What do Hong Kong and New York have in common with Brazil’s Atlantic Forest?
Let me give you a hint. People who share a passion for living sustainably and protecting the environment.
Meet Dorina: a clothing company in Hong Kong that makes stylish, comfortable and affordable lingerie and leisure wear for women.
Jackie: a super model in New York City who always dreamed of having a collection that represented her and respected the environment.
Iracambi: a Conservation and Research Center in the Brazilian rainforest whose mission is Saving Forests and Changing Lives.
People of passion can change the world.
When the team at Dorina learned that by 2050 the fashion industry will produce up to 25% of the world’s carbon emissions, they decided to do something about it. Under the tagline “Dorina Goes Green” they announced an ambitious target. They would produce, package and market their products in the most sustainable manner possible. In less than two years their packaging, hangers and labels we all made of recycled materials, and as of autumn 2020 they use no virgin paper or plastic.
The next stage was to increase the amount of eco-friendly material in the clothing – organic cotton, regenerated microfibers, Bluesign-certified lace manufactured to reduce environmental impact through lower water and energy consumption. And fabrics including materials made from recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets.
How on earth?
Easier than it sounds. First step, recycle plastic bottles and fishing nets. Shred the materials and sort by color. Clean, mix, dry, heat and press to produce yarn. (Hint: you probably shouldn’t try this in your kitchen….) Next step, stretch and weave the yarn into cloth. Dye, cut and give to a skilled seamstress to create an ECO garment. Good job, Dorina!
Back to New York
After working together for five years, supermodel Jackie became Dorina’s official ambassador. Dedicated to showcasing real clothes for real women, Jackie dreamed of having a collection that represented her values and respected the environment. So she asked Dorina the question that had been bubbling up in her mind for years. How can we give back to Mother Nature?
And that was the inspiration for the 2020 Jackie and ECO Collections.
Dorina was already going full steam ahead with their sustainability program. Staff participated in beach clean-ups, first in 2018 and then in 2019. They were working on their goal of Going Green with their materials, manufacturing and packaging. But they wanted to do more. So they talked to Jackie.
As it happens, Jackie is originally from Brazil, and she suggested that Dorina partner with a Brazilian organization that shares their values. And, thanks to the magic of the internet, she discovered Iracambi: a Conservation and Research Center in the forested mountains of Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil.
Dorina and Iracambi started talking in June 2019, and by August Dorina had agreed to sponsor 1000 trees in Iracambi’s reforestation project. Iracambi shared with Dorina details of the tree planting cycle – a year round activity that requires a lot of advance preparation. It starts with collecting seeds from the forest, germinating them in seed beds in the forest nursery, transferring the baby seedlings into containers for planting, watering, weeding, and caring for the saplings until they are ready for planting out, and becoming a brand new forest.
Once the rains set in, it’s all hands on deck to do the planting. In 2019/2020 the rains were particularly heavy, and Iracambi staff, volunteers and farm families had to confront muddy roads, haul crates of trees up steep mountain slopes, plant, and fertilize them, photograph and celebrate the planting over a feast of home grown coffee and cake.
But there’s always more….
Caring for the environment means caring for the next generations that will inherit the planet. Local kids in Iracambi’s Young EcoLeaders program couldn’t wait to get out of the classroom and back into the forest to share their thoughts on how to save the planet.
So what next for Dorina, and Jackie, and Iracambi?
Having embedded the concept of eco-sustainability into its corporate DNA, Dorina is working towards achieving 100% eco-friendly content in its clothing collections. Jackie continues to promote well-being, sustainability and environmental values as she models Dorina’s Eco Collections. And Iracambi aims to involve ever more people from around the world in the exciting business of raising environmental leaders and restoring the rainforests.
What a great partnership – people from three continents coming together to care for the planet, our common home.