The most wonderful time of the year is here. Christmas is indeed the best time of the year to share and give gifts but sad to say, it is the time of gathering many trash and waste brought about by season of giving itself.
According to Huffington Post from Recycle Works.org, “The accumulated waste per household increases by 25% between Thanksgiving and Christmas.” This means that most Americans throw and junk into their trash cans about 4 million tons of shopping bags and gift wrapping and other trash from the Yuletide season.
There is so much focus and concentration on gift-giving that sometimes consumerism is being promoted instead of celebrating the real spirit of Christmas. In the same article it further showed that Americans buy 2.65 billion holiday cards per year and spends an average of $800 per person on Christmas gifts.
Why not do something different this time? You can always contribute in your own little way by lessening the trash through the use of environmentally friendly products that are available in the market. Here are some innovative ideas to give as gifts this Christmas:
- Clothes – these items will never be absent as gifts this season but instead of buying the usual, opt for eco-friendly clothing. The fashion industry is beginning to go green and you can just search online for eco-friendly brands that are becoming increasingly popular. Since the fashion industry has been one of the biggest waste producers, it is now the best time to shift gear and adapt eco-friendly fashion to our own system.
- Baby clothes – there is an eco-friendly baby clothing that is made from all-natural soybean protein and organic cotton. Why buy the ones in the store when you can have one that is safe for baby and Mother Nature?
- Luggage and Bags – consider buying a bag made from recyclable materials. There are bags made from seatbelts and vinyl to produce distinctive bags that are eco-friendly and practical!
- Wallets – these are the most common and very convenient items to buy. Try to search for a wallet made from hemp since hemp is the most eco-friendly with few pesticides used and goes through carbon neutral production.
- Candles – choose the one that lights and refreshes and not candles that burn your lungs with synthetic and harmful chemicals.
There are still a hundred and one eco-friendly items to give this Christmas season. These are just the basics.
Close to 30,000 farmers in India are now more in the position of facilitating the farming procedures of organic cotton crops, thanks to the help of two Japan-based companies.
Kurkku and Itochu, through the United Nation’s Business Call initiative, have pledged to help expand the Pre Organic Cotton Programme, a program with ensures that a higher price value is tagged on pre-certified organic cotton.
Given that the standard time to earn a certification standing takes as long as three years, the entire shift from standard cotton to organic cotton farming/production is quite costly for farmers, matched with the more challenging tasks, procedures and requirements involved in maintaining organic cotton crops.
Also, apart from the challenges faced in the maintenance of organic crops, the issue of price in terms of their sale has been long one-sided, with many farmers coerced to sell them at lower prices while still awaiting for their certification approvals.
With the Pre Organic Cotton Programme and its two new pledges, farmers in India no longer have to sell their crops short while awaiting for certification, an upside that truly does help low-income farmers who are still in the process of getting themselves certified.
In India, cotton crops are pegged to take as much as 5% of the nation’s farmlands, but as industry surveys would note, standard cotton farming accounts to more than half of the entire country’s annual pesticide use figures. Given the environmental risks and dangers pesticides are known to introduce into the ecosystem, going organic with the growth of cotton has understandably become a priority.
With the help of Kurkku, Itochu, the Business Call initiative and Pre Organic Programme, organic cotton farmers in India are ensured that they get their just compensation for the lessened contribution of chemicals and pesticides into the atmosphere.
Though not exactly an initiative that is driven by eco-friendly sensibilities and the driving forces behind the implementation of sustainability in the fashion industry, a trend has recently taken root in the United States, taking shape in what can be best described as “Haute on Wheels”.
With an increase of American retailers ditching the traditional “brick and mortar” venues, a number of converted delivery trucks have been fitted as mobile boutiques, showcasing a diverse range of fashion and accessories products.
New York-based fashion designer Joey Wolffer stands to be one of the many proponents of the “Haute on Wheels” trend, recently converting a 20-foot truck into a mobile store that showcases a unique and diverse range of vintage scarves, leather goods and singular jewelry items. Maximizing the upsides of a “mobile boutique”, Wolffer’s creations have been brought to further distances, reaching as far as Montreal and the rest of the Eastern Seaboard.
Propelled by its novelty value, as well as further “advertised” through the positive reception of its customers via online social media channels, the “haute on wheels” trend is gaining positive critical and commercial reception, a novel idea that inspires the “Why didn’t I think of that?” dictum.
With Wolffer being among the many brands and fashion houses implementing its mobile approach in showcasing fashion and apparel products, its applicability in the area of the eco-fashion industry cannot be ignored, with certain tweaks (say, perhaps the use of hybrid automobiles as opposed to diesel trucks), one which promises to be effective in furthering the goals and objectives of eco-fashion standards and trends.
