I was pleasantly surprised when my wife told me about a website en.pleatsmama.com while she was online shopping for a trendy shoulder bag. She knew I would be interested because I’m quite “environmentally aware”. The expression is an appendage as I’m not trying to get the better of Greta Thunberg. The company, Pleats Mama creates its bags from thread that has been made from recycled plastic bottles. Amazing, incredible, fascinating, are just too many adjectives to describe. Wang Jong-min, founder and CEO revealed that the fashion industry makes a lot of waste in the process of making clothes. Only transparent water bottles can be used to make long fibers. Most of the time the garbage that gets collected is mixed with colored bottles and other waste which is impossible to use. However, through her project “Regen Jeju” she succeeded in creating a polyester fiber called Regen and making pleated bags from the fibers.
Sustainable living or green living is a broad term but fundamentally refers to a lifestyle that avoids depleting the earth’s natural resources by reducing demand for water, energy, trees, and fossil fuels. It also means striving to create less waste and prioritizes the use of renewable resources and minimum consumption. In other words, it’s simply to reduce our carbon footprint.
I understand that most of us think – why practice something when no one cares or there are many other urgent matters out there. It will not make a difference. On the contrary, according to a survey by Ipsos (statista.com) the most concerning environmental issue in Malaysia is global warming which is 45% as of March 2019. There is a relatively high awareness and some people have adjusted their lifestyles to mitigate the effect of climate change. Some examples include using energy-saving bulbs, hybrid cars, public transport, and most importantly avoid plastic because it’s one of the biggest contributors of pollution. These are just a few, but it’s a start.
Moving forward, it would be useful to look into sustainable fashion sometimes referred to as slow fashion. It considers an item’s full life cycle, such as sourcing, shipping, and end of life, as well as the people and resources it affects.
Purchase from brands and companies that are committed to sustainable practice. Such companies promote specific sustainable practices including reducing water and hazardous chemicals used in production or use of recycled materials or sustainable fibers such as organic cotton.
They are grown using less water and without pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Other manufacturing processes from the dyes and finishes to the ethical conditions at factories have to be complied with a specific criteria.
Finally, the word “organic” is synonymous with health and the environment. It’s also a great step towards sustainability. Organic food is grown without the use of chemicals, such as human-made pesticides and fertilizers. There are many imposters who claim that their products are organic which are difficult to identify. Nevertheless, we have to check their claims on their label or only buy brands that are renowned. The market for organic food has grown significantly with distinct production, processing, distribution, and retail systems.
Organic farming is based on the awareness that there is a fine balance in the natural world which allows all species to coexist without anyone gaining dominance says Geoff Hamilton in his book Organic Gardening. It involves a complex and arduous process of soil management, fertilizers, and organic weed, pest, and disease control.
Sustainability is attainable if we act as a conscientious consumer.
Chuck is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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