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For Animals, For Earth.

Megan Hafermann

FAFE logo.png

Meet The Company!

This week, we are featuring For Animals. For Earth. An organization with a website that serves as a hub for simple ideas for how you can help animals and the earth through small actions taken daily. One way they do this is through “slow fashion” using recycled bottles, organic and reclaimed cotton, and bamboo to create the best possible fabric hand-printed by Brandy - the founder- with nontoxic ink. And to top it all off, it’s ethically produced in the US! For Animals. For Earth. are spearheading the Fashion Revolution and are a great resource to anyone trying to make small changed in their life to have large impacts.

So let’s meet Brandy and learn more about For Animals, For Earth!


FAFE family.jpg

What does sustainability mean to your brand?

When I first started, I had a simple definition for this.  Sustainable meant that the piece of clothing would not harm the environment.  But over time, I’ve found that the answer to what is sustainable is actually quite complicated.  After endlessly searching for sustainable suppliers and fabrics, I learned that aspects of sustainability stretch all the way from the seed, to the factory, to the longevity and re-usability, to the sustainability of the lives of the people making it.  I have landed on our definition of sustainability to be pieces that make an honest effort to make a change.  I have not yet found a “perfect” supply chain, but I do believe that the suppliers we use do their best to make a difference.  And I hope that together we’re all making things a tiny bit better each day.  

We specifically use recycled plastic, because I believe that recycling will continue to be very important as long as plastic bottles continue to be consumed as a mainstream product.  I also believe that organic cotton should be used rather than cotton.  I like bamboo, because the fabric is so soft, and it grows naturally and quickly.  My suppliers have taught me to also question the way a factory operates, how they use and reuse their water, what type of dyes they use, etc.  

What is the legacy your brand would like to impart on our planet?

The legacy we would like to start (and will hopefully continue to grow for many years into the future beyond us) is that tiny changes made to everyday life really add up to make a difference.  We believe that slowly becoming more conscious of how our daily decisions impact animals, and the earth, allows us to work together to transition what is happening on this planet.  As adults make decisions in something like what clothes they will wear each day, they set an example for the children around them.  Being conscious about this example then inspires children to grow with this same compassion toward animals and the earth.  We think this grassroots, one individual at a time, one day at a time mentality truly has the ability to change the world.

What is your brand doing to track its carbon footprint and offset greenhouse gases

I make every decision in my business very diligently to be as environmentally conscious as it possibly can.  This runs the gamut from our clothing suppliers, to the eco-friendly ink and printing supplies we use, Etsy, who offsets carbon footprint in shipping, our paper print supplier who uses eco-conscious printing practices, our label supplier, who uses organic cotton, and my website hosting company, which is specifically focused on eco-conscious hosting.  We donate $5 for every item we sell to a nonprofit animal welfare group, so our specific focus in offsetting what is happening in the world is by sending money to help animals who are struggling to survive.  I do think it would be nice to look into our exact calculation and offset it with a group like The Nature Conservancy, or something similar.

What is your brand's stance on animal welfare?

Our brand is rooted in animal welfare.   We believe that each soul on earth is an individual, unique, with something to bring, whether that be a human, or an animal.  All should be treated with love and compassion.  We started in the clothing business because we think that every time a person, adult or child, wears a piece of clothing with an animal printed on it, it offers the chance to spark conversation.  (A much better conversation than if the piece of clothing were made from that animal!) 

What sort of packaging is used for the items?

Unfortunately we use plastic poly bags right now to send our products because they are lightweight and keep clothing dry.  I just learned however, about Better Packaging Co.  They sell lightweight poly bags like we use, but they’re biodegradable.  When our current supply runs out, I’m planning to change to their product.

Does your company partner with ethical factories? 

Yes, we use two United States based companies for our manufacturing. I believe that they both work hard to be both ethical and sustainable.  One company makes everything in a factory in New York.  They share a lot of details about their factory processes, what they stand for, and personal bios of the employees. Our second manufacturer does some of their production in the United States, and some outside.  But, they actively share their factories as part of The Fashion Revolution campaign and share pictures of people working, statistics about their sustainable practices, etc.

How are the factory conditions communicated to the company?

I’ve asked for the information.  When choosing my suppliers I did a lot of digging, by all definitions, I pretty much fell down a rabbit hole!  I chased down blank clothing suppliers, fabric suppliers and factory locations, and asked a lot of questions.  Both of our suppliers have videos or photos that they share about their business.  One has a Youtube channel that shows the inside of their factory.  They also send emails introducing you to the employees.  I feel this group is very reliable because they are wholly located in the USA and talk often about their small business and the people in it.  For the other supplier, my sales rep looked up where each piece I sell is made for me, and shared a webpage that shows photos of factories and employees.  That’s how I learned that they are passionate about The Fashion Revolution and ethical working conditions too.


