Earth Day 2023
This weekend (Saturday 22nd April) marks Earth Day, an important opportunity for people around the world come together to celebrate the beauty of our planet and look at the actions we need to take in order to protect it.
The history of Earth Day
Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22nd 1970 and has gained awareness over time, organically growing into what is now a globally recognised event. This weekend millions of people are participating in activities that promote environmental awareness and conservation.
The United Nations directives are central to Earth Day. The directives cover climate, hunger, education...health and much more. They involve every process taking place on Earth, as all of our actions have reactions. We need to embrace sustainable consumption, protect our home, the oceans, the ecosystems, creatures...it's a big list that can feel overwhelming. It's a fact that there is a lot to do, but we can do it, taking the first steps are critical to gaining momentum. Think of the UN directives as a map, the way forward, the way to protect our planet for future generations.
Taking environmental action everyday
One of the ways that we have embraced the UN directives is through our ‘made-on-demand’ service. We’ve never produced shirts in large volumes, we’re just not that type of company. We’re small, quality and design focused, preferring to deliver the best we can, rather than the most we can make.
Our ‘made-on-demand’ approach significantly reduces waste, so we don’t add to the problem of overproduction around the world, and particularly within the fashion industry.
Next step - Recoding
In addition to our ‘made-on-demand’ services, we are excited to be launching the ReCode service next week. This service allows customers to up-cycle their shirts and other materials that we will re-purpose and re-use to make a brand new shirt. It’s another step, as we aim to reduce waste and promote sustainable consumption, which are important parts of Earth Day.
We are proud to be a part of the slow fashion movement, an area of fashion that emphasises quality over quantity. This area of fashion also promotes sustainable production practices, something that we fully endorse. We're not saying any of this is easy, but nothing of value has ever been easy.
The challenges we face
Easy doesn’t mean good and it certainly doesn’t mean sustainable. It can be hard when you’re challenged, the challenge itself can come in many forms, but it is important how we solve these issues.
If we always take the easy option, the more polluting option, the more plastic orientated option etc etc, we will all collectively pay a much higher price for these decisions. The fact is, we are killing our planet with ‘quick fixes’ and ‘easy solutions’. We have to stop thinking about the environmental impact of our actions as being optional.
Caring for people, is caring for the planet
By producing shirts in small batches, we can ensure that each garment is made with the highest level of craftsmanship and care. We connect with our customers, understand their personal needs and ensure that the craftspeople that produce these exquisite shirts are respected, paid properly and the skills themselves are nurtured, passing the learning from generation to generation.
It’s a WIN-WIN. The skills are passed down, giving people skills that are valued and respected. The onwards effect (the second WIN) is even more pronounced. Because these people are skilled and engaged in an activity that gives them financial stability, they are enabled to make better choices, so they don’t take the easiest, most polluting route to solutions, which helps everyone.
The apparel industry is responsible for 4% of greenhouse gas emissions – the same as the countries of Germany, France and the U.K. combined. Unchecked, fashion production would account for 26% of all carbon emissions by 2050.
These are staggering figures, they underscore the importance of actively promoting sustainability in fashion as part of our collective future.
At DressCode, we believe that fashion can be beautiful and sustainable at the same time. The clothes that we wear send messages outwards and inwards, it's called enclothed cognition, climate and the environment are really important messages to share.
We have committed to using sustainable materials – Tencel and Organic Cotton - to produce our shirts in ways that are environmentally aware and responsible. We believe this approach not only helps to protect the planet, but it also creates shirts that are truly unique and very special.
A global problem with a global solution
We believe that a sense of global community, connection and the acceptance of a collective responsibility are the corner stones upon which we build, protecting the planet. That's why we are proud to partner with organisations that share our commitment to sustainability, people like the British Antarctic Survey, climate scientist Professor Ed Hawkins, Lenzing and the More Trees organisation/THG Eco.
B Corp goals
Becoming B Corp certified is one of our main business goals, we are constantly improving our processes with a view to becoming accredited. All of the team at DressCode believe that becoming B Corp certified will be an important part of our journey. As a team, we recognise that this isn’t a ‘fix and forget’ process and remain committed to high quality, slow fashion that is delivered with ethics and care for the people and planet.
Together For Our Planet
As we celebrate Earth Day this year, let’s remember that we all have a role to play in protecting our home. Whether it's through supporting businesses that prioritise sustainability, participating in local environmental initiatives or simply making small changes in our daily lives and habits, we can contribute something and together we will make a difference.
If you think back to the Ozone hole crisis in the late 1980's/early 90’s, changing our habits has had an impact. We stopped using CFC's thanks to the UN in 1988. 35 years later and the hole isn’t fixed yet, but it is much smaller than it was and there is a date insight when it should be rectified. Planet Earth's environment is a highly complex system, a system that we damaged over a long period of time so it stands to reason that it take a while to repair, but it is repairing as a result of us changing our habits. Result! There’s more about this in our Climate Code shirt blog, here.
Answering the call to action
“This cannot be done by the United Nations alone. We need the full support of every citizen in the world, their hands together. We have to shape the future development agenda, which will put us all on a sustainable path, where all the citizens of the world can live peacefully, harmoniously, where their dignity can be respected”.
That’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, something that we can all play a part in achieving, wouldn’t this be the ultimate legacy? The greatest thing that we can pass on to the next generation? Let's do it. Let’s work together to make these words a reality, creating a sustainable future for ourselves and the generations to come.
Let’s write the next chapter together
We believe that slow fashion, high quality and sustainability go hand in hand. By producing shirts in small batches, using technology to ensure we minimise our consumption of resources and paying forward, planting trees to sequest carbon. We're not claiming to have all the answers. We know that this is a list of small actions, incremental steps, yes, but important steps, that we have worked hard to achieve. Slowly building and gaining momentum, being part of a collective movement towards the the ultimate goal - sustainability.
Protecting our planet isn’t optional, it isn't a nice to have, it’s something we simply have to do, there really is no other choice. We love our planet, it is a beautiful place with amazing intricate systems and powerful forces. It demands respect.
I hope that you will join us in celebrating Earth Day on Saturday and in your own way take action to protect our planet for generations to come.
We think these sites are useful resources of information about Climate and protecting our planet.
- Earth Day 2023
- The Canopy Project
- Climate and Environmental Literacy
- The Great Global Cleanup/End Plastic Pollution
- Fashion For The Earth
- Vote Earth
- The United Nations
These blog posts cover our projects, support and involvement
- More trees
- Food for thought from Cambridge Zero 2022
- DressCode in climate action with the next generation
- Connecting with big brand fashion - Chanel
- Global Sustainability Awards BAFTA
- Developing greener products
- COP26 and the Climate Code shirts
- Reflections on COP26
This Saturday, April 22nd 2023 we will be showing our stripes
Thank you to the EarthDay organisation for the graphics that accompany our own within this post.