#SecondHandSeptember: A Sustainable Fashion Story with @Traashion

#SecondHandSeptember: A Sustainable Fashion Story with @Traashion

VIDEO

#SecondHandSeptember: A Sustainable Fashion Story with @Traashion

sustainable fashion - second hand september
ARIANNA STEWART - stand news

Anastasiya Sytnyk

17th September 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured photo by reway2007

 
#SecondHandSeptember: 10 Sustainable Fashion Labels You Should Get Behind

#SecondHandSeptember: 10 Sustainable Fashion Labels You Should Get Behind

ENVIRONMENT

#SecondHandSeptember: 10 Sustainable Fashion Labels You Should Get Behind

sustainable fashion brands second-hand september
anastasiya stand news

Anastasiya Sytnyk

16th September 2020

 

Consumers are slowly beginning to change their clothing from fast fashion items to ones from sustainable brands. Instead of buying cheap clothing at the cost of someone else’s unfair treatment and pay, we’re becoming more and more likely to pay a little extra for our clothing to ensure it had been produced ethically and with as little environmental impact as possible. Many sustainable fashion labels are devoted to noble causes and also donate a lot of their income to charities and organisations that actually fight for change and equality. Here are 10 sustainable labels that you should get behind and why! 

  

1. Able 

Able are determined in their ethics which provide clothing Artisian-made in Peru and fight for fair labour practices, B corp. They believe that in order to end poverty you must create economic opportunities so that people, specifically women, can provide for themselves. This brand sells lovely items like denim, shoes, bags and jewellery. Their items are made by women from all over the world who are paid fairly and come from all walks of life. 

 Some of my favourites:

 

2. Tentree 

Tentree is another great sustainable brand whose ethics are that their products are ethically made and organic, B corp and Eco-friendly which gives back to the environment. The people behind Tentree feel a strong sense of responsibility to preserve and protect the world we live in. Each time an item is purchased a tree is planted. The motto of the company is “buy one, plant ten”, they believe you don’t have to be a hardcore environmentalist to make a difference. The brand has planted over 42 million trees around the world! 

Some of my favourites:

 

3. Boden

Boden, another great label who are passionate about ethical trading, fair wages, giving back and recyclable packaging (which is very important in a time where brands overpackage their stuff). Boden is a British brand which was founded more than 25 years ago and is renowned for being both ethical and expansive.

Some of my favourites:

 

4. Kotn 

Kotn is one of my personal favourites because of their soft and breathable Egyptian cotton. The bran works directly with farmers by paying fair prices for cotton and assisting supplies in making the switch to organic. Their ethics are simply, B corp, safe and fair labour standards for all. 

Some of my favourites:

 

5. Thought Clothing 

Thought Clothing create eco-friendly clothing from organic ingredients which include cotton, bamboo and hemp. This is another UK brand which ships worldwide and is dedicated to being sustainable. 

Some of my favourites:

 

6. Ref Jeans 

Ref jeans is an amazing eco-friendly Tencel, practices, organic cotton brand which launched in 2017 making affordable denim available to all. The thing about Ref Jeans is that they use only a third of the water used by other denim companies! 

Some of my favourites:

 

7. Girlfriend Collective 

This site is brilliant for real and honest photoshoot images advertising their recycled materials in all sizes. No photoshop or retouching their models which makes them very much fashion-forward and inclusive with sizes that come from XXS to 6XL. Their ethics are simple, inclusive sizing, ethical working conditions and fair wages to all. Unlike other brands that manufacture in Vietnam, the workers at these factories are provided with safe working conditions and fair wages as well as standard working hours.  

Some of my favourites:

 

8. Cuyana  

This label follows the motto “fewer, better things”. They believe you don’t need to buy a lot of things that don’t last and better to buy one or two things that are good quality. The brand chooses manufacturers that are close to raw materials so there is less travelling and sourcing items.  

Some of my favourites:

 

9. Amour Vert 

This brand is very much about minimising their waste by making small quantities of clothing in the US with a focus on sustainable options for materials, like organic cotton. The company plants trees every time a t-shirt is purchased with over 220,000 trees planted for far. There is an option to donate 1 dollar extra on top of your order to plant a tree. 

Some of my favourites:

 

10. Everlane  

Everlane is one of the brands that have nothing to hide. They show its markup proves as well as how each garment is created showing the factories and the conditions it is in. Although they may not be super environmentally focused it is still important that they are completely transparent with their customers, unlike certain fast fashion brands. 