“The fashion industry in general isn’t very pretty. But, I do believe it is changing as awareness grows. And I believe that we can make a difference.”- foranimalsforearth.com

“The fashion industry in general isn’t very pretty. But, I do believe it is changing as awareness grows. And I believe that we can make a difference.”- foranimalsforearth.com


Fun Facts

  • For Animals. For Earth. was inspired by The Fashion Revolution

  • For Animals. For Earth. was originally called Trendy Little Sweethearts

  • All the clothes are created to help animal welfare groups around the world

  • You can shop For Animals. For Earth. on Etsy

  • There are loads of recipes and food inspiration on their website

  • Check out animal reiki and meditation videos from Brandy, the founder


foranimalsforearth.com/media

foranimalsforearth.com/media


Show Some Love

For Animals. For Earth. is a great example how one person with a passion can make a huge change. Brandy is transparent about her sourcing, materials, and production while giving back to animal organization around the world. It’s the best example of how one person can learn more about something they are passionate about to change the lives of thousands. And for all you animal lovers out there, it’s the perfect place to get a new shirt that fits perfect, pants that will last you forever, or a zip-up to lounge in. After our discussion with Brandy, we hope that everyone can support a cause they are passionate about.


“ I’m still very much on a journey to transition my personal wardrobe to pieces that I’m all extremely proud of. I’m hoping you’ll help me with what you learn too.”  -   foranimalsforearth.com/media/

I’m still very much on a journey to transition my personal wardrobe to pieces that I’m all extremely proud of. I’m hoping you’ll help me with what you learn too.” - foranimalsforearth.com/media/


Learn More

Learn more about their story here. Also follow them on Instagram @foranimalsforearth to see what products they have, lifestyle changes, and fun updates about the organization.


ColieCo ft. SDG 9

Megan Hafermann

colieco banner.jpg

Hello, ColieCo!

Fashion for Conservation is thrilled to feature ColieCo Lingerie, a lingerie, underwear, and swimwear company with a commitment to the environment at its core. They use organic, recycled, re-used and reclaimed fabrics to actively minimize their textile waste and work hand-on with all parties on the supply chain to control their carbon footprint. ColieCo uses renewable energy to power their studio in Portugal and package their orders in biodegradable and recycled materials. They are the epitome of innovation within the fashion industry by going the extra mile to be green, sustainable, and support the well being of their workers, while producing high quality products. Not to mention that every garment is hand-crafted!

Let’s start off with a Q&A session with the founder, Nicole Neaber!


ColieCo Founder, Nicole Neaber

ColieCo Founder, Nicole Neaber


What does sustainability mean to your brand?

Sustainability means everything to us at ColieCo Lingerie.

We describe ColieCo as an eco-centric business. To us, this means that in literally everything we do, we have to consider our impact on the environment and minimizing our carbon footprint first. 

 The aim of sustainable development is to eventually reach the end goal of an equilibrium between human society and the ecosystem. In the modern developed world, we are absolutely light years away from that goal - we are very rapidly completely trashing the ecosystem that ultimately supports us - and the textiles and fashion industry is in no small part to blame. 

Existing, mainstream models in textile production, garment production, and business management, marketing and buying in the fast fashion industry are simply not remotely justifiable from an ecological perspective. In fact, they are so far removed from being so that they just aren't capable of being brought in line with sustainable development.

In finding new models that we can discuss as sustainable with a straight face, we're starting from scratch; and it'll be small and medium sized, eco-centric businesses that will deliver these solutions. 

What is the legacy your brand would like to impart on our planet?

Legacy is a powerful word!

Quite simply, we aim to give customers an alternative, truly sustainable choice that matches the very best in the market in terms of product quality - aesthetics, fit, comfort and durability - whilst remaining an affordable option. We want to give customers an opportunity to think about what they are shopping for, and the consequences of their decisions about how they spend their money.

And ultimately, we want people to buy, love, cherish and care for ColieCo lingerie and swimwear, rather than shop on a whim for any given unsustainable, poorly constructed and quickly disposable alternative. Each time that happens it feels like a small win, and it makes us feel like what we're doing as a team is worthwhile.

What is your brand doing to track its carbon footprint and offset greenhouse gases?

Continuous improvement sees us working on our pattern cutting processes and waste minimization, focusing on sourcing locally, working with similarly-minded suppliers and partners, minimizing our energy consumption in our end-to-end processes, using recycled office and shipping materials, and, of course, working with low carbon, ecologically sound fabrics.

I actually have a real problem with the concept of carbon offsetting. It's too easy to get comfortable with the idea that we can all forget about our direct and indirect emissions, because provided we are generating enough profit, we can look to offset them elsewhere.  Here's an idea: why not aim to produce as close to zero emissions as possible *and* invest some of your profits in, for example, carbon sink development. 

The best way for us to work towards net carbon neutrality is to focus on minimizing our emissions in the first place. 

What is your brand's stance on animal welfare?

Our vision focuses on three core values: respect for the environment, respect for people and respect for quality. Part of the first core value relates, of course, to the wider impacts of human activities on animal life everywhere on the planet, and this is more of a focus for us than traditional animal rights campaigning.

The damage that we are doing to animal life and the ecosystems that support animal life everywhere across the globe through pollution, habitat destruction, fishing and agriculture, and, most importantly, man made climate change is frightening and wholly unnecessary, and our aim at ColieCo is to try to ensure that we give people attractive, high quality alternatives to toxic fast fashion products that deliver as low an environmental impact as is possible.

The only animal product we have used at any point at ColieCo is reconstituted leather made from reclaimed industry off cuts and waste, and we certainly wouldn't consider using virgin leather or any other directly animal derived products in our creations. 

What sort of packaging is used for the items?

