China’s textile industry could face a new “green tax” even as the world’s No. 1 polluter struggles to meet its environmental targets for 2015, according to Ecotextile News on Tuesday. To increase its chances of achieving its targets, the State Council of China will “actively promote reforms in environment-related taxes” and “conduct research regarding the collection of an environmental tax.” Although China says it aims to cut energy consumption per 10,000 yuan ($1,570) of gross domestic product by 16 percent by 2015—the equivalent of 670 million metric tons of coal—progress has been lackluster. In fact, emissions of nitric oxide, a major pollutant, have risen 6.17 percent each year, per statistics from the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
TWICE AS NICE
Saddle up the ol’ two-speed with a pair of panniers for stowing extra gear on your rear rack. Inspired by the bicycle bags spotted around Holland, the sturdy, waterproof carryalls feature reflective strips for improved nighttime visibility, plus a carrying handle and quick-release buckles to make them easy to put on and take off.
Keep hands and hearts toasty with a pair of hand-crocheted mitts by Warm Yourself. Designed to wrap around the handlebars of your carbon-free steed, each set is handmade to order by from 100 percent wool.
Hand-netted in Brooklyn using reflective material custom-manufactured in Rhode Island, Dargelos’s mesh vest keeps nocturnal pedal-pushers visible wherever—and whenever—the sun don’t shine.
For the girl who kicks everyone’s tuckus in a bike race—while wearing a skirt and heels, no less!—look no further than Urban Lace’s tough yet feminine bracelets, necklaces, and earrings made from recycled bicycle inner tubes.
HIGH AND DRY
Terra New York’s water-resistant trench coats, parkas, and capes boast heat-sealed seams to keep bodies bone dry in a downpour. They’re also made from solvent-free and biodegradable TPU (that’s thermoplastic polyurethane, for the acronym-challenged), which breaks down in a landfill after 15 years of nonuse.
Light up someone’s nightlife with Lucy Activewear’s machine-washable “nightlight” jacket, which features 360-degree reflectivity, a three-inch light-up LED on the back, and zip-off sleeves that convert it into a vest.
Friends don’t let friends wear spandex hot pants. Levi’s cyclist-friendly 511 Skinny Commuter jean offers extra coverage for the derriere, a reinforced crotch, reflective tape on the interior cuffs, and a utility waistband for strapping on a U-lock.
IF THE SHOE FITS
Keen’s Coronado Cruiser only looks like your average canvas-and-leather sneaker. Each recycled-rubber sole features a hidden panel under the ball of the foot so you can maintain a barnacle-like grip on the pedals.
BELT ONE OUT
Go off road and keep your pants up with a belt made from recycled bicycle tires. Handmade by artist Julien Jaborska in Portland, OR, each waist-cincher features a distinct pattern to its tread, along with different levels of wear and tear.
Your Great-Aunt Gertrude’s fanny pack, these are not. Fabric Horse’s upcycled utility belts offer myriad pockets, pouches, and straps for holding all manner of personal paraphernalia, as well as a U-lock holster for cyclists to store their locks on the go.
Made in London from 100 percent Scottish wool, Lost Values’ dapper necktie gleams in the path of oncoming headlights, making it a smart nocturnal accoutrement in all definitions of the word.
A-tisket, a-tasket, here’s a pop-up basket that’s ideal for shlepping purses, shopping, or groceries. Made by Mio in the United States from 30 to 40 percent recycled steel alloy, and coated with a low-VOC powdered finish, the basket ships flat to maximize material yield and eliminate cutting waste.
Help one of the world’s most beloved statesmen raise funds for his final legacy project: a state-of-the-art Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital that will provide South Africans with quality pediatric care regardless of social or economic status. In collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, British jeweler La Diosa has created a series of friendship bracelets based on characters and colors that make up the nonprofit’s logo. Ethically crafted in five colors—red for love, yellow for happiness, black for peace, and blue for protection—each bracelet comprises woven silk thread and a recycled-silver charm to evoke the attributes African children desire most. Plus, some of the proceeds will go towards building the facility, granting the four dedicated pediatric hospitals in the entire continent of Africa some measure of reprieve.
Green gift guides are destroying the environment. Or at least that’s what PSFK editor-in-chief Piers Fawkes would have you believe. In an editorial titled “Tis the Season to Avoid Green Gift Guides,” Fawkes blazes with the fervor of the recently converted, a result, he admits, of working with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project on ways to harness gaming behaviors for the collective good. “What has happened to the environmental movement?” he asks. “It seems to be all about top 10 green-product lists and there’s little about who’s really causing damage to our planet. Blogs and magazines seem to be keen to wave the latest cool eco-packaging ideas in front of our noses but ignore the deeper environmental issues at the companies that are making the products that are wrapped in it.” In short, bah humbug.
A former Janet Jackson fan was so outraged by his idol’s decision to use animal fur in her clothing line that he’s auctioning off 25 years worth of her memorabilia to benefit the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. (Ecorazzi)
Finally, some good news to report! The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics announced Wednesday that 321 personal-care companies, from mom-and-pop operations to some of the largest names in the industry, have met the goals of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, a voluntary pledge to not only eliminate chemicals banned by health agencies outside the United States but also fully disclose the ingredients in their products. “These companies have truly broken the mold,” says Janet Nudelman, program director of the Breast Cancer Fund, a founding member of the campaign. “They are leading the cosmetics industry toward safety, showing it’s possible to make products with full transparency and without using hazardous chemicals.”
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