One of the topics of this weeks Eco- Friendly News: Pre-loved clothing is being folded and placed in shipping box to be sent back to clothing brand for re-sale as part of the circular fashion movement.
Jan 29, 2024
weekly eco news

Beyond Boundaries: The EU Grants An Exception to Their Animal Testing Ban While More Major Brands Take Up Circular Fashion- 12th Issue

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U.S. Virgin Islands To Weather The Storm With Reefs

A marine scientist performing a coral reef restoration and building project underwater in scuba gear.

Warmer oceans fuel more hurricanes. In response, the U.S. Virgin Islands will install an 18-foot artificial reef on the frontlines to protect its coast from future storms. 

The goal is to not only improve shoreline protections, but also enhance current coral reef habitats in the area. The team will shift through the coral specimens, transferring only the strongest to the artificial structure on the coast of St. Thomas. There are 12 different species in their nurseries. 

This reef was funded by federal emergency relief after the devastating hurricanes in 2017. The project is expected to be completed in July. 

EU Ban on Animal Testing Reverses Course

A rabbit sitting in a grassy meadow during sunset an example of one of the animal types that animal testing is performed on.

The German cosmetics giant, Symrise AG, failed in their attempt to appeal a European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) request to test two cosmetic ingredients on animals. 

Ignoring the outrage, the European Court ruled that the company must conduct toxicity tests on animals for two UV filters in sunscreens to be in line with chemical rules. This move will subject over 5,500 animals, including rabbits, rats, and fish, to their death

In 2021, the Body Shop and Dove, among animal rights organizations, created an online petition against the original demand for testing called the European Citizen’s Initiative. 

“Over 1.2 million European citizens expected that their demands would be heard when they signed our petition, but they clearly have not,” concluded Dr Emma Grange, Cruelty Free International Director of Science and Regulatory Affairs. “The public has every right to feel their trust in the cosmetics ban has been undermined." 

The European Commission promised to create a roadmap to phase-out animal testing in response to this initiative. 

Common Tequila Farming Techniques Threaten Bats

A large field of blue agave plants that are used for tequila production .

Native the arid Mexican desert, the blue agave is a succulent that shares a complex relationship with the local bat population. A new study sheds light on the unique agricultural challenges of this iconic plant – famous as the main ingredient in tequila. 

Bats rely on the nectar of agave flowers. Yet, current techniques prevent the succulent from flowering for pollination visits, which eliminates a food source for the threatened species. This also decreases the genetic diversity of the plant. A crop’s diversity acts as a ‘shield’ against pests, diseases, and other climate stressors. 

There is a bat-friendly program in the works that encourages farmers to allow select succulents to undergo sexual reproduction. Participants receive a specialized hologram for their tequila bottles to attract eco-friendly consumers.

The researchers concluded that, with financial incentives, the blue agave farmers are willing to adopt sustainable practices that balance the benefits for the environment and the longevity of the succulent crop. Cheers to that!

Major Brands on Board for Circular Fashion

A person folding and boxing up second hand clothing to be sent back to manufacturer to be resold as part of circular fashion movement.

To tap into the $177 billion consignment and resale market, major brands, like Lululemon, J. Crew, and Eileen Fisher, are creating their own circular channels. These secondhand programs appeal to both budget shoppers and eco-conscious consumers.

"Brands are starting to understand that making high quality items that are durable and have multiple owners over their lifetime is a way to build loyalty and brand relevance, as well as reducing carbon emissions in the supply chain,” said Trove CEO Gayle Tait. “It feels like it's a win all around for the brand and customer." 

Patagonia’s Worn Wear program shows a decade of success in this sustainable approach. 

As these consignment programs grow in scale, companies can produce less new products. A single piece can be profitable twice — if not three or four times. This leads to more revenue on less products and, ultimately, lower emissions on production. The best of both worlds. 

There are multiple avenues to recirculate an unused item in your closet: give to a one-stop shop to sell on your behalf, return directly to the brand for a gift card or cash, or gamble on the marketplace yourself.

Company Makes Waves with New Electric Boats

One of the Prana Company's classic electric boats.
'Prana Classic 26' boat

With hopes of charting a new course, Prana Boats reimagined a classic watercraft design with electric motors to reduce the carbon footprint of traditional boats. 

This innovative approach will significantly reduce the environmental impact of a day out on the open sea, particularly if powered by clean energy, such as solar or geothermal. Additionally, electric boats do not produce fumes, reducing pollution in both the atmosphere and ocean. 

With a growing demand for sustainable options, the founders of Prana Boats hope to embrace new technologies that prioritize the health of the planet. It is time to set sail towards a greener future.