Sustainable students: How easy is it to be more environmentally-friendly?

Helen and Will

Plastics challenge

The students were challenged to reduce their plastic use by 75%, which they found difficult.

“It’s hard when you’re on a student budget, getting anything not wrapped in plastic is so much more expensive,” Amy explained.

Plastics guru Lucy Siegle gave them a helping hand, swapping their countless shower bottles for sustainable versions of shampoo, toothpaste and soap bars.

She also gave them reusable items like coffee cups and cutlery and told them to change their shopping habits.

Image caption Amy Fitzgerald and Jay Maheswaran were tasked with reducing their use of plastics

But Amy said they found supermarkets a particular problem as “everything was wrapped in plastic”.

“And going to the butcher’s was more expensive than getting pre-packaged stuff,” she added.

At the start of the week, Ms Siegle weighed the plastic in the students’ home, which totalled 2.8lb (1.3kg) – a figure she described as “rather a lot”.

With her advice, the students reduced it to 1.5lb.

Image caption Ms Siegle was not pleased with the house’s reliance on clingfilm, and confiscated their roll

“I’m still really pleased with them,” she said. “Especially as when I saw all the bottles they [initially] had in their bathroom, I nearly gave up.”

Ms Siegle said she thought the group had adopted the mindset shift really quickly, experiencing outrage over everything being plastic.

She urged them to be more militant by unwrapping products at the supermarket checkout and leaving the plastic behind to make the point.

“We need to take a stand,” she said.

Fashion challenge

Marcus Rudd, one of the housemates, had hoped that his shopping habits – buying 10 to 15 T-shirts a year, combined with some designer pieces – were environmentally friendly.

Then he learned that it took 3,000 litres of water on average to make only one T-shirt.

The fashion industry – which makes 100 billion garments each year – is a major contributor to greenhouse gases, water pollution, air pollution and the overuse of water.

Image caption Marcus was won over by charity and vintage shops, picking out this striking jacket

It is exacerbated, MPs say, by so-called “fast fashion” – inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers.

Sustainable stylist Alice Wilby taught the students to reuse, repair and recycle, encouraging them to swap fast fashion for second-hand.

She challenged Marcus and his housemate Goby Chan, who regularly buys clothes she does not wear, to make a new outfit from old clothes to model at London Fashion Week.

“We buy so much stuff and half of it sits unworn in the back of the wardrobe,” Ms Wilby said.

“Before we buy anything else it’s great to see what you’ve already got, and fall back in love with your things.”

Image caption Marcus and Goby modelled recycled clothes for a Mother of Pearl show at London Fashion Week

Goby enjoyed the challenge. “I was shocked by what you can do by reusing a garment and making it into something new which is actually really fashionable. I actually love it.”

  • The students modelling recycled clothes
  • Quiz: Are your clothes damaging the environment?
  • The students with a food waste problem

And Ms Wilby said they did well.

“Considering Marcus had never set foot in a second-hand shop before – and thought they were smelly places with clothes you would never want to buy – by the end of the week he was finding pieces he really loved. That was a really great victory.

“These two shop a lot, and over the past month [since the challenge] he has only bought one item.”

Energy challenge

The students took dramatic action to reduce their energy usage – and it worked.

They used much less heating – switching it off at night; wearing jumpers, coats and blankets; and generally keeping the house a little bit cooler.

It made a huge difference to their gas usage – cutting it by a whopping 48%.

They also lowered their electricity usage by 15%. This added up to a 44% carbon saving – around a tonne of carbon in all.

“It was a massive effort – it was freezing in our house,” said Marcus Golby.

Image caption The students were able to drastically cut their home’s energy bills

“[Before] we weren’t communicating when things were going on and going off, so you ended up with the heating on the majority of the time,” explained Amy.

“This month we’re having more of a balance of keeping warm and keeping the heating off when we’re out.”

Dr Rosie Robison, an energy expert from Anglia Ruskin University, said it raised wider questions on whether the focus should be on individuals using less energy or the “wider responsibilities for landlords or homeowners, housebuilders and government for thinking about how our homes can require less fossil fuel in the first place”.

Food challenge

A third of all food made for human consumption is wasted every year – costing the average UK family £700 each year, estimates suggest.

The students were challenged to cut their food waste by 50% and move to the planetary health diet – a plant-based diet with small amounts of meat and fish.

Image caption Helen and Will cooked vegetable bolognese for the house, as part of adopting the planetary health diet for a week

Dr Elliot Woolley, a senior lecturer in sustainable manufacturing at Loughborough University, encouraged them to store their food more carefully to stop it becoming spoiled, plan their meals and prepare the right amount of food for the people eating.

He said that they found the challenge hard, but had reduced their food waste from 8.1lb to 6.8lb, which he described as “a fairly small reduction”.

Image caption The contents of the students’ food waste bin, before the challenge

Dr Woolley added: “One of the things it shows is even when you’re aware of the problem and you’re trying to reduce waste, it’s so ingrained into how we waste and use food that actually we continue with these large amounts.”

Housemate Will Smith said their waste totals were boosted by food bought before the challenge which had started to go off, but admitted: “I don’t think we did too well.”

