Acclaimed designer, campaigner and environmentalist Dame Vivienne Westwood and Troy Wiseman, CEO of EcoPlanet Bamboo co-hosted ‘OFFtheGRID’ – a solar powered party in London for crowd-sourcing platform Trillion Fund in partnership with Finding Infinity.
The inaugural event took place to support the “renewable energy revolution” and to provide a clarion call to the general public and mainstream investors to switch to investments that positively impact the environment.
The event was taken off the grid and powered exclusively by solar panels, mounted on and designed with structural bamboo. Bamboo was also used to produce the DJ booth, bars, display boards, and even the staff uniforms were made from 100% bamboo fibre, indicating the plant’s full spectrum of opportunity and EcoPlanet Bamboo’s versatility and ability to transform markets as unique and different as renewable energy and textiles.
The ambition for Vivienne Westwood’s Trillion Fund is to accelerate the global switch from fossil fuels to clean energy by contributing towards the $1 trillion a year investment the UN says is necessary to keep the world below a 2 degree warming threshold.
“Fossil fuel based capitalism is past it’s sell by date,” said Vivienne. “Conventional energy is getting more expensive. It’s heavier, it’s deeper, it’s less. And we live in a world where the poor get poorer and the rich get richer but fewer.”
The ‘OFFtheGRID’ Party is “the result of a combined vision to solve some of the very problems that EcoPlanet Bamboo was created to overcome in a profitable way. That includes the world’s most pressing environmental and social issues; access to clean and renewable energy, deforestation of our natural forest” says Troy Wiseman, CEO of EcoPlanet Bamboo; “investment into innovative technology development to meet a new generation of consumer, and the provision of sustainable sources of fibre to an ever increasing global population is taking off.”
EcoPlanet Bamboo, the largest sustainably certified bamboo plantation company globally, is continuing to expand, having recently secured 50,000 acres of degraded land in West Africa. However, as important as the provision of the raw fibre from its plantations, is the company’s investment into innovative technology, providing bamboo based solutions and creