Tommy Hilfiger brand logo printed on white cardboard against crisp white backdrop. The brand's initiatives in circular fashion are covered in this article.
Jan 8, 2024
weekly eco news

Threads & Grapes: Tommy Hilfiger Gets Into Circular Fashion, The Popularity of Sustainable Wine Rises and More - 9th Issue

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153 News Species Added to the Tree of Life

An underwater close-up of the halgerda nudibranch species related to the newly discovered oreo-colored slug.
Underwater close-up of the Halgerda sea slug species.

A rare cliff-dwelling succulent described as naked by local tribes. A legless lizard sporting a little pink collar around its neck. An Oreo-colored sea slug of the halgerda species in the depths of the ocean. 

These are a few examples of the 153 new-to-science species described by 26 researchers, across five fields, at the California Academy of Sciences in 2023. A handful of the animals and plants are now under consideration for conservation protections. 

Coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, these findings highlight the importance of the continuous search for biodiversity on our planet. There are still many undocumented species, particular among insects and invertebrates. 

“Naming and describing species is the first critical step in knowing about them and protecting them in a meaningful way—it is the tip of the iceberg that sets us on a journey to understand their role in healthy ecosystems,” said the Academy’s Dean of Science and Research Collections Shannon Bennett, PhD.

Unfortunately, many endangered species have gone extinct before their formal descriptions – a trend the Academy fights to change through their conservation work.

Learn more about these new-to-science species on the California Academy of Sciences

Tommy Hilfiger and Redress Team Up for Sustainable Design Contest

Tommy Hilfiger logo printed on white cardboard against crisp white backdrop.

Attention emerging designers! With their commitments to the circular fashion movement, Tommy Hilfiger partnered with RedDress for their Design Award 2024. Redress is an environmental nonprofit focused on eliminating waste and advancing fashion systems through education.  

Designers From all over the globe are invited to submit their circular and sustainable fashion collections by March 15, 2024. Under the direction of Tommy Hilfiger, the winner will have the opportunity to release a sustainable design collection for retail, gaining valuable industry experience.

"Fashion is one of the world’s most polluting industries,” said Dr. Christina Dean, Founder of Redress. “Left unabated, pollution and waste is set to worsen. We urgently need to accelerate circular fashion, which is the best way to let fashion thrive without costing the earth."

This competition falls under the brand’s "Waste Nothing and Welcomes All" mission, which aims to create only sustainable and ethical fashion by 2030.

Read more about this sustainable fashion competition at The Industry: Fashion

Biden’s Intent to Protect Old Growth Forests

Large piles of lumber lining a dirt path against forest hills in autumn season.

Responsible for 144.3 million acres of forest, the National Forest Service holds the greatest reserve of carbon in the United States. This carbon is even more densely stored in the oldest trees, making the preservation of old-growth forests crucial to stabilizing the changing climate.

Amid climate change, the US government plans to end commercial logging of old-growth trees across all 128 National Forests. There has never before implemented a nationwide amendment to forest plans. This notice of intent shows that the environment will be prioritized over commercial interests.

Of course, there are polarized views of the proposal. Timber companies claim to help reduce potential wildfires by thinning the forests. Environmental advocates say this is a start, but additional protections are needed for mature trees. 

“These forests cannot do their important jobs of pulling carbon from the air, and protecting biodiversity and watersheds, if we don’t restore the amount of old-growth across the landscape, and that is mature forest,” said Randi Spivak, director of the public lands program for the Center for Biological Diversity. “They are our future old growth.”

Dive deeper into this initiative to protect old growth forests on Inside Climate News

Sustainable Vino on the Rise

Wine grape clusters on grape vines.

Grapes are one of the most vulnerable crops to climate change. These delicate fruits are sensitive to fluctuations in temperatures and weather patterns, which can have a detrimental effect on their yield. 

In response, winemakers are adopting more sustainable practices to not only reduce their carbon footprint but also protect their valuable vineyards from irreversible damage.

While the industry's contribution may be small compared to other agriculture, a majority of its emissions are caused by electricity usage during the bottling process and transportation overseas. The application of chemicals causes other environmental issues. Only 6% of vineyards use organic or biodynamic practices, leaving the majority of grape production to conventional methods. These practices can be adapted to be more sustainable, such as planting disease and drought-resistant grapes or using geese as a weed control method. 

Other sustainable shifts include lighter bottles for transportation, alternatives to glass bottles, and use of solar and geothermal systems for electricity. Additionally, notable regions, like Napa Valley in California, are pushing more localized sustainable initiatives. 

Eco-friendly choices are valued by younger generations when shopping for their wine — an important consideration for the future of wine production. These consumer demands will guide winemakers towards sustainable change. 

Read more about these sustainable shifts in the wine industry in The Conversation.

Sustainable Beauty is Here to Stay

Woman browsing eco-friendly beauty products in store isle.

Dominated by the push for skinimalism and clean products, the beauty industry experienced a shift towards sustainable and ethical practices, as more consumers sought out eco-friendly and cruelty-free products. 

The demand for cruelty-free, non-toxic, and vegan products has evolved into a global movement. Customers are now more conscious of the natural ingredients used by brands and their impact on the environment.

The "glass skin" phenomenon is a shift towards skincare over makeup, promoting a holistic lifestyle and understanding individual skin needs. This beauty trend encourages individuals to embrace natural beauty, empowering them to feel good in their skin.

This past year, AI-powered skincare analysis and virtual try-on experiences also gained popularity.

Looking forward to 2024, experts predict the continuation of the glass skin trend, a focus on sustainable and eco-friendly packaging, and more personalized skincare.

Read more about these global beauty trends on the Deccan Chronicle