How Tommy Hilfiger is working toward a more sustainable and inclusive fashion industry

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From a massive solar roof to new equity programs to washing denim with lasers instead of water. On the roof of Tommy Hilfiger’s European distribution center—located in the Dutch town of Venlo—are 48,000 solar panels, just one of the latest steps the fashion brand has taken to be more sustainable. CEO Martijn Hagman announced the completion of the solar panel roof at the Fast Company Innovation Festival on Tuesday, saying the company believes it’s “one of the most powerful solar roofs in the world at this moment.” Read Full Story

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At this new net-zero energy McDonald’s, on-site solar provides 100% of the power

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By 2030, emissions from McDonald’s restaurants and offices will need to drop 36%, compared to 2015, to meet the company’s science-based targets. This new restaurant now open at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is one step toward that goal. At a new McDonald’s restaurant that just opened at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida (with COVID-19 protection measures in place), solar panels covering the roof—and solar glass panels throughout the building—are designed to generate enough energy that the restaurant can run on 100% renewable power. Read Full Story

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This game-changing solar company recycles old panels into new ones

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The first wave of solar panels is reaching the end of their useful lives. Now they can become new solar panels instead of trash. The global surge in solar power is helping quickly lower the cost of solar panels and shrink energy’s carbon footprint, with around 70,000 solar panels being installed every hour by 2018, and an estimated 1.47 million solar panels in place by that year in the U.S. alone. But it also means that we’ll face an enormous pile of e-waste when those panels eventually wear out. Read Full Story

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Our 11 favorite ethical and sustainable clothing companies that you haven’t heard of yet

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Everyone knows Everlane, Allbirds, and Rothy’s. These 11 companies will change up your wardrobe while taking care of the planet and workers. At Fast Company , we love brands that find ways to combine great design and quality with sustainability. And fortunately, in the apparel and fashion industry, there seem to be lots more of them these days. Brands such as Rothy’s , Everlane , and Girlfriend Collective are found throughout the posts of the Recommender section because they lead the field when it comes to creating good-looking, functional, sustainable apparel. But there are other, lesser-known boutique brands that are right up there with them. That’s why we wanted to create a little field guide to expand the list of sustainable brands you shop with. It’s not exhaustive, but it’s a great place to start. Good luck getting through this without putting something in a shopping cart. Read Full Story

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Editor’s pick: Allbirds’ new running shoes are sustainable, fashionable, and unbelievably comfortable

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Meet the Tree Dasher, Allbirds’ first foray into technical running shoes made with natural fibers. Allbirds is a brand that keeps on giving . In the past month, the sustainable footwear company donated $500,000 worth of shoes (about 5,000 pairs) to healthcare workers before rolling out a “buy-one-give-one” donation model that allows folks to purchase and donate shoes for those on the front lines of the pandemic. And now, the company is making its first foray into performance footwear and launching an all-new running shoe —so we can enjoy some fresh air with sustainable, comfy, and cool-looking trainers on our feet. And there’s a give-back component to the new shoe launch as well. Read Full Story

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2019 was the second largest year ever for corporate solar investments

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While big names such as Facebook and Walmart are putting massive amounts of money into solar, two-thirds of all of 2019’s newly installed solar capacity came from companies that are not in the Fortune 500. Throughout 2019, tech companies such as Apple and Facebook, retailers such as Walmart and Target, and other corporations from real estate companies to banks installed a combined 1,283 megawatts of new commercial solar capacity in the United States—enough to power more than 243,000 homes. Read Full Story

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Bill Gates-backed founder Bill Gross has a plan to save the world from fossil fuels

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For inventing Heliogen, a sustainable alternative to using fossil fuels for industrial heating, Bill Gross is one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People of 2020 “You can try to persuade people to care about climate change, but the only way you’re going to get huge change is if you save them money,” says Bill Gross. The founder of tech incubator Idealab and a lifelong solar energy pioneer, Gross had a major breakthrough last fall when he demonstrated that solar power generated through his Heliogen system could substitute for the fossil fuels used in industrial processes, which currently contribute about 20% of the world’s greenhouse gases annually. His Bill Gates-backed company uses precisely controlled mirrors to turn sunlight into a superhot beam (like a giant magnifying glass) that can reach temperatures above 1,000 degrees Celsius—hot enough to manufacture cement, steel, and other industrial materials. Gross has since received more than 1,000 …

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Who’s wearing vinyl pants in quarantine? How the pandemic could kill fashion trends for good

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COVID-19 could be an important turning point for the fashion industry, sustainability experts say. Here’s why. Vinyl is in vogue. Whatever your budget, you can now find shiny, translucent clothes and accessories, from see-through Christian Louboutin pumps to shiny pink Fiorucci pants to glossy catsuits and miniskirts from ASOS. It’s no surprise that the style is in. Vinyl was all over the runways at Paris Fashion Week over the past two winters and, like many trends, it has eventually trickled down into mainstream fashion. Never mind that no one is wearing vinyl pants while stuck inside under quarantine. Read Full Story

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