Sustainable New of June 2018

Power

How Solar Minigrids Could Brighten Economic Prospects For Unserved Millions In Africa – A way of helping out the small communities be independent.

BP Just Bought The UK’s Biggest Electric Car Charging Network – Great job, although I hope this will also continue the development into the positive direction it’s been going.

Sustainable New of June 2018 - byLiiL

Animal Conservation

Improving Seabird Conservation In Patagonian Ecosystem – Only 3% of the world’s oceans are protected even though their ecosystems are crucial for the rest of the life on our planet. However, researchers have identified an area in Patagonia which if left for conservation could save 20% of the seabird population.

How Brands Can Bee Of Help In Protecting Pollinators – A list of things brands can do to support a healthy bee population. It is also a thing you can do or check if companies are doing it. Bees are an integral part of our ecosystem and the world sustainability!

Belize Praised For Saving It’s Huge Coral Reef From Utter Destruction – Amazing news and I hope to hear more of them soon!

Sustainable New of June 2018 - byLiiL

Nutrition

In India, Swapping Crops Could Save Water and Improve Nutrition – India’s population is expected to grow at a rapid speed whilst the country is already facing malnutrition and water scarcity.

5 Apps Helping To End Hunger And Food Waste – It’s great to hear so many companies and people are fighting this battle!

Sustainable New of June 2018 - byLiiL

Social

War And Climate Change Force Parents To Trade Girls For Cows In East Africa – The sad reality is that the families might not see any other solution and they think they are giving a better life for their girls as well.

South Africa Is One Major Step Closer To Health Care For All – Although it is one of the most economically stable countries on the African continent only 10% of the population can at the moment afford health care.

Corporate

Microsoft, Tiffany & Co Lead Global Agreement On Responsible Industrial Scale Mining – Many big companies have come together to change modern mining to be more responsible, only time will show what will happen.

Hiding In Plain Sight: The Carbon Cost Of Everyday Products – This article explains quite well the different aspects we wouldn’t even think go into everyday products and how they contribute to the climate change.

Nestlé Suspended From Sustainable Palm Oil Group Over Poor  ‘Conduct’ – Although the topic does not surprise me when reading the article I noticed how even such certifications can be very misleading.

Sustainable New of June 2018 - byLiiL

Fashion Industry

How A Practical Guide To Sourcing Sustainable Cotton Could Help Transfer The Industry – We all know it exists, but with all the different certifications it can be difficult to know what sources to trust and what not.

Innovation In Apparel: 2018 Pulse Check – Circular apparel is becoming more and more prevalent topic in discussions about the fashion industry and there are many innovations and support networks coming up to help with it. Check out what is happening at the moment.

Trending: New EMF Collaborative, G-Star Raw, Parsons Students Latest To “Make Fashion Circular” – The major players in fashion are coming together to “Make Fashion Circular” by uniting behind three principles: business models that keep clothes in use, materials that are renewable and safe, and solutions that turn used clothes into new clothes.

A Fabric Bank Is Trying To Turn Brazilian Fashion Accountable and Sustainable – Seeing the economic benefits of all the textiles I hope to hear more about it!

Thermore Presents 100% Recycled Blow-in Insulation – There is finally an alternative to duck down that should work as well as duck feathers but are cruelty-free, recyclable and don’t seep microplastics.

Insects Supply Chitin As Raw Material For Textiles Industry – Insects that are being used for feed industry shed their shell several times which in general is waste but has now been found to have a potential raw material for the textile industry.

Sustainable New of June 2018 - byLiiL

Other

4 Things The UK Government Must Do In ‘Crucial’ Year For Hitting Climate Targets – The UK is far behind their targets for 2020 and 2030 although they are doing slightly better than in 1990.

In A Warming World, Could Air Conditioning Make Things Worse? – Air conditioning worsens the air quality and as the temperatures rise they are being used more and more.

 

If you have any other news to share please share them in the comment box below!

