Environmental trends 2021: what you ought to know to save the planet

    11 May 2021

    What are the biggest eco-friendly trends of the year so far? Let’s check.

    We’ve borrowed some 2021 trends from this awesome TimeOutDubai publication.

    2021 promises to be an exciting year (especially after stormy 2020). Whether you’re a trend-setter or a trend-seeker, here are few top trends taking the world – and the UAE – by storm.

    Fashion (and recyclable) face masks

    Face masks are the norm since the beginning of the pandemics. It looks like we’re going to be wearing them for a while. So why not upgrade and invest in some fashion-forward (and eco-friendly) options? The options are endless.

    Let’s say directly: medical masks are out and eco-friendly fashionable masks are in.

    Unfortunately, many masks (including the blue ones) are not made from environmentally friendly materials. Disposable masks, gloves and other PPE materials are quickly filling our oceans. This fact leads many brands and designers to shift their focus to creating more sustainable options – including some of the biggest names in the apparel industry.

    E.g., Nike corp. has partnered with two of Dubai’s leading designers in a bid to upcycled unused football jerseys into face covers and tote bags. Leen Nizameddin, founder of SOUND.ON streetwear, and Engy Mahdy, founder of One and Four Studio are teaming up with the sportswear powerhouse.

    Nike promises that this is a part of its commitment to becoming a zero carbon and zero waste company.


    You don’t have to copy a Greta Thunberg lifestyle to live a more sustainable and eco-friendly life. From saying no to plastic cutlery, straws, bags and bottles to shopping from eco-friendly brands, doing your part when it comes to recycling, avoiding food waste, upcycling and more, there are plenty of ways to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. Go on, do your part.

    Supporting local (aka bioregionalism)

    If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we all have a part to play in supporting local entrepreneurs and home-grown businesses if we want to see them stick around. Like many other industries, the food and beverage scene in particular was hit hard. In 2020, it was estimated that more than 200,000 employees in the Dubai hospitality industry alone had been affected by the suspension of or reductions in business. So in 2021 we’ve got to enjoy local.

    Philosophically speaking, political, cultural, and economic systems are more sustainable if they are organized around naturally defined areas called bioregions.


    After 2020 (pay cuts and redundancies), you’re not alone if you’ve been cutting down on unnecessary purchases. What’s more, shopping second-hand is a two-way process: not only is it good for your wallet – it’s good for the environment, too. Double win. Save cash and the planet with a good old rummage for second-hand clothes, toys, gifts, and furniture at cut prices. It’s time to leave fast fashion in 2020 and move towards a more thrifty 2021.

    Difficult issue: are NFTs eco-friendly?

    NFTs are non-fungible tokens, basically virtual property, anything from art to sneakers. They made a splash throughout the turbulent 2020. The 21-year-old girl pictured in the “disaster girl” meme sold her photo for $ 500,000, and the Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold the first tweet he ever sent out into the world as an NFT.

    There is an opinion among artists that NFT will allow the art world to get rid of lead-containing paints and switch to completely virtual painting. Let’s recall that WHO and UNEP recommend discontinuation of lead paints.

    So this is why NFTs at first glance is eco-friendly stuff. Just because you needn’t use any material goods to produce art objects! All this art is just bytes on your laptop.

    But NFTs and cryptocurrencies are questionable issues because the process of “mining” requires a vast amount of energy.

    When someone makes, buys, or sells an NFT using Ethereum, they’re responsible for some of the emissions generated by those miners, The Verge states. Individual pieces of crypto art, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), are at least partially responsible for the millions of tons of planet-heating carbon dioxide emissions generated by the cryptocurrencies used to buy and sell them. Some artists — including those who have already benefited from the craze — think it’s a problem that can be easily solved. Others think the proposed solutions are a pipe dream.

    Anyway, now we live in such a weird world where you receive plenty of money for a set of data existing only on a hard drive. And this “cash” has been existing for a long time, mostly virtually.

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