July 05, 2019
Plastic Free July
Plastic Free July
- A time we get to come together as a community of people who treasure this planet and take tangible, practical action to protect it.
It’s also a time to support and educate each other, whatever our stage on the plastic free journey.
Arnhem Clothing was born from and inspired by a love of the natural world.
For us, stepping lightly on this planet is so much more than a month-long campaign; it’s the central pillar of our business.
We mean business when it comes to planet love 🌏💚
In 2017 we collaborated with an Australian company to develop compostable garment bags made from corn starch.
🌽 Corn again came to the rescue with our development of compostable courier packaging.
We implemented a strict, zero-plastic policy with our suppliers covering all packages they send- not even a plastic button bag shall be in sight!
100% of our paper packaging, swing tags and even barcodes are made from FSG certified recycled material.
98% of our fabrics are sustainable and 94% is compostable.
This year, we launched Revive.
Beautiful and imaginative pieces created from excess fabric from previous collections that would have otherwise returned to the earth much sooner.
1% FOR THE PLANET
We believe in creating change outside of our own business practices.
Being based in Byron, Arnhem Clothing is lucky enough to be immersed in a culture that’s supportive and aware of the need to reduce single-use plastics.
Shopping at farmers markets, keep cups and reusable water bottles are the norm here- but we know it’s not the case for everyone.
Which brings us to a key reason we love the Plastic Free July movement.
It has successfully spread awareness of the impact of single-use plastics throughout the globe - not just those in eco-centric regions!
The world-changing achievements of PFJ sparked our curiosity about the inspiration and purpose behind the initiative.Plastic Free July
was started by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz. She didn’t begin with the intention to start a global movement, but with the desire to change herself.
Rebecca worked in Waste Education at Perth Regional Council. As part of her role, she took groups on tours of local waste facilities.
Her first visit was eye opening and transformative.
She witnessed the sheer volume of material and the complex and intense process to transport, sort and then again transport to the point of recycling.
It made her suddenly question everything in her recycling bin and how she came to have it.
As a result, Rebecca decided to try and avoid purchasing any new single-use plastic the following month – which just happened to be July 2011!
In July 2018 alone, 120 million people across the globe took part in the challenge across 177 countries.
Rebecca attributes this incredible success to the fact that the movement speaks to our collective desire to take practical action against the plastic problem.
Going plastic free in an intentional way for a month is a great way to learn new habits and raise awareness.
Plastic Free July participants:
🙌 reduce their household waste on average by 76kg per household per year (7.6%)
🙌 cut their use of recyclables (disposable packaging) on average by 28kg per household per year (5.6%)
🙌 contribute to a total saving of 490 million kg of plastic waste each year.
We’ve officially established we’re BIG fans of PFJ!
In celebration of the groundbreaking initiative, we gave away the ultimate plastic free July starter kit.
It included beautiful wares from a number of incredible small business.
We handpicked businesses whose products and vision will help you on your way, whether you’re just embarking on the plastic free journey or a seasoned traveler.
Diverse in approach, the businesses have one thing in common- they share our desire to use creativity and innovation to protect our planet.
Here’s a little about each of the incredible creators:
Will & Bear
hit that sweet spot, being creators of spiffy hats and partnering with trees.org to plant 10 trees for every one sold.
Their hats are crafted from all natural or recycled materials. Socially and environmentally responsible? check and check!
The Source Bulk Foods
wanna see us connect with the source of our food.
They’re believers in providing nutritious products while embracing a zero waste goal and their stores are wonderlands of unpackaged goodness.
creators Fred and Em create beautifully-designed, incredibly functional and fairly-priced reusable alternatives to single-use plastics.
They mix up ingredients that are pure, original and wholesome and make them into snacks of the delectable variety.
They’re wrapped in renewably sourced biodegradable plant fibre and packaged in recycled card boxes. Neat!
are 100% non for profit with all profits funding environmental and community projects, or improving their service to you.
They hand pick products based on their ethical procurement policy and preference local farmers and producers as much as possible.
Seed and Sprout
create practical goods that reduce reliance on single use plastics and bridge the gap between the ideal and action- its the bridge we all need!
They also support some very lovely charities, including Earth Day Network, who’s tree planting has reforested hundreds of acres of rainforest.
Loco Love Chocolates
make the most delicious vegan, soy and refined sugar free chocolates, aka artisanal chocolates with benefits.
They use superfoods, tonic herbs and healing spices, in combination with organic, fair-trade Criollo Cacao from Peru. Ahhhh.. yes please?!
have wandered straight into our hearts. They create rugs that are more like a magic carpets than a picnic rugs.
AND they share our fondness for Rainforests, with 1% of their profits going toward Rainforest Rescue! Those tree-loving sweeties.
are a botanical and clay emporium who believe in the transformative power of plants and functional+ sustainable design.
We have so much in common! They create floral magic using sustainable floral practices.
They also offer ceramic works by renowned potters, plant vessels, unique furnishings from around the globe and original art by local artists.
is a Ceramic artist. Nature plays an important role in Sasa’s sculptural and functional ceramic art.