With love,

Liisa

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Sustainable News of the April 2018

PEOPLE

160 Babies, Children Rescued In Latest Nigerian ‘Baby Factory’ Raid – This article made me cry even before I read it, but still it is an important issue that we should know about!

Africa’s First Female President Won A $5 Million Price And She’ll Use It To Empower Women – She might be the former president of Libya, but after winning her price she is dedicating to help other women and hopes to see more female presidents.

Morocco Has Built A Solar Farm As Big As Paris – This wasn’t the only article that I saw about different countries concentrating on renewable energy and I am absolutely delighted about it!

Sustainable New of the Month - January 2018 - byLiiL

FASHION AND BEAUTY

The Hidden Dangers of Vegan Beauty Products – Vegan doesn’t always mean it’s healthier and better option and we need to know all the facts to be able to make the best decision.

T-Shirt That Clean The Air – This truly sounds like quite an amazing innovation!

The Chinese Workers Who Assemble Designer Bags In Tuscany – Even that sentence made me go “what?” but then again why should it surprise me in today’s world? It just proves how we really don’t know what happens in companies supply chains, even when they say “Made In Europe”.

Are Lab Grown Diamonds Ethical? – We know that most mined diamonds are unethical, but how about lab-grown ones?

IBM Trust Chain Tracks Diamonds From Mine to Finger – Yet another way to make sure your diamonds are conflict-free.

Sustainable New of the Month - January 2018 - byLiiL

BIODIVERSITY

Small Changes In Rainforests Cause Big Damage To Fish Ecosystem –  Scientists believed there was some damage but were surprised to find out how much damage would come from only small changes.

EU Votes To Extend Their Ban On Neonicotinoid Pesticides – Great news!

Australia Pledges $379 Million In Last-Ditch Effort To Save Great Barrier Reef – I hope they also realise to have pre-emptive measures to reduce their footprint.

Sustainable New of the Month - January 2018 - byLiiL

PLASTIC

Swiss Mountains Are Covered In Microplastics, Scientists Say – Swiss recycle or incinerate nearly 100% of their plastics and believe the microplastics in their mountains have come with the winds. This could be a new threat to our environment as microplastics can harm the bio-diversity in the soil.

Australia Commits To 100% Sustainable Packaging By 2025 – “Following a Chinese ban on imported plastic waste, Australia has committed to creating 100% reusable, compostable or recyclable packaging by 2025.”

Food Giants Unilever, Nestle And PepsiCo Will Get Together On Single Use Plastic – And hopefully will keep their word and get rid of single-use plastics by 2025 or hopefully earlier.

Kelheim Fibres Presents New Fibre For Disinfectant Wipes – I am excited to hear and see more about this.

Sustainable New of the Month - January 2018 - byLiiL

OTHER

Greener and Cheaper Technique For Biofuel Production – Hurray!

 

7 Alternative Social Media Sites We Hope Will Crush Facebook – I am sure I am not the only one who uses Facebook just because everybody is there and therefore it is convenient. But I have been quite annoyed at how it keeps its monopoly over the market, so let’s hope there will be some competition from these.

 

If you have any additional news from last month that you would like to share please let me know in the comment box below!

With love

Lii

Let’s Keep Fashion Revolution Week Going

As I’ve been away for half of the Fashion Revolution week I’ve unfortunately missed most of the events going on around the event. If somebody doesn’t know what it is about the best place to learn about it is the Fashion Revolution website, in short, though it is an organisation rallying behind a change we need to make in the fashion industry, especially after the Rana Plaza accident which killed over 1000 fashion workers. The aim of the movement is to make consumers aware, companies responsible and governments to make legislations so that we wouldn’t have to see another disaster, ultimately gaining a greater transparency in the fashion supply chains.

