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10 sustainability influencers you should be following in 2021

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Sustainability female influencer checking the label of a product
Content creators that are practicing what they preach have higher engagement on social media

Sustainability has been popping up on social feeds for a while.

From creators sharing tips on how to save the planet by upcycling your wardrobe, to food lovers advocating for the end of food waste. However, you can’t trust all social media hashtags these days – as posting a photo of yourself holding a recycled paper cup captioned #conciouslifestyle, while sporting tons of plastic accessories, doesn’t turn you into an eco-warrior.

Here are 10 sustainable influencers that are practicing what they preach. They are using their platforms to share actionable hacks and ways to live a more balanced life in 2021. After hearing about their quality content, you will know you should go and follow them as soon as you finish reading this article.

 

The entrepreneurial Influencer

Lindsey McCoy @plaineproducts

While living in The Bahamas, Lindsey McCoy noticed all the plastic bottles washing ashore and, after taking stock of the amount of plastic she was using in her own life, Lindsey made a concerted effort to stop using single use plastics. She had trouble, however, finding plastic-free bathroom products and realized her opportunity to make a difference. In 2017, North Carolina-based McCoy joined forces with her sister to start Plaine Products, a line of vegan, natural body care items that arrive in reusable, refillable aluminium bottles. Once empty, customers can return bottles to be cleaned and refilled. Her interest in learning more about the impact of plastic on our landfill led Lindsey McCoy to get involved in plastic pollution research, so she spent last summer aboard a plastic research sailing vessel.

 

The green chef

Max La Manna @maxlamanna
Low-waste chef, award-winning author and host of multiple BBC Earth food shows, Max La Manna is a 32-year-old chef who uses colourful plant-based recipes to encourage people to be more mindful about food waste while cooking. As most of us have been in the kitchen more often, thanks to waves of lockdown around the word, this influencer is rapidly growing on social media. In January 2020, he had 97k followers, and by September 2020 his profile had grown a following of 135k. This growth has only increased as the pandemic has continued. By May 2021, the influencer had reached almost three quarters of a million followers (730k and counting).

 

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A post shared by Max La Manna (@maxlamanna)

 

The minimalist podcaster

Host of a weekly show about eco-friendly living, minimalist parenting, and incremental lifestyle tweaks toward sustainability, author Stephanie Seferian aims to make sustainability accessible and easy. A former teacher turned full-time content creator, she interviews specialists to demystify eco-friendly living for the average,
overwhelmed parent on her podcast Sustainable Minimalists. This is definitely one to tune into to learn more about reducing waste and reliance on plastic, and how to become a more conscious consumer.

 

The fashion-conscious influencer @haifazakariaa

Dubai-based digital content creator, Haifa Zakaria, balances fashion with posts about minimising plastic use, encouraging recycling and sustainable fashion, and where to find brands that are conscious of the environment and animal ethics. She produces this aspirational content to her 77k+ followers. Check out Haifa’s story highlight ‘Earth’ on her Instagram page to find sustainability content that is updated on a regular basis.

 

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A post shared by Haifa Zakaria (@haifazakariaa)

 

The vegan expat @mostlyamelie

Amélie Gagne is a Canadian sustainability and wellness blogger based in Germany.

Her blog www.mostlyamelie.com features ethical living, veganism, and wellness travel. She also offers recommendations and tips on health, eco-living, sustainability, and wellness. Besides creating content about living a healthier and greener life, the influencer also shares occasional recommendations about living in Berlin as an expat, a city she has called home for five years now.

 

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A post shared by Amélie (@mostlyamelie)

 

And here are five sustainability influencers, from different parts of the world, recommended by our readers:

 

Good for your planet and your mind
“I highly suggest you check out @TimFerriss. He posts new videos almost weekly on his YouTube channel that cover various topics on sustainability
and self-improvement. If you have the time, you can listen to his podcast as well! It features several powerful and successful people from a wide variety of professions who share their philosophies and vulnerabilities while Ferriss deconstructs their habits, traits, and routines. There’s a wealth of lessons to be taken from them that will influence both your mind and heart.”

Matthew Paxton – Founder at www.hypernia.com

 

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A post shared by Tim Ferriss (@timferriss)

 

The young activist we should be listening to

“As editor of a website on sustainability, I believe there can hardly be a better sustainability influencer than the young Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. She doesn’t influence like most others do, by locking us into a silent, socially unresponsive cycle of endless consumerism of click-through ads; she influences by acting, speaking, and appealing to the decision makers. But she also teaches us that no age is “too young” to understand the catastrophic consequences of climate change.”