We exclusively use recycled and recycleable gift wrap paper and cardboard packaging, and biodegradable mailing sacks to ship our orders. 

Does your company partner with ethical factories? 

We make all of our garments in our own studio. This way we can absolutely control quality in construction, ensure safe and comfortable working conditions, and guarantee to customers that all of those involved in the production of their lingerie and swimwear from order receipt to dispatch are paid a fair wage. 


“ColieCo products are exclusively made by highly-skilled workers, are crafted in a safe and comfortable working environment, and are constructed to last. Every person involved in the process of producing your lingerie is paid a fair living wage.” - ColieCo.com

“ColieCo products are exclusively made by highly-skilled workers, are crafted in a safe and comfortable working environment, and are constructed to last. Every person involved in the process of producing your lingerie is paid a fair living wage.” - ColieCo.com


Fun Facts

  • They are headquartered in Sagres, Portugal

  • Every ColieCo. garment is handmade to order

  • All of their elastic is spun and dyed locally

  • They use digitally printed fabrics that produce zero water waste

  • The ColieCo studio is powered by 80% renewable energy

  • ColieCo uses recycled paper and biodegradable and recyclable packaging for all of their shipments

  • They offer free alterations if a garment doesn’t fit properly


“we source most of our material and all of our elastic from small, family-run businesses, and work with independent suppliers wherever we can, including in design, printing and photography.” - ColieCo.com

“we source most of our material and all of our elastic from small, family-run businesses, and work with independent suppliers wherever we can, including in design, printing and photography.” - ColieCo.com


Show Some Love

ColieCo is a great example of a fashion company that embodies what it means to be an ethical brand. They are transparent about their sourcing, materials, production, and wages while serving all body types. Authenticity at it’s finest. And for all you self loving women, it’s the perfect place to get a new swimsuit that fits perfect, lingerie to feel empowered and confident, or underwear to lounge in. After our discussion with Nicole, we hope that anyone, regardless of how you identify yourself, can find a product they will love and feel good about purchasing. Because each human being is unique, and ColieCo caters to all women without compromising their mission to cherish our planet.


“ColieCo uses cotton jersey fabric made from organically grown bamboo.” - ColieCo.com

“ColieCo uses cotton jersey fabric made from organically grown bamboo.” - ColieCo.com


Learn More

Learn more about their story here. Also follow ColieCo @colieco_lingerie and practice some self love by purchasing lingerie, bras, or swimsuits here.

Photos by ColieCo. and Lace Life and Fire

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Megan Hafermann

Goal-9-header.jpg
Photo from UNDG

Photo from UNDG


Infrastructure is the fundamental facilities and systems serving a country, city, or community that provides the commodities and services to enable, sustain, and enhance living conditions in society. Roads, bridges, tunnels, water supply, sewers, electrical grids, and communications are all components of infrastructure. So, to ultimately drive economic growth and development, we must invest in infrastructure and innovation to improve the function and well-being of communities. It is becoming more and more important to have sustainable, reliable, sound infrastructure as more of the world’s population starts living in cities. But it’s even more important to get the basic technologies that we take for granted in less developed countries.

“When the sun goes down, girls stay indoors. That’s just the way it was. Until the streetlights came. Now, simple tasks- like going to the shops at night to buy groceries- have become simple again,” – UNDP, Lights on in Lebanon

5 Facts and Figures

  • 2.3 billion people worldwide don’t have access to basic sanitation

  • More than 2.3 million people work in the renewable energy sector, and the number could increase to 20 million by 2030

  • Even though 84% of the global population has access to 3G, more than 4 billion people still do not have access to the internet; 90% of them are in developing countries.

  • There are 2.6 billion people in developing countries do not have access to consistent electricity

  • Infrastructure regulations cut businesses’ productivity by 40% in some low-income countries

5 Goals

  • Continuously develop quality, reliable, and sustainable infrastructure that is accessible for all to support economic development

  • Promote sustainable industrialization in the least developed countries

  • Support small businesses by increasing access to financial services for small-scale industries

  • Increase adoption of clean and environmentally conscious technology

  • Encourage and support research to encourage innovation and development

5 Ways to Help

  • Donate to causes such as the UN Development Program to help communities get solar-powered light kits and streetlights

  • Go on “guilt free holidays” and support carbon-neutral tourism by visiting places like Montenegro that are taking progressive steps to limiting the carbon footprint of tourism

  • Invest in renewable energy for your homes such as solar panels

  • Follow candidates that support renewable and green energy, research, and sustainable development

  • Encourage young girls to foster their love of science and technology

Sources: UN SDG website; UN Development Program


Photo of public charging stations in Montenegro from UNDP

Photo of public charging stations in Montenegro from UNDP


Innovation in the Fashion Industry

Throughout the past few weeks, we have seen the ugly side of the fashion industry where there is gender inequality, high rates of poverty, pollution, and exploitation. Because the fashion industry is a HUGE market that had $445 billion of global exports in 2015, many developing countries see garment production as a vital part of their economy. It is also the largest employer of women worldwide, and many companies do take action to support women’s empowerment in their value chains. There is huge potential for the fashion and garment industry to be a driving force in development, innovation, and sustainability of countries infrastructure, but changes must be made for that to happen. First of all, new methods of sourcing and production must be developed to improve the sustainability of the industry, there must be gender equality among workers, and research has to be done to improve the sustainability of the supply chain.


