No, this is not about the English-language film The 5th Element, with a central plot of the survival of planet Earth (Luc Besson, 997) it’s about our responsibility as consumers and producers as we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The theme and the title of this movie were a frame for me to outline Rarity’s environmental and social ideals. Not only could I play with numbers from the Fourth revolution to the Fifth Element, I could relate to the surreal landscape of this futuristic movie as an illustration of what may become of our world if we do not look after it and its citizens. The movie is rather glamorous, but I kinda want to keep our planet as it is for now!
TANNING; At Rarity, we require all our suppliers to have international certifications and environmental policies. All our materials must confirm with REACH- the European Union’s regulations on the production and use of chemical substances, and their potential impacts on both human health and the environment. This 849-page outline took seven years to pass. Described as the most complex legislation in the Union’s history and the most important in 20 years. It is the strictest law to date regulating chemical substances and will affect industries throughout the world
By the end of 2018 all Rarity products will be delivered in in cotton dust bags and will have no protective plastic layer, we will phase out the use of plastics in all international deliveries by the end of 2018. Why? With more than eight million tonnes going into the oceans every year, projections show there will be more plastic than fish by 2050, and 99 percent of all the seabirds on the planet will have consumed some. Estimations are that the sea now contains some 51 trillion microplastic particles – 500 times more than stars in our galaxy. All high gram plastic currently in the factory is reusable for the storage of stock and is reused to protect products.
Out with old, triple layer Tag! Rarity will do our next print run of swing tags on 100% recycled, chlorine-free paper and consolidate all the information into a more sizable swing tag. Hotink, The first certified carbon neutral printers in South Africa is where well go. Why? With 40% of the world’s commercially cut timber used for the production of paper, pulpwood plantations and mills endanger natural habitats. Over 30 million acres of forest are being destroyed annually, and paper industry is a significant contributor to the problem of deforestation and is partly to blame for the endangerment of some species that live in the forests. The paper production also uses up to10 litres of water per A4 sheet. With Black boards painted all over the factory to communicate information, we are limiting the amount of printed content within our processes. Reduce, reuse, recycle apples to all aspects of production
In an area of robust debate on the complexities of cultural appropriation, Rarity stake’s claim on our heritage of natural materials. The origins of both the Springbok and the Ostrich materials are African and of our continent. Rarity will continue to celebrate our culture, in an environment with 98% local procurement and 100% local labour. Its bought here and its made here limiting our carbon footprint, and increasing opportunities within our communities. Fashion itself is a reflection of social, economic, political and cultural changes. It expresses modernity, symbolising the spirit of the times. As we enter the 4th industrial revolution with its enhanced access to information, we celebrate that this will create greater transparency as consumers explore core ethics such as who made my clothes, where do the materials originate.
The 5th Element, FAIR TRADE
At Rarity our list of 5 would not be complete without this critical point. Believing in and practising the ten principles of FAIR TRADE is part of our DNA. Previous industrial revolutions liberated humankind from animal power, made mass production possible and brought digital capabilities to billions of people. This Fourth Industrial Revolution is, however, fundamentally different. Characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, it is impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human. We hope that it also challenges our responsibilities as consumers to make ethical choices.
With digital advances and the increased access to information, We can no longer ignore the fact that our purchases directly impact the world around us. The BBC Capital reports that we are a society obsessed with consumerism. Impulse spending is a big problem for many people. Canadians spend, on average, $2,987 each year on impulse buys, 75% of Americans had made an impulse buy, with 10% of people paying more than $1,000 for a single item. 44% of people in China bought something they didn’t need. The 5th Element
Perhaps one day our world will look like Luc lessons 23rd-century earth in The 5th Element and well need to vacation away from our polluted planet? But I hope that before then we will question what we use, why we need it and how we impact those around us with our consumer choices? Until then Rarity will consider every part of our production processes and the impacts on the world and its citizens.The 5th Element