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Good morning curious.friends,

Extinction Rebellion's protests are still going strong despite a ban in the UK. Many celebs including Benedict Cumberbatch, Jude Law and Mel B have backed the movement to stop our use of fossil fuels.

"Stop right now, thank you very much, I need some energy with the renewable touch..."

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Fashion

Fashion industry looks to sustainability to regenerate its image

by Alexandra Genova

What's Going On Here?

The fashion industry—clothes and shoes—accounts for more than 8% of the global climate impact.

What Does This Mean?

Following fashion trends can come at a big cost to the environment. A report into the fashion industry published by MPs earlier this year found that the textile industry creates 1.2bn tonnes of CO2 a year—more than international aviation and shipping combined—consumes lake-sized volumes of water, and creates chemical and plastic pollution – as much as 35% of microplastics found in the ocean comes from synthetic clothing. 

Waste is also a big issue. More than 300,000 tonnes of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK alone every year, according to Wrap, the waste charity. Even English fashion designers like Phoebe English describe it as a “monstrous disposable industry”. 

Why Should We Care?

Caring about what we wear—and where it comes from—is another way we can take on individual responsibility in the climate fight.

Several high-end designers have made sustainability part of their USP already. Like Vivienne Westwood or Stella McCartney,  which uses “regenerated” cashmere and only uses viscose that can be traced to “the forest it came from” to ensure it is sustainably managed. 

Adidas has also got on board, teaming up with environmental design company Parley for Oceans to make shoes out of recycled ‘Ocean Plastic’

Be Curious!

There are lots of ways you can dress to impress while still being sustainable. Make like George Monbiot and take on these suggestions: 
  • Buy second hand! Charity shops, vintage stores, flea markets, car boot sales are all potential treasure troves for well made, pre-loved items that would normally be way more expensive brand new.
  • Invest in classic, well-made items that are made ethically and won’t go out of fashion. Following trends often means buying cheap, which means less longevity and more clothing waste. It may hurt your wallet a little more in the short term, but in the long run, one well-made classic coat can cost the same as several quick-fix, ‘trend-conscious’ purchases. 
  • Be happy with what you have! A Spring (or Autumn or Winter) wardrobe clear-out often leads to a discovery of long-forgotten items, buried deep in your drawers. Maybe all you need is what you already have? Join the #iworeitagain Instagram challenge that urges fashion-conscious consumers to experiment with the clothes they already own.
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Climate Change

How do we get to Net Zero?

by Fran Haddock

What's Going On Here?

The UK government has pledged to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. A new report prepared for the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) helps us understand what we as a country and as individuals can do to meet the target. 

What Does This Mean?

Net Zero will mean that greenhouse gas emissions being produced and removed from the atmosphere will balance out to zero. Climate experts are unsurprisingly advising that big lifestyle changes supported by a change in government policy will be needed to reach 'Net Zero.' Here’s a brief summary of the main areas: -

Diet

  • Individuals - shift to a plant-based diet, reduce food waste and eat local and sustainably transported produce
  • Government - introduce environmental impact labels on food, fund research into sustainable foods and alter subsidies for farmers to support sustainable practices 


Transport

  • Individuals - increase use of public transport, walking and cycling. Switch to electric vehicles (EVs).
  • Government - more cycling infrastructure, subsidised public transport, grants for EVs, smart EV home charging systems and better-charging infrastructure.


Aviation


Home Heating

  • Individuals - consider low-carbon heating systems such as air-source heat pumps/hybrid heat pumps and ensure good house insulation.
  • Governments - make low-carbon heating systems and insulation retrofits more affordable, introduce mandate standards for smart appliances, inform the public to reduce uncertainty of new heating systems.

Why Should We Care?

In order to try and limit global warming to 1.5°C, radical changes will be needed individually and on a much larger scale - but these don’t have to impact negatively on our wellbeing! It’s easy to feel helpless when tackling the climate crisis but studies like this help break solutions down into realistic changes that can be made.

It’s important not to feel the weight of the task on your own shoulders as government policy changes are essential, and quite frankly we are not meeting our current targets! (see for the CCC’s July 2019 report).

It should also be mentioned that some scientists and campaigners do not believe that the 2050 target is soon enough. 

Be Curious!
  • Watch this week’s BBC panorama program looking at the changes that need to be made and browse the original report to find out more. 
  • Have a look at your own life to see if you can make any of these changes - some of them aren’t too difficult! Spread the word to family and friends.
  • Keep putting pressure on governments to make these changes ASAP whether it’s by who you vote for, petitioning, marching or non-violent direct action.
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Other news we found curious...

Extinction Rebellion protests continue in London despite ban - BBC
Prince William calls for climate change action on glacier visit - BBC
The New Makers of Plant-Based Meat? Big Meat Companies - NYTimes
Air Pollution Is Linked to Miscarriages in China, Study Finds - NYTimes
Bank of England boss says global finance is funding 4C temperature rise - Guardian
UK renewables generate more electricity than fossil fuels for the first time - Independent
Infinite Play: Adidas launches buy-back platform to combat fashion waste - edie.net
Fran Haddock
NEWS WRITER
Alexandra Genova
NEWS WRITER
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