Silvia Borges – Chief Editor of sustainability website at www.enviromom.com

 

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A post shared by Greta Thunberg (@gretathunberg)

 

Living with less
“As a warrior for social equity and an advocate for sustainability, Francesca Willow desires to bring some clarity on the best methods to utilize for a more ethical lifestyle. She not only has an incredibly informative Instagram page, but her blog is a treasure for anyone searching for a holistic approach to sustainability. The most important idea I learned from her is that we don’t need expensive products to live a healthy and sustainable life; the products we need are all around us.”

Caroline Lee – Co-founder at software development www.cocosign.com

 

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A post shared by Francesca Willow (@ethicalunicorn)


Sustainability works better when fully integrated
“One of my favourite sustainability influencers is Besma, a Paris-based lifestyle influencer. Her blog, Curiously Conscious, talks about essential eco-friendly shortcuts and makes sustainability feel effortless. She tries to document her clothes swaps and visits to eco-villages, sustainable spa hotels, and organic food markets. She also promotes small organic brands on her profile.
One thing that I have learned from her is how to integrate sustainability into all aspects of life: food, travel, fashion, and beauty as well”.

Miranda Yan – Co-Founder at software development company www.vinpit.com

 

Advocating beyond sustainability

“The best sustainability influencers in my opinion are Emma Slade Edmonson and Claudia Ayuso. Not only do they both promote sustainable fashion, but they use their platform to advocate for climate change and charity fundraising to help those without a voice. They both possess an active presence in the sustainable clothing sector and are looking to use these platforms to make social change for the better.
Their environmental advocacy is by far my favourite and I look forward to seeing their posts regularly on social media.”
Umarah Hussain – Outreach Specialist at Marketing solutions agency www.surgems.co.uk

Sustainability

Hugo Boss to launch its own premium resale platform

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Production line at Hugo Boss Germany
Conscious shopping: purchasing second-hand items saves an average of 44% of CO2 emissions when compared to buying new

German luxury fashion house Hugo Boss is set to invite customers to buy pre-owned items as they would new, with the launch of a premium resale platform in the third quarter of 2022. The initiative will offer a curated assortment of clothing that has been traded in by existing customers.

An online process will allow customers to return used items to Hugo Boss in exchange for credit that can be spent online, on new or pre-owned items, or in store. Once fully quality checked, the pre-owned products will become part of a curated second-hand assortment for sale on Hugo Boss Pre-Loved. The service will initially feature clothing, with accessories planned to be added in the future.

The resale service will be operated by Faume, a premium provider offering a convenient and seamless online trade-in experience, and will be accessible through the hugoboss.com online store.
Globally, resale is a fast-growing market that reduces the environmental impact of the fashion industry, and already represents a market volume of USD 30-40 billion worldwide. Buying second-hand saves an average of 44% of CO2 emissions when compared to buying new, while the circular nature of the resale business helps to reduce clothing waste.

The brand is also set to launch another initiative, later this year, to extend the lifecycle of its products, with Hugo Boss introducing a care and repair service in selected German stores. The service will cover the repair of suits, jeans, shoes, jersey products, and leather goods. The new initiatives move the company, founded in 1924, closer towards its sustainability ambitions, which include the goal that eight out of ten products are circular by 2030.

Heiko Schäfer, Chief Operating Officer at Hugo Boss

“Our entry into the growing resale market is a natural step for us as a company,” – Heiko Schäfer, Chief Operating Officer at Hugo Boss

“Hugo Boss Pre-Loved will support our move towards a circular business model, while our repair service will allow customers to wear their favourite pieces for even longer and reduce consumption of scarce resources.” – says Heiko Schäfer, Chief Operating Officer at Hugo Boss.

Hugo Boss Pre-Loved will be launched in France, with the platform planned to expand to Germany, the UK, and the U.S. in 2025.

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Sustainability

Three renewable heat sources to consider for use in your home

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A woman enjoyr home time with her small write dog
The UK government aims to cut emissions by 78% by 2035, compared with 1990 levels, and to hit net-zero by 2050. | Photo: Roberto Nickson

Renewable sources of energy are the only way forward if we want to try and minimise the damage that we’re doing to the environment. Whilst there are plenty of things causing global warming, our choices for home heating is one of the contributing factors that we perhaps can personally take control over.

