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Photo by Fernand De Canne on Unsplash

Fast fashion refers to the business model which replicates catwalk high-fashion trends, mass-producing for the mainstream consumer to purchase at a much lower cost.

It’s a model which thrives on constantly developing new styles, moving away from the traditional seasonal basis of new fashion lines being released. The low prices and constant new trends push consumers to buy new styles of clothing monthly, weekly — even daily. And it’s not helped by social media influencers who are now commonly paid to showcase and recommend these new styles, even creating their own lines in some cases.

Of course, this business model is far from sustainable. …


Plus, how to make a stand with your next Netflix binge

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Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Have you ever noticed that female characters in film tend to take a backseat? Their role in the plot is all too often solely as the love interest or family member of a male protagonist. Women on screen also tend to be highly sexualised — think of the James Bond films, Tomb Raider, or pretty much every rom-com ever made.

Well, what if you could screen films before you watch to make sure women aren’t represented in this way? That’s where the Bechdel Test comes in.

Alison Bechdel brought the idea of the test into life in her 1985 cartoon Dykes to Watch Out For, wherein a character explains the three rules they use when choosing which film to…


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Photo by Alex Eckermann on Unsplash

Renewable energy is energy generated by a replenishable source, such as solar (sun), wind, rivers (hydroelectric), tides (tidal), or biomass. This stands in opposition to energy from fossil fuels — coal, oil, or natural gas — which are a finite resource, as well as being incredibly harmful to the environment.

Energy is generated from fossil fuels by burning them, which also releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, directly contributing to global warming and climate change in a dangerous way. …


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H&M, what are you playing at?

I’ve written previously on the truth behind H&M’s Conscious collection — a range of clothing from this fast fashion giant which claims to be ‘sustainable style’. Recently they’ve been making an even bigger noise about their so-called ‘sustainability’ credentials, splashing out on advertising campaigns and social media posts that give the impression to the unsuspecting customer that H&M are a company that truly cares about our planet. So let’s explore that.

First up is their recent advert, titled ‘Let’s change. For tomorrow’ which focuses on the materials they use in production — reycling, reusing, and using organic and sustainably sources materials. …


I’m not saying that language is what’s stopping us from adequately addressing the climate emergency. But I am saying that it has a part to play, and that some of the words commonly used around the topic of climate change are problematic. Here are 5 of those words.

1. Change

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Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

Let’s start with the obvious one: change. ‘Climate change’ is now the most commonly used phrase to describe the long-term shifts in weather conditions and temperature caused by human-generated greenhouse gases.

It used to be described as global warming — but, quite rightly, there was a feeling that ‘warming’ did not truly reflect the reality of the impacts this phenomemon is responsible for, suggesting temperature changes alone. …


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Ed Hawkins: annual global temperatures from 1850–2017

From percentages of emissions to net-zero targets, the way that we frame the climate emergency tends to centre around facts and statistics.

That isn’t terribly surprising given the substantial history of climate denial fuelled by oil and gas companies, and the politicians and business leaders who benefit financially from said companies. Climate scientists and environmentalists were fighting just to prove that climate change existed, and that led to placing climate science and fact-based discourse at the forefront.

Unbelievably, there are still climate deniers out there, but there is a general acceptance today that climate change is real and the researchers aren’t making it up. What remains a struggle is persuading people that a) climate change isn’t just a distant problem and it’s happening right now and b) that the problem is bad enough to be deemed an emergency and should be a political priority. …


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In 1908 Henry Ford made the car affordable to all. He revolutionised car manufacturing with his Model T car, which used an assembly line production technique for the first time, making it quicker and easier to manufacture a car with less labour — and therefore reducing the sale price.

Since then, cars have dominated the transport industry. It’s not unusual for an average household to have two, even three or four, cars sat outside.

We’ve got used to having our own personal mode of transport, and it’s not something many of us want to give up. But cars are also responsible for a high proportion of greenhouse gas emissions, contributing heavily to climate change. So is getting rid of your car, and swapping it for a bike instead, the best option if you want to reduce your environmental impact as an individual? …


10% of Oatly is now owned by Blackstone, and its customers aren’t happy. But I’m not boycotting Oatly — here’s why.

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Oatly has been killing it over the past couple of years. There’s no denying that. What was born as a small Swedish company is now a globally recognisable brand on our supermarket shelves.

They’ve brought oat milk to the masses. They survived being sued by the milk industry in Sweden for their use of the word ‘milk’. And loyal customers worldwide now recognise their distinct brand voice, standing out as the anarchist ‘oat punks’ of the milk world.


The role of buildings and the importance of energy efficiency in the climate crisis.

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Photo by Nick Seagrave on Unsplash

An average home in the UK consumes 12,000 kWh of gas and 3,100 kWh of electricity every year (Ofgem data). That represents carbon emissions of around 3,067kg every year, the equivalent of flying over 30,000km by plane.

When we think of our carbon emissions it’s usually transport or manufacturing that comes to mind. But, in fact, the energy we consume in our home accounts for 30% of our total energy use in the UK and 20% of our carbon emissions — a pretty large proportion.

But the thing is that this high home energy use is completely unnecessary.

Much of the energy we use within our homes is simply wasted. This is because our housing stock is highly inefficient. Most of this energy is used on heating our homes, but issues like draughty, single-glazed windows, ill-fitting doors, open fireplaces, lack of insulation, bad ventilation, and more, means that much of this heat energy is immediately lost through the cracks — literally. …


Tackling the climate crisis means tackling racial injustice- why every climate activist should be backing Black Lives Matter

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Photo credit: Unsplash.

On the surface, climate change and racism may seem like significant, but very separate, issues. But you don’t have to dig very deep to start seeing the connections between the two.

This has always been the case, so I’m wary of suggesting that now is a good time to ‘start’ talking about these connections. However, there has certainly been increased attention on and awareness about racism following George Floyd’s tragic death at the hands of police in Minneapolis, and the Black Lives Matter protests which erupted worldwide following his death. …

About

Tabitha Whiting

Ramblings on communication and our climate crisis🌱

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