful connections at a conference can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. I feel like Sustainable Brands solved this problem by providing a means for us to get together, meet one another over dinner, and talk about things we’re passionate about. Genius! 

Attending Sustainable Brands San Diego this year? 

Let us know in the comments or shoot me an email - I’d love to connect with you over a yoga class or cup of coffee!  

Images: 1) Flickr/R.E. Barber Photography