What in the World—Week of June 26

Tide detergent is going to space
Tide is boldly going where no detergent has gone before. Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble announced last week that it has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA that will see the testing and studying of “Tide cleaning solutions” in space that could have “on-planet implications,” such as potential solutions for Earth’s resources and environmental challenges. Tide has developed a fully degradable detergent specifically designed for space and capable of solving odour, cleanliness and stain removal problems for washable items, and is suitable for use in a closed-loop water system. A 2022 cargo launch to the International Space Station will see teams test the stability of cleaning ingredients under microgravity conditions and exposure to the radiation levels on board. Tests of Tide To Go wipes and pens will also be conducted on board the ISS.

Canada Goose to end the use of fur
Canada Goose says that it will stop using fur in all of its products by 2022, a decision driven by a focus on its purpose-based platform “Humannature.” In an announcement last week, the high-end outerwear company said it would stop purchasing fur by the end of this year, and stop using it in manufacturing no later than the end of 2022. It joins other companies including Burberry and Prada that have committed to ending the use of fur, while Nordstrom has said it will no longer sell products made with fur or exotic animal skin beyond this year. The BBC quoted Humane Society International as calling the decision a “momentous step in the demise of cruel fur fashion.”

UN calls for ban on cannabis advertising
The United Nations has called for a global ban on all advertising promoting cannabis products, which it says would prioritize public health over business interests. The recommendation coincided with the release of the UN’s World Drug Report 2021, which revealed that about 275 million people used drugs in 2020, with many countries seeing a spike in cannabis use during the pandemic. The UN said that the potency of cannabis products has almost quadrupled in strength in the U.S. and doubled in Europe over the past two decades, but the percentage of young people who view it as harmful has dropped by as much as 40%. “Such a mismatch between the perception and the reality of the risk posed by more potent cannabis could increase the negative impact of the drug on young generations,” said the UN, which noted that “aggressive marketing” of products and promotion through social media could further exacerbate the problem. The UN can only make recommendations and it would be up to individual jurisdictions to implement and enforce any bans.

Nike says it’s ‘for China’
After facing an earlier consumer boycott in China, Nike CEO John Donahoe told investment analysts last week that “Nike is a brand that is of China and for China.” The company faced backlash in the country after expressing concerns about the use of Uyghur forced labour camps to make cotton. State-sponsored media responded sharply, and there were calls for a boycott of brands, like Nike, that criticized China, while popular TV stars broke off ties with the company. Donahoe’s comments came while discussing Nike’s Q4 earnings. While worldwide sales of Nike doubled from the same period last year (at the start of the pandemic) sales in China rose only 17% to $1.9 billion.

McDonald’s rolls out loyalty program
McDonalds is launching a loyalty program across the U.S. next week after eight months of testing. McDonald’s has loyalty programs in other countries like France, but it’s the first time having a national program in America. Called MyMcDonald’s Rewards, the program is only available on its app, part of a larger effort to expand and enhance the digital experience for customers that has also included automated order taking and express pickup for online orders. According to CNBC, the company also wants workers to greet loyalty members by name, and customers could receive emails with deals tailored to them after picking up their order. The new loyalty plan will give members 100 points for every dollar they spend.

David Brown