Tag Archive for: recycle

How Fast Do You Change Your Clothes?

Written by Amaranila Nariswari, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

Trendy, chic, and easy-to-wear describe the fast-fashion industry really well. In some countries, fast-fashion stores sell relatively cheap clothing pieces while at the same time they’re still considered as the trend-setter in the fashion industry. How do they sell so much stuff at once yet manage to sell them at such low prices? One of the secrets behind their success lies in creating and delivering their products to us, their customers. Ever heard about the global supply chain?

Basically, a global supply chain is a network of organizations and processes where several corporations–this includes suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and even retailers–collaborate as one chain, doing production process to distribution, until the products reach the hands of the consumers (Ivanov et al., 2017). The point of this supply chain thing is to provide consumers with the products they want of good quality FAST, following the fast-changing trends. Companies even have a system for tracking the trend and use the services of forecasting companies all over the world to search for new trends or ideas (Matic & Vabale, 2015). Anyway the point of this article is not about the global supply chain. I want you to learn about the wicked side of the fast fashion industry, especially about greenwashing. But before that, let’s discuss how badly impactful the fast fashion industry is to understand why greenwashing exists!

First, it is no secret that the fast-fashion industry pollutes a lot. To create cheap products, they tend to use inexpensive materials. The polyester they use is obtained from fossil fuels, contributing to global warming. At the same time, the cheap textile dyes are toxic and harmful and pollute our clean water (Rauturier, 2021). Don’t forget, this is fast fashion, which means the longevity of clothes is also fast, causing the increasing number of cloth waste every year. Did you know that fast-fashion contributes BIG to textile waste? In the fashion industry, textile wastes are divided into two categories: pre-consumers, including cut clothes which could no longer be used in the production process, and post-consumers, when the owner of the clothes throw them away when they feel like their clothes are outdated, too small, or torn.  

Second, not only does it harm the environment, but there’s also the human cost of its production. To cut the production cost, companies usually go to lower to middle-income countries like Bangladesh in Southeast Asia and Chad in Central Africa while searching for cheap labor. Companies make contracts with the workers to supply the products they sell, but those workers are underpaid and don’t have their rights protected while working in a dangerous environment (Rauturier, 2021). Sometimes even they employ underage workers. Whether the big guys in the company know that those workers are working under illegal conditions or not, they’re responsible for not paying attention to it. 

Sure, these days, companies are more aware of the sustainability of their products regarding the growing value of sustainable development globally. The definition of sustainable development itself ranges depending on who you ask. However, its essence emerges from the concept of Triple Bottom Line, implying the balance between three pillars of sustainability: environmental, social, and economic sustainability (Klarin, 2018). However, it is sad to see that most companies working in fast-fashion industries only focus on the environment, and even that is not enough.

If you look closely at the tags of the clothing pieces, sometimes companies put ‘eco-friendly’ signs. Maybe it’s written like ‘made from recycled materials‘ or ‘sustainable production,’ but are those products really eco-friendly? How many percent of their products are produced using recycled materials? And how much recycled materials do they really use in a single piece of clothing? Such eco-friendly tags are what we call greenwashing. According to Greenpeace, greenwashing attempts to form any public or consumer opinion into thinking that their products are environmentally friendly. It pushes the buyers into thinking that by purchasing their products, they are contributing to the planet’s well-being, too. 

Maybe some of you reading this article have just bought things from the fast-fashion industry last weekend and think ‘oops i just did something bad, didn’t I?’ or ‘did I just get myself greenwashed?’, it’s fine though, I wouldn’t blame you if those eco-friendly slogans got you before. But from now on, I want you to do your research before going shopping. It’s not hard to find information regarding your favorite shops on the internet. Better, you can search for a real environmentally friendly brand to shop for in the future, stores focusing on giving real impact to the environment instead of putting the word ‘green’ everywhere while in fact, they are not. 

