Issue 002 / Mardi Gras, Condoms & The Unlikely U.S. Department Still Fighting Climate Change

Reconsidered is a bi-weekly newsletter curating thought-provoking content on corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social impact. Click here to subscribe. 

This Week's Five Links

The Destructive Life of a Mardi Gras Bead — The Conversation
Each year, 25 million pounds of Mardi Gras beads get distributed. A Kent University researcher traces the origin of these shiny trinkets from Middle Eastern oil fields to Chinese factories to the hands of revelers on Bourbon Street, touching on topics like waste culture, workers’ rights and toxicity.

Who’s Still Fighting Climate Change? The U.S. Military — National Geographic. 
U.S. military facilities around the world are feeling the effects of climate change, facing damage from sea-level rise, flooding, erosion, drought, wildfires and extreme weather events. The Department of Defense is investing significantly in climate adaptation projects, in many cases pushing forward despite Congress’s efforts to restrict spending. 

Selling Condoms in the Congo — TED
Nearly one million people are infected with HIV in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Though donor agencies pour funds into providing condoms at low or no cost, only 3% of people in the DRC use them. Amy Lockwood, a “reformed marketer” working in international development, explores why in this four-minute TED talk. 

Here’s How We Should Re-Think the Value Chain — Sourcing Journal
In this op-ed, Textile Exchange’s Jeff Wilson makes a compelling case for changing the lexicon around supply and value chains, arguing that the more collaborative term “network” better captures the complexity and interconnectedness of the different players involved in bringing a product to market. By changing the concept and the language, Wilson says, we can change behavior and ultimately outcomes. 

@The_Press_Tour — Instagram
With her new Instagram account, actress/activist (and current favorite person) Emma Watson offers a behind-the-scenes look at her eco-friendly fashion and beauty routine as she travels the world to promote the release of Disney’s new live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. Each post features extensive ethical and environmental footnotes verified by Eco-Age and Content Beauty/Wellbeing.

‘On the autopsy table it’s unmistakable,’ a city medical examiner told The New York Times in 1970. ‘The person who spent his life in the Adirondacks has nice pink lungs. The city dweller’s are black as coal.’
— A reflection on pre-Environmental Protection Agency New York City from "Remembering a City Where the Smog Could Kill" (The New York Times)

Spotlight: Responsible Retouching

There is a growing conversation around how images in media and advertising impact the way we feel about ourselves and inform our perceptions of beauty. The Retouchers Accord, launched Tuesday, aims to make sure that the development of these images is done responsibly. Described as a "voluntary Hippocratic oath," it is a new collaborative initiative for retouchers, photo editors, graphic designers, software tool makers and brand managers who want to increase authenticity in the images seen in media and advertising. Members commit to five principles, like practicing empathy when image-making and fueling a dialogue about diversity with clients and partners. Refinery29 and Feather Creative have already signed on as founding members.

The Retouchers Accord is a project of Unreasonable Women, an NYC-based company founded by Sarah Krasley that designs products, services and workplace policies that empower women. 

Reconsidered is curated by Jessica Marati Radparvar. If you enjoyed reading it, please consider sharing it!