Written by: Kristen McKenna | Jun 22 2021
Pride is upon us! While honorable events vary throughout the month and globe, a uniform feeling of wearing one’s heart on their sleeve resonates with many. Unfortunately comparable to many annual events, Pride aligns with the excessive use of single-use items and accessories. However, the road towards environmentally mindful Pride festivities lies clearly paved.
One of the more pleasurable aspects of the entire month dedicated to honoring sexual diversity and evolution is the event itself! Whether one attends a parade, art exhibition or concert, the option to approach the day’s affair can be done so responsibly. Planning ahead to limit the consumption of ordinary, plastic induced items leads to a more sustainable Pride experience. Thoughtful, eco-friendly alternatives are ready for use to ensure one’s Pride participation remains vibrant.
Don’t Forget Your Reusables!
Like any other day, the presence of single-use plastic deems inescapable. Even more so surrounding celebratory events, the convenience of disposable items reach in-numerous amounts of people. However, observing Pride shouldn’t mean that one’s day-to-day environmental endeavors should be forgotten about!
For example, the aftermath of Mardi Gras produces 150 tons of overall waste every year. With efforts to not contribute towards the negative aspects of public events, carrying along reusable items resolves such a predicament. Do what you can to refuse, bring your own and lessen your impact.
Certainly, the day will be a long and hot one, so enjoy your chilled H20 inside a reusable water bottle while scanning the area and noticing the abundance of plastic bottles clutched by other parade attendees. The same goes for reusable cutlery, straws, food containers, and bags, alongside any other essentials one considers necessary. Approach the event with a personal goal of high environmental guidelines and emerge with satisfaction, knowing each individual refusal did not aid toward the global waste crisis.
‘Green’ Pride Flags
Now, how can Pride be properly glorified without the presence of the acclaimed Rainbow Flag. While displaying personal support with a Pride appropriate flag, not all are manufactured equally. Typically, flags consist of nylon or polyester material, AKA a synthetic, plastic-based component. The Rainbow Flag’s green stripe signifies nature and the interconnectedness between sexuality, humanity, and the environment. Such recognition should convey the allegiance we as humans hold respecting the environment’s protection and preservation.
If you already possess a Pride flag, hold onto it and keep it forever! Overconsumption remains a key factor concerning the environment’s deterioration. Another option would be to borrow from a friend if they don’t find themselves partaking in this year’s Pride celebration. Lastly, resort to purchasing a new flag.
Based out of the United Kingdom, Harrison Flagpoles has developed eco-friendly flags made from recycled plastic waste. The revolutionary design makes use of plastic material that would have most likely ended up in surrounding ecosystems. Reformulating single-use PET plastic bottles and industrial polyester waste allows Harrison flags to generate 75% less carbon dioxide emissions compared to flags made with virgin polyester. Their Pride Flags vary from traditional rainbow colors to more specific acknowledgement; Bisexual Pride, Asexual Pride, Transgender Pride, and so much more! Not to mention that Harrison offers a fabric up-cycling program with an objective to recycle or up-cycle 100% of the fabric they print. Harrison asks their customers to return the used flags so they can redevelop the material into useful items and extend its lifespan.
The celebration of Pride ignites participants to dress accordingly and flaunt one’s authentic character. On the surface, the high influx of Pride complementary apparel reaches the eyes of millions, uplifting support amongst many. While the incentive aims to generate further advocacy, the goal for mainstream brands circles around making a quick buck. The fast fashion industry accounts for roughly 10% of annual global emissions while 85% of textiles end up in landfills each year. The statistics are appalling, however, the ingenuity of current designers has unfolded a new era of fashion with mindful practices and procedures.
Curbing the “throw away” mindset permits consumers to cherish one’s wardrobe and mindfully select future pieces, taking into consideration its entire impact. Instead of purchasing clothing intended for single-use purposes (holidays and celebratory events), use what you already own, borrow from friends, or invest in multipurpose attire that will last a lifetime.
A virtuous company amidst the flock, the establishment of TomboyX pursued a target to create underwear that anybody could feel confident wearing, despite where they landed on the size or gender spectrum. Owners Fran and Naomi took note of the fast fashion industry’s downfalls, and committed to demonstrate how a clothing brand could sustainably produce garments without harming the environment.
