Building the world’s largest environmental movement

Earth Day Misson is to educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide and to raise global awareness. The Earth Day Network is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement. It is working with more than 75,000 partners in close to 192 countries worldwide, to build an environmental democracy.

On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day was launched by 20 million Americans that came together from all walks of life to raise awareness of the responsibility we have to look after our Earth and each other. Now, almost 50 years later, each year over 1 billion people participate in Earth Day, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

That is achieved through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer campaigns and has triggered many groundbreaking changes to environmental law and policies such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act, which are all part of that success story!

How do we take part and become part of this growing movement?

The Earth Day website has a variety of help and advice on how to do it. They offer educational Quizzes and ‘Teach-in’ programs and help you set up your own Earth day revolution! You can ‘Take the Pesticide Pledge‘ or Plant a Tree or donate a tree with ‘the Canopy Project‘. When that is not enough for you it is also possible to make a conscious choice in the cloth you wear.

Not only has this mission changed the Law and Policy on a global scale but also educated each one of us to do better and to try harder. That also includes leading Fashion brands such as Stella McCartney, which are trailblazing the way in this amazing commitment. Stella McCartney is a vegetarian brand that cares about nature, about animals, and about the people, they are sharing this planet with.

To put it into their own word:

“We believe in respecting the environment and working with nature instead of against it. By continuing to source as many sustainable materials as possible, we hope to enrich the environment and protect it for the future. In order to live up to our values, we are using the best materials possible, which are environmentally friendly and promote high social living standards for farmers and workers.

The Benefits of Organic Cotton

A number of the pesticides used for cotton farming are strong chemical agents which are subsequently released into the environment and have adverse effects on the environment, pollute ecosystems and distort them.
Organic cotton, however, is grown without chemical pesticides or harmful fertilizers, which is why is it often seen as more environmentally friendly than conventional cotton.
Rotetone is a natural pesticide which was used in cotton farming since the 1800s until it was found to cause symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease in rats. In 2011 a study from the US National Institutes of Health indicated a link between Rotetone use and Parkinson’s disease in farm workers, but the natural pesticide is not included on the FDA ‘white’ list. 
So, when it comes to environmental effects, organic cotton is usually highlighted as the better of the two.

Organic cotton
Organic cotton eliminates the use of toxic and persistent chemicals, improves soil health and increases water conservation. All of which is better for the environment and for farmers and their communities, explaining why Stella McCartney has been increasing the amount of certified organic cotton, up to 61%, they use in their collections over the years.

Recycled Material

Since 1960 the amount of trash buried in landfills has nearly doubled, causing these landfills to run out of space, and often overflow. The environmental problems caused by landfills are countless, ranging from landfill fires and subsequent gas release to serious atmospheric and hydrological effects. Recycling can prevent the waste of potentially useful materials and reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, thereby reducing: energy usage, air pollution (from incineration), and water pollution (from landfilling).

Other materials that are particularly useful for recycling purposes include corrugated cardboard, steel cans, high-density polyethene (HDPE) plastic bottles, glass containers, and computers. With the proper recycling technologies, each material can offer sustainable options for the improvement of the global environment.

Stella McCartney, for example, uses pre-consumer textile wast no longer needed Pre-consumer waste is fibre, fabric and clothing that is collected before it ever reaches a store. This is then broken down and processed to create new polyester fibre and is just as high-quality as ordinary polyester. Also, by 2020, Stella’s goal is to stop using virgin nylon. To achieve this they are switching all their current nylon to ECONYL® regenerated nylon.

Recycled Material
There is so much raw material already on the earth, in use or on its way to landfill, why not use what we already have instead of making more? At Stella, they reuse fabrics that would normally become waste to recycle them into new fabrics.

Sustainable sourced Viscose

Around 7% of clothes are made from viscose.  Viscose, also known as rayon and starts its life as a tree. Every year more than 120 million trees are torn down to make fabric, many of which come from ancient or endangered forests. This deforestation is tragic and one of the main reasons for climate change. Viscose is made by chemically treating wood pulp, which is usually from trees or sometimes from bamboo. But because plants are the source material, viscose garments are sometimes referred to as ‘eco’ or ‘natural’. 

Evidence gathered by the Changing Markets Foundation at locations in Indonesia, China and India found that viscose factories are dumping highly toxic wastewater into local waterways, destroying marine life and exposing workers and local populations to harmful chemicals In some areas visited for the investigation, pollution from viscose manufacturing is suspected to be behind the growing incidence of cancer, and villagers have stopped drinking the well water for fear of the effect it will have on their families.

Sustainable Sourced Viscose
Stella primary viscose supply chain is fully traceable, transparent and entirely European. They carefully source pulp from trees that come from an FSC-certified forest in Sweden, which is neither ancient nor endangered.

Now that we have discovered the basic origin of some material and how they impact our lives and our kids live, our planet and the future, should we not be more vigilant on what to buy? We as consumers have the chance, by making a conscious choice on what we buy and where we buy it from and to make an environmental footprint for the better.