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Susty Summit: Reflecting and Reinventing

A time to reflect and reinvent 

We hosted our last Susty Summit on March 5th, and since then our worlds have completely changed. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re seeing people, communities and businesses adapt and in some cases completely reinvent how they operate. At this challenging time we feel a duty to continue to push the Climate Change agenda, to prevent future crises, but also a need to innovate and share positivity. This is exactly why we’re bringing the next Susty Summit to you digitally, for free, with a positive twist for the foreseeable future.  

Susty Summit 6 - it's Earth Day, but that's not all! 

Celebrating 50 years of Earth Day, let's take 50 minutes to talk about how Earth Day should and can be everyday. 

Find out how to attend Susty Summit 6 here

What went down at Susty Summit 5?

We brought together a whole host of inspirational women making waves in climate change to celebrate International Women’s Day from a susty perspective. We had an incredible panel of susty women featuring Sarah Ditty, Global Policy Director at Fashion Revolution. Anna-Marie Solowij, Creative Director at the British Beauty Council (about to start a beauty-wide sustainability report), Anna Mornington, Founding Member and Head of International expansion at Olio and Emilie Vanpoperinghe, Oddbox Co-Founder. Followed by 3 of our favourite female Climate Youth Activists, @Earthbyhelena, @Mikaelaloach and @tollypollyposh sharing their climate journey and top tips. 

Here’s what we learnt if you couldn’t make it: 

  1. Women are often the best placed change agents to practically and effectively mitigate climate change, and are also disproportionately more likely to be impacted by the effects of climate change.

Climate change will affect everyone, but the timing and level of impact will differ according to privilege. “Climate Change will affect the 1% last (the privileged), it’s going to affect minorities first.” Helena Bennett, Climate Youth Activist

70% of women currently live in poverty and so are likely to be more impacted by extreme weather, but at the same time are excluded from the conversation due to existing biases including restricted land rights and lack of access to training, technology, politics and financial resources. We must unleash the knowledge and capability of women.

We need to have more representation of women in positions of power, who are well placed to identify and deliver mitigation and adaptation strategies that will prevent and protect those most vulnerable.

  1. Every individual that takes a climate positive action can genuinely have a huge impact. “No step is too small.” - Emilie Vanpoperinghe, Oddbox Co-Founder

This is especially true from a food saving perspective via Olio’s food waste app, or Oddbox’s surplus veggie boxes. Shockingly a third of all food does not make it from farm to fork, yet 800 million live in a condition of hunger. All food that goes to waste emits roughly 4.4 gigatons of CO2 every year, which equates to 8% of the world total greenhouse gas emissions. 

  1. Good news - “Fashion consumption habits in the UK are starting to plateau.” - Sarah Ditty at Fashion Revolution

The clothing rental market is growing instead; “It’s expected to reach $1,856 Million, Globally, by 2023.” - Allied Market Research. 

A great brand to rent clothes from instead of buy is Onloan. Simply choose the clothes you’d like to rent online, they’ll be delivered to you, and send back when it’s time to swap for something else. 

  1. Don’t miss the opportunity to think about the product's afterlife. Think about what’s being washed down the drain too. “Your use is not the last stage.” - Anna-Marie Solowij, Creative Director at the British Beauty Council

Many things can’t be flushed down the toilet, and will end up clogging waterways, cotton buds and cotton wool pads won’t break down. Cotton buds can’t be recycled. Opt for reusable alternatives like Face Halo. Oils and creams will clog drains too, if you’re cleaning out your empties and your products are 100% natural like BYBI’s, empty into your compost bin. 

  1. Brands often take a hit to be sustainable. “We take hit on costs at the moment, which we don’t pass onto customers, but I think this will change as demand grows.” - Elsie Rutterford, BYBI Co-Founder

Often making the right choice with materials and practices that have a lower CO2 is more expensive for brands, because the demand for lower CO2 materials isn’t super high at the moment. This is why it’s so important that as brands and consumers we continue to increase awareness and demand for climate conscious products. Low cost, low CO2 products and services need to be accessible to everyone for us to effectively reduce CO2 as a collective, and reach net zero. 

  1. We need to talk about fossil fuels. “20 companies are responsible for ⅓ of all greenhouse gas emissions and we don’t talk about them.” - Mikaela Loach, Climate Youth Activist

It’s time to hold companies with high greenhouse gas emissions accountable, and also switch to those with low. Changing energy suppliers from brown energy (fossil fuels), to green energy (renewable) is super easy and often cheaper. At BYBI, we love Bulb energy. 

That’s a wrap!

Click here, to attend our next digital susty summit, on how to make Earth Day, every day.


Written by Hannah L, Sustainability and Strategy Manager