Sustainability News | Breaking Headlines from Week 33, 2020

 

This week in headlines: Luxiders Magazine brings you the most important sustainability news from across the world. From Gucci’s new video game to Greenland’s ice sheet catastrophe, Luxiders lets you stay informed so you'll never have to miss an update.

 

 
 

Selfridges Unveils Radical New Program: ‘Project Earth’

Luxury department store Selfridges has launched an ambitious sustainability project entitled ‘Project Earth’.  Introducing new retail models; such as repair, rent and resale services, in addition to setting new environmental targets and certification standards for all products by 2025, Selfridges is becoming dedicated to changing the we shop.

 

Milk From Grass-Fed Cows Is Greener Than Soya Substitutes, Say Scientists

In 2018, research by the University of Oxford proved a glass of cows’ milk produces three times more greenhouse gas emissions and consumes nine times more land than any plant-based alternative. However, a recent study from the Sustainable Food Trust has challenged this claim; revealing eco-conscious consumers making the switch from cows’ milk to soya, may in reality be doing more harm than good. 

They argue consumer demand for soya is driving deforestation in parts of South America. Although soya is commonly used in animal feed, cow’s milk uses 11 times less soya than soya milk itself. Thus, drinking milk from cows, fed on grass, distillers’ grain, rapeseed meal and pulses, would be more environmentally friendly.

 
 
 
 

 

How Algae Could Play Crucial Role in Sustainable Food Production

An innovative study by Swansea University has discovered how microalgae could help reduce waste whilst increasing food production. The microalgae, taken as unwanted nutrients from food waste, can be anaerobically digested to produce energy to generate electricity. The algae can also be used as a biofertilizer to nourish crops or converted into animal feed as a sustainable alternative to soya protein.

 

Gucci’s New Video Game to Protect Our Oceans

Gucci Surf’, the eponymous fashion brand’s new computer game, not only offers entertainment, but relays a deeply important message regarding plastic pollution. Featuring Italian surfing star Leonardo Fioravanti, the aim of the game is to collect as much plastic waste as possible, whilst avoiding the sea creatures that lose you points. Combining amusement with education, the game aims to raise awareness of the dangers single-use plastic create.

 

Can Nivea’s 3D Printed Refill Stations Really Reduce Waste?

Nivea’s German parent company Beiersdorf plans to launch shower refill stations across select locations, in a bid to reduce plastic waste. The first prototype machine, made from the company’s in-house 3D printers, will firstly be trialled by consumers to investigate how people react to the concept of reusable bottles. While this project may seem promising, critics are apprehensive. Shower gels themselves are extremely water intensive to produce, and after three uses, the refilled shower bottles must be discarded for hygiene reasons. As such, refill stations should not be regarded as a definitive solution to help solve the plastic issue; whereas, Nivea’s alternative shower bars which emit zero plastic waste, can.

 
 
 
 

 

Greenland’s Melting Ice Sheet Has ‘Passed The Point Of No Return’

Greenland’s ice sheet has reached a tipping point, setting it on an irreversible path to melting away forever. After years of surveying monthly satellite data, researchers from Ohio State University have concluded ‘ice that's discharging into the ocean is far surpassing the snow that's accumulating on the surface’. To the extent where, even if global warming were to stop tomorrow, the ice sheet would still continue to melt. The impact of this is expected to be devastating for coastal communities across the world, as the water stored in ice sheet as solid is returned to the ocean as liquid, contributing to eustatic sea level rise.  Nevertheless, there are many other ‘points of no return’ we have not yet met; concerning, permafrost and the rainforests for example. Thus, there is still time to avoid total environmental calamity.

 

Gucci New Beauty Campaign Fights Against Body Fascism

Ellie Goldstein, an 18-year-old model with Down Syndrome, was elected by Gucci to star in their recent ad campaign ‘Unconventional Beauty’, celebrating ‘non-stereotypical beauty’ types, whilst showcasing the brand’s new L’Obscur Mascara. The beauty campaign has since been featured in Italian Vogue and has taken to Instagram as the fashion label’s ‘biggest liked post ever’. While this may be a positive step in the right direction, helping to break down body fascist ideologies, there is still much more work to be done- in the fashion industry and in the media, with regards to representation.

 
 
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Image © Gucci Beauty

 
 

 

The 2020 Sustainability Leaders

The GlobeScan / SustainAbility Leaders Survey has been surveying global expert opinion on the sustainability agenda since 1997.  This year’s edition collected more than 700 responses from 71 countries between the months of May-July, tracking not only the standard questions, but also those relating to COVID-19. Overall, half of polled experts are concerned that the pandemic will lead to reduced attention for sustainability priorities, given the focus on economic issues and governmental budget constraints.

For more information, detailing how leaders in both the public and private sector aim to address the impacts of COVID-19, whilst maintaining their focus on sustainability strategies and goals, see the full report.

 

Ralph Lauren Invests in Sustainable Material Start-up

The Ralph Lauren Cooperation has announced a new minority investment in leading plant-based material start-up: Natural Fibre Welding, Inc., in order to develop an innovative range of patented high-performance materials, made from reused natural fibres, whilst scaling up the size of production.

 
 
 

 

+ Words:  Stephanie Frank, Luxiders Magazine

London-based student and  journalist Stephanie Frank has become dedicated to repurposing fashion as a force for good and is committed to writing about the interfaces between sustainability, fashion,  lifestyle and culture.

Find her on Instagram and LinkedIn