Our Top Three Sustainability News Stories

Keeping a positive outlook

If you watch the news at the moment, you may be left feeling a bit low – it’s all negative and things can seem to be in a bit of a mess.

Focusing on the negatives will cause anxiety and stress and that’s never good, which is why at Play It Green, we like to focus on the positives out there, so you can see the world isn’t all bad!

There are so many good things happening across the globe instigated by good people who care about the planet, its people and our joint future and it is only right to share this great news around.

With that in mind, here are our three favourite ‘happy’ sustainability news stories from around the world.

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Finland set to transform the way we make clothes

Our first story comes from Espoo, Finland where one company aims to transform the textile world and make circularity simple and cost-effective.

Petri Alava used to work in big firms selling everything from gardening tools to magazines while donning ironed suits and leather shoes.

That all changed and he now runs a Finnish start-up,  Infinited Fiber, which has made significant investments in a technique that can turn waste textiles into a new clothing fibre saving the waste from being burned or dumped in landfills.

Global companies using the fibre, known as Infinna, currently include Patagonia, H&M, and Inditex, which controls Zara.

Mr Alava describes the material as being of the highest quality and having a natural appearance and feel similar to cotton.

The product is created through a multi-step process that begins with the shredding of old textiles and the removal of synthetic elements and colours and ends with the creation of a new fibre made from extracted cellulose.

This finished fibre can then be used as any other cotton or synthetic fibre employed by High Street manufacturers to create everything from shirts and skirts to denim jeans.

According to the non-profit Global Fashion Agenda, 92 million tonnes of textile waste are reportedly produced globally each year, and if present trends in apparel production are maintained, this number is expected to increase to over 134 million tonnes by 2030.

Infinna - a sustainable circular fiber to revolutionise fashion (c) Inifinited Fibre 2022

The impact of the fashion industry on climate is not in contention anymore, but there is a sense of deserved optimism within the Finnish fibre industry that the greater use of recycled or redesigned fibres could be a crucial piece of the puzzle in the fight to limit climate change.

Bringing nature into our lives

Our second story comes from Brighton, England, where one person’s vision to create the future of green infrastructure in areas where it is most needed has turned into a successful and impactful business.

Founded 10 years ago by Dan Fishwick, Verti-Grow has now turned into a company that counts household names as clients.

Today, Verti-Grow has expanded tremendously with a dedicated team of Moss Artists and moss walls and living walls installers both in Brighton and London.

Verti-Grow is a vertical gardening and green design company passionate about bringing nature into our increasingly urbanised lives.

Commercial living wall, Florentia Clothing Village, London (c) Verti Grow 2022

They do this by using living walls, which may be installed in or outside of people’s residences, workplaces, and buildings using a flexible and modular installation technique.

For use in the home and commercial settings, they also transform natural materials into preserved moss walls, moss artworks, and tables covered in luxuriant vegetation.

A moss wall covering not only provides a sense of calm to indoor areas and boosts productivity levels, but it also acts as a sound absorbent and has many health benefits.

Their specialists also convert underutilised areas, such as roofs, into green roofs, which improve air quality, lower ambient temperature, adjust inside temperature, conserve energy, act as a rain buffer, and promote biodiversity in our cities.

Air quality, water control, temperature & energy control, biodiversity and helping to promote wellbeing, saving money and increasing productivity, all of which are win-win when it comes to sustainability and the environment!

Europe’s wildlife makes an exciting comeback

Our final reason to be cheerful looks at a pan-European study carried out by Rewilding Europe called the European Wildlife Comeback Report.

The report found that apex predators (important to keep nature in balance) are making a comeback across Europe.

The top species found to be on the increase are wolves, brown bears and white-tailed eagles.

The research demonstrates how effective legal protection, habitat restoration, and reintroductions are to species recovery.

Researchers examined data on 50 wildlife species whose population size and geographic range had increased over the previous 40 years.

According to Lousie McRea from the Zoological Society of London, one of the report’s authors:

“The vast majority have recovered thanks to human efforts and as a researcher working on global biodiversity and looking at global trends, it can be quite depressing hearing the latest statistics, but this report is really exciting, encouraging and it inspires people like me to keep doing what we’re doing.”

The last report of this kind was released nearly ten years ago and it shows that nearly all the species analysed have continued to recover.

The Eurasian Beaver has seen growth rates of 16,000% since 1960

One of the most notable recoveries among herbivores has been the Eurasian beaver.

Sadly, there were just 1,200 remaining at the beginning of the 20th century because to hunting for their flesh, fur, and castoreum (secretions used in food and perfume).

But their range has grown by 835% since 1955 and their species abundance has increased by 16,000% since 1960 – quite an incredible return and something that should give everyone hope that we can have a more sustainable future.

That’s it for this week. We hope you enjoyed your positive news and if you haven’t already, please feel free to join our community to receive weekly tips and discounts to help you reduce your footprint, whilst healing the planet through reforestation and giving to your chosen good cause.

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