Knits for the planet

Knits for the planet

By Ruth Rands

Knits for the planet

Here at HERD we have been glued to the updates coming in from COP26, the climate conference happening in Glasgow as we speak. So much so we thought it worth an additional newsletter this month to clarify what we want to hear from our leaders. Fashion is the most globally polluting industry after oil, above transportation including aviation. Fundamental changes in how we make and buy clothes are needed to reduce this impact. But it’s not all doom and gloom! There are simple things that could turn things around…. 

  • Support for our farmers. This is the most important part of the changes we need to see in both food and fashion. This means valuing the critical role they play in care-taking our land by remunerating them for climate-promoting practices, not pushing their prices down via trade deals with competing countries with lower animal welfare standards. Regenerative farming can turn around global warming - isn’t that exciting? For an introduction to Regenerative Agriculture start with the documentary ’Kiss The Ground’ and go deep into Alan Savoury’s presentations on YouTube. 
  • The end of subsidies on plastics in fashion. Polyester, nylon and acrylic are made from petrochemicals (like plastics), which are made from oil. This means they are not biodegradable and release micro-fibres into the ocean every single time they are washed. The fact they are cheap is fundamentally how fast fashion has taken it’s choking hold on our wardrobes, but these are not high quality or durable fabrics so are quickly thrown away, causing catastrophic waste across the third world.
  • Real recognition for wool in all its’ forms. Let’s use this magical, innovative fibre in clothing, insulation, mattresses, curtains, carpets, upholstery - there is a breed for every use! It is antibacterial, anti-microbial, wicking of moisture, naturally biodegradable and even beneficial for the soil when buried. Have a look at the Campaign for Wool for great companies making beautiful things that last using wool.

 And at home - if you want to make a difference in your wardrobe start by only buying natural fibres wool, linen, cotton (make sure it is organic), eco viscose. Your spending power DOES make a difference.

Image shows climate activist Aditi Mayer in HERD at her recent trip to Scotland exploring Fibresheds.


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