TomboyX ensures their fabrics, factories and anyone engaged in the supply chain undergoes ethical labor practices, and generates minimal waste. Sourcing their cotton from India allows TomboyX to significantly reduce their carbon footprint, as the location of further production lies within range. Their cotton is OEKO-TEX certified, a globally approved verification guaranteeing environmentally conscious production and harmful substance testing. The usage of TENCEL™ Modal, a fabric originating from the renewable raw material wood, furthers TomboyX’s high regard for responsible textiles. Furthermore, a unique element setting TomboyX apart from competing brands settles on the use of Chitosan within their swimwear. A natural biopolymer deriving from abandoned crustacean shells by the industrial fishing trade, Chitosan serves as a nontoxic, biodegradable, and anti-microbial component for their swimwear coating. The list goes on concerning environmental initiatives and intentions – TomboyX hosts an array of Pride-friendly attire ranging from undergarments, t-shirts, socks, and swimwear. While purchasing apparel for this year’s Pride festivities, remain attentive toward the longevity and continual usefulness of such items.
Pride isn’t Pride without a little shimmer and sparkles… who are we kidding, glitter is a huge part of celebrating Pride! However, traditional glitter is made up of plastic sheets and inevitably contributes to the daunting microplastic dilemma. Microplastics are categorized as plastics less than five millimeters in diameter and are commonly found in cosmetic products, the shedding of clothing and other textiles, and result from the breakdown of larger plastic items. Like plastic items of any size, microplastics do not break down into harmless molecules and continue to pollute the natural environment.
Conventional glitter composed of such material flows right from one’s bathroom drain into the sewer system. Wastewater treatment plants are not arranged to filter out such particles and they advance to our natural waterways. Marine life absorbs or ingests these glitzy microplastics and being that humans are at the top of the food chain, we unavoidably wind up consuming the glitter.
Don’t feel defeated just yet! Plastic-free glitter has begun to emerge and doesn’t compromise the enjoyment of getting all glammed up for the necessity to protect our planet. Eco Glitter Fun are official licensed resellers of Bioglitter – authorized ‘OK biodegradable WATER’ by TÜV Austria. Bioglitter promptly biodegrades in natural freshwater environments, and not just an industrial or home composter. Bioglitter PURE is 100% plastic-free, suitable for vegetarians and cosmetics grade. Packaged in glass bottles with aluminum lids and compostable labels, their immense color selection provides customers the ability to cater toward any special event or look. Search no further to spice up your Pride ensemble and end your celebration with a feeling of contentment.
The free-spirit nature surrounding Pride inspires society to quite literally show their true colors. What better way to make a statement than painting it on your face! Despite hosting a rainbow of shade selections, not all paint is ‘green’. Because face paints are not expected to be ingested, “under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, they (and their non-color additive ingredients) do not require FDA approval before they go to market.”
Thus, countless face paints consist of recognized carcinogens among other toxins which can be absorbed through the skin or accidentally consumed. A study conducted by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics detected, “traces of heavy metals such as lead, nickel, cobalt, and chromium contaminating the artificial color additives used in all the Halloween face paint brands they tested. Many of these contamination levels were far above the current safety recommendations.”
Thank goodness for the innovation of today’s time. Professional artist, environmentalist, and mother Leah Fanning founded Natural Earth Paint (NEP) in 2011 with the ambition to formulate non-toxic, high quality art supplies. Functioning out of a 100% solar-powered facility, NEP sources their pigments and natural ingredients from small, family-owned businesses across the globe. NEP’s pledge for a genuine environmentally conscious business model reflects their Gold Certification through Green America.
Their Natural Face Paints are clay and mineral-based without the presence of nanoparticles, parabens, phthalates, and petroleum-based dyes. Furthermore, the paint comes packaged in post-consumer recycled plastic jars – meaning the pre-existing plastic they utilize eliminates the need to create new material. The desire to show off one’s support and colorful personality can be done so without the use of harsh additives.
Pride with an Eco-Friendly Twist
After examining individual factors that embody the backbone of Pride participants, creative and cautious investments can be sought out. Harnessing an environmentally conscious mindset allows consumers to personally take action and enjoy triumphs such as Pride, guilt free. With proper dedication and research, anything can be accomplished in a sustainable manner. So don’t hold back, paint your face and douse your body with glitter! Come next year’s Pride month and all your friends will be pressing you with questions on how you perfected such a boisterous ensemble.