This story comes from a tip from Andy Jaquet of the New Zealand agency Dow Design courtesy of the English newspaper the Telegraph. The Value Proposition for Private brand products is given new meaning with what the claim to be the first ever carbon neutral bra. The real questions here appear to be does anyon care and if so will they pay extra?
The world’s first carbon neutral bra, made in a factory run on solar panels, has been launched onto the fashion market with hopes that all clothing will be more environmentally friendly in future.
The Marks and Spencer (M&S) Private Brand lingerie set, that will be available online, was made in an ‘eco factory’ in Sri Lanka where energy has been reduced a third through measures like making sure all lighting is from the sun or low energy light bulbs.
It is powered by hydroelectricity produced on a nearby river and solar panels on the roof.
The rest of the carbon dioxide produced in making the bra will be offset by planting 6,000 trees in the community every year. Most of the trees will be native to Sri Lanka, therefore boosting wildlife. A quarter will be fruit trees that can generate money for the local community.
The Carbon Trust Footprinting Certification Company has calculated the carbon used in making the bra and will monitor the project to ensure emissions are cut.
The scheme will also help wildlife. Sri Lanka’s forests are home to approximately 90 per cent of the country’s endemic species but are disappearing at a rate of 1.6 per cent per year.
M&S are working with the Conservation Carbon Company to help local farmers replant trees so that what is left of the rainforest in southern Sri Lanka can be reconnected again via ‘green corridors’. This allows wildlife such as the slender loris and green vine snake to move around. The local farmers are helped to develop sustainable agriculture harvesting fruit and timber.
Mike Barry, Head of Sustainable Business at M&S, said the retailer will be trying to make more clothing carbon neutral in future and expecting other companies to follow suite.
“We don’t want green, eco-friendly products to be in a ghetto in the corner, we should be making all products more environmentally friendly,” he said.