Being a conscious consumer, sticking it to ‘the man’, moving to a more ‘zero-waste’ lifestyle – and considering ethical investments. I don’t know about you but it seems as if there is a swell of positive stories in the mainstream press, and an encouraging surge of consumer concern regarding bcoming more mindful about what we are buying, who made those clothes, and shoes, and how these things are packaged in unnecessary plastic packaging which goes on to pollute the earth and oceans. There seems to be a notable transformation in attitude – A ‘sea change’ if you like…. (don’t groan, this is a good read…)
Save the Oceans
We’ve recently seen stories on the BBC about free water refill points being rolled out across the UK to cut water bottle waste, and of course, we were delighted about the Blue Planet 2 Team, and Sir David Attenborough, winning at the National Television Awards – (watch, about an hour in) The show Blue Planet 2 ? ? A television programme watched by many – highlighting this massive environmental crisis.
By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans. To reverse this trend, we all need to commit to reducing our usage of plastics. Drinking straws seems like an easy place to start – The Ocean Generation are a global collective bringing the ocean and its importance to the most socially connected generation in history. And are encouraging support for this via their hashtag #TheLastStraw campaign, focussing on the importance of eliminating plastic straws for our oceans.
Then there is the ‘Latte Levy‘ to cut the levels of disposable coffee cup waste from coffee chains and demands that tea bags be made without plastic.
“UPDATE: Co-Op stores have just announced that their Fairtrade teabags are now fully-biodegradable paper tea bags – removing all uses of polypropylene plastic, and as a result Co-operative foods are the first retailer to develop this – great news, and Fairtrade too.”
That was a shock for many to discover . . . . (watch lovely Cherry Healey’s alarm on the BBC programme INSIDE THE FACTORY)
What you can do to support – have you considered “Ethical investments”?
Many brands are embracing this ZERO WASTE drive, and actually using discarded materials as part of their raison d’etre.
In 2016 US brand Girlfriend Collective launched a pre-order campaign – and I duly signed up, who wouldn’t want a free pair of eco luxury leggings made from plastic bottles, for the cost of shipping! Clever eh??
My leggings arrived, in a cardboard envelope, no plastic, and I felt GOOD about myself – and chuffed with my ‘free plastic bottle leggings’ – I wear them often.
London-based brand Po-Zu shoes also use sustainable materials, from cork, to pineapple-leather-alternative, Pinatex – the soles of their shoes are made from coconut fibre, creating their trademark ‘footmattress’.
And Po-Zu are striving to make their ethical shoes more affordable by moving part of their production to Sri Lanka where they are using fairtrade rubber and organic cotton canvas in the production of their crowdfunded line of sneakers (this crowdfunder ends in just four days, so be quick to invest from just £10 here.
“UPDATE: Po-Zu reached their CrowdCube target two days ahead of schedule!”
As part of Po-Zu’s ethical promise they pledge 10% of their net profit to charity. Po-Zu divide this donation equally between the three environmental charities and one of these is The Resurgence Trust who on 22nd Dec 2017 successfully raised £74,746 with 679 supporters in 38 days via Crowdfunder with the support of campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
Greeb.co’s Quercus lamps, like Po-Zu’s shoes, are designed for disassembly Also using crowdfunding to highlight their brand ethos Greeb are a new sustainable product studio aiming to improve the world through design. Based in Suffolk Greeb.co believe that disassembly for recycling has to be easy and goods should be entirely repairable. Quercus has no permanently joined components.
The assembly is formed through parts interacting with one another. Glass bottles, and salvaged fallen oak. Disassembly is one of their core design principles in reducing waste and improving the health of our planet. Their lamp is available on Kickstarter now, link here.
Invest in Po-Zu
Invest in Greeb.co
Invest Aware. Capital At Risk.
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Others to watch out for… launching March 2018 REstart Refugees strives to empower refugee entrepreneurs across Denmark and Europe, connecting local crowd-sourced investors with qualified entrepreneurs and empowering them to achieve their ambitions.
Read about Thought Clothing’s ethical clothing brand here.
Makers at Machinesroom (east London) have some kickstarter projects on the go. Usually with a positive social impact. more here
Kickstarter proved successful for a Canadian-made sustainable cycling jersey Pillarheights.com read more here.
Check out UpEffect’s recent products which have ranged from ethical fashion brands to solar cookstoves — from clean drinking water systems to eco-friendly carry bags. To date, their enterprise-solution approach and campaign-consultant model has driven a 100% success rate at securing funding for their startups, raising over £230,000 to launch products and impact lives across ten countries.
Where Does It Come From? will also be shortly crowdfunding to set up their African supply chain. Where Does It Come From? is a UK based clothing brand offering high quality basics for adults and children. Their clothes are created in partnership with social enterprises and artisans – always according to fair trade standards and using sustainable production methods.
with thanks to khadi.london/khadi-initiative
Jenny @thebrickcastle says
Great post – such a smashing collection of brands.I really love when we are able to take a more ethical option. I shout at the kids when they buy water and aren’t dying of thirst – it’s insane and it’ll be excellent to see a return to people drinking water from the tap! 😀
Those shoes look ace – I wear my Docs on the grounds they last 15 years a pair, but really I’m much happier with veggie shoes – I’ve never seen any made from pineapple before though! 😀
Hi Jen, thanks for stopping by, yes that whole ‘buying bottled water’ thing drives me mad – what wrong with taking your own aluminium bottle out for the day?!
Glad to be able to introduce those shoes to you, we have so many pairs of them in our house – highly recommend! (and hurrah, they reached their investment target today!)