Every month I share with you the best news and the coolest initiatives to create a more sustainable and inclusive world. Sometimes we take a huge leap forward and sometimes it’s a small gesture, but all in all the world is becoming a better place - also thanks to you. So yes, we have something to celebrate! (And I don't know about you people, but I could use a glass or two...)
So pour yourself some vegan bubbles and look your houseplant deep in the eyes, because here's the good news!
We’re starting off with a smasher, because our own cosmetics expert Jopie made a discovery any investigative journalist would be jealous of: beauty concern Garnier is now free of animal testing! Way to go, Garnier and well done, Jopie!
This is what she has to say about it: "I am very happy that after long consultations and extensive background checks I have been able to add a big name like Garnier to the cruelty-free list. Garnier proves once again that there is a shift in the cosmetics industry towards a total abolition of animal testing, and that this has become an important item on the agenda for even the biggest brands." Amen, girl.
In theory they are probably human, but as far as I'm concerned the women of the anti-poaching unit Akashinga in Zimbabwe are superheroes. These ladies protect land and wildlife against so-called trophy hunters and are powered by 100% vegan food.1
The local products are prepared without electricity (because yes, the rangers work in the middle of the wilderness), and the kitchen bears the name Akashinga Back to Black Roots Vegan Kitchen and Garden.
The chef chose this name to promote the original, often animal-free, regional African cuisine. According to the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF), the all-female unit will employ 1,000 rangers in four years' time. Vegan Black girl power at its finest.
The Shop Like You Give a Damn team is truly delighted: the revolutionary MUD Jeans can finally be purchased at our department store! The world's first circular jeans brand comes from Dutch soil and has beautiful collections made from organic and recycled cotton.
They use innovative production and painting techniques to limit environmental pollution as much as possible. MUD Jeans is an example for other jeans brands and an asset to the slow fashion world. We wouldn’t have been more excited if our CEO brought us vegan donuts every team meeting.
Last week, our CEO Stephan and I visited the founder of MUD Jeans, Bert van Son, at the MUD Mothership. Bert told us all about his previous career in fast fashion, how he came to the conclusion things had to change and how he started his own, way more sustainable, denim fashion brand. Very inspiring. Thanks for the oat milk cappuccino, Bert!
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Stephan and Bert van Son, both wearing MUD Jeans, of course!
Shoe brand Crocs announced to go completely vegan by the end of 2021.2 The brand committed to no longer including any animal products in its collections as part of a larger sustainability initiative to become a net zero company by 2030. While many Crocs styles are vegan, the brand has used leather in some designs.
Crocs has been implementing other initiatives to meet its 2030 net zero target: in 2020, 85 per cent of Crocs were sold without boxes. I never thought I would say this, but maybe Crocs will actually fit my style!
More and more toy manufacturers understand how important it is that all children can identify with their toys. Finally, dolls with darker skin colours are becoming more mainstream, but of course, that's only a start.
Major brands such as Playmobil, Lego and Mattel have recently expanded their collection with toys that match a variety of identities and experiences in life.3 A wheelchair on the skating rink, a more accessible school bus, a person with vitiligo – it should be the most natural thing in the world. And luckily, today's children can learn that just by playing!
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Exciting news from the US of A! The state of Maine has implemented a new law that could transform the way packaging is recycled, by requiring manufacturers, rather than taxpayers, to cover the cost.4 With this funding, municipalities can get more of what gets thrown away recycled instead of dumped in landfills or burned in incinerators.
Now more states have been considering similar regulations and Oregon is about to sign its own version in the coming weeks. Nearly all European Union member states already have laws like these, but for recycling in the US this could be a real game-changer.
So much for the good news of July. Now don’t take these balloons down just yet, I’m pretty sure we have something to celebrate again next month. See you then!
1. 'This Vegan Kitchen in the African Bush Feeds an All-Female Anti-Poaching Unit.' Live Kindly. 2021
3. 'Van Mattel tot Lego: inclusief speelgoed in opkomst.' Handicap.nl. 2021
4. 'Maine Will Make Companies Pay for Recycling.' New York Times. 2021