Tag Archives: environment

What Is The Future Of Recycled Plastic in Fashion?

Plastic waste
Plastic waste
Source: Wikimedia

Many of us want to be more ecologically conscious in our approach to reducing our carbon footprints. You might choose to buy sustainably sourced food, pick up litter on your jogging sessions – so-called plogging – or even aim to hit the jackpot at a mobile casino on your iPad rather than travel to a bricks and mortar one in a nearby city, for example. Regardless of the environmentally friendly decisions you may make in your daily life, what the world has been waiting for is better ways of reprocessing plastic. So much of it ends up in the ocean because it is not recycled. That which is successfully reprocessed has tended to been used to make low grade packaging which does not have a long onward life.

However, plastics can be recycled in more meaningful ways when they are used in the fashion industry. Can fashion really offer us methods to reuse plastic that will genuinely help to improve the environment for everyone? Read on to find out about some of the novel methods the fashion industry has developed for reprocessing used plastics.

Econyl Yarn

Designer Stella McCartney
Source: mainichi.jp

Nylon is used in the manufacturing processes of all sorts of garments for decades. The trouble is that so much of it has been in single-use products. However, an Italian company named Aquafil has come up with a Nylon-like yarn which can replace it entirely. The first major benefit of this is that no new petrochemicals are needed to make the yarn – it is entirely derived from recycled plastics. What’s even more important is that the material can be recycled once the garment it is in has come to the end of its usable life. In other words, a sustainable yarn that can be recycled and recycled. The material is already in use by swimsuit manufacturers, such as Adidas, Zoggs and Speedo. Econyl was also presented in Stella McCartney’s Summer Collection for 2019.

Smaller Brands Gain An Edge

Kelly Slater's Outerknown label
Source: Magicseaweed.com

Although there is certainly a welcome shift among the big clothing makers and major fashion designers, using recycled plastics in garments remains something that smaller fashion brands can harness to market themselves. Often more adaptable to micro-trends in the industry, smaller operators have often led the way in fashion ecology. This is certainly the case with recycled plastics in clothes.

For instance, Kelly Slater’s Outerknown label is one that may not be a household name around the world. However, it has gained a great deal of praise among ecologists and consumers alike for its use of found plastic waste in its range. Likewise, the ReNew collection for Everlane met with a great many favourable comments when it launched because it made use of water bottles as a source material. Everlane also committed to remove single-use plastics from its supply chain for things like packaging. The line includes puffers, fleeces and parkas, which are all remarkably natural in appearance and feel.

Elsewhere, small fashion brands like Insecta – an otherwise little-known footwear maker from Brazil – has gained notoriety for making new products without leather, using a combination of recycled plastic and rubber instead for its shoes. Patagonia, the outdoor wear brand, has also led the way with the use of recycled plastics in its fleeces. Not only are plastics repurposed by the company, but used garments can be returned to the firm for further recycling.

How Can You Help?

Plastic in the ocean
Source: Flickr

One of the most important ways you can help the world face up to the undoubted challenge of plastics entering the globe’s oceans and ending up in the food chain is to refrain from buying products with single-use plastics in them in the first place. This means no more one-off water bottles and buying vegetables in paper bags, not plastic ones. In addition, you can choose to purchase clothes, which are derived from recycled and recyclable man-made fibres. After all, fashion brands are certainly offering enough choice these days and they will continue to do so as long as the market for recycled plastic in garments makes financial sense. When you have finished with an item of clothing, don’t throw it out but make sure it is offered to a second-hand retailer or a charity shop.

If you are considering buying clothes and want to check out how ethical the brand you are choosing might be, then you can also check quite easily nowadays. Apps like Good On You and DoneGood rate global brands – including fashion ones – on things like their carbon footprints which help you to make an informed decision.

The Risk of Shark Diving: Do the Dangers Outweigh the Benefits?

Gaming Club Casino: Weißer Hai mit Taucher im Käfig
Gaming Club Casino: Great white shark with diver in cage
Source: Africa Vera

Shark diving has become a big attraction in more than 29 countries around the world. A reinforced metal cage is suspended in the water while divers float near the sharks. The shark is drawn near the cage through trails of chum, baited hooks, and seal decoys, allowing people to experience the visceral feeling of sharing close space with one of the world’s most dangerous predators.

But some videos such as the footage of this potentially deadly accident make people not only concerned for the safety of people involved, but for the welfare of the animals themselves. Videos like this one taken off Guadalupe Island in Mexico bring criticism that this activity promotes harm of the animals and puts people in unnecessary risky situations. Other stories such as the tragedy that befell surfer Bethany Hamilton only propagates the stigma that sharks are man-eating machines.

However, the events shown in this video are not the norm. The cage used in this video was unsafe and not approved. When done correctly, these shark diving tours actually can help protect the sharks, a species that is quickly dying off around the world.

Is shark cage diving a bigger gamble than playing roulette on mobile casino? You decide when it comes to this major bucket-list wildlife adventure.

Why Are Sharks in Trouble

According to the International Shark Attack File, of the 130 investigated shark-human interactions in 2018, only 66 were unprovoked attacks. Compare this to the potentially 273 million sharks (100 million confirmed) annually killed by humans and you know we have a problem.

Most of these sharks are being killed for the preparation of shark fin soup, a delicacy in China and Vietnam. Fins are cut from the shark and then the shark is kicked back into the water to die. While shark fin consumption in China has been reduced by 50 to 70 percent since 2011 and shark fin imports have decreased by 81 percent between 2011 and 2014, sharks are still being killed faster than they can reproduce.