Let's Keep Fashion Revolution Week Going - byLiiL

I’ve been trying to catch up online with whatever I could. I’ve seen some inspiring articles published, screenings of important documentaries and talks about ethical fashion. Following all the events has made me hopeful that the noise we are making amounts to something, even though there is a lot to do about it. Fashion Revolution week has strongly questioned from all the brands “Who Made My Clothes?” and many brands answered, but I’ve also noticed that most (if none) of the fast fashion brands didn’t answer. To me, it tells a lot when a company doesn’t want to answer to who made their clothes.

Let's Keep Fashion Revolution Week Going - byLiiL

To help you be part of Fashion Revolution week and help make a change you can:

  • Ask a fashion brand who made your clothes either by sending a picture on Instagram, sending a tweet or even sending them an email. Remember to add #whomademyclothes when using social media.
  • Try a #haulternative instead of buying new clothes by shopping second hand, swapping with friends or refashioning garments in your wardrobe that you don’t wear. This article showed some great simple ways how to refashion your clothes.
  • Share a love story of a garment that you love or you are falling back in love with.
  • Donate to a sustainable fashion organisation that helps to make a difference.
  • Write to a policymaker.
  • Spread the word.

Let's Keep Fashion Revolution Week Going - byLiiL

To learn more about the problems we face in the fashion industry and how we are combatting them or how you can combat them check these articles from the past week as well, I found them really interesting:

Let's Keep Fashion Revolution Week Going - byLiiL

I am happy that this movement has gained such a response and hope in the future they will also question “How were our clothes made?” meaning that we need to know if pesticides or toxic chemicals were used in the process, how did the company get rid of waste and what different stages made that garment. I know it is a long way for companies to start revealing this information, mostly because they want to keep trade secrets and it is easier to hide behind something that isn’t told, but that is a topic for another discussion. The way fashion is made and consumed now needs to be changed and therefore I hope everybody pays a visit to Fashion Revolution website as the steps you need to take won’t cost you anything but can make a big difference!

The Fashion Revolution week might be drawing to a close when this post comes up, however, we shouldn’t stop questioning brands who made our clothes or how they were made. I think this week should be just a reminder to keep fighting for a better fashion industry!

Let's Keep Fashion Revolution Week Going - byLiiL

 

How have you contributed to the Fashion Revolution Week?

With love,

Lii

Happy Favourites of the Week – Spring Time

Visiting Friends – We had a fun night with friends playing Cards Against Humanity with visiting friends. We hadn’t had laughs quite as good in a long time! It was an absolutely fun night!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Spring Time - byLiiL

Easter Weekend – Although, I was working on a couple of the days during the Easter break it was still amazingly relaxing weekend full of delicious food and chocolate.

New Deodorant – I absolutely love my deodorant from Fine, but with its price tag I am happy that I’ve found another one, closer to home that has a much better price tag for my wallet! Evolve beauty have recently come out with a deodorant which is lovely! It is moisturising and doesn’t have a strong scent, in addition, it actually works and it’s made out of all natural ingredients. What more could you want! I do warn though, it has bicarbonate of soda. I wasn’t sure if my armpits could handle it and that is why I haven’t tried most natural deodorants in the UK, but Evolve also have small sample packs which helps you try whether it is suitable for you!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Spring Time - byLiiL

Spring Flowers – Spring brings spring flowers and oh how I love looking at them and smelling them, it is just such a delight! Having fresh tulips in the house lifts your mood like nothing else! I can’t wait until mongolia and cherry trees start to flower in front of our house. I’ve seen them flowering elsewhere, but I live slightly higher up and it comes later here.

A Lifecycle of a T-shirt – This little Ted-ed clip was great at explaining the process a garment goes through and how it pollutes the world. Although, I would’ve loved if they added how sustainable fashion is different to show a comparison! Still, the clip is very informative and interesting, especially for people who do not work in the fashion industry.

I finally finished Women Who Run With The Wolves – It felt like a process going through this book. It is not an easy read, but then again it is not supposed to be. It is a book full of ancient women’s wisdom for empowering women to be themselves and understand the psychological cycles they go through at different times of their life. It taught me a lot and I really recommend everybody to read it!

