This week I spoke to a contributor to Lingerie Addict about sustainable lingerie. Lingerie Addict is a blog by Cora Harrington, who is just as obsessive about finding the truth and informing her readers as I am, but about lingerie, obviously. Definitely give it a read!
The plastic bag ban went into effect on Sunday. Today, I stopped by the grocery store to pick up ingredients for breakfast for 14 people. (I’m going snowboarding this weekend.) I only had one bag with me, my reusable Chico that folds down into a pouch that I always keep with me. The young woman working the checkout asked me if I had bags. “I have one, but I know that won’t be enough,” I said. I looked at the stack of reusable grocery bags next to her. “Will I have to –”
“Yes, I’m sorry,” she said, cringing.
“Oh my god, it’s ok! You’re doing your job! I’m sorry if people have gotten mad at you.”
“I just don’t know if this will do anything,” she sighed. There’s all this other plastic we buy. This is such a small part of it.”
“Well, look around the neighborhood. There’s always plastic bags blowing around everywhere. This will help a lot. Everyone will get used to it, I promise. I’m looking forward to not having bodegas put my drink into a plastic bag with a straw and napkins, actually.”
She laughed, “Yeah, that would be helpful.”
So I paid for my extra grocery bag, which is fine because one of our oldest ones finally broke the weekend before. LCA data shows that after you use a polyester bag 30 times, you bring its environmental impact per use below that of a disposable plastic bag. That’s once a week for groceries for 7.5 months.
Will this solve our waste problem? No, but it’s an entry point to thinking about this systemically. And below, there are more inspirational and fascinating stories on how people are working to solve all of our disposable plastic problems. Read on…
Sustainable Fashion News
So, how’s that consumer education going? Because a UK survey shows that the least sustainable fashion brands are the most popular. | EcoTextile News
Companies can’t stop forced labor abuses at their Chinese factories. | Quartz
And those shoes were made by a Uighur detainee. | The Nation
There’s only one factory in the world, in Lithuania, that is non-toxic enough for Greenpeace to use. | Yahoo Finance
What does it mean when a brand says they’re “climate neutral” or “climate positive”? | Vox
Why is so much “sustainable” fashion made from plastic? | Vogue Business
Uniqlo has partnered with UN Women, but still owes garment workers millions in severance pay under Indonesian law. | Sourcing Journal
Here’s what preventing us from collecting and recycling clothing on a mass scale. | Sourcing Journal
Fashion for Good is testing a polybag collection and recycling pilot in Central London. | Packaging News
(Polybags are the clear plastic bags that all your online orders come in. Here’s my explainer I did for Vox last year.)
And startups wrap brand identity in sustainable packaging. | Wall Street Journal
Knitting climate change into scarves. | The New York Times
Brands Doing Things
The story behind Nordstrom’s new secondhand boutique, See You Tomorrow. | Vogue Business
Footlocker’s new marketplace makes sneakerheads do something for the environment before they can access the latest drop. | Glossy
MyCo Works has raised $17 million to scale up its animal-free leather. | Sourcing Journal
Rebecca Minkoff launched a kids line that is traceable through blockchain. | Fast Co.
The war on food waste is a waste of time. | The Outline
Don’t trust the Ocean Conservancy. It’s a front for plastic producers. “Some companies are just gonna wait till it’s legislated,” he says. “Because of the profit motive, there’s no reason to change.” | Rolling Stone
Glass is making a comeback. | Wall Street Journal
To celebrate the New York State bag ban, the ethical, luxury handbag line behno is asking New Yorkers to upcycle their plastic bags with them. They’ve created a fabric that heat transfers plastic bags to mesh, then quilts it creating unique patterns to be used in upcoming collections. Two styles will be released in July and they plan to continue this fabric as a signature behno design in all future collections. Just write them at [email protected] and they’ll send you a shipping label.