Sustainability News – Dec 12th 2022

Sustainable Change Starts With Individuals

Did you know that the sustainable change you hear about in our sustainability news starts with individuals?

Because of that, every single positive change starts with people like you and me.

These changes are then multiplied by the power of community, whether it is a business community or a social community.

It makes the phrase ‘be the change’ look like is an important one for a better future!

With that in mind, here are three of the best sustainability news stories powered by individuals and communities from last week.

Sustainability News UK - Solar Trees Creating Seeds for a Net Zero Future

Our first sustainability news story is from the UK where Harry Corrigan founded the solar energy company, SolarBotanic.

SolarBotanic is a company that has reimagined solar panel design.

Traditional solar panels involve square, blue panels which are usually fitted to a roof space or organised into rows that cover an area of land.

After 5 years of research and design, the company has come up with an innovative, aesthetic new design called the solar tree.

“Accelerated climate change is the result of our reliance on polluting fossil fuels, and is one of the biggest threats to humanity,” said founder, Harry Corrigan.

“A shift to net-zero energy technologies is critical if we are to avoid catastrophe — our Solar Trees help contribute to the much-needed net-zero system.”

Working in a way that is similar to real trees, the solar tree’s leaves move and absorb energy through leaf-shaped photovoltaic solar cells.

Also, the researchers are also investigating additional applications that will enable trees to generate energy from wind.

The tree also includes a battery to store energy for use when the sun and wind are not available!

SolarBotanic trees can supply a single household or be used along roads or in urban areas like parks.

Sustainability News - Solar Trees in a city
Solar Trees in a city (c) SolarBotanic 2022

According to Corrigan, SolarBotanic is looking at further funding over the next five to advance its technology and enable it to take on a wide range of shapes.

This innovation is exciting news and can help every family, town and city make collecting and storing energy more attractive!

That just goes to show what sort of amazing sustainability news one person’s vision can create!

Keep an eye on SolarBotanics!

Sustainability News China - Preloved Shopping Finally Takes Off

Our second story is from China where they now have the world’s biggest fashion market!

That is because it overtook the US as the biggest fashion consumer in 2021.

Unfortunately, in the past, China has had a stigma against preloved clothing meaning the country has 26 million tons of discarded garments each year!

This stigma exists due to the country’s demand for luxury goods and the cultural belief that second-hand clothing is unlucky!

Sustainability News - Vintage LV bags awaiting sale on Idle Fish
Vintage LV bags awaiting sale on Idle Fish (c) Idle Fish 2022

Second-hand platforms like Vinted and Depop have flourished in the West and helped consumers reduce their footprint.

Unfortunately for the planet, they have lagged behind in China.

Although, in our second sustainability news story, all this appears to be changing!

Fashion Influencer, Xie Xinayan says she is seeing a shift.

“I have witnessed a significant jump in the number of higher-end outlets marketing themselves as ‘vintage’.”

“In every major Chinese town, there are now at least one or two vintage clothing shops.”

This increased interest, says Xie, is influenced to some extent by Japanese retro culture. 

“The Japanese were the first to start embracing the idea of vintage apparel before the Chinese,”

Changes are clear to see!

Alibaba’s Idle Fish, an online marketplace for used goods including clothing and gadgets, is seeing transactions of 100 billion yuan ($14 billion) in 2021.

Along with the emergence of fashion-focused platforms like Plum and Secoo, second-hand goods are now being sold by independent vendors.

This is great sustainability news for the planet and shows how even cultural beliefs can be shifted through individuals and communities.

Be part of the climate solution

Sustainability News USA – L’oreal Provides Sustainability Labeling

Our final sustainability news story is from the USA where L’Oreal is aiming to educate consumers on the environmental impact of products.

In their recent surveys, the company is finding that 83% of US customers value brand product transparency.

Unfortunately, only 47% think they have the knowledge necessary to make judgments based on sustainability.

With that in mind, L’Oréal USA stated this week that its new Product Impact Labelling system is being rolled out.

The programme informs customers of each product’s relative environmental impact in comparison to other L’Oréal goods.

Every product is ranked on 14 planetary impact criteria.

Factors such as greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity impact are measured and displayed.

The beauty company’s chief sustainability officer for North America, Marissa Pagnani McGowan says:

“L’Oréal’s Product Impact Labelling system is a core component of the L’Oréal for the Future program, which outlines our sustainability commitments for 2030.

Its rollout in the United States has the power to help change consumer behaviour and, therefore, accelerate the beauty industry’s progress toward greater sustainability.”

Their Product Impact Labelling system, first debuted on several Garnier hair and skincare products.

Sustainability News - Garnier Impact Label (c) L'Oreal 2022
Garnier Impact Label (c) L'Oreal 2022

It is gradually being implemented across the portfolio of L’Oréal brands, including Kiehl’s, L’Oréal Paris, Redken, and CeraVe.

This is fantastic sustainability news which allows consumers to be more informed about their purchasing decisions.

Other manufacturers will follow suit as L’oreal have recognised the changing values and focus on sustainability of the consumer market!

That’s all our sustainability news for this week.

Hopefully, the positive outcomes through individual and organisational change will lead to a better future for all.

If you take one thing away, we hope you realise that by changing your actions, you will change the world!

You can take your first step by joining the Play It Green community and being part of our three-step solution to climate change.

Reduce, Repair and Regive.

Join Play It Green

And be the solution to climate change
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