Around the world, there are countless businesses trying to reduce the negative environmental impact they are making, as across the globe, we currently throw away 2.12 billion tonnes of waste each year which is causing great harm to our planet. Although authoritative bodies around the world have introduced schemes and initiatives to encourage recycling — most of our waste continues to end up in landfills; which is leading to severe consequences for the environment. This figure is also expected to grow to 4 billion by 2100.
Aside from the positives such initiatives give us, sometimes they can fail us and often, harmful waste could end up in our oceans. According to some studies, 1.4 billion pounds of rubbish ends up in our waters each year which is having a profound impact on marine life — so much so, scientists have estimated that the amount of plastic will outweigh the fish by 2050.
Did you know that 98% of our products are thrown away within six months? Because of this, more businesses around the world are looking at more sustainable ways to create their products in a bid to help better the world that we live in.
Traidcraft Shop: Recycled Tableware
Recycling glass to create ethical homeware is a great way to reduce your environmental impact – and that’s exactly what Ngwenya Glass has been doing since 1979. Originally set up as a Swedish Aid Project, Ngwenya Glass now trains over 60 people in the art of glassblowing to create one-of-a-kind pieces ethical homeware.
The products are created using 100% recycled glass collected by local communities. Ngwenya Glass encourages communities to come together for clean-up days along main roads in the area to gather discarded glass. Most of the glass used to be soft drink bottles!
Those who collect the glass for products to be made are rewarded for their work too – as Ngwenya Glass are able to back people by the kilo. The business also works with local schools to educate young people in the importance of environmentalism and recycling, and supports schools with building materials and learning resources.
Lush Cosmetics: Naked Products
Lush Cosmetics pride themselves on being sustainable and aware of their influence on consumers. So much so they claim to be 100% vegetarian, promote ethical buying, fight animal testing, craft their products by hand and offer naked packaging products which is helping reduce the chaotic packaging crisis Britain is now facing.
Around the world, each person uses 200 pounds of plastic each year. This has highlighted a huge problem and put great responsibility upon businesses internationally and through innovative design, Lush Cosmetics were able to develop several products that didn’t require packaging to sell.
Lush have all sorts of products, so there is definitely something for you. As well as this, all of plastic used by Lush is 100% recycled.
Fjällräven: Re-Kånken and Eco-Shell
Kånken backpacks are growing more popular worldwide. Originating from a small town in Sweden, the company focuses on outdoor clothing and equipment and is committed to making nature more accessible for adventurers alike while having a focus on the simplicity of their products.
Although they are simple in style, they are very complex to design due to the ethical practices followed. To play their part in helping the environment, they released the Re-Kånken bag which is made entirely from polyester recycled from plastic bottles. As well as this, it is dyed with SpinDye technology which ‘radically reduces’ the amount of water, energy and chemicals used.
Eco-shell is another product that has become more popular from the company too. The coat is made from recycled polyester and unlike many other products on the market, perflourinated chemicals are not involved in the creation.
Wasteboards are a recent trend that have taken off in Amsterdam. Benefiting the environment as research has suggested that there are 20,000 plastic bottles are being bought every second, this forward-thinking company collect plastic bottle tops to create the deck of the board.
As bottle lids are dropped all over, the company encourage people to collect them. As well as this, fishermen who use the canals in Amsterdam are also asked to collect as much as they can.
This company loves the idea of being sustainable and being able to sell a sustainable product, so even if your wasteboard breaks — they’ll recycle the broken plastic and create you a new one!