Don’t worry too much about the clothes you just bought. It is called fast fashion because the trends keep on changing, and people are competing to be the first to lay their hands on the products. You can change that habit by not throwing your clothes after only a couple of uses. Old clothes can look good if you know how to style them, you know, vintage

Seriously, though, mixing and matching your old clothes could be a fun thing to do to spend your time. If you need some refreshment, you can go to thrift stores and find some magic hidden in their pile of used garments. One piece of clothing can be used several times to make different styles. Like a blazer, you can wear it formally if you match it with a shirt and skirt or cloth pants with belt, necklace, and a clutch bag as accessories, but you can also wear a blazer on top of a t-shirt and shorts, and match it with sneakers to make it casual, depending on what look do you want to present at the moment. Fun, right! I see you’ve already started imagining what you can do with your old clothes now, so I’ll leave you here, bye!

Reference

​​Ivanov, Dmitry et al. (2017). Global Supply Chain and Operations Management: a Decision-Oriented Introduction to the Creation of Value. Switzerland: Springer.

Klarin, T. (2018). The Concept of Sustainable Development: From its Beginning to the Contemporary Issues. Zagreb International Review of Economics and Business21(1):67-94. DOI:10.2478/zireb-2018-0005

Matic, M. & Vita Vabale. (2015). Understanding internationalization patterns of Zara. Master’s Thesis, Department of Business Management, Aalborg, Denmark: Aalborg University. 

Rauturier, S. (2021). What Is Fast Fashion and Why Is It So Bad?. Good on You. Retrieved from https://goodonyou.eco/what-is-fast-fashion/

The Dangers of Consumeristic Patterns in the Face of a Rising e-Commerce Industry

Written by: Alicia Andie Angkawidjaja, Grants Researcher Intern Project Child Indonesia

With Tokopedia, Shopee, and other e-commerce websites being so easy to use, we all have fallen into the comforts of buying something online so that we can receive it the next day (admit it, you’ve clicked on SiCepat shipping before). As e-commerce users, we must know the effect it will have on our future and our environment!

What are the impacts on climate change and the environment from an e-commerce boom?

Outside of e-commerce, consumers would need to drive to a retail or grocery store to get goods and services. This mode of service is self-service and requires only a single, unique channel for sales and logistics. 

Everything changed when the e-commerce industry began. There is a larger variety of products that consumers can choose from and more importantly, there are multi-channel sales and various options such as home delivery and getting products delivered to a designated collection point. 

Under the traditional system, goods are sent to retail stores in bulk (meaning, many products delivered at once) where consumers get their products. With e-commerce, each retailer is expected to deliver directly to its customers. The order size is one product instead of hundreds or thousands—leading to more packaging, faster delivery, and more mobility in deliveries. There are simply more processes in the logistics of consumerism. 

The result? Vehicle footprint increases, which leads to increased carbon emissions and air pollution, contributing to health problems and climate change. Also, more and more plastic packaging is used as products are delivered individually from seller to buyer, instead of in bulk to grocery stores. Our orders most often come in plastic packaging (especially excess bubble wrap) which will accumulate in our homes, our garbage bins, and eventually waste sites.

So, let’s try to be more mindful of our consumeristic patterns, even as the e-commerce industry rises, and strive to do good for our beloved earth. 

Here are some steps you can take to be more mindful of your consumeristic patterns:

  • Wait a few days, if not weeks, before buying a product. Impulse buying feels satisfying, but we might not end up needing that product anymore in a few months. Plus, we end up adding more waste to our garbage bins the more we impulse-buy. Taking a few days/weeks to carefully think if the product is something we can do to ensure that the purchase has a true purpose.
  • Buy for quality, not for quantity. In most cases, it’s much better to buy something a bit pricier that can last longer rather than something cheaper but will not last long. If you opt for the latter, you end up buying more of the product or something similar—ultimately spending more money and creating more waste.
  • Reuse the packaging your order comes from. Save bubble wrap and other plastic packaging to use next time instead of disposing of them immediately. 
  • Don’t be easily drawn into influencer-promoted products and trends. Who hasn’t been influenced by Instagram influencers? Of course, sponsored influencer posts bring interest in the product. However, we should be careful so that we don’t fall into the trap of repetitive purchases simply based on influencer reviews. Apply the principles mentioned above in this situation!
  • Order less, not more. Try to order fewer things online if you’re able to get those items in the nearest store where you can bring your own reusable bag to checkout. Things that can be easily bought at the nearest grocery store should be avoided from being purchased online. 
  • Set up a recycling system at home. Having one large garbage bin to throw all our waste in is simply not enough. Start with having three different bins for general waste, plastic, and paper. Our plastic and paper waste can be recycled (Note: they must be clean, so wash your plastic food containers before throwing them) easily if they are sorted the right way. Google and find out the nearest recycling factory near you—you might be lucky enough to find someone or a company to regularly pick up your recyclable trash.