Photo by UNDP

Photo by UNDP


Learn More

Read more about SDG 9 here. You can also read about more SDG 9 success stories here

UN Sustainable Development Goal #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Jess García

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“To promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.”

Photo by  Steve McCurry  of a woman in Peshawar, Pakistan

Photo by Steve McCurry of a woman in Peshawar, Pakistan

Money is key for survival. For a decent lifestyle, the economic sphere has to transform by providing sustainable jobs and policies alike.  It cannot be acceptable that, “roughly half the world’s population still lives on the equivalent of about USD $2 a day,” (UN). In different countries around the world, one can encounter entire communities who suffer from poverty and are trapped in places where they can’t prosper. Investing in an idea where everyone can flourish is a pressing matter. So much greed and corruption exists dispersing in a lack of empathy towards underdeveloped countries. This is something we can no longer afford to sustain, as it affects everything from humanity, to the economy, and planet.

Facts by the UN:

  • Men earn 12.5% more than women in 40 out of 45 countries with data.

  • In 2018, the total number of unemployed people remains high - above 192 million - and it is harder to find decent jobs.

  • 30 Million: Number of jobs required every year for new entrants to the labour market to keep up with the growth of the global working age population.


What She Makes

Power and Poverty in the Fashion Industry

In a detailed report by Oxfam Australia, the inside scoop of a garment worker from Bangladesh is revealed. Unsettling facts are written of various women like her. Many who work overtime for a life full of discomfort. Naturally, meals are skipped, living spaces are unbearable, and visits to the doctor are unthinkable. The pay for a garment worker is troublesome as they’re at the bottom of the supply chain, and all the big bucks go to the CEOs of corporate brand names. A hierarchy with bankruptcy at its core where hourly pay is rewarded with cents not dollars. This isn’t even close to basic survival needs. Every 365 days, companies increase their revenue at an exponential rate, which makes one wonder, couldn’t all fashion employees receive an honorable salary then? Oppression in this manner is unacceptable, and poverty wages of this sort are inhuman. Governments, factories, and brands have the power and money to undo this situation. There’s proof that it’s achievable, however, as research shows that, “paying living wages would mean that instead of just 4% on average going to the workers who make our clothes, brands would need to ensure just 5% of the retail price got back to the pockets of garment workers,” (Oxfam). By pressuring companies and allowing more women to articulate their stories like those featured in this article, a radical change can be negotiated. And as we speak up and ask who makes our clothes, are they being paid a living-wage, and demand transparency from brands, we can hold accountable these corporations, pushing them to agree on business deals that are sustainable for the people and economy, so that we can have a future with zero poverty.

Facts by Oxfam:

  • In Bangladesh, the second-largest source country for garments into Australia, it is legal to pay the women who make our clothes as little as 39 cents an hour.

  • Based on CEO pay levels of some of the big brands in Australia, it would take a Bangladeshi garment worker earning the minimum wage more than 4,000 years to earn the same amount that CEOs get paid in just one year.

  • Oxfam argues that there is enough profit and other margins within the supply chains of big brands to mean that they can pay living wages, without creating higher prices for consumers.


Visual by ethical fashion brand  Mate The Label

Visual by ethical fashion brand Mate The Label


Forida

An Excerpt from the Report

Forida makes clothes for Target Australia, H&M and other global brands.

Forida makes 35 cents an hour making our clothes.

Forida is 22 years old. She lives with her husband, a rice miller, and her toddler son in Kallyanpur, a slum area in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She also supports her mother-in-law, who looks after her son while she is at work. Forida and her family have lived in a dark, hot and cramped compound with six other families, including her landlord’s, for three years. There is just one toilet and place to bathe for the whole compound, and two shared cooking areas. Constructed mostly of tin and wood, her living conditions are crowded and rundown. Forida says, “When it rains, there’s a smell in our home.”

Behind the rental property is a big, black polluted pond, which attracts a consistent influx of mosquitos, especially in Forida’s room — half of which is built over the water. This increases her and her family’s risk of exposure to mosquito-borne viral diseases like malaria, dengue fever and Chikungunya.

Towards the end of each month, Forida’s salary runs out and she just eats “old watery rice, with salt and green chili”. If she was paid a living wage, Forida could, “provide food for the last week of the month [and] eat better food like vegetables and meat”.

Each day, like all garment workers, Forida is given a target that she must complete before she can go home. Forida makes shirt collars and has a target of 80 collars per hour for a striped or patterned shirt, and 100 collars per hour for a solid colour shirt. These targets are impossible to finish within regular working hours, so she is forced to work overtime to complete the immense workload. During busier times, when international clothing brands place demanding orders, she might work as late as midnight. Often, she is given no notice of overtime, so cannot make care arrangements for her son. If production targets are not met, 500 taka ($7.70) is deducted from her wages as punishment.

The pressure at work is intense. If she makes any mistakes, she is verbally abused by her supervisor. “I feel embarrassed when I am scolded in front of so many people and then I feel bad about myself because I’m not able to do the work properly. If I could do the work properly, then I wouldn’t be scolded so hard and this makes me cry.”

Forida hopes for more realistic targets and a better wage.