Whilst of course the ability to do this will be affected by budget, some are cheaper than others, and the UK government does offer grants and loans. This is because we need to make the switch to renewable energy if we’re going to stand a chance at hitting net-zero, considering heating accounts for the largest amount of CO2 emissions  for an average UK household.

But which renewable heat source is right for you? We take a look at three of the top options.

Heat pumps

If you think of a heat pump, you might be imagining an unsightly, large box that will ruin the overall aesthetics of your garden. However, there are many companies now working on making smaller, sleeker pumps that just sit down the side of your home.

There are a few different types of heat pumps, but they basically work by using pressure and temperature. Heat flows naturally from a warm place to a cool place, but we need the opposite to be true for a heat pump so that the home is heated rather than cooled. Heat pumps use compression and expansion to control this temperature flow.

Heat pumps produce more heat than the amount of electricity they use, so they’re highly efficient. When you choose a heat pump, you should also get a performance certificate that is tailored to your home. This will show you how efficient you can expect it to be based on average outside temperatures and your radiators or underfloor heating.

Solar water heating

Solar power is on the rise, with the UK generating 14 gigawatts per year. One gigawatt can power 750,000 homes, so that’s quite a significant amount. Solar water heating works by harnessing the solar power collected from home solar tubes or flat plate collectors, and then using this energy to heat a tank of water.

This will usually be combined with a boiler or immersion heater, as the amount of sun varies throughout the year, so it’s unlikely that you’ll get enough sun to warm the water year-round. This hot water is used for washing and the water that comes out of your taps, rather than central heating.

Biomass

Perhaps the most similar to a traditional gas boiler, a biomass heating system has a crucial difference – it uses sustainably-sourced wood pellets or logs to fuel it. Whilst it might not feel sustainable to be burning trees, as doing so actually releases carbon dioxide, it’s still considered to be a sustainable source. This is because trees are planted in place of the ones that have been used for fuel for biomass.

Your choice of fuel will depend on what you want to heat, and how much attention you want to pay to your stove. Log-burning stoves look great, and can make use of any logs you have from trees locally. However, they require topping up by hand, and you need to store the logs. On the other hand, wood pellets can be topped up with an automatic dispensing system. If cost is a crucial factor, logs tend to be cheaper than pellets.

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Sustainability

Fashion brand Mango brings forward its sustainable targets

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Male model showcase a Mango outfit on the streets of London
In 2021 the number of sustainable garments accounted for 80% of the total Mango’s collection

Spanish fashion retailer Mango is bringing forward its sustainability targets after achieving that 80% of all the garments it sells now bear the Committed label. In just one year, the fashion brand almost doubled the percentage of sustainable garments in its total production.

The company, founded in 1972 and one of the leading groups in the European fashion industry, has reviewed the targets set in early 2020 as part of its sustainability strategic plan and has decided to bring them forward. The brand forecasts that 100% of the polyester used will be recycled by 2025, doubling the initial target set for said year. Mango also plans that by 2025, 100% of cellulose fibres used will be of controlled origin and traceable, bringing forward its original commitment by five years. In addition, the company is maintaining its goal that 100% of the cotton used will be of sustainable origin by 2025.

“Aware of the environmental impact of our product, and in line with our goals and international commitments, we work garment-by-garment, promoting the use of fibres with a lower environmental impact in our collection. Bringing forward the sustainable fibre targets allows us to move towards a more sustainable fashion future” – explains Toni Ruiz, Mango’s Chief Executive Officer.

In 2021 Mango achieved a 91% use of sustainable cotton and a 59% use of cellulose fibres of controlled origin. 54% of the polyester used was recycled, achieving the initial target four years ahead of time.

Mango makes its commitment to sustainable fashion visible through the Committed label, which includes all Mango garments with a lower environmental impact. In recent years, the company has increased the number of sustainable garments, which in 2021 accounted for 80% of the total collection, well above the 45% figure for 2020. And committed garments are all those which contain at least 30% of more sustainable fibres (such as organic and recycled cotton, recycled wool, and recycled polyester, among others) and/or have been manufactured using more sustainable production processes.

The company’s goal is that all of its garments will be Committed by 2022.

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