Waste

Smartphone upgrade culture is costing the earth

Pile of discarded mobile phones.

Having a smartphone in the 21st century is a necessity and keeps us connected with friends, family and work. Smartphones aren’t inherently bad, but our culturally ingrained attitude towards switching up our handsets is problematic. We’ve probably all experienced the joy of unboxing a brand new phone. That satisfying moment of peeling off the protective screen cover and unveiling our new device…

Record-breaking number of Black Friday boycotts by independent retailers

Blurred crowds in front of a Black Friday sign

What’s Going On Here? The hyper-consumerist behaviour encouraged by events such as Black Friday is detrimental for the environment. However, increasing awareness around climate change is one of the reasons 2021 saw the biggest independent Black Friday boycott in history. What Does This Mean? According to the British Independent Retailers Association, 85% of independent businesses boycotted Black Friday: the highest number that…

Five eco-friendly habits Gen Z think they invented…

I’m starting to feel my age. Hipster businesses are emerging with ‘innovative’ solutions to steer us towards more environmentally friendly everyday products. But, like a 90s boy-band revival, it would seem that there’s nothing new here! Now, don’t get me wrong – I don’t doubt that it’s the vigour of today’s vicennials that can lynchpin our ecological hopes with action. Indeed, their…

Sustainability Myths: The Plastic Straw Fallacy

Illustration Source: Alicia Martín Santos The development of plastics has been one of chemistry’s most influential inventions in recent history. A cheap and versatile material that can turn any design idea into reality, its contribution to technology, medicine, art and more is immense. However, today it seems that everyone wants to make it disappear. Grocery bags, soft-drink straws, beer plastic rings, and…

Fast fashion’s failure to stay on trend: half of all pieces found to contain plastic

What’s going on here? Clothing made by UK’s largest online fashion brands contain staggering amounts of virgin plastics despite their marketing campaigns flaunting environmentally-friendly clothing, according to new analysis. On average, 49% of the items listed on these popular websites were found to contain materials made from synthetic fibres. What does this mean? This research, carried out by The Royal Society for…

Is Green the new Black?

This week (19th – 25th April 2021) is Fashion Revolution Week, an annual event to raise awareness of the social and environmental issues associated with the fashion industry. Fashion Revolution was started as a response to the Rana Plaza tragedy in 2013, when 1,134 garment workers were killed in a factory collapse in Bangladesh. But has anything changed in the last 8…