Environment Forum

from Shop Talk:

For Father’s Day, suit shows greener side of Sears

Sears Covington Perfect suitHey guys, this isn't your pop's polyester.

Just in time for Father's Day shopping, Sears will roll out a line of men's suits made of the first high-tech fabric that blends wool with polyester spun from recycled plastic soda bottles.

The suit separates, sold under Sears' Covington Perfect brand, will be on racks in about 500 U.S. Sears stores in May.  Price: $175 for the jacket and $75 for the pants, according to Tim Danser, vice president of marketing for Bagir Group Ltd., the Israeli manufacturer that tailors the garments for Sears' private label.

And get this: This suit is machine washable and can be tossed in the dryer, eliminating the need for dry cleaning and upping the eco-friendly ante, Danser said.

"This isn't the polyester of the 1970s," Moses Cohen, sales and marketing manager for N.I. Teijin Shoji (USA), Inc., the New York arm of Teijin, the Japanese chemical company that makes the suit fabric, said during a men's fashion briefing at the swanky Kitano Hotel on Park Avenue in Manhattan.

Teijin, which developed fabrics made of recycled plastic blended with wool, viscose and cotton or with other synthetics, also partners with retailers to recycle used polyester clothing back into fabric and new clothes.

A sting in the whale tale?

whale.jpgAsk many Japanese about whaling and they explain it’s part of their culture. After all, Japan is surrounded by the ocean and whaling and fishing have been part of Japan for many centuries.

During a recent visit to Japan, several Japanese friends and colleagues were puzzled, indeed annoyed, by Western media coverage of Japan’s scientific whaling in Antarctic waters earlier this year and thought the stories were hostile and uninformed.

To them, stopping whaling would be akin to Australians being forced to stop summer barbecues, Inuits from hunting seals, or Germans from drinking beer during Oktoberfest.

Substance trumps style at climate talks

bento21.JPG   It was like a scene from the future. A carpark brimming with fuel-cell and hydrogen-powered cars, while fuel-cell buses ferried delegates to lunch near the modern conference centre outside Tokyo.

   Japan was determined to display its green credentials at weekend G20 talks, one of the biggest meetings of the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters since last December’s Bali gathering. Even conference staff were given chopsticks and traditional “bento” boxes that could be reused instead of the usual throw-away items.

    Inside the conference hall, though, delegates were more interested in substance than style as they discussed ways to agree on a global pact by the end of 2009 to curb growing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.