Feel Good Investments

There’s a lot of heartbreak in knowing that this is a situation happening today especially with the knowledge that brands are overflowing with money and can easily provide fair wages to their employees. On the bright side, we as people can sway the way business is done by demanding companies to be more transparent in general. That’s why we have to invest. Invest in human rights, invest in your voice and invest in clothes that will give a respectable pay to workers like Forida. What these women do is admirable and they are full of talent. Recognizing the hands behind our clothes is beautiful and our connection with that can be even stronger. A simple way to do that is through social media. By seeing videos or images of the communities who create what we wear is always uplifting and it creates awareness. One brand that does an exceptional job of this idea is Los Angeles based RAFA USA. They’re a luxury brand specializing in women’s footwear designed with a sustainable mindset and eco-friendly materials. The team consists of 20 artisans and everyone is like a family. There is no hierarchy involved as we can see in the video below. Shots of the shoemakers are captured and one can observe the healthy work environment where talent is fully appreciated. As the founder Taghrid Zorob says in the video, the shoes are “handmade for you, it was made with care, with love”. A true example of how businesses can be ethical and care for their employees simultaneously. As we talk and demand brands to change their ways, the industry will work on reshaping it’s intention and us consumers can make more feel good investments and above all, equal pay for employees will be achieved. So let’s remind ourselves to buy smart and be persistent with companies and their economic means!


Learn More

Read more about SDG 8 here.

Full What She Makes report here.

Check out RAFA here.


Energy in Fashion

Jess García

SDG 7 CONT.


Clothes act as our second skin and have quickly become codependent on something called energy. Over the years, the fashion industry has elevated their use of this power but with a lack of consciousness. Greenhouse emissions are on the rise due to the extensive process it takes to create apparel. If we’re not careful, an intimidating fact overlooks all of us. That is to say, “If the fashion industry doesn’t change the way it currently operates, it is on track to increase its contribution to global emissions by 50 per cent by 2030” (Common Objective). A hot warning to shift our perspective and reconsider our principles without anymore hesitation. The time to act is now and as consumers we can influence a change. So let’s address our own daily habits like how we wash our clothes and giving longer lifecycles to our second skin. These are little baby steps that will unequivocally lead to clean solutions in order to curb pollution. 

SD7VISUAL.jpg
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SDG7VISUAL2.jpg

Wash with care: Laundry days require a lot of high energy from the machines we rely on. Whenever we throw a t-shirt or a pair of denim into the washing machine and dryer, the lifecycle of those clothes are greatly affected as they “shed tiny, unseen microfibers (including plastic), which go down the drains of our washing machines and into our waterways” (Celsious Social). Totally bad for our favorite clothing items as they do tend to shrink with each wash. And where does this water even go? Eventually, it ends up flowing into the ocean.That’s why adopting a new laundry routine is important. The micro plastics from our beloved clothes are in the same water as other ocean life. Sea creatures easily confuse these dangerous particles for food and accidentally consume these synthetic fibers incorporating them into their diet unknowingly. 

Why we care: What we wear and how we decide to take care of it reflects on the environment. New practices of washing less and in a smarter manner can easily be introduced into our routine. Even though there’s a lack of sun in the west coast, there are still ways to being more eco-friendly and use clean energy. After all, those of us who live in the western world have a carbon footprint that could definitely be refined. “Around half of the carbon dioxide from the fashion industry occurs at the consumer end, from the wearing, washing, tumble drying, ironing and dry cleaning of clothes - mostly in North American, the EU and Japan” (Common Objective). 

What you can do: Let your clothes air dry outside allowing the heat of the sun to disinfect them naturally. It’s also quite therapeutic. Put on some good music, grab a few clothespins and enjoy the fresh air and smell of clean laundry. Another option is having a bamboo drying rack indoors instead of using a machine that uses around 3000 watts of energy to drain out all the water from your favorite garments. You can also hand wash your intimates in the shower to reduce water usage. These tips may be small but down the line can provide positive impacts. Not only will you notice longevity in your clothes, but you are no longer participating in catastrophic energy emissions. And let’s not forget to encourage the brands you love to switch to renewable energy. Hopefully these facts provided by Common Objective will spark a change:

•According to the Textile World, it takes 132 million tonnes of coal to produce 60 billion kilograms of textiles.

•The Pulse Report estimates that improved energy management in the fashion industry could net a potential value of €63 billion.

•By 2030, on current trends, emissions from production are set to rise 60 per cent, reaching an estimated 2.8 billion tonnes of CO23.


Read more about energy in fashion here.


Visuals by Fashion For Conservation

UN Sustainable Development Goal #7: Affordable and Clean Energy

Jess García

Screen Shot 2019-05-04 at 6.58.51 PM.png

Energy is the power that allows us to hustle. We need it for everything. Plants rely on the sun to nourish the earth’s species, our bodies depend on energy derived from the food we eat, and overall, it’s crucial to this technological age for survival. Sustainable Development Goal 7 is to ensure affordable and clean energy. As the UN states, “A well-established energy system supports all sectors: from business, medicine and education to agriculture, infrastructure, communications and high-technology.” Energy enriches our lives but can equally be negative as seen with climate change.

Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

“To ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.”