Her works inspire touch and meditation, and we’re just so gob-smacked by it.
This list of creators and inspirers reminds us what good company we’re in with this plastic-free, zero waste journey.
When it comes to going plastic free, the aim isn’t perfection, but commitment.
Commitment to continual learning and changing, to perseverance despite frustration, to knowledge sharing and innovation.
In our office, we’re all at different stages of our journeys to zero waste. But we’re lucky enough have a couple of pros in our midst.
Arnhem Bickley is our founder and minimal-waste muse. She grew up in an eco conscious family, with her parents having lived plastic-free for 20 years.
Arnhem rebelled and abandoned plastic-free life in her early adulthood, feeling as if she may have missed out on things that her peers got to enjoy.
This rebellion didn’t last long.
As a result of the social media exposure, Arnhem learned of the impact of consumerism and plastic consumption on the earth, the ocean and animals.
It was enough to have her return to her environmental roots with a passion. Living minimal waste is now a lifestyle for Arnhem and her family.
For her, it’s all about heart. Arnhem feels a strong emotional drive to protect the beauty and resources of this planet for her kids and all future generations.
It’s what motivates her to persevere through the inevitable challenges associated with living minimal waste.
Her top five waste-minimising tips are as follows:
🌱 Weekly meal-preparation.
Shopping from bulk food sources, farmers markets and harvesting from your own garden has an added bonus -
cooking stuff from scratch can be a beautiful way to connect with the food we eat (and each other… make it a family affair)!
Pickle things, bake bread, roast your own muesli, make big batches of soups...
Prepping meals and snacks will ensure you have a better idea of what’s going into your body, it’s more economic and it reduces plastic consumption - the ultimate win-win (-win)!
Arnhem admits that the main barrier to this one is finding the time. Being a business owner and mother of two, time tends to be in short supply.
However, Arnhem is happy to and often does cook and garden into the night, understanding that to live minimal waste is a lifestyle commitment.
🌱 Invest in a moon cup. Your wallet would also be appreciative - moon cups are far more economic over the long term.
And no more worrying about running out of tampons and pads!
Fair warning - making the change to a moon cup can involve a bit of learning and adjusting to find the right fit and position.
Arnhem has found smaller ones to be more comfortable. Just combine with period underwear (try Thinx) to ensure you won’t be watching any period dramas.
🌱 Refill your shampoo and conditioner bottles instead of buying new ones.
If you’re local health food store doesn’t offer bulk shampoo, try asking your local hairdresser to refill your bottles.
If they’re hesitant, get friends to ask too - businesses respond to demand and voting with our dollar is a great way to encourage a cultural shift. People Power!
🌱 Plastic free Pet food.
Take your reusable containers into your local butcher. A meaty little bonus - you’ll also be supporting local business.
🌱 If you’re shopping at supermarkets, use the brown mushroom bags for your fruit and veg instead of the plastic
- they’re compostable and readily available.
In 2017, we hired our full time sustainability officer (angel) Jyoti. Jyoti is something of an environmental mastermind.
The extent of her commitment to doing all she can to minimise her environmental footprint is difficult to put into words.
But we can say that she rides her bike 20 minutes, after which she catches the school bus to work every morning. As we said, angel 😇
Here are her top five waste-minimising tips.
🌱Make your own nut milk. The resulting meal can be used for baking.
We have a delicious, simple recipe to share with you very soon.
🌱Buy milk in glass bottles.
Barambah organics have glass bottle options. If you can’t find them, ask for it at your local IGA, they’re receptive to customer feedback.
You can reuse the bottles or even get them refilled with a local farmer if you live in a rural area.
Cardboard milk cartons often contain a plastic lining and/or aluminium top that our waste management facilities do not have the ability to remove, meaning they wind up in landfill.
🌱 Make your own yoghurt.
This is actually incredibly easy! Just place a spoon of yoghurt in a reusable container of milk and wait for it to set.
Homemade yoghurt is loaded with good bacteria and extremely economic.
🌱 Only give plastic free presents.
As seen from all the wonderful businesses listed above, beautiful plastic-free products are available aplenty.
Or get creative and make your own - those lovely jars of pickled things and muesli would make the most thoughtful + practical gifts!
As the old adage says - it’s the thought that counts.
A little thought can transform your next gift into a planet friendly one, and even encourage someone to get started on their plastic free journey!
🌱 Honesty boxes: unsung heroes of the plastic-free grocery world!
Incorporate a regular honesty box run into your life and reap the benefits.
Fresh + local produce, supporting local farmers and dreamy drives through country roads.
Plastic free July demonstrates that even small changes in your habits and thinking can change the world.
Such changes lead to snowball effect, where more and more people come into contact with this information and make changes in their own lives.
Additionally, many of the above tips involve becoming more connected to yourself, your community and the earth - a worthwhile change if we ever heard one!
Wherever you’re at in your waste-minimising journey, take heart!
The success of PFJ shows us that we’re part of a huge community of people in love with this planet and willing to make changes to protect it.
Together, we are creating meaningful change 💚