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Earth Month – Time to Work Together to Take Better Care of our Planet


Earth Month, with a dedicated Earth Day on 22nd April, has never been more important. This year, 2020, marks its 50th anniversary, set up back in 1970, the intention was to encourage education and address global environmental issues.

This year’s Earth Day anniversary may have been overshadowed by the global COVID-19 crisis covered all over the media, however the crisis in turn has highlighted that the planet is able to quickly recover and one of the positives to come out of the lockdown situation is that pollution levels have fallen by 60%[1].

In addition, many individuals in lockdown are feeling more connected to nature and it has been widely reported that our planet is healing a little. Surely this is a wake-up call to how we treat the planet and perhaps food for thought as to how we will travel, work and generally live in the future?

To mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, different parties are demonstrating their determinations by actions one after another on how to make the planet where we live in greener. It provided the opportunity to reinforce long term strategies such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This incorporates 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)[2] , a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet. The plan provides an urgent call for action by all countries (both developed and developing), in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, United Nations General Assembly President, stated “When it comes to Mother Earth we each have something to teach, and something to learn: by working with civil society, the private sector, academia, and the media we will implement the Sustainable Development Goals in harmony with nature.”

Kerry Bannigan, the founder of Conscious Fashion Campaign in collaboration with United Nations, also shared, “Earth Day is a powerful way to communicate the Sustainable Development Goals as its mission and purpose aligns with so many of the indicators. For the likes of industry facing initiatives like the Conscious Fashion Campaign, Earth Day provides a moment to unite as a sector, be educated and make responsible decisions to implement impact strategies into business models to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality.”

Elsewhere sustainable sneaker brand Allbirds is continuously strengthening its commitment to sustainability on Earth Day. It becomes the first brand to label their products with a carbon footprint counter, along the lines of calorie information printed on processed food. 

When it comes to minimizing environmental pollution, textiles do matter as well. Each and everyday we come into contact with textiles from our clothing to our bed linen and there is no ignoring the fact that they can create a huge environmental impact on the world.

Sustainability has arguably become the most important issue in fashion and textiles over the last few years along with transparency and production ethics. The global eco fiber market size is growing, with natural eco fibers the second largest segment – accounting for 22.6% of the global market[3].

Guess Eco Denim

Many clothing brands such as Guess and Mara Hoffman have slowly moved away from traditional textile production and sourcing in view of this trend. The Guess eco-conscious collection “SmartGUESS” now features sustainable materials for 15% of their entire collection, while Mara Hoffman have continued adopting eco-friendly materials in its SS20 collection as the brand had been for a few seasons already.

Mara Hoffman

Further down the fashion supply chain, eco-friendly textile fiber brand – TENCEL™, has become synonymous with sustainability delivering 16 core reasons why it can deliver as an environmentally-friendly option at every stage. From sourcing to origin, production to low water pollution, TENCEL™ really delivers the entire package.

With sustainability at the very core of its ethos, TENCEL™ brand advocates Earth Day / Month every year, this year was no exception. TENCEL™ joined forces with 26 brand partners including Patagonia, Guess and Mara Hoffman, to promote and highlight environmental initiatives and how using TENCEL™ branded fibers has helped each brand become more sustainable and environmentally ethical.

Sarah Hayes, Senior Manager for Materials, Innovation and Development at Patagonia said, “We’ve been working with Lenzing since 2003 and we love working with TENCEL™ branded fibers. We like it for its technical properties, it’s soft, it’s strong, it has amazing drape. The absorbency makes it super comfortable to wear in hot weather. We also really like the work Lenzing does in sustainability, we love the fact that TENCEL™ is produced in a closed-loop manufacturing process with a non-toxic solvent. And most excitingly for us was Lenzing pioneering to bring REFIBRA™ to market.” (The REFIBRA™ technology can now feature up to 30% of pulp produced from upcycled cotton scraps.)

TENCEL™ celebrates Earth Month by sharing brand partners’ success stories and how they plan to develop their sustainability initiatives going forward. To find out more about TENCEL™ x Earth Month tap this link:https://www.tencel.com/earth-day-2020

The 50th anniversary of Earth Month has been like no other, accompanying the climate crisis is the COVID-19 crisis, human health and planetary health are inextricably linked. To protect one, we must protect the other and, as some brands have begun to show us, the best way to do this is to work together.

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-52202974

[2] https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300

[3] https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/eco-fiber-market

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