It’s the Fashion Revolution week. Earth Day was on Sunday. Last month the scientists revealed that the Great Pacific garbage patch is much bigger than it was estimated – it’s three times the size of France!
In February a Finnish working garment company TouchPoint arranged a fashion show which theme was based on my concept: PlasticOn Show. In PlasticOn Show TouchPoint was presenting clothes that are reserving plastic bottles and new bio based textile solutions for example the Dutch Awearness Infinity textile, which can be recycled eight times and finally a composite is formed.
This is the future: to overcome the overloading that the world is facing we need to invent and implement only circulating solutions. The old linear model of consumption has come to its end. The new curled up model called circular economy is fascinating, motivating and inspiring challenge which you can make money with (if you need that excuse). So everyone, bring up your ideas!
What people should notice is that the garbage has value now. A great example of demonstrating this fact has been Holland – the forerunner country for circular economy. The young countryman Boyan Slat has built the enormous technologies with his Ocean Cleanup foundation to collect the plastic from the seas. Small particles are made of plastic and that will be used again to make different products, for example design furniture. Holland is also testing a green coin. When people find and return the plastic in nature they get these coins which works as a proper currency.
With all these kind of new solutions we make sure that we make the synthetic unnatural plastic to circulate and will not produce new plastic in this world. Plastic is forever and we have enough of that. We also need great new insights and innovations how to for example make a washing machine that doesn’t’ release micro plastics. Or how is a synthetic fibre composition that doesn’t release plastic? How do we make use of the old materials when creating the new ones?
Both the products and the stores – and of course the policy-makers – have a great responsibility when we strive for the better. The toothpaste and other products that include micro plastics (polyethylene, polypropylene, poly-e-terephthalate, polymethyl methacrylate in the product data sheet) must be removed from the store shelves. The mixed material packaging has to be replaced with easier solutions so that sorting garbage comes effortless. And please, let’s not produce shit that lead people to wrong direction – like the bio rubbish bag which only takes a lot of energy and is super slow and difficult to moulder. Or the plastic coffee capsules that ruined the world. We consumers should demand for better – for responsible solutions on which we can trust. Then ecological life becomes much easier. Of course we need to customize our consumption habits to more durable direction too but that will be easier when we get all that information that would benefit us and make our decisions nice and easy. For example the idea of the Fashion Revolution is great – when we know who made our clothes and what were the circumstances both for the people and the nature, it is easier to be a good consumer.
In future we need to get the new rough feeling with the circulating products. But I think that the products can actually become much more meaningful to us when we know we have put our effort in making them. Today everyone should recycle or start recycling asap. If you don’t recycle things that’s kind of uncivilised. I hope these the base is set and in control in your country. In my vision my country Finland is one of the models contributing the circular economy in the world. I hope my country gets far with these issues and then can help others, the developing countries too. During the Asian trip this spring I was once again sad about the rubbish on the beach and in the rivers, on the roads and in the forests (read about my last expedition in Asia here). The craziest thing is the fact that a guide told me in Indonesia that back in the days people were packing things in the banana leaf, which they could throw back in the nature. After the industrial revolutions they kept throwing but the banana leaf was replaced with the plastic wrap.
Of course the plastic has been necessary, there’s no doubt about that. Earlier we weren’t developed enough to come this far. But today we make new natural achievements all the time. The cellulose bio based jars and tubes and companies like Finnish Sulapac and Kotkamills innovate the new sustainable world. In Indonesia I got a drink with a straw, which was made out of starch. I couldn’t notice the difference to plastic in any of these products. So now we are getting ready. We can cut the plastic – let’s not add any more of it. Through the positive solutions we circulate the big stocks we have.
The TouchPoint PlasticOn Show was a cool positive event. A modern dance show is part of the concept and it visualised the change – like did the plastic based outfits and the new great bio solutions. The plastic situation and the situation in the world were shown from this new fashionably inspiring perspective. Overall, I can see the positive movement that is happening. The power of the communities is real and the trends seem to support more and more this beautiful world – who wouldn’t want to preserve all this what we have here. Like one of my quotes puts it: we can’t do a plastic surgery to the world. So it’s better to stop ruining it. Let’s make environmental issues fashionable – together.