This week: Miley Cyrus isn’t having kids, Amazon’s Prime Day strikes, Prince Charles’ warning, disposable summer fashion, and ZARA’s latest sustainability initiatives.
1. Workers and shoppers were on a strike against Amazon’s Prime Day.
Prime Day, if you didn’t already know, is the company’s most money-making day of the year. This year, for the first time ever, it spanned not one, but two days. In response, consumers and labour organisations successfully mounted warehouse worker strikes in five countries. The hashtags #BoycottAmazon, #AmazonStrike, and #PrimeDayStrike were all trending. Boycotting Amazon, however, isn’t quite as simple as it sounds. Since Amazon owns a host of other companies, boycotting Amazon would mean boycotting others – like Audible, Goodreads, IMDB, Whole Foods, Kindle, and more.
But why did they want to boycott Amazon? There are two major reasons, among others. First: while Amazon offers huge discounts to its customers on Prime Day, employees lack a living wage. The retail giant has been embroiled in scandals, including reports of long hours and timed bathroom breaks. Secondly, Amazon has also just recently been found to be connected to the Department of Homeland Security, which makes them involved in Trump’s hunt down of immigrants.
Maybe boycotting Amazon isn’t feasible for everyone, so check out this more feasible alternative, Threshold’s “Cancel Amazon Prime” movement instead. Basically, it’s trying to get a million people to give up on Amazon. But you only have to give up on it when one million people have pledged, and you’ll all do it at once, so Amazon will listen.
2. We have 18 months to save the world, Prince Charles warns Commonwealth leaders.
You’ve heard this before, yes. But Prince Charles says it’s 18 months, and not 11 years. Why? The Prince, addressing foreign ministers from around the Commonwealth, said that the critical meetings in this upcoming period would “collectively determine the global agenda for the coming decade”. He added: “I do believe that the Commonwealth, with the extraordinary richness of resources and ideas upon which it can draw, can offer many solutions to the problems that we share.” While we’re not exactly sure what basis he’s going upon with this timeline, what we can be sure of is that we really do need radical climate action.
Our time is running out.
3. Consumers will spend about $3.35 billion on single-use outfits this summer, alone. And that’s only in the UK.
London-based survey consultancy Censuswide revealed this week (in a study produced with British charity Barnardo’s) that the single-use fashion market is worth billions, and is still growing. According to them, single-use outfits for music festivals – think Glastonbury and Coachella – account for approximately 7.5 million outfits worn only once. Additionally, the survey also found that an additional $868 million will be spent on single-use vacation clothing. And if you think younger consumers are more conscious… think again. 37% of “younger consumers” said they wouldn’t repeat an outfit for a special event. Yikes.
Looks like we’ve got a long way to go in conscious fashion still.
4. Miley Cyrus won’t have children because “the earth is angry.”
This isn’t the first time the pop star is making headlines for speaking up about the environment, and this time it’s about not having children. In an interview with Elle, Cyrus said that she won’t have children until she feels like her kid “would live on an earth with fish in the water.” Even though millennials are feeling frustrated with the current state of the world, she said, there’s still immense pressure on females to “keep the planet populated”. “If you don’t want children, people feel sorry for you, like you’re a cold, heartless b*tch who’s not capable of love.”
Took the words straight out of our mouths.
5. Zara announces its latest sustainability goals…
The fast-fashion giant is owned, by the way, by Amancio Ortega, one of the richest men in the world. They’ve just had an AGM, during which they announced their latest goals. Marta Ortega, daughter of Amancio Ortega, had this to say: “[We] are highly focused on making clothes in a responsible, sustainable way, that limits the impact on the environment and [which] challenges ourselves to continually work as hard as we can to improve how we manufacture.” A few priorities they outlined were: by 2020, a commitment to Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals and training all of its designers in the cruciality of circularity. By 2023, the absolute eradication of single-use plastics, and complete adoption of green-only packaging. And by 2025, zero landfill waste from its facilities.
Over to you: what do you think of Zara’s latest goals?
Bonus: What’s Singapore doing about climate change?
At the Partners for the Environment Forum held on Wednesday, Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli made a few announcements. The first: a new Climate Science Research Programme Office. It will be set up to formulate national climate science research and build up local capabilities in climate science. Secondly, Singapore will spend $10m on studying sea level rise to protect the state against the effects climate change. He also encouraged individuals to play their part to overcome the existential challenge of climate change.