Beyond the ramifications of wiping out a substantial chunk of the species (there are only 3500 great white sharks remaining in the world), knocking out such a top-order predator will create a ripple effect. By taking out a number one predator in the ocean, you create an imbalance across the entire ecosystem.

Shark Diving Is a Promising Solution

Gaming Club Casino: Diver swimming next to great white
Source: Juan Oliphant

Despite trouble that social media seems to spew about shark diving, it may actually be a solution for saving the sharks. Not requiring any special certifications, anyone can pay money to go down in a shark cage and come face-to-face with these giants of the deep. By participating in quality, accountable shark cage diving companies, especially those found in South Africa and Australia, you are giving business to organizations that are dedicated to the conservation of these majestic aquatic animals.

Finding tour operators who use safe equipment and give back to the sharks is the key. You’ll want to vet organizations and research reviews before deciding to book shark diving with anyone. For example, Marine Dynamics, a major shark diving company in South Africa, has founded the Dyer Island Conservation Trust. This non-profit was founded by the company’s owner, Wilfred Chivell, and is renowned for its species protection efforts. Many companies in Australia and South Africa go out of their way to promote conservation. They give back to the sharks who help them bring in substantial tourist money and riveting adventure. The Bahamas have generated $800 million over 20 years, viewing sharks as a renewable resource. Australia makes more than $25.5 million annually because of this aspect of ecotourism.

Is It Too Late To Stop Climate Change?

factories polluting
Source: Pexels.com

Have you noticed the latest weather reports? Las Vegas, a city known more for its neon lights in the desert than white snowflakes, saw five days of the wintery stuff in February, a once-in-a-decade-event. Luckily, visitors to the city were able to continue to stroll the strip, ducking into casinos to warm up and enjoy a game of roulette or their favorite slots. Meanwhile, the UK and other parts of Europe had record-breaking temperatures at the end of February – 21.2C in London on February 26! This could be considered a nice change from the usual cloudy and rainy weather, but, it’s one more indication that the climate is changing. And this is worrisome.

Can It Be Stopped?

The Earth has already seen major climate changes due to human activity, but even more has been set in motion and we don’t yet know the effects. There is a time lag between what we humans do and when it affects us. Even if we stopped greenhouse gas emissions now in 2019, global warming would continue for decades or even centuries. The carbon dioxide will linger in the atmosphere and the planet will need time to readjust. And if we do nothing to reduce emissions? Studies show that the global temperature will rise by an average of 6C. We are well on the way to passing tipping points, or potentially irreversible changes, such as an ice-free Arctic post-summer melt season.

This does not mean steps cannot be taken to avoid the worst effects. A two-level response is needed. First, greenhouse gas emissions MUST be reduced – known as “mitigation.” Second is the “adaptation” phase when humans learn to live with the new changes made. The key is that this response and these changes must be on a global level and not just individually.

What Solutions Are There For Climate Change?

wind turbines in field
Source: Pexels.com

Entire infrastructures must be overhauled, particularly the energy and waste sectors. A worldwide global warming treaty would go a long way in achieving this, but is it plausible? Non-profit and governmental organizations are working to build up knowledge about and solutions to this alarming issue.

A move to renewable energy sources, such as wind, water, and solar power, and away from fossil fuels, is key. When it comes to fuel for cars and airplanes, biofuel has been proved to reduce particle emissions. Electrical cars are an even better option, but only if the electricity used to recharge them is clean as well.

While a global response is necessary, it is also important that changes be made on smaller, local scales. Cities should not wait for their country to adopt a climate policy but start working on ways to solve their own problems now. Examples are building flood defenses, creating plans for heatwaves, and emphasizing green spaces, or at least water-permeable pavements, over too much asphalt and concrete.

What Can I Do?

hybrid car
Source: CarProUSA

Although an international government-level change is primordial for the mitigation and adaptation response, individuals can make a difference. When people around you see and hear about the changes you’re making, they are more likely to adjust their own habits.

Change your daily commute

Try to move away from individual gasoline or diesel-burning cars and choose public transportation, riding a bike, walking, or carpooling. The less you drive, the less you will emit and the more money you will save. Getting rid of your car can reduce your CO2 emissions by 2.5 tons!

Invest in renewable energy

Take advantage of grants and local aid to invest in solar and wind power when you can. The price of these renewable sources of energy is going down, with for example a 73% drop in the cost of utility-scale solar panels since 2010. In some countries, solar energy is now the cheapest source!

Reduce your energy usage

Even with renewable sources, the less energy you use, the better for the world and your wallet. Simple changes such as unplugging electronics when you aren’t using them, washing clothes in cool or warm water rather than hot, and winterizing your home all help.

Change your diet

mass beef farming
Source: Science

Eat less animal protein, particularly beef. Cows produce a lot of methane and are fed with grains that could be eaten by humans and take a lot of water to grow.

Shop local and less

Try to reduce the amount of goods you consume as much as possible to reduce waste. And the goods you do purchase ideally should come from nearby so you can reduce their carbon footprint from the producer to you.

Attend a conference to learn more

There are several conferences on climate change and global warming held around the world. A few of the big ones in 2019 include:

  1. 6th World Congress on Climate Change and Global Warming in Vancouver, Canada, April 24-25, 2019
  2. 8th World Climate Congress in Bangkok, Thailand, May 10-11, 2019
  3. 6th World Conference on Climate Change in Berlin, Germany, September 9-11, 2019
  4. 9th International Conference on Environment and Climate Change in Johannesburg, South Africa, November 18-19, 2019
  5. Check out https://www.conferenceseries.com/ for more options closer to home.