The Round-Up is ZERRIN’s weekly news digest on the world of sustainability, fashion and beauty, keeping you up to date with all the latest updates worldwide. From reporting on the green moves of retail industry giants to uncovering the latest updates from emerging brands, innovations and ideas, we’ll be sharing it all in this dedicated weekly update!
1. Jeff Bezos pledges 10 billion dollars for climate change – but what will follow?
Jeff Bezos has pledged more money to tackle climate change than anyone ever has before, but then again he can! The Amazon founder and CEO, is estimated to be worth over 113 billion dollars (post-divorce that is). However, it isn’t enough to start an Earth Fund with that much money and not have a detailed plan. We wonder how it will actually help with the climate crisis.
Undoubtedly, this amount is important to fund research and innovations and curb lax policies on greenhouse gas emissions, but we don’t know what Bezos will choose to do. Especially knowing it might lead up to a political farce. The possibilities are endless, and we have to take into consideration that “dropping a big, fat check into the water is not necessarily going to make the sharks all swim in the same direction”, says Daniel Firger, the managing director of a climate-finance consulting firm.
2. How did London Fashion Week do in terms of sustainability?
Fashion weeks are sources of all things unsustainable – all the CO2 emissions and disposable plastics in the wake of fashion people and clothing collections moving around the planet. So how did LFW fare with the sustainable agenda, especially since Extinction Rebellion protested for the biannual event to be cancelled? The bells were definitely ringing as LFW hosted its first-ever fashion swap with initiatives from brands to become more circular and fight climate change.
Mulberry launched a ‘100% sustainable leather bag’, Alexander McQueen to donate old, unused fabric to students and Anya Hindmarch filled her London stores with 90,000 plastic bottles to represent the number of bottles purchased globally every six seconds. Yet the idea of getting off a flight and having a carbon-neutral water bottle, while getting into another car to drive from show to show, is still problematic.
3. Milan Fashion Week misses out on Chinese attendees over Covid-19 fears.
With Covid-19 looming over, many Chinese designers, buyers and journalists failed to arrive at Milan Fashion Week last weekend. As China easily accounts for a third of global luxury consumption, losing out on that crowd was critical for the event. Italy became the first European country to ban flights to and from China, and so the National Chamber for Italian Fashion arranged the shows as such to be streamed by the buyers in China.
4. Made-to-order is back. Many fashion companies are finally realising how much waste they generate from overproducing garments.
As more companies realise how unsold inventory is just dollars going to waste, the made-to-order model is becoming fashionable. However, this slower production model does have its disadvantages. Many brands do not manufacture in-house, so turnaround time is an issue for spontaneous demands. The idea to go into made-to-order for brands Ultracor and Alton Lane was mainly a response to the amount of pollution created in the fashion industry because of overproduction, and then horrific acts of brands burning their excess stock instead.
5. Young Israeli designer fights the fast-fashion problem with her versions of vegan silk and cashmere.
Tooshaya is a brand created by Tom Moatty, and her mother Tzameret Moatty, to fight fast fashion’s detrimental environmental impact. They look to nature for solutions and use materials that are plant-based and not animal-derived, to not accelerate climate change. She uses bamboo yarns to create a ‘vegan silk’ and soy waste from the food industry to create ‘vegan cashmere’. Tooshaya’s collections are hypoallergenic, antibacterial and have a lot of thermal control – good for the desert climate of Israel.
6. This year’s International Woolmark Prize focused on transparency, down to the last button. Here are the finalists who rose to the challenge.
Traceability is practically non-existent in large-scale manufacturing. Especially as fast fashion companies cut a lot of corners to minimise costs. This year’s competition, held during London Fashion Week, had up-and-coming brands and designers reflect on their design processes to put into perspective what transparency means for the industry. Whether it is being aware of where the wool in your trousers comes from, who helped process the leather used or know what the offcut fabric was meant for, transparency in fashion respects human lives and aims to change the industry mindset of profit over people.
Read about the radical transparency within the works of this year’s winner, Richard Malone, and other finalists.
7. Future Fabrics Expo: get ready for cactus leather, onion skin fabrics, crystal shoes made with sweat and more.
This year’s Future Fabrics Expo held in London was booming with designers and suppliers making plant-based textiles and fabrics. This expo is the world’s largest sustainable fabrics showcase available commercially for brands to buy and use in their collections. With materials made from recycled plastics, food and agriculture wastes, or even cultivated in a laboratory, you can find sustainability information, certifications and patents as well as the contact details of suppliers.
8. Microplastics are a real pain in the (ocean). A huge part of it comes from how we care for our clothes after we’ve bought them.
Most of us own something synthetic, and it’s shocking to know we are part of the microplastics problem. Microplastics are larger plastic products that break down into minuscule plastic particles, which are harmful to us and nature. Synthetic materials, especially polyester, are largely known contributors of microplastics, as every wash releases more particles into wastewater, which end up in oceans and ingested by marine life. To mitigate the microplastic problem, we will need to find innovative solutions for washing synthetic fabrics and properly filtering microplastic before they head to sea.