Cat’s New Scratching Post – Actually it is their first proper scratching post. I wanted them to stop scratching our couch! So I finally got a small scratching post with a little toy in it and two places to sit and it is slowly gaining acceptance with the cats. One of them loves to scratch it and the other one loves another spot for him to sit and stare at us from.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Spring Time - byLiiL

How was your week? I would love to hear!

With love,

Lii

 

What Was I Up To In March 2018

March was a very cold month with some surprising and exciting snowy days in Glasgow, which made me think about how lovely my warm home is with heating and warm and dry covers. That’s when I wrote the post about why we should feel gratitude for having a home. Homelessness should be an issue that is addressed at all times, but especially when it is cold outside!

Why You Should Feel Gratitude For Having a Home - byLiiL

I loved the interview I did with Nadja, who is the founder of MAVOLU the webshop for sustainable fashion with innovative materials. She has great insight into material innovation and what sustainable fashion is all about! I also shared a bunch of articles that are helpful to a sustainable lifestyle. And finally, I share a big collection of sustainable news from February.

March also saw International Women’s Day and I got tickets to see Priscilla the musical as a present, which I enjoyed a lot! March also saw International Water Day and Earth Hour, two very important days to remember our connection to nature. I found it funny that the beginning of March saw such cold days and also very beautiful spring days. Finally, I shared beautiful Instagram pictures.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Something Good - byLiiL

The start of April is cold again and I hope we will get warmer and sunnier days soon! Sun definitely boosts my efficiency and energy, so come on sun!

How was your March?

With love,

Lii

 

Interview With The Founder of MAVOLU – Material Revolution

Nadja, the founder of MAVOLU, and I go way back to our undergraduate studies where we both showed interest in sustainable fashion. This common interest was definitely a part of what kept us as friends ever since our University studies. I am happy to have a friend with whom I can discuss my interest in sustainable fashion and who is an inspiration to me. I can always count on her support and am every day impressed by her integrity and drive for what she wants to achieve. I wanted to share the interview with Nadja as she has some great points on sustainable issues and innovation currently and she has founded a great new platform for sustainability! I hope you will enjoy this interview and let me know if you want to read more of these kinds of posts in the future!

Interview With The Founder of MAVOLU - Material Revolution - byLiiL

Who are you? And how are you connected to sustainability?

My name is Nadja, I am from Germany and 28 years old. After completing my BA in ‘Fashion Business’ at Glasgow Caledonian University I moved to Berlin in order to study an MA course focussing on sustainability in fashion. My MA project was examining innovative and sustainable materials, in particular, peace silk, banana fibre and soy fibre. I went on a research trip to India in order to learn more about the production and sourcing processes of each fibre, and in addition to that, I designed a small capsule collection made from those materials. After finishing the MA course me and some other students decided to continue working together as re/GENERATE, focussing on collaborations and workshops that are aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  We also got the chance to show our MA projects as part of the ‘Fashion Sustain’ Conference during Berlin Fashion Week, which was very exciting! A small summary of all the projects can be found on our webpage.

What is MAVOLU?

Ever since I’ve started the MA course I’ve been somewhat obsessed with material innovation, especially because there is so much experimentation going on right now in terms of new and sustainable fibre options. But while I was doing the research for my thesis I realised that it is often quite difficult to gain access to clothing and accessories made from ground­breaking and innovative materials. While there are some designers that are already working with those materials, it is very time­consuming to actually find all of them. So I thought the easiest way to solve this problem was to create a marketplace specifically for products made from innovative materials. I, therefore, started an online platform that is currently covering eight different materials, with the intention to add more over time. In the online shop, you can find beautiful and unique products such as wallets made from banana fibre, dresses made from peace silk, and bags made from cork. In addition to that, MAVOLU wants to create a knowledge exchange in the field of sustainable textiles and fibre options, which is why I have added a material library that will show a short summary of each fibre. I have also recently started a blog where each material will be discussed in more depth and where I will introduce the different designers and brands who are behind all these beautiful products.

