Design trends, Sustainability

How Going Green Can Give Your Company A Competitive Advantage?

A look back over the last few years, even the last year, shows that the world’s climate is changing for the worse. The catalogue of disasters in 2019-2020 is worrying. To name but a few: floods in Europe, the US and China, fire in Australia and Brazil, immense typhoons in the Pacific, and forest fires in Siberia. Very few people claim that these are not connected to global warming.

Since the late 19th century, the global average temperature has risen about 1.1°C, according to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The world has seen the consequences of this rise in temperature through more extreme weather, rising sea levels (about 19 cm from 1910 to 2010) and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes. Beyond a rise of about 1.5°C, many aspects of climate change will be irreversible, even if greenhouse gas emissions are stopped. Some authorities (e.g. UN IPCC) say that for some eco-systems this is already the case

There will always be some who deny global warming, but the evidence that we are destroying our planet is overwhelming. We shouldn’t need the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg to remind us, but we’re lucky she does.

What are the benefits of going green?

Going green helps us reduce the damage we cause the environment. Continental wide lockdowns because of Covid-19 have shown the benefits of reduced pollution after even a few weeks: cleaner air, cleaner water and thriving wildlife. So, it should be obvious that long term changes in production, consumption and pollution could have dramatic and positive effects.

Specific benefits include reduced waste, especially toxic waste, conservation of resources, improved air and water quality, and thriving (rather than stressed) ecosystems which themselves contribute to maintaining climate balance. Better care for our world protects and encourages biodiversity. Better care for our world enables a better future for mankind. Many coastal communities already feel the effects of climate change. If we fail in this now, the future is bleak.

What’s the commercial advantage?

More and more people want goods that have been made without damage to the environment. Where production methods need lots of energy or toxic chemicals, they want to know that every effort has been made to reduce that damage and that more is being done to reduce it further. Put simply, ‘green’ products have sales appeal, and mass-produced ‘green’ products can have a real and measurable impact of consumer choices, as well as benefiting the environment. A company that operates ethically, with minimum damage to the environment, will have a place in the future.

What can the individual do?

By taking responsibility for our own actions we can help local and national efforts to limit the damage to our environment. By making thoughtful choices about purchases, we can exert pressure on industries to change their practices. By making considered choices in elections we could, in many countries, elect leaders who will take climate change seriously and who will design responsible policies for the long term as well as the short.

What can a business do?

Industries and individual businesses have a unique opportunity to set examples and provide solutions. The larger the business, the greater the responsibility, but small businesses can act too. Those who have not yet started to develop environmentally-friendly strategies should do so now. It’s time for every business to work out how to ensure their waste is reused or recycled; it’s time to look at the sustainability of each process in their production lines.

What have we done at Kingly?

We recognise the challenges of making sure that products and processes are environmentally responsible. The garment trade has its own particular difficulties, not least high-water consumption and the toxic substances used in the production of some fabrics and dyes. We work hard to source our raw materials from responsible suppliers and we are also one of the leading proponents of upcycling in the clothing industry. In particular, we have ranges of upcycled socks and upcycled knitted jumpers. Both are made from yarns which have been mechanically recovered from discarded fabrics. This avoids the energy-hungry and chemically intense production methods often associated with recycled fabrics. And our environmentally friendly approach extends to packaging too; our upcycled socks come in compostable bags made from potato starch. Our clients love these products. They love them because they’re great socks and jumpers – and they love them because they’re green.

Visit our main website wearekingly.com for more inspirational promotional products and creative packaging solutions. Ask for our latest catalogue with hygiene products against Covid-19 via service@wearekingly.com

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