Some of my favourites:

 

 

Featured photo by @charlotablunarova

 
 

 

Friendship SPO: ‘Nothing will happen if voices from the field aren’t put on a plateau’

Friendship SPO: ‘Nothing will happen if voices from the field aren’t put on a plateau’

An Interview with Runa Khan, Founder & Executive Director of Friendship SPO

‘Nothing will happen if voices from the field aren’t put on a plateau’

Young Greens outside the Dáil

Runa Khan, Founder & Executive Director of Friendship SPO talked to us ahead of this year’s STAND Student Festival about climate migration and Friendship’s work in empowering at-risk communities who face environmental and human rights issues.

She emphasised the impact that climate change is having on the people of Bangladesh, and the importance of bringing the voices of these climate-affected communities to the fore so that everyone might be inspired to take climate action.

To learn more about the amazing work that Friendship SPO carries out in Bangladesh, follow the links below.

To learn more about the STAND Student Festival, click here.

 

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PPE: “The Protector and the Polluter”

PPE: “The Protector and the Polluter”

Environment

PPE: “The Protector and the Polluter”

discarded facemask

24th August 2020

 

Masks and gloves play a vital role in protecting the public against contracting Covid-19. The growing concern regarding PPE is its role in creating waste and damaging our environment. It’s become common practice for customers to throw away their masks and gloves on the ground outside shops instead of disposing of them in a bin.

PPE littering in Massachusetts got to a point where littering was made illegal and fines can reach up to 5,500 dollars. PPE is created to protect us, not create more environmental and health problems.

As well as littering, there is the problem of PPE equipment being put in recycling bins instead of placing them in a bag and putting them into the waste bin. Workers in private waste management companies encounter used PPE equipment daily. Although the employees use PPE themselves their health is still at risk due to the increasing numbers of used/reused PPE they handle.

The longer the pandemic lasts the worse the pollution in the ocean will become. A marine biologist in the United Kingdom, Emily Stevenson established the Beach Guardian Project with her father. They collect plastic and all sorts of rubbish that has ended up in the ocean. In one hour of litter picking at the beginning of August she found 171 pieces of PPE in the ocean, a significant increase in the amount of litter she found before the pandemic and the beginning of the pandemic.

Although Stevenson and the volunteers at the Beach Guardian Project have discovered a lot of PPE and disposed of it correctly and safely there still might be PPE polluting the seabed. Single use plastics can remain on the seabed for hundreds of years polluting everything around it. According to Stevenson’s research, if each person in the UK uses a single use face mask daily 66,000 tonnes of PPE equipment would be accumulated.

 

“If each person in the UK uses a single use face mask daily 66,000 tonnes of PPE equipment would be accumulated”

 

It’s not just the oceans that have been polluted, it’s the rivers too. Researchers who work at the University of London stated that the River Thames has been polluted by plastic which threatens wildlife and the health of people living in the area. They explained that pollution has worsened because there has been an increase in the disposal of single use plastics like cleaning products, masks and gloves.

Litter has built up along footpaths and roads in Ireland and across the globe due to people dumping face masks. Used face masks and used gloves have washed up on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Laurent Lombard, the founder of Operation Clean Sea described it as “a swim with Covid-19” and “swimming in a table of microplastics.” It’s a harsh truth but it is the reality of pollution that we are facing in our world because of our own actions. Journalist Clodagh Finn, in her article in the Irish Examiner published on the 8th of August cleverly describes plastic as both a “polluter and a protector”.

Single use plastic PPE has been a popular and controversial topic of conversation in Ireland among politicians and the public. Grace O’Sullivan, a member of the Green Party and a Member of the European Parliament said there needs to be more awareness and education on how to safely dispose of single use face masks.

Refusal to use reusable or recyclable face masks can be a contributing factor to climate change because there has been an increase in the use of oil and energy to produce and manufacture single use plastic face masks. Awareness of the dangers and disadvantages of single use plastic face masks is not enough, action must be taken to create and support sustainable plastic face masks. Maybe when each party involved in producing and purchasing single use plastic face masks are fully     aware of the disadvantages and dangers of them, they will create and support sustainable plastic and other recyclable materials. 

It’s difficult to consider every important issue at any time of the year, let alone in the midst of a global pandemic. But just like the Covid-19 pandemic, the climate crisis will not improve unless each and every person takes active steps to reduce their consumption of single use plastics. Some quick and simple things we can do are: educate ourselves on the most sustainable pieces of PPE equipment we can use, share this information with others and dispose of single use.