Where do you see the future of fashion and sustainability?

While material innovation is a big passion of mine, I am of course aware that the right material choice alone is not going to change the whole fashion industry. But I do believe that it makes a very big difference to choose a low­impact fibre or material at the very beginning of the supply chain, which will then have a positive impact on all other stages ­ for example, a material that is free from chemicals will cause less harm in terms of human toxicity for farmers, weavers, and of course also consumers. This can be as simple as choosing organic

cotton instead of conventional cotton, because its production requires a lot less water, chemicals and fertilisers.

What is the most interesting innovation in terms of materials so far?

I am a big fan of fibre production from agricultural residues, such as banana fibre and pineapple fibre. Banana fibre, for example, is derived from the pseudostem of the banana plant, which would naturally rot once the fruit has been harvested. The fibre is therefore entirely made from a by­product of the food industry and its cultivation does not require any additional resources. The same goes for pineapple fibre production: the fibres can be extracted from the leaves of the plant (again a by­product of the food industry) and can e.g. be turned into Piñatex, an innovative material created by Ananas Anam which is often used as a vegan and environmentally friendly alternative to leather.

 

What do you see as the biggest problem within material innovation?

I think for now a lot of the material innovation is still in the research stage. While fabrics made from Tencel, ramie and hemp have been around for some time now, others are not quite as developed and are therefore not used by many designers. That seems to be the main reason why it is currently still quite difficult to get your hands on items made from innovative and sustainable materials. But I also think that there is a huge interest in developing those materials further, as well as coming up with new alternative fibres. E.g. if you look at the winners of the Global Change Award in the past years then you will notice that at least one of them is focussing on some sort of ground­breaking fibre or material ­ be it from citrus waste, algae, or even cow dung. So over time, those materials will hopefully be used by more designers, and as a result, more people can gain access to it, offering them an alternative to mass­produced items made from unsustainable fibres.

And what do you see as the biggest problem within sustainable fashion?

I think that most of all, we need to start changing the current mindset in terms of value. We are too used to clothing being insanely cheap and therefore disposable. In fact, we are so used to cheap fashion that it has now become the norm, consequently making sustainable fashion appear ‘too expensive’. However, I think it is necessary that we re­value the labour that goes into each and every garment ­ starting with the fibre production, the spinning, the weaving, the sewing, the distribution. If you consider all those individual steps in the supply chain then suddenly sustainable fashion doesn’t seem quite so expensive ­ it’s just a realistic price for a realistic amount of work.

Interview With The Founder of MAVOLU - Material Revolution - byLiiL

Do you have any tips for people who want to be more sustainable in their fashion consumption?

Start small and don’t get demotivated! To be honest I often get demotivated myself, thinking that I can’t really make a difference compared to the bigger picture. But as consumers, we all have a choice, with every single purchase we make. And even if sustainable fashion is not within your budget then there are still plenty of other options, such as buying second­hand or renting your clothes (e.g. from ‘fashion libraries’ such as Kleiderei. All those seemingly small steps are contributing a lot towards a more sustainable future in fashion.

Interview With The Founder of MAVOLU - Material Revolution - byLiiL

 

I hope that interview got you more excited about material innovation. Now go check MAVOLU out and learn even more about innovative materials. And check her beautiful Instagram account as well!
If you have any additional questions to Nadja ask them in the comment box below!
Shop the products in the post:
With love,
Lii

Sustainable News of the Month – February 2018

Smartphones and Data Centres Harm The Environment –  A Sustainable issue where we wouldn’t even think of looking: “For every text message, for every phone call, every video you upload or download, there’s a data centre making this happen. Telecommunications networks and data centres consume a lot of energy to serve you and most data centres continue to be powered by electricity generated by fossil fuels. It’s the energy consumption we don’t see.”