References:

Burhan, Oleh Fahmi Ahmad. “Rapor Biru Tiga E-Commerce Besar Selama Pandemi Dan Harbolnas 12.12.” E-Commerce Katadata.co.id, 28 Dec. 2020, katadata.co.id/desysetyowati/digital/5fe976562e246/rapor-biru-tiga-e-commerce-besar-selama-pandemi-dan-harbolnas-1212.

Lim, Stanley Frederick W.T. “The E-Commerce Boom and Its Impact on Climate Change.” Varsity Online, 9 June 2021, www.varsity.co.uk/science/9086. 

The Earth is Burning, But You Can Help!

Written by Graciella Stephanie Ganadhi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

Do you notice that the earth is getting hotter and hotter every time? Not to mention the random heavy rain in a dry season? Without us noticing, the earth is burning up. Last year, there was the incident of the Amazon forest burning up. This year, Australian bushfire happened. Rainforests in Kalimantan were also burning up due to the intense heat. These incidents are not an incident at all, it all could’ve been prevented. It was our fault, humans fault. We exploit the environment and when nature is trying to get us back, we are left helpless. In all those forest fires, millions of animals lost their home and their life. Millions of plants burnt to ashes. Now, more than one million animals and plants are in the brink of extinction. All because of our ego. We take, take, and take without ever giving back.

Regardless of whether you actually care or not, you can do something. You live here too, the least you can do is help to take care of our earth. It doesn’t have to be a drastic measure, small things if being done continuously will end up being a huge help.

Here are some things that you can do to help and it’s free, so you have no excuse not to do it!

  1. Walk, walk, walk. Walking will decrease carbon footprint because you literally emit 0 harmful gas to the air. If you must go somewhere far and it’s possible to be done, take public transportation, you’ll share the carbon footprint of the vehicle.
  1. Stop using plastic. Plastic harms the ocean and the land. It pollutes the water and land, it destroys the balance in nature. Not to mention it also disturbs animals’ food chain. Straws is not the only problem, though. Single use plastic bags and plastic cups are a bigger threat to the environment. Exchange the plastics with reusable cups, bags, and straws.
  1. Recycle! Separate your trash bins. Recycle the plastics and paper and reuse the organic trash. Waste management helps the air, water, and land pollution.

We only have one planet, there is nothing else. If we don’t take care of it, it will turn its back on us and we have nowhere to go. Take care of it now, take small steps but give big impacts.

References: https://swikblog.com/world-environment-day-2020-theme/

Flohmärkte als Teil einer Kreislaufwirtschaft

Geschrieben von Salma Nurulhuda, Praktikantin Community Engagement and Coordinator Project Child Indonesien, Übersetzt von Lia Sophie Wilmes, Content Writer Praktikantin Project Child Indonesien

Den konventionellen Wirtschaftsprozess kann man sich als gerade Linie vorstellen, an dessen Ausgangspunkt die jeweiligen Rohstoffe zu sehen sind. Diese haben eine weiter Reise vor sich: durch die Produktion bis hin zum Verbraucher, bis sie schließlich nicht mehr gebraucht werden und im Hausmüll oder auf großen Deponien landen. Dies gilt für alle Arten von Produkten, darunter auch unsere Kleidung. Die Bekleidungsindustrie ist heutzutage einer der Hauptverursacher von Umweltverschmutzung und Textilabfällen. Es gehen viele Nachteile mit einer klassischen, linearen Wirtschaft einher. Daher muss es so schnell wie möglich einen Wandel hin zu einer nachhaltigeren Kreislaufwirtschaft geben.