Photo by  Nichole Sobecki  for  National Geographic  greenhouse in Oserian, Kenya

Photo by Nichole Sobecki for National Geographic greenhouse in Oserian, Kenya


Facts:

  • 1 in 7 people live without electricity

  • 3 billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating

  • Energy is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions


Photo by  UNPD  | Massantola, Mali installation of a clean pump system that uses solar energy for gardening

Photo by UNPD | Massantola, Mali installation of a clean pump system that uses solar energy for gardening


Green Alternatives

In Kenya, geothermal energy is being used to provide power. What’s attractive about this is that it’s fairly clean, inexpensive and available 24/7. The first image demonstrates how roses at a greenhouse located in Kenya are able to flourish. Thanks to the geothermal field in Olkaria, this is able to happen. Acres and acres of greenhouses like this one are able to thrive because the heat, electricity, and steam allow fertilization to occur. Hence the blossoming of these beautiful flowers. Also, carbon emissions are low. Another example of clean energy are solar pumps. The water pumping system, like the one pictured in Mali, cultivates healthy vegetables for a number of people. It’s one of the most abundant and natural ways of creating food. Women no longer have to do back breaking work under the sun as this source of technology is a safe and sustainable alternative. And the best part? Quality of life is drastically improved because of it, and there’s absolutely no harm to the planet. When it comes to fashion however, it’s quite the opposite…


Energy in Fashion

Visual by ethical fashion brand  Mate The Label

Visual by ethical fashion brand Mate The Label

We’re in need of a more responsible industry that is clean. Clothes are essentially our second skin, and it’s important that the entire process, starting from conception of the design to delivery of shipment to the consumer, is a healthy one. Did you know that fashion production, “consumes more energy than the aviation and shipping industry combined,”? (UNFCCC) Knowing this fact, each step of energy that is used must be reexamined for a more sustainable world, and the culture of consumerism has to change. The cool thing is that our generation is becoming more conscious with its spending habits. “According to a Nielsen study, 73% of millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable brands,” (Forbes). An uplifting statistic that brings a positive attitude, and a message with good energy. Of course, there’s a lot more to say about this topic regarding the good, the bad and the ugly, but we’ll save all of that for the next post!


Read more about SDG 7 here!

Facts provided by the UN

Water in the Fashion Industry SDG6 Cont.

Jess García

Blue Jeans and Acidic Rivers

Photo by  Probal Rashid  of the Turag River, Bangladesh

Photo by Probal Rashid of the Turag River, Bangladesh


The textile industry is one of the largest consumers of water in the world, using 3.2% of all water available to the human race every year.

- RiverBlue


“A goddess” is how the Ganges river in India can be described by its many worshippers. Is this body of water still considered pure and beautiful, however, when she’s completely filled with toxic chemicals? Once able to flow effortlessly with pristine grace, it is now polluted beyond comprehension—there’s still love for this sacred river, yet no respect. This is true not only here, but in other parts of the world as the film RiverBlue points out. The 1.2 billion dollar fashion industry is part to blame, as it’s the second largest polluter after oil.

RiverBlue is a captivating documentary that reveals the lethal ingredients served in a poisonous cocktail created by the global fashion industry. Mark Angelo, a river conservationist and producer, travels to China, India, and Bangladesh seeking answers and solutions towards this form of environmental destruction. During his visits to these countries, he exposes a dirty secretive business.  

To get a taste of what was discovered is quite shocking. Wastewater was examined and found to contain acidic dyes, chrome sulfate, and even metals like cadmium (just to name a few contaminants) that cause serious health problems like cancer. Some areas are considered “cancer villages” because of how much pollution enters the immune system of those who live in them. Uninhabitable places where children and adults have lost sensory abilities. In leather tanneries, 18 year olds would walk through “pools of chromium” attending their work duties in sandals completely vulnerable to these chemicals. And as you can imagine, this toxin would then be dumped into a nearby river. Big corporations would rather ignore these facts, but thankfully, there are activists who fight for justice. Additionally, ocean life is directly affected as well. For example, the sex of a fish can be altered because of hazardous chemicals known as brominated flame retardants. The scariest part of this concoction is that it’s a man made chemical, a man made industry, and a man made mess.

Visual by  The Slow Factory

The film illustrates a study conducted by the pioneer denim brand Levis. They traced a pair of their iconic 501 jeans and the final results looked like this:

920 gallons of water

400 megajoules of energy 

32 kilograms of carbon dioxide expelled 

to create one pair of 501 jeans.

Visual by  Fashion Revolution

Water is a powerful element that allows us to live. 1% of this “blue” element is available to us, but are we truly respecting that amount? When it comes to the fashion industry, the answer is no. There is still time to reverse our mistakes, and if you watch the film, there’s definitely hope. We have to act now, with no doubts in mind, to preserve the beauty of our rivers and all bodies of water because unquestionably, they give us life. We must be mindful as well that we are not the only species sharing this precious water.


Visual by  Fashion Revolution

WHAT TO DO?

