I loved this range as soon as I read the press release, before I’d even seen the product – and then loved it more after I tried it: shampoo, conditioner, body wash and hair oil by O’Right made from recycled coffee grounds collected from cafes and coffee shops in Taiwan. The granules are ground down into an oil and infused into the products. How cool is that?
As well as being super savvy on the recycling front, the ground coffee is also good for hair, they say. Apparently the caffeine can help stimulate the hair shaft encouraging hair growth. Labelled moisturising for dry/damaged hair, the shampoo which I use, leaves my hair very soft even without conditioner. The scent is mild – not like smelling a coffee bean as you might expect – but just the faintest hint of its former life.
All the products are free from sulphates and manufactured in an eco friendly factory that uses solar and wind power for production. I also love the (biodegradable) packaging that’s strikingly modern, with little wooden tops and sleek necks. Like nothing else in my shower. I’d like to try the hair oil next.
Yes, you read that right – one of my favourite press releases of late – Ford, the car manufacturer, challenged 10 emerging fashion designers to create pieces using recycled Ford car parts and textile waste. Dresses, shirts, jackets and skirts were made from seat covers and other parts and shown at Hong Kong Fashion Week. An inspiring piece of news for the possibilities of recycling, and the future for sustainable fabrics…
Ford already uses plastic bottles and post-industrial waste to make recycled fabric as part of its upholstery in its cars so it partnered with Redress, a Hong Kong based charity that promotes sustainability in the fashion industry, to see how designers could transform materials and waste from vehicle production.
The Redress Forum: Ford Design Challenge was born and held during Hong Kong Fashion Week. From ten finalists from around the world, including UK, there were two winners, from Malaysia and Sweden.
How did they do it? If, like me, you’re intrigued as to how you get from plastic bottle to bolero, check out this video which explains how to make fabric (polyester) out of recycled bottles – it’s amazing!!!
I can’t believe the whole recycling process is so long and intricate; so many miles, countless stages, so much energy and hours of manpower (someone has to manually fish out the floating bottle lids from pools of broken down plastic?!). This complex process is carried out in China and probably only possible because of cheap labour. So now you know what happens to our plastic once we’ve chucked it in the recycling box – a long and arduous journey to reincarnation.
Ford states that ‘on an annual basis it recycles enough plastic bottles and postindustrial waste to make more than 1.5 million yards of recycled fabric.’
This recycled fabric is then used as car seat covers, an initiative that has apparently been so successful Ford has committed to using at least 25% recycled fabrics in every car. Some, like this one, uses 100% recycled fabrics.
Interestingly, I’ve been told that Ford is also working with Heinz to investigate the use of tomato fibres in developing sustainable plastics. It’s also decreased water use in its vehicle production, from 64 million cubic meters to 24 million cubic meters so it seems like Ford is on a bit of a sustainability mission.
It feels a little weird talking about a car manufacturer on an eco beauty blog but as I’ve always said, let’s champion the brands trying to tread more carefully on the planet – the fact that it’s a car manufacturer makes it all the more interesting.
I think innovation in sustainable fabrics is really cool and even high street stores – Marks & Spencer and H&M – are getting involved and experimenting with recycled fabrics.
Hopefully in the future we’ll see more and more products and materials made from post-consumer waste and hopefully it will become a second nature thing for brands and manufacturers to use recycled materials as a first port of call instead of virgin plastics.
I guess it all comes down to economics at the end of the day, so if and when virgin plastics become too expensive to use, brands will be forced to innovate and turn to recycling post-consumer waste. It’s not inconceivable that day will come sooner rather than later and thankfully there are already brands leading the way.
Just heard of this new site for recycling high-end fashion and vintage clothes called Opnuu – http://www.opnuu.com/ – the idea is that you can lend and borrow desirable items, clothes and accessories, to a community of like-minded people. If you have something to lend, it seems like you set your ‘rental’ price and period of time it’s available and members get to hire the piece out, allowing you to earn money off it. I’d quite like to borrow this hat..perfect for a winter wedding http://www.opnuu.com/sneak-peek/accessories/hat-with-feather.html
The idea is great – let others enjoy pieces they wouldn’t usually have access to and obviously a great way of supporting sustainable fashion. But what about if the person damages your one off vintage jimmy choos? The site is an invite-only community so I guess that cuts down on random riff-raffs but accidents still happen. I’m guessing there are codes of conduct to follow to help avoid this. I’ve signed up my interest anyway as I’m curious to know more and have more than enough vintage pieces ideal for rental.
So, another good option for your clutter ladies.. albeit temporarily. And if like me, you’re wondering where the name Opnuu came about, just found a blog post that explains it all – apparently it’s a play on the words ‘new’ and ‘opportunity’ which I really liked… http://emmasexton.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/whats-in-a-name-how-the-brand-name-opnuu-came-about/ x
Ethical living writer, Lucy Siegle, wrote a great column in today’s Observer magazine about how each year in the UK we chuck away enough wrapping paper to stretch around the equator nine times, if laid end to end. I knew we wasted a lot of paper at Christmas but that figure is immense!
She then points out three major issues with paper:
1. the harvesting of trees, some of which are endangered
2. the process to turn wood fibre into pulp
3. and the disposal of the product – even recycling isn’t always a win-win situation
So what’s in your paper that’s so bad? Synthetic inks, plastics, chlorine, metal-based foils and of course glitters, all of which are not easy to dispose of or recycle.
So what’s the alternative? Be creative! Reuse and recycle pretty papers you receive (something I’ve been doing for years!) or branch out to more alternative papers – Lucy suggests the Observer magazine’s own paper.
Now, I hadn’t thought of that but maybe I’ll give it a go.