Social Fabric 2018.07.16

Potatoes

NATURE’S OLDEST COMFORT FOOD

French fries, German potato salad, Irish potato soup, Bengal potatoes. An international starch powerhouse, the humble potato is actually native to Peru, was domesticated there over 10,000 years ago, and was only introduced to Europe after the “discovery” of the Americas in the fifteenth century. Today, there are over 4,000 (4,000!) varieties of potatoes in Peru – only a handful of which are able to grow away from the ideal Andean climate and soil. Idaho gets closest but even there they can’t grow most of them. Madhur Jaffrey chronicles her journey through Peru’s potato belt. From the New York Times.

ZIPPING ALONG

Quick – think of a company or brand whose products you use daily. I’m guessing no one but the most insider-y of apparel insiders thought ‘YKK.’ And they probably didn’t either. But if you put on a pair of jeans, zipped up a jacket, or grabbed a backpack or handbag today, chances are you interacted with a YKK zipper. For decades, Japan’s YKK has made over half the world’s zippers. If you feel like geeking out on zippers, this deep dive by Quartz looks at the history, the present, and the future of apparel’s most essential fastening device.

THE LAST STRAW?

One bright spot in the movement to change our culture of consumption is the decline of single-use plastic shopping bags. We can thank growing consumer awareness as well as new local and state laws, the most consequential being California’s 2016 law outlawing the bags. (Shameless plug – our Envirosax reusable shopping bags are so cool, so convenient, you’ll forget you ever used plastic bags!).

Next up…the plastic straw. After shopping bags, no other product gets used once and tossed (rarely recycled) as a drinking straw. Re-usable straws and paper straws (remember those?) are making big comebacks as plastic’s reign finally begins to recede. We can all drink to that! From NPR.

SPEAKING OF THINGS GOING AWAY

It’s hard to fathom, but not too long before ‘Netflix and Chill’ we had ‘Blockbuster and Return in 48 Hours, 24 Hours for New Releases.’ After closing two Alaska locations, Blockbuster will have only one remaining store. Quite honestly, I didn’t realize they had any locations still open even though my member card looks as good as new (oh, the wonders of plastic!). The fact that the last store is in hipster mecca Bend, Oregon is even more surprising. Or is it? Could this be some kind of ironic Blockbuster? From Esquire.

100 Billion Single Use Plastic Bags Are Used and Discarded Every Year

When you have a single bag in your hands, it seems like a small deal. What’s one plastic bag going to add to the world’s waste glut? But when you take a hundred billion of them and throw in the fact that each one takes 1,000 years to degrade in a landfill, you can see what a difference using reusable bags would make.

Here are some other not so fun facts:

  • 12 million barrels of oil are used to make a year’s use of plastic bags.
  • Only 1-2% of these bags are recycled.
  • Thousands of marine animals and over a million birds die each year as a result of plastic pollution.

And that’s just the plastic. 10 billion paper bags are consumed each year using the resources from 14 million trees.

Fair Indigo’s decision to carry Envirosax Reusable Shopping Bags was not without much internal discussion. They are not made of natural or recycled materials. They are not bio-degradable.

But our philosophy has always been how to help consumers move the ethical shopping needle furthest and fastest. Organic canvas totes may be the purest solution, but they tend to be heavier and bulkier. Our thinking was that we could help hundreds of people change their shopping habits with canvas bags or thousands, maybe tens of thousands, with super cool, super stylish, and super well-designed Envirosax. With limited inventory purchasing resources, we went with Envirosax and have never looked back.

In fact, since late 2008, our customers have put over 60,000 reusable shopping bags in circulation. That’s potentially 7.2 million fewer plastic bags used per year if each 40-pound capacity Envirosax replaced two plastic bags per week. A tiny drop in the 100 billion bucket, but a start. And with Envirosax’s new designs every season, we’re confident this is just the beginning.

Read more about or purchase these nifty bags here.

And check out this video showing how you can use Envirosax as a cool way to wrap your gifts!