Eine Kreislaufwirtschaft ist ein Wirtschaftsmodell, dessen Grundlage ein Zyklus von restaurativem und regenerativem Design ist. Dadurch sollen sowohl der größte Nutzen, als auch der größte Wert von Produkten, Bauteilen und generell Materialien sichergestellt werden. Ein großer Vorteil der Kreislaufwirtschaft liegt darin, dass Herausforderungen in Bezug auf die vorhandenen Ressourcen für Unternehmen und Volkswirtschaften aktiv angenommen werden; Wachstum wird generiert, Arbeitsplätze werden geschaffen und die negativen Auswirkungen auf die Umwelt werden reduziert. Je nach Nutzungsphase können zirkuläre Wirtschaftsmodelle in drei Bereiche unterteilt werden: zirkuläres Design in der Vornutzungsphase, optimale Nutzung in der Nutzungsphase und Wertrückgewinnung in der Nachnutzungsphase.

In der Phase des zirkulären Designs könnten Unternehmen im Sinne von nachhaltiger Mode haltbarere Kleidung entwerfen oder Kleidung aus wiederverwertbaren Materialien herstellen. Es kommt aber auch auf das Nutzungsverhalten des Konsumenten und der Konsumentin an; falls er oder sie das Kleidungsstück bereits nicht mehr mag, bevor es überhaupt seine maximale Leistungsfähigkeit erreicht hat, führt das zu einer kürzeren Nutzungsphase. Um zu vermeiden, dass sich Kleidung nutzlos im Schrank stapelt oder weggeworfen wird, obwohl sie noch getragen werden könnte, können Verbraucher ihre Kleidung weiterverkaufen, zum Beispiel auf Flohmärkten. Auch kann Kleidung für wohltätige Zwecke gespendet werden.

Flohmärkte sind ein gutes Beispiel dafür, wie die Nutzungsphase eines Produktes verlängert werden kann.

Dank Flohmärkten wird Kleidung, die noch in gutem Zustand ist, nicht direkt entsorgt, wenn der Besitzerin oder dem Besitzer das Kleidungsstück nicht mehr gefällt, sondern es wird weiterverkauft und findet eine neue Besitzerin oder einen neuen Besitzer. Menschen, die generell nur wenig Geld für Kleidung zur Verfügung haben, können auf Flohmärkten Kleidung zu einem günstigen Preis erwerben. Project Child Indonesien bietet Kindern aus in Flussnähe lebenden Gemeinden die Möglichkeit, an wöchentlichem Unterricht teilzunehmen. Die Gemeinden liegen an den Ufern der Flüsse Gajahwong, Code und Winongo in Yogyakarta. Im vergangenen März organisierte das Team von Project Child Indonesien in einer dieser Gemeinden einen Flohmarkt. Viele der Menschen, die dort leben, sind von ihrem täglichen Einkommen abhängig, das meist nur die Grundbedürfnisse ihrer Familien deckt. Diese Menschen haben sich sehr über den Flohmarkt gefreut und werden ihre neue Kleidung mit Sicherheit noch lange tragen.

Flohmärkte können außerdem eine Einkommensquelle für gemeinnützige Organisationen darstellen und somit für wohltätige Zwecke genutzt werden. So kann der Wohlstand gerechter unter den Menschen verteilt werden. Zusammenfassend lässt sich sagen, dass wir den Wandel hin zu einer Kreislaufwirtschaft unterstützen sollten. Das erfordert das Engagement vieler verschiedener Akteure, wie zum Beispiel der Konsumenten. Flohmärkte sind ein Weg, dieses Ziel zu erreichen.

Referenzen:

  • Ellen MacArthur Foundation. 2015. Towards A Circular Economy: Business Rationale for An Accelerated Transition.
  • Gwilt, A., Risannen, T. 2012. Shaping Sustainable Fashion: Changing the Way We Make and Use Clothes. Routledge
  • Stötzer S., Andeßner, R., Scheichl, S.  2020. Charity flea markets – an amalgamation of product philanthropy and volunteering. International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing