Plant a Tree, Save the Planet
Every day, more people join the conversation about the health of our planet. As the battle against climate change becomes more and more urgent, there is a global dialogue about ways we can contribute to healing our home.
To make progress we need to focus, on our own behavior and that of our industry, to reduce our contributions to climate change and mitigate its effects.
The Fashion Industry’s Environmental Footprint
Fashion is a somewhat silent participant in environmental degradation. People don’t realize that fabrics like rayon are made using wood pulp. Or don’t imagine that the tissue paper and bag they carry from a store contributed to deforestation in a far-off part of the world.
The creation of wood-based fabrics destroys over seventy million trees every year, too many of which come from delicate ecological areas that can ill-afford industrial intrusion.
In the clamor for fabrics made from materials that biodegrade, the industry is turning increasingly toward wood-based fibers. With just 7% of fabrics currently being made from these fibers, the impact is already devastating. The damage is projected to soar as wood-based fibers increase in popularity.
We need to take a hard look at what eco-friendly means in terms of using trees to create fabric.
The High Price of Deforestation
The loss of trees and forests around the world is a stunning example of poor environmental stewardship. Everyone has heard the saying that the Amazon rainforests are the lungs of the planet. Fewer people recognize that in just 18 years at the beginning of the new millennium, 8% of those forests were lost to logging, agriculture, mining, and other projects.
When the world loses trees, it adds climate-changing greenhouse gasses in two ways. Trees absorb and store carbon emissions. When the trees are cut or burned, the stored carbon is released. Once a tree is gone, so are its carbon storage capabilities and the environment loses a powerful natural tool in fighting greenhouse gasses.
Deforestation not only directly contributes to climate change, but it also destroys habitats, reducing biodiversity and forever altering the complex ecosystems in fragile areas. Rainforests alone support more than 80% of the animal and plant species on Earth. Some estimates place rainforest species extinction at up to 6,000 per year as a result of deforestation.
The fashion industry doesn’t have to contribute to deforestation. There are ways to create beautiful, versatile, and durable fabrics that not only avoid environmental destruction but contribute to environmental restoration.
Every step in the production of a fabric or garment has room for improvement—reduction of resources, cleaner materials, less waste, and more commitment to environmental responsibility.
Recycling in the fashion industry can start at a basic level. Stores and websites can choose to use recycled packaging and bagging materials. At Lumière Paris all of our paper products, including tissue, cards, and boxes, are made using recycled materials. It’s a simple first step towards creating a more sustainable industry.
Lumière Paris is also committed to using fabrics created using only recycled materials and manufacturers with sustainable practices. ECONYL® is a yarn that originates in the unlikeliest of places—pollution and trash. Fishing nets, carpets, fabric scraps, and industrial plastic are processed to retrieve nylon. That nylon is then used to make new products.
The most amazing thing about ECONYL® process is that it is a closed-loop cycle. That means that products made using this material can be recycled back into new products endlessly. An old garment made of ECONYL® fiber can simply be processed into a new ECONYL® fiber. This type of innovation eases the burden on trees and rainforests to provide the world with beautiful fabrics and garments. We can have both environmental stewardship and thriving fashion industry.
Lumière Paris and our partner companies have devoted our businesses to this combination of style and sustainability. The use of ECONYL® yarn is the first step. We are confident that environmentally sustainable processes will continue to emerge from this highly creative industry.
Actively participating in the return of wild places can also be of significant benefit in fighting climate change. A Swiss study projected that the restoration of trees around the world could be one of the most effective means of capturing excess carbon.
Organizations and individuals have seized the opportunity to make a difference. Renowned environmentalist Jane Goodall and Marc Benioff, the owner of Time Magazine, support the Trillion Tree Challenge. Ethiopia planted 350 million trees in just one single day.
At Lumière Paris we are in it for the long haul. We’ve become partners with Plant for the Planet and will plant a tree for every purchase made. Plant for the Planet was started in Germany in2007 by 9-year old Felix Finkbeiner.
Over the years his vision grew, drawing the attention of young people as well as prominent adults and even the United Nations. Plant for the Planet has planted over 63 million trees as part of over 130 projects.
Today, Plant for the Planet has thousands of young representatives all over the world, working toward a healthier planet. Lumière Paris is proud and honored to work with these inspiring young people whose remarkable organization is filled with hope for a more sustainable future.
Making a Commitment
The fashion industry is beginning to commit to environmental responsibility. Individual companies are investing in sustainable fibers and fabrics, switching to organic cotton to reduce pesticides, even changing their shipping methods to reduce emissions. Change is coming and Lumière Paris stands at the forefront. It all begins with a conversation. When we talk about climate change, we are inspired to take action. When we take action, we hope it inspires others to do the same.
We are committed to being part of the new fashion industry—the eco-friendly, sustainable, carbon-neutral industry that recognizes that a healthy planet is a prosperous planet, for everyone.