Limited Scope of Corporate Sustainability Revealed – As consumers increasingly require more ethical and sustainable practices from the brands they consume, the brands invest in some level of sustainability in their supply chain. However, study shows that the reach of their sustainability falls short.

Sustainable News of the Month - February 2018- byLiiL

Soil Cannot Halt Climate Change – It’s implausible to treat crops and soil to absorb more carbon to halt climate change.

Free First-Of-Its-Kind App Enables Total Impact Modeling of Products – An app that helps any start-up and company to quickly design products with environmentalism and economics in mind. “The system immediately quantifies possible improvements across all performance attributes, such as the effects on compliance, costs and environment.”

How To Keep Computers Out Of Landfills and Recyclers Out Of Prisons – An article explaining why recycling computers and other electronics seem to be a problem.

Can Land-Based Fish Farms Promote Food Security – To not overfish from the oceans and to secure non-contaminated fish, are fish farms a sustainable consideration?

Sustainable News of the Month - February 2018- byLiiL

Arctic Spring Is Starting 16 Days Earlier Than A Decade Ago – This might not sound like a lot, but in a place where spring and summer are shorter than further south, it is a drastic change.

Jaguars Killed For Fangs To Supply Growing Chinese Medicine Trade – I can’t believe that I am still reading this kind of titles. I would’ve imagined that in a country that has as stringed control over beauty testing, there would be something done for the medical industry as well. It saddens me to see these beautiful animals killed when they are already on the brink of extinction, but it also saddens me to read that something has driven the local people to do this.

Should Cloning Bring Back Extinct Species – Do we want to visit the real Jurassic Park or perhaps help reduce the effect we’ve had on the wildlife in recent years?

Sustainable News of the Month - February 2018- byLiiL

FASHION AND SUSTAINABILITY

Why Green Consumerism Isn’t Taking Off – Nevertheless of people being sustainably conscious, as consumers seem that it is peer acceptable to be shopping for fast fashion they do not feel about it. The thrill of finding a bargain and having certain shopping behaviour, it is too much effort to find new brands that would be ethical, would fit, is the right style and the right price point.

Levi’s Cleans Up Denim Supply Chain With Automated Finishing Process – Levi has found an automated way to finish denim without as many chemicals. They are also planning to reduce chemical discharge by 2020 and hope to reuse water in the near future. In addition, they are planning to reduce textile waste. All of this sounds great and about time! But my question is; is it healthy for the people who are going to wearing the garments? And are they recompensating the employees who might have long-term problems from making their denim?

Digital Technology As A Driver Of Sustainable Innovation – Article explaining what are the technological innovations that help designers to have a more sustainable designing, sampling and production methods.

Is ‘Ethical Fashion’ Made With Deadstock Fabric Just Greenwashing? – Explaining how deadstock fabrics and mills who create them work.

Sustainable News of the Month - February 2018- byLiiL

EVERYTHING ABOUT THE WATER

Wastewater Treatment Plants Could Generate Electricity – There is another possibility for clean energy.

Stand-alone System To Produce Drinking Water By Means of Solar Energy – “Designed only for desalinating water, this is a sustainable, eco-friendly technology, as its energy is supplied by solar photovoltaic panels in a CO2-free process, thus not contributing to climate change.”

Water Filtration Breakthrough Using Metal-Organic Frameworks – A new innovation can separate ion and salt from the water.

Involving The Public In Water Policies Is Key To Successful Municipal Water Systems –  Article outlines how one study researched water quality and people’s concern for costs and shortages. How human behaviours can influence water policy in a city.

Sustainable News of the Month - February 2018- byLiiL

The 11 Cities Most Likely To Run Out Of Drinking Water – Like Cape Town – As the crisis in Cape Town is reported other cities watch it with fear of who will follow the suit.

Averting the Next Cape Town: Water Strategy Is A Shared Responsibility – Article examines what went wrong in Cape Town and what we can learn from it.

Sustainable News of the Month - February 2018- byLiiL

 

Share your sustainable news in the comment box below!

With love,

Lii