  • Read up on articles

  • Watch documentaries like RiverBlue or The True Cost

  • Research and take a class or volunteer within your community

SPREAD THE WORD

  • Start a conversation with your friends and family

  • Post on social media 

  • Tell neighbors or classmates and dedicate 1 hour to picking up garbage from beaches or green spaces

SPEND YOUR MONEY WISELY

  • Go thrifting and give pre-loved items a second chance

  • Buy from ethical brands and designers

  • Allow your clothes to air dry and reduce curb emissions 


We highly recommend this documentary for fashion lovers and simply for anyone who wants the best for humanity and the planet. An intriguing watch and thought provoking. Here is the trailer if interested!



UN Sustainable Development Goal #6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Jess García

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We’re back on track and for the next two weeks we’ll be addressing Sustainable Development Goal 6. Water is an essential for every being, it’s a basic necessity for survival yet unattainable for a large percentage of us. There’s transparency in water, and the main intention of SDG 6 is for everyone to not be denied clean water. Disease, malnutrition and deaths occur because of unsanitary water. By 2030, the UN is hopeful that this contaminated crisis will wash away.


Poster created for World Water Day

Poster created for World Water Day


Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

“To ensure access to safe water sources and sanitation for all.”


Poster created for World Water Day

Poster created for World Water Day


“By managing our water sustainably, we are also able to better manage our production of food and energy and contribute to decent work and economic growth. Moreover, we can preserve our water ecosystems, their biodiversity, and take action on climate change.”


Poster created for World Water Day

Poster created for World Water Day


3 Facts

  • More than 80 percent of wastewater resulting from human activities is discharged into rivers or sea without any pollution removal

  • Around 1.8 billion people globally use a source of drinking water that is fecally contaminated

  • Water scarcity affects more than 40 percent of the global population and is projected to rise

&

3 Goals by 2030

  • Achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations

  • Improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally

  • Expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water-sanitation-related activities and programmes including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies

Facts and goals provided by the UN.


Water in the Fashion Industry

2,700 liters of water are used to create one t-shirt

Documented here is the pollution of the Cihaur River where companies find it easy to dispose of their toxic materials in an illegal manner.  Photo by Andri Tambunan for the series   Polluting Paradise

Documented here is the pollution of the Cihaur River where companies find it easy to dispose of their toxic materials in an illegal manner.

Photo by Andri Tambunan for the series Polluting Paradise

Humans aren’t the only species being directly affected by this issue but all ocean life. “The World Bank estimates that 17 to 20 percent of industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing and finishing treatment given to fabric,” (Kant). Millions of chemicals like pesticides, dyes, and bleaches are hazardous to animals because of their heavy metals which contribute to the ocean dead zones we are seeing. The high demand of getting a specific piece of clothing adds to the ecological footprint due to the shipping involved and transporting our desired goods from different areas across the world. CO2 is then released which causes ocean acidification. However, solutions can always be made. Governments can implement landfill taxes, create fines and policies to follow and regulate chemicals; clothes can be designed with a sustainable mindset; and us fashion consumers can give pre-loved items a second chance or purchase from ethical brands and designers. FFC believes that these are things we can follow up on to avoid the textile industry dumping tons of gallons of toxic pollutants into the water. Environmental laws must be proposed and acted on so that a better future for the ecosystem, a better future for fashion and a better future for humanity can be seen.


We’ll end this post by saying Happy Earth Day! A little reminder to always respect and appreciate the earth. Remember, earth day is everyday. What are you doing to protect the planet? We’d love to know! Leave a comment down below or tag us with a photo on social media @FFConservation


Quotes and statistics provided by the UN

Read more about the Sustainable Development Goal 6 here!

SDG5 Ft. Tougo Coffee Co.

Jess García

A conversation featuring Brian Wells owner of Tougo Coffee Co.

Tougo Coffee Co. works with several top coffee roasters dedicated to supporting the true artisanship of coffee roasting. Ethical farming practices, as well as fair pricing and treatment of the farmers, the land, and communities at source origin.”


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This week FFC decided to check out a cafe in the Seattle area to hear an employer’s point of view with regards to gender equality. Brian Wells, an entrepreneur and photographer who speaks with such eloquence, allowed us to come in and ask a few questions. This sweet soul also prepared a divine latte with oat milk while we sat down and had a little chat!


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Here’s what Brian had to say:

What’s your definition of gender equality?

We should be defined as genderless - defining as male or female keeps people oppressed and separated. Everyone deserves the same social power and social equity.

Do you think coffee shops around here have a good proportion of men - women / POC / LGBTQ community in the work environment?

 No. They are grossly  disproportionate. I’ve talked about this on a number of occasions - all coffee is created from people of color: Africans, Latinos, Cubanos, Indonesians. Who profits from this the most? People on the farm are not being equally compensated for the work they do. As an employer, I want to hire POC / LGBTQ, because they are grossly underrepresented in this space. I might be wrong on this… there are around 5-6 cafes here - probably - with a very very very low number of  LGBTQ / POC. 

How are you or this coffee shop helping to empower women? Likewise, POC / LGBTQ?

By creating the safe space and making it known that you can be employed in this company regardless of your circumstances. That you can be employed in this company regardless of your gender. Genderless or gender fluid, you’re not gonna be ostracized or denied employment because of that. 

The UN reported that, “Globally, women are just 13 percent of agricultural land holders.” What is your response to this and how do you think improvement can be found?

