Introducing Volume 12: Our Planet

Introducing Volume 12: Our Planet

can’t help but feel a touch of scepticism when the word
sustainability is brought up. The term has been bandied about so
much that its true meaning has become diluted, shrouded in fluffy
terminology and left vulnerable to exploitation. Widespread misuse
of the word, as well as misguided initiatives claiming to be
‘ethical’, can sometimes see positive actions confused with those
that do more harm than good. So what does sustainability actually

For me, it means taking care of the world in a way that ensures
future generations can enjoy it just as much as we have. It
requires recycling, re-purposing, eating local, driving less,
walking more and buying fair trade – anything and everything that
will help the world keep going that little bit longer. One of our
biggest problems is that as soon as we set foot outside of our
homes, we forget all these wonderful initiatives in the blur of
excitement that surrounds our holidays.

Lauren Singer, founder of Trash is for Tossers – a website
documenting her zero-waste lifestyle – is adamant that positive
choices don’t need to be limited by their location. Having only
produced a mason jar’s worth of ‘trash’ in the past three years,
she showed us how easy it is to not create any rubbish on the go by
talking us through her trip from New York to California (pack light
and bring lots of empty containers with you to store food.) We also
look at America’s ‘greenest city’ where 6 per cent of the
population commute by two wheels instead of four – the national
average is 0.5 per cent. Portland in Oregon is a creative and
colourful hodgepodge of organic restaurants, artisans’ studios and
vintage boutiques.

For many, the term sustainable fashion used to mean alpaca socks
and hemp sacks, but a creative revolution is underway. “It’s much
easier now, as people understand that sustainable clothing
shouldn’t look any different to normal fashion,” says Katharine
Hamnett CBE, the inventor of the slogan T-shirt as we know it.
Orsola de Castro similarly sees clothing as a vehicle for change.
The director of Fashion Revolution, Orsola is responsible for the
campaign that each year encourages social media users to turn their
clothes inside out, display their labels and ask brands
#whomademyclothes. And the founders of Rêve En Vert agree.

Often described as a Net-a-Porter for sustainable fashion, their
site features upcycled leather jackets made from Balenciaga scraps
and beautiful cotton basics. In August the founders travelled to
Copenhagen Fashion Week, where they interviewed the CEO of the
Danish Fashion Institute, Eva Kruse. In their free time, they made
the most of the chance to explore one of the greenest cities in the

Scandinavia seems to have got it right, because in Norway a
clean lifestyle is also apparently the norm. The mountains, fjords
and striking scenery in Oslo and Bergen serve as a constant
reminder of the country’s beauty to its citizens. There seems to be
a real respect for nature here and a desire to preserve it, of
course in the coolest possible Scandi-way (c.f. The Thief hotel in
Oslo). And Bornholm, a little-known island in Denmark, is setting
the global standard high by aiming to become completely green by
2025. The island’s philosophy was summed up by Georgina Brisby’s
meal at the Michelin-starred Kadeau – where the head chef picked
the salsify on her plate only minutes before it was served – a
perfect example of farm-to-fork.

Travelling to green cities is one thing, but in developing
countries tourism can often be a double-edged sword. Bali is just
one of the places in danger of being overrun, but if you know where
to go, then you can still responsibly get to the heart of the
island’s more spiritual side. The Galapagos Islands in Ecuador have
got the balance right for now. Made famous by Charles Darwin for
their uninhibited wild creatures, which once inspired his Theory of
Evolution, visitors are still able to admire blue-footed boobies,
ancient turtles and marine iguanas as they bask in the sun. While
on the so-called Nature Island of the Caribbean, Dominica’s flora
resembles something out of Jurassic Park. Local writer and
photographer Paul Crask described the low-key resort for us in
vivid detail: “There are volcanic vents, animals you can find
nowhere else and the second-largest boiling lake in the world.”

And who wouldn’t want their grandchildren to see that? Orsola de
Castro summed it all up for us back in June at the inaugural
Creative Futures summit in London, when she said: “Now we call it
sustainability. But at one time it was called common sense and
human decency.”