But he said it had changed his mindset and he would continue trying not to waste food in future.

The Sustainable Students series was produced and directed by Owen Kean and Tom Yeates, with research by Curtis Gallant and Simon O’Leary.

[“source-“bbc”]

Leading Designer Calls For Sustainability To Be The Driver In Functional Fabric Innovation

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Munich-based Performance Days is an event created especially for functional fabrics for sports and work clothing with the aim of giving textile manufacturers, suppliers and service providers the opportunity to present their products to decision-makers from almost every European active clothing and functional wear brand.

CREDIT: PERFORMANCE DAYS

Performance clothing is central to the business of the outdoor recreation sector in Europe. According to the latest State of Trade Report from the European Outdoor Group, the apparel category represents 50% of the market’s value. Next month’s Performance Days Functional Fabrics Fairhas as its theme ‘The Beauty of Function’ and aims to show that the concept of beauty is also relevant to functional fabrics for the collections of summer 2021 and beyond.

Independent design professional Anne Prahl specializes in sustainable design innovation and her Expert Talk – ‘Designing Beauty: Considered Innovation for Performance Products’ – will address ‘what role sustainability plays within the context of beautiful functional fabrics and clothing’. She will be exploring the meaning of beauty and how it can be created through a combination of color, texture, fabric handle and garment construction before outlining some of the sustainability challenges this brings.

In an interview for Performance Days regarding the future design of performance clothing, she noted,

For the next few years, I expect to see lots of incremental innovation around fabrics, manufacturing and recycling technologies. We will also see the continuation of new consumption models, such as sharing, rental and reuse, which will have an impact on how functional clothing is designed and used. In response to growing consumer demand, so-called sustainable fabrics will become more ubiquitous and commercially viable.

The industry’s long-term future looks more disruptive, as we will see a new generation of bio-based materials that are lab-grown and engineered, as well as 100 % recyclable and biodegradable textiles fit for the circular economy. This move will also affect how fabrics are coloured and finished and clothes are manufactured so they can be fully recyclable or biodegradable at end-of-life. This will no doubt lead to highly unique and surprising aesthetics, silhouettes and styling.

Another important factor in designing and developing functional clothing in the future will be the use of digital and 3D tools and systems. Some of these tools, including digital material libraries, 3D design programs, virtual prototyping, digital and automated manufacture and digital sales, will provide exciting opportunities for designing and producing original and customised clothing.

In theory, performance requirements should not limit but inspire the design of functional clothing. Some designers may see performance requirements as an obstacle to their creative freedom but the beauty of functional clothing is that products are designed for a specific end-use, and therefore should become items that the consumer loves to wear for a long time to come, rather than throwing the item out after a couple of uses.”

Regarding the role of sustainability in apparel design, Prahl was clear about its future,

I have been working with many different companies, large and small, to find creative ways to make sustainability part of the design process. The first step is to have a clear vision on what sustainability means for the brand we are designing for. This vision needs to be inspiring and achievable and requires a good support system so that designers and developers can make the vision reality through educated choices.

In my opinion, we need to embed sustainability right into our design concepts. This can be done through training and inspiring designers on sustainable and circular design strategies and making sure that sustainability becomes part of the design. As designers, we also need to constantly push fabric suppliers and clothing manufacturers, in order to push the innovation agenda and having a wider selection of sustainable options to choose from in the future.”

[“source=forbes”]

UH scientists: Everyone should be alarmed if Chinese researcher actually gene-edited babies

It’s the baby news that sparked outrage in the scientific community.

A Chinese scientist claims to have created the world’s first genetically-modified babies by altering the DNA of human embryos. He Jiankui says the twin girls are now genetically resistant to HIV.

Steven Ward, director of UH’s Institute for Biogenesis Research, says he was appalled to learn of the news.

“It is hard to see it as other than a stunt. It really takes away the credibility of all the scientists who are trying to do good with this,” he said.

Dr. Jennifer Doudna, a pioneer of the CRISPR gene editing technology and a Hilo High graduate, also spoke out against the experiment that didn’t follow scientific protocols and has not been verified.

“I think it’s a break from what was recommended by the report released by the Image result for UH scientists: Everyone should be alarmed if Chinese researcher actually gene-edited babiesNational Academy of Science last year, 2017, that encouraged an open and transparent approach to any clinical use of human embryo editing,” she said.

Doudna spoke at UH Hilo and the UH Cancer Center in September, warning of the technology’s misuse.

“People forging ahead to make CRSPR babies that’s a little creepy to me,” said Doudna, at UH Hilo.

“I feel a strong responsibility that it’s not just to make a first, but also make it an example,” He Jiankui told the Associated Press. He added: “Society will decide what to do next.”

Jesse Owens is an assistant professor at UH’s Institute for Biogenesis Research and is trying to make CRISPR technology safer. He says gene therapy could have medical benefits for adults, but not on human embryos.

“If you have a child that child’s child will have that same mutation and that child’s child, it will go on forever. That’s the line that nobody crosses,” he said.

[“source=ndtv”]