 Wow…

I think everybody that wants to be a land owner should be able to become one, especially if it is for agriculture. For creating sustainability for their communities. Especially, if they’re not using pesticides or GMOs to make food. Women should be much more involved in agricultural land. Why? When we go back to having men and women, women have always been the backbone of their society and culture. A man can’t do anything without a women, because it doesn’t have that punch. My mom and sister have been my spiritual support - it’s a gender fluid thing - I’m in touch with my feminine side. In addition, I believe women should have as much right to agricultural land as any man and to be excluded from that, that oppression, really goes against humanity.


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We then ended the conversation with a few quick questions:

  • Describe coffee in one word: Life-changing 

  • Favorite drink to prepare? Blood orange mocha

  • Why is ethical farming necessary? For health, for sustainable families, for environmental balance and sustainability. 

  • What inspires you? Life itself. My son. Light. Aromatics. Fragrances.

  • Last drink you had? Holy detox tea

  • How did Tougo Coffee Co. start? It’s a West African name, my son’s name. It started with a deep desire to build a community to create a safe space for every walk of life and create a safe space for everyone.

  • What was the last photo you took? An editorial portrait


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Show some love

Tougo Coffee Co. is located here in Seattle. Come visit the coffee shop, put your laptop aside, be served a warm drink and engage in a deep conversation with this inspirational soul. Authenticity at it’s finest. And for all you creatives, it’s the perfect place to sit down and collaborate with others who want to share their artistic vision. After today’s visit, we hope that anyone, regardless of how you identify yourself, can find this place comforting and like a second home. Because each human being is created equal and that’s the exact feeling this cafe wants to offer.


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Learn more about their story here
Follow Tougo Coffee Co.@tougocoffee on and give some love to Brian @brian_wellsphotography

Community @tougocoffee

Community @tougocoffee

UN Sustainable Development Goal #5: Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment

Jess García

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Here’s a post that is a bit overdue regarding a topic that needs more attention. Let’s talk about the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality. Because we believe that in order to coexist in a world where’s there’s harmony between men and women, movements towards parity need to continue improving. 


GOAL 5: GENDER EQUALITY

“To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”

Portrait by Dawn Marie Jones for Artesanias

Portrait by Dawn Marie Jones for Artesanias

It’s 2019, yet females are still being discriminated against. Whether that be in a competitive work environment, within intimate relationships or in countries where unhealthy laws still exist. For example, on a daily basis around 37,000 girls are committed to marriage at the age of 18 or even younger. A destiny already written for a baby girl, because the politicians have decided her birthright in a way where the feminine voice has no influence or the simple right to choose. Slow progress has been made, but there’s still a lot to do. By working in a collective manner together, a significant impact can be made so that more women can execute life freely.

“Women and girls represent half of the world’s population and therefore also half of its potential. But, today gender equality persists everywhere and stagnates social progress.”

5 Facts and Figures

  • As of 2014, 143 countries have guaranteed equality between men and women in their constitutions, but 52 have yet to take this step.

  • Worldwide, 35 of women between 15-49 years of age have experienced physical and/or sexual violence.

  • 1 in 3 girls aged 15-19 have experienced some form of genital mutilation/cutting in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

  • In 18 countries, husbands can legally prevent their wives from working; in 39 countries, daughters and sons do not have equal inheritance rights; and 49 countries lack laws protecting women from domestic violence.

  • In 46 countries, women now hold more than 30 percent of seats in national parliament in at least one chamber.

Statistics done by UNFPA on the serious issue of gender violence

Statistics done by UNFPA on the serious issue of gender violence

5 Goals

  • Celebrate women by paying them well deserved wages

  • Equal representation of leadership in political sectors

  • Reforms and access to rights of lands, economic, and natural resources

  • Make technology more attainable for better communication

  • “Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health” (UN)

5 Ways to Help

  • Leave toxic masculinity behind

  • Join a movement like HeForShe to demonstrate how solidarity generates equilibrium

  • Break stereotypes and transform the outdated ways of society

  • Be of good intention and allow girls to succeed by respecting their individuality and recognizing their unique voice

  • Education as a tool of empowerment


Fashion in Sustainability

There’s a dark reality for females who work in the garment industry. In Cambodia for example, around 90% of the workers are women. To make ends meet, overtime is necessary if they want their children to pursue an education or to live a life out of poverty. However, there’s a cost to this: health, safety, and abuse within the work environment occur daily. Multinational brands want items made fast and at a speedy rate without taking into account the humans behind their creations. “Factory owners have taken advantage of women’s unequal position in society to form an even cheaper, more docile and flexible work force,” (Fashion Revolution). Basic rights are being denied and this occurs even more when systematic discrimination is still present, like men getting better pay or promoted to higher positions simply due to their gender. Inequalities like these are why the UN and FFC want to generate change. 

Photo by Dawn Marie Jones for Artesanias

Photo by Dawn Marie Jones for Artesanias

FFC on Gender Equality

Primarily composed of women who always communicate with an empathetic mindset: from the CEO, to the interns, to the beautiful Peruvian artisans partnering with Hoja Nueva, we make sure each individual who participates in this organization always feels comfortable. A group of inspiring women who want to empower one another by providing opportunities to succeed in a place where equality is second nature. We hope that whoever comes across our mission statement finds inspiration and recognizes that there’s success behind every female!


Quotes and statistics provided by the UN

Read more about the Sustainable Development Goal 5 here