According to Greenpeace, it is estimated that up to 12 million metric tons of plastic enter our ocean each year. Today on World Oceans Day we look at the ways in which we can help to protect and restore our oceans …
With small changes we can all work to become more aware of the products we’re using, the chemicals they contain, whether or not they’re packaged with reusable and recyclable materials, and ultimately, how we dispose of them at the end of their use. Plastic pollution comes in many forms, from single-use water bottles to microbeads in beauty products and microfibres in some synthetic fabrics. The first step in changing our behaviour is recognising the issues at hand and looking at how we can make small changes in our day to day lives.
Brown Thomas Arnotts have implemented sustainability plans to help combat environmental issues. In a recent survey conducted by Brown Thomas Arnotts, over 80% of customers said that sustainability is a key factor in their purchasing decisions. Post COVID-19 over 50% said that community and sustainability are even more important.
Sustainable fashion has grown significantly over recent years and customers have a lot of choice now in terms of what they buy and decisions they make when consuming goods and services. According to Dr Dorothy Maxwell, head of sustainability at Brown Thomas Arnotts, key trends underway include “a growth in sustainable materials that enable circularity and traceability in the supply chain for sound labour, animal welfare and environmental practices, including ocean health.”
This World Oceans Day we’ve put together some simple steps to help save our oceans with some advice from Dr Dorothy Maxwell:
Cut down on plastic
Particularly single-use plastic. “We can all shift to more sustainable lifestyles. For example, using green electricity, eating less meat, shifting away from fossil fuel powered cars and avoiding single-use plastics like wet wipes, straws and shifting to reusable cups and bottles. We can also buy better, investing in quality sustainable products that last,” says Maxwell.
Embrace circular fashion when possible
In terms of fashion choices, buying pre-loved clothing and accessories helps to limit waste and save resources. From microplastics in fabrics to water waste and chemical pollution, the environmental costs of manufacturing clothing and accessories are high especially when it comes to our water resources. According to Maxwell, “Circular fashion is about sustainable fashion that lasts, and has many lives. Moving from a linear to a circular model will save resources, waste and carbon. To support our customers shift to circular, we have done partnerships in store with luxury authenticators and resale experts Siopaella and Vestiaire Collective. We also have our “Give Back with Style” take back scheme with St. Vincent de Paul who resell unwanted fashion for much needed funds.” Brown Thomas and Arnotts have also introduced The Sustainable Edit, a curated collection of sustainable beauty, fashion, and home products respecting people, planet and animals in line with certified industry best practice standards. “Shoppers should look out for quality products that last, with labels showing that they meet third party certified best practice schemes.”
Switch to Marine Safe certified beauty products
“Shopping for sustainable products can be complex for customers, so we do the hard work for them,” says Maxwell. By visiting The Sustainable Edit online at brownthomas.com and arnotts.ie you will see a list of products that are certified, “For example, Vegan, Cruelty Free, COSMOS or Marine Safe certified beauty products.” By opting for Marine Safe certified beauty products you can help to limit the damaging pollutants that enter the ocean causing harm to our coral reefs and marine life.
Support brands that are helping the ocean
Including Stella McCartney, Faithfull The Brand, La Mer and Tata Harper at Brown Thomas and Arnotts. To raise awareness this World Oceans Day, Arnotts have put together a round up of brands to support.
Small businesses and households can …
How can small companies begin to implement sustainability into the day to day running of their business? According to Maxwell, “Some of the basics include looking into green electricity, windpower, eliminating single-use plastics, these are often an environmental and financial win-win for business too. We switched to 100% verified green electricity and have achieved a 20% carbon emission reduction so far through energy saving technology like LED lights in stores. We’ve also eliminated single-use plastic carrier bags, beauty wipes, cotton buds, water bottles and cups.”
Take part in a beach clean up
Join an organised group like Flossy and the Beach Cleaners or just take a black sack and some gloves with you on your next beach walk. Every little helps.
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