Did you know that Earth Day is today, Thursday 22 April, 2021? On April 22 in 1970, 20 million people mobilized to demand greater protections for the planet and this became the world’s first Earth Day.
Earthday.org is now one of the world’s largest environmental movements. Click on the link to find out more about their work, news, stories and action for Earth Day 2021 which has the theme of ‘Restore our Earth’. This year there is going to be an Earth Day Live digital event with workshops and panel discussions covering natural processes, emerging green technologies and innovative thinking that can help to restore the world’s ecosystems.
This year to mark Earth Day we have joined with the TreeApp to plant a tree for every Uskees garment that is purchased from the website on 22 April 2021.
At Uskees we are striving to reduce our environmental impact and we see fast fashion as one of the worst aspects of the clothing industry which is why we design and build our clothing to be long-lasting. We make our garments from organic cotton and try not to waste any of the fabric that we have left over. We're not perfect, but we're constantly looking at ways to improve.
Here are some of the ways we are trying to reduce our environmental impact.
- Uskees is Anti Fast Fashion
From sourcing through to design, we use high quality, organic materials – including corozo buttons which are made from the nuts of the Tagua Palm. We want to offer a genuine alternative to the outdated notion of fast fashion. Something that makes a difference to our audience, and in turn, our environment.
We want our clothing to be worn and loved and to last for years, not seasons. We don’t want our garments to be discarded into landfill after a few wears or when they get a rip or lose a button, so we include a free mini-repair kit tailored to each garment so you can fix small repairs at home.
We also offer a free repair service for larger repairs throughout the life of the garment to ensure that our products don’t end up on the scrap heap.
2. Organic Cotton & Corozo Buttons
- Cotton is one of the most widely used fabrics in the clothing industry, due to its versatility, breathability, and ease of care. However, it starts as a raw material that needs a lot of care and attention whilst it grows. In the growing of organic cotton, farmers choose not to use toxic chemicals, which is better for both the environment and farm workers alike. We work with suppliers that insist on using GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard ) certified Organic Cotton fabric. GOTS is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. This means that all Uskees products are made from fully certified fabrics*, and we feel that by choosing our materials consciously, we can make products that are a bit better for the world we live in. *Only the thread used to stitch the garments is not yet organic
- In a world full of plastic, we didn't want to add to it with plastic buttons, we knew we needed to use something that had much less impact on the environment. After a lot of research, we came across the Tagua Palm - a tree that grows in the equatorial rainforests of Central America. The nuts of this palm tree are harvested and used as “vegetable ivory” – a truly miraculous natural material. In our quest to create a genuine alternative to disposable fashion, we felt that the Corozo button was the perfect accompaniment to our organic cotton garments.
3. We Try Not to Waste Leftover Fabric
- New Tote Bags & Limited Edition Garments
Our latest Uskees range are the colourful organic cotton tote bags which are made of leftover shirt fabric – we are trying to do our bit and not waste anything if possible. In the future there are also plans for some new pieces which will be made from excess fabric and available in strictly limited quantities.
- Donating Leftover Fabric
Last year we donated some of our waste denim to artist Chris English who makes heirloom quality quilts from a variety of fabrics. He loves giving old clothes and waste fabric a new lease of life as a beautiful and practical quilt.
He has a website, Chris English Quilts where you can find out more about his inspiration, classes, talks and how to get in touch.
Stitched Up Co-op
In 2020 we donated some of our leftover denim and organic cotton to ‘Stitched Up’ in Chorlton Greater Manchester, a non-profit organisation who are inspiring action on sustainable fashion.
They believe we should treat our planet with respect and they are passionate about recycling, upcycling, reusing and reducing waste. They use the fabric we have donated in their Repair Workshops. Apparently, the Denim Repair Workshop is one of their most popular!
4. Earth Day 2021 - Plant A Tree
This year Uskees has joined with the TreeApp to fund the planting of a tree in Tanzania for every Uskees garment that is purchased on Earth Day 2021.
‘Treeapp is a mobile app which enables anyone to plant a tree for free, every day, in less than a minute. The trees are funded by eco-conscious organisations who advertise their products and services on our platform. The planting activities are performed by local tree-planting NGO’s, who make sure every single tree they plant benefits endemic species and local communities.’
Tanzania is a country in Eastern Africa known for its biodiversity hotspots. However, the ecological heritage of Tanzania is subject to tremendous resource pressure. The specific threats to the West Usambara forests include logging, farmland encroachment and the mass cutting of trees for charcoal and firewood.
Treeapp works closely with its local planting partners to mobilise and empower the local Tanzanian community around the Lushoto district. The main goals of this project are to combat desertification, regenerate forests and promote sustainable forestry.
How to Get Involved with Earth Day Events Today & in the Future
If you want to find out more about future Earth Days you can sign up to EARTHDAY.ORG's newsletter and on the same page you can donate or sign up to become a volunteer.