 

 

Featured photo by Pxfuel

 
 

 

 

Sustainable Fashion and YOU

Sustainable Fashion and YOU

Environment

Sustainable Fashion and YOU

Clothes racks in a charity shop

9th July 2020

 

If we couldn’t afford to keep up with the latest trends, we’d try to save up as much as we can, spend less and would value what we purchase more. We would only be buying the necessary and more durable items and spend less money in the long term.

On the other hand, most of the eco-friendly brands are expensive. Not all of us can afford to buy a pair of jeans either for €110! The price is high because of the ethical, and therefore costly means of production, textiles and labour costs. If we want to shop in an environmentally friendly way, pay fair wages to the workers and use fewer resources in the production process, we have to pay more.

However, there is another solution: the charity and second-hand shops, clothes repair shops, clothes-swapping, and many other creative ways to give your old clothes a second life! So, let’s explore what sustainable fashion is all about!

The charity shops are finally open. You might desperately want something new to add to your wardrobe, without wanting to support the fast fashion brands that cancelled orders that were already placed, leaving textile workers unpaid. Or perhaps over the quarantine period you had some time to declutter and without a doubt, found loads of stuff you don’t need anymore. I’m not talking about the items that suddenly and almost magically became a size too small, maybe we should hold on to those for more active days to come!

Some of us enjoy popping into charity shops, looking for unique pieces of clothing or jewellery with their own history. The shop’s income is used to support vulnerable people around the country and globally, which makes these organisations so important!

The charities too were calling for donations. But volunteering with Vincent de Paul for the last week, I realised that it’s not the donations, but the volunteers to sort the endless flow of donations, that the charity shops desperately need. It’s amazing how every couple of minutes there would be a car stopping and dropping in a couple of bags with clothes, books, and other things. There are so many items donated! As the shops have never seen before! And most of them will be shipped out of the country to be given to those in need, wherever they are!

 

a window sign stating that they are not accepting donations

According to the World Resources Institute, ‘The average consumer bought 60 percent more clothes in 2014 than in 2000, but kept each garment for half as long’. Of course, the fast-fashion businesses provide jobs. However, people producing these clothes for mass production are paid very little, and are usually women. They are a part of communities from low and middle-income countries, and it’s them, who produce the clothes we buy in Ireland. There is also the question of child labour that arises. It’s quite hard to weigh the benefits and the drawbacks of fast fashion for those communities.

It also takes so much resources to make a clothing piece! How much water does it take to make a cotton T-Shirt?

 

 

Photo by National Geographic by the World Resources Institute

Making a pair of jeans produces as much greenhouse gases as driving a car more than 80 miles, and the clothing made of non-biodegradable fabrics can sit in landfills for up to 200 years!

The European Clothing Action Plan says that the textile industry is the second largest contributor to global pollution when most of the textiles can be recycled. Businesses should take responsibility for textile recycling, and some do so. There are a couple of textile recycling centres in Ireland. Check out this article if you want to learn more about what to do with your textiles after they have served their purpose.

So, what is the definition of sustainable fashion? Does it include clothes made from natural materials? Yes, but not only this, there is so much more to it! Here is a chart that explains some other factors that construct sustainable fashion:

Pie chart labelling elements of sustainable fashion

You might know some small businesses that have turned their hobbies into an ethical business. If you want to get some inspiration, check out the Sustainable Fashion Dublin Instagram page. And a shout out to @lemonqueen Galway girl that produces unreal jewellery and clothing pieces that are so worth your attention! If you know of any other small, eco-friendly businesses, do let us know and we’d be happy to spread the word!

Channel your inner crafty spirit and create something that is in your unique style! Tie-dye, textile paints, polymer clay, embroidery etc. The best thing is the more you get into it, the more fun it is! Simply speaking, sustainable fashion is not about saving the environment by restricting your choices, quite the opposite. It’s all about being free, being yourself, expressing, staying in harmony with nature and getting creative without having to spend loads of money. Anyone can do it!

Sustainable fashion doesn’t only include clothes. Notebooks, accessory bags, back bags, also makeup, hygiene products etc. – all those items are part of it! For example, you can turn your old T-shirt into a bag or a pillow, and make it fit perfectly for your new purpose. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out @reworkbydurk page, that shows examples of the ‘reworked bits’, or a free- spirited DIY channel on YouTube called HGTV handmade. The item you made yourself or bought from an online or local hand-made shop will feel unique, special and more valuable than your Penneys T-shirts (although you can use an old Penneys T-shirt and add something to it too, to make it special).

When the shops closed, we understood that we can live a bit more sustainably and that we don’t need to buy as much. Some of us may have tried little DIY hacks, while we had some (or a lot of) free time! Our style is our own. But the style is not only how your outfit looks – but also what is behind its creation!