With its Polartec Power Dry fabric, Polartec is steadily gaining the attention of outdoor apparel brands, designers and manufacturers, given its fabric creation’s upsides on environmental sustainability.
Primarily developed as a fabric that inhibits the issues of bacterial growth and pegged to offset the necessity of “virgin” synthetic fibers in the making of outdoor proof fabrics, Polartec’s Power Dry fabric, simply put, bears all the upsides of a “virgin” polyester made product, sans the production waste and environmental introduction of toxins that are involved in its production.
Brands such as Millet, with its Alpine Zip TS shirts utilize Polartec’s Power Dry fabric, along with other well known brands like The North Face (with its S/S Nihon) and Outdoor Research.
Given the demands often asked from in outdoor wear products, standard organic clothing items just can’t cut against the quick dry features and enhanced insulation benefits of their non-organic counterparts.
Polartec’s Power Dry fabric, appears to be a realistic and practical solution that addresses the concern of eco-friendly sustainability in the making of outdoor wear apparel items, thus its ascribed utilization in the upcoming release of a number of brands’ Spring/Summer collections.
As emphasis on the value in going eco-friendly and opting for sustainable production protocols and procedures have become more and more relevant to the signs of today’s times, different sectors in the fashion and apparel industry are not turning a blind eye to their responsibility to Mother Nature.
With Polartec’s Power Dry fabric, outdoor brands can readily make quality products that are well designed to weather the great outdoors, yet still be made with the ecosystem’s overall well being as a top priority.
As everyone knows about how Abel Kirui from Kenya had recently bagged the Silver Medal in the recently conducted London 2012 Olympics, not everyone knows about his athletic gear/kit: sustainable sporting gear.
From the singlet Kirui had been wearing to the shoes worn during the event, sustainable sports gear made from recycled materials and products which had been developed in facilities which produce the lease amount of residue are the top of the Olympian’s gear, one which stands by the philosophies and upsides of thinking about the environment’s well being.
Here’s a quick look at Kirui’s sustainable sports kit.
Singlet – Kirui wore a singlet that had been made from recycled plastic bottles, one which is composed of 3 plastic bottle items. Grounded into thin flakes, the plastic bottle bits were then utilized and reshaped into fiber form, then spun to create the singlet.
Coloring was then care of a water-free dyeing process, one which owes its production to the Netherlands-based DyeCoo, the famed company to first offer waterless dyeing techniques commercially.
Shoes – Wearing the Nike Flyknit Racer shoe, Kirui managed to run comfortably and at his best, with a pair of shoes that had been developed for comfort and overall structural support, all made under the strictest production standards of using only what is necessary and producing the most minimal of material waste in the process.
Dubbed as “knitted running shoe uppers”, the Nike Flyknit Racer is an impressive shoe that provides its wearers the most lightweight and durable running shoes they could encounter, along with the upsides of its eco friendly production processes and protocols.
Though wearers of sustainable sporting gear may not become instant Olympic Athletes, they are sure to become instant champions heralding a new age of eco-friendly and sustainable options for active athletic gear and apparel.
Sources: 2012 Olympics, Nike
As a brand catering to the clothing needs of active yoga enthusiasts, Lila Organics is one with readily satisfies wants and needs, allowing yogis to not only look good, but to also feel good in knowing that what they are wearing is made under the strictest of eco-sustainable production norms and conventions.
Founded by Leticia Franchi, the brand is now based in Washington DC, brining its Buenos Aires roots in all of its designs and creations.
With select products which are cut and designed to look good on any type of body form/type, Lila Organics’ products are built to be durable, comfortable and lightweight, factors which often stand as markers in defining quality yoga-wear products.
Utilizing organic cotton, organic hemp, bamboo and soy blends in the creation of fabrics and textiles, Lila Organic’s product highlights would include its Maternity line, with products made to ideally fit women during the pregnancy phase and also designed to be wearable after the pregnancy period’s transition.
With its organic inclinations, Lila Organic’s products lives up to its name, with Lila a derived play from what the word means in Sanskrit and in Swahili. “Cosmic” in Sanskrit and “Good” in Swahili, Lila Organic’s products are designed to maximize comfort when being worn, comfortably hugging bodies without any constrictions.
For the active yogi, Lila Organic is one brand that offers truly balanced products, where form and function are at their best.
Tanatex Chemicals, a specialty chemicals producer, recently achieved the industry-valued bluesign system partner status, complying with the ascribed bluesign standards for chemical suppliers, whose products are often utilized in the manufacturing of textiles.