Feel free to share any tricks you use for your sustainable shopping!

If you want to learn more, please check out these websites:

https://designforlongevity.com/

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability/our-insights/style-thats-sustainable-a-new-fast-fashion-formula#

https://www.wholesomeculture.com/

https://www.mywaste.ie/what-to-do-with-textiles/

https://sustainablyaimee.com/

 

 

Featured photo by Elizabeth Stolbova

 

 

The Emerald Isle? Taking a Closer Look at Dublin’s Biodiversity

The Emerald Isle? Taking a Closer Look at Dublin’s Biodiversity

ENVIRONMENT

The Emerald Isle? Taking a Closer Look at Dublin’s Biodiversity

Lyndsay Walsh

22 May 2020

 

“Leafy-with-love banks and the green waters of the canal

Pouring redemption for me, that I do

The will of God, wallow in the habitual, the banal,

Grow with nature again as before I grew.”

 

From Patrick Kavanagh’s Canal Bank Walk

 

‘Green’ is a word synonymous with Ireland. From the promotional videos used by Fáilte Ireland down to the shamrock bowl presented to the White House every March 17th, Ireland prides itself on this association. Green is also a word associated with environmentally-friendly practices, but the ‘green’ that Ireland prides itself on is certainly not of the ecological variety. Firstly, Ireland ranks among the worst in Europe in terms of greenhouse gas emissions per capita and is consistently accused of being a ‘climate laggard’. Secondly, we have a poor record on the protection of natural landscape and the biological diversity within them; even as the world declared a Biodiversity Crisis we still fare comparatively poorly. With people realizing the importance of nature and green spaces during their confinement in lockdown, and it being the International Day for Biological Diversity, let’s see how Dublin city stacks up. 

 

Planning for Biodiversity

Dublin City has a biodiversity action plan which is the main tool used by Dublin City Council when considering biodiversity in the city. The language within the plan is non-committal and weak,  and many key objectives such as ‘ensure that all plans, programmes, strategies, works, and permissions within Dublin City, comply with biodiversity legislation’, are legal requirements regardless. The plan was criticized by environmental groups when it was released, saying it would not be enough to prevent biodiversity loss and that it lacked ambition in its scope. This is a general trend for such biodiversity plans, where little resources and ambition are put into considering how biodiversity can exist in urban environments. It is estimated that 90% of Ireland’s protected habitats are in bad condition, yet Dublin’s action plans are aimed at maintaining current levels of biodiversity and habitat conditions, rather than improving them.

 

“There is simply no sufficient space for biodiversity to be improved in Dublin where there is a lack of habitat for humans, let alone wildlife”

 

Dublin city appears to tick the box on green spaces, with Phoenix park being the largest capital park in Europe, but green spaces do not equate with biodiversity. Monoculture parks of mown grass host very low biodiversity, and lack of education and awareness play a part in this. This lack of ecological awareness is both top-down and bottom-up. One element of the Irish Climate Action Plan is to plant 8,000 hectares of new forestry annually, most of which will be outside of Dublin. However, 70% of this will be coniferous trees which do not host as much biodiversity as native broadleaf forest – yet such plantations are more commercially profitable.

 

Citizens taking the lead 

 

There is a wealth of wonderful initiatives led by citizens to promote biodiversity in Dublin, including (but certainly not limited) to the All Ireland pollinator plan, Crann, Birdwatch Ireland, and the herpetological society. The National Biodiversity Data Centre also has a plethora of workshops and information on recording and encouraging biodiversity. The amount of grassroots initiatives for biodiversity conservation in Dublin shows that the public will is there, the government just needs to harness this and foster it. Education is also an important component as people may be willing to, for example, plant wildflowers but they may plant invasive species and end up doing more harm than good.

The biodiversity action plan helps Dublin maintain its biodiversity – but there is not much of that in the first place. The number of resources that it would take to make Dublin more biodiverse may be better spent in targeting areas which have small human populations. There is simply no sufficient space for biodiversity to be improved in Dublin where there is a lack of habitat for humans, let alone wildlife. In the meantime, initiatives to preserve what is already in Dublin, such as the UNESCO biosphere reserve North Bull Island, should continue and be encouraged by the government. Preserving these habitats is important not only for the intrinsic value of biodiversity but also in preventing further Zoonotic disease outbreaks and supporting overall ecosystem functionality. So, celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity by going for a walk or cracking the window and listening to the birdsong. Then begin plotting how to make one of the next Irish government’s priority improving biodiversity, to make Ireland truly ‘green’.

 

 

Featured photo by Freddie Ramm