Passing the bluesign certification battery of tests and on-site evaluations, Tanatex Chemicals had passed in accordance with the five principles of the bluesign system and as a bluesign partner, is now committed to the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Philosophy, implementing the Extraordinary Programme for Innovative C3C Cellulosis Cycle.
“By becoming a bluesign system partner we have made yet another huge step forward towards a responsible, sustainable and greener textile future. Nowadays in all industries, including the textile industry, environmental concerns and consumer protection are becoming increasingly important,” shares René Hermse, Tanatex Global Marketing Manager, in relation to the brand’s newest bluesign system partner status.
“We witness much stricter regulations for production methods and components in respect of the hazards they present to humans and the environment. To be able to comply with our customers’ growing greener demands, we are committed to push our eco-efforts to the next level,” Hermse further shares.
Tanatex Chemicals is also famed for its eco-friendly finishing standards and techniques, with Be Green being one of its more well established, operating on a low-temperature bleaching process for cotton products which are developed in partnership with Italy’s G. Tosi. The process, all in all, is positioned for the reduced consumption of water and energy, thereby bearing significant impact in the reduction of CO2 emissions and pollutants being introduced into the environment.
As a leader in the development of necessary chemicals in the production of textiles, Tanatex’s bluesign partner status comes as great news not just for its stakeholders and partners, but for Mother Nature as well.
Positioned as an eco-friendly children’s clothing line, Orgava recently celebrated its launch, spearheaded by Cleveland-area based women who took it upon themselves to do something for the environment and children’s fashion industry.
Headed by Foroozan Alaeddini, Orgava is a play of the words “organic” and “Ava”, the name of Alaeddini’s daughter, and is positioned as a brand which resolves parental woes pertaining to poor construction and bad cuts/fits when it comes to clothing options for girls.
Featuring a line of kids’ wear sporting timeless sophisticated designs, Orgava is intent on churning out functional yet chic children’s wear items which are built under eco-friendly standards and conventions. Locally produced, Orgava’s products are made to withstand the rigors of rough wear and regular washing, with seams and worn-out fabric areas NOT readily breaking apart after short periods of time.
“We wanted to create a high-end look for girls that’s super comfortable and easy for them to wear,” shares Alaeddini, who maintains Orgava with Kent State University Fashion School graduate, Amanda Cowsert.
Utilizing renewable resources like tagua nuts as buttons, Orgava opts for the use of sustainable fabrics and natural dyes or pigments, and sources materials locally, thereby not only coming up with quality eco-friendly children’s fashion wear items, but also contributes to the continued economic growth of local suppliers of eco-friendly and sustainable materials.
Though currently specializing on the creation of children’s wear items for girls, Orgava is well in the position to cater to other eco-fashion markets, and isn’t closed to the idea of extending its product line to include women’s and men’s wear.
For now, parents in search for quality organic fashion items for their girls can find great finds in Orgava.
With eco-fashion sensibilities rapidly gaining momentum in different parts of the world, a number of nations are celebrating their organized debut eco fashion week festivities, as others have been doing for years.
Moscow’s First Eco Fashion Week would be one of the most recently organized.
Held at the Botanical Apothecary’s Garden in Moscow State University, the first Eco Fashion week in Russia highlighted the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” practice, to the tune of what ethical and eco-friendly standards are noted for.
Featuring a number of eco-developed products, the celebration also brought classes geared to endorse the best practices of sustainable planting, along with sewing classes, which are more inclined spreading sewing techniques and principles pertaining to the creation of eco-friendly fashion items.
Some 18 months prior to the actual event, the Russian Environmental Movement known as ECA had organized an Eco Fashion Weekend dubbed “Go Green!”. The event proved to be a success, leading to the inception of the Eco Fashion Week.
Being Russia’s first Eco Fashion Week, the event aimed to spread the upsides of eco-awareness, in helping maintain the world’s ecologic balance to be free from toxic compounds and elements.
Headed by Marina Kokorina, the Eco Fashion Week did well in living up to its eco-friendly inclinations, standing as a noteworthy hallmark for the eco-fashion industry as a whole.
“Our plans are to develop the Russian Eco Fashion Week as a separate brand into an important annual event held by our movement. Now that the week is over, we are planning to stage a whole range of other events – workshops, conferences, mini fashion shows as part of other events – during the year running up to the next Eco Fashion Week,” shared Kokorina.
With more and more brands sporting eco-friendly inclined advocacies into their day to day operations, more and more nations are organizing their eco fashion week versions, in support for the cause backed by eco-friendly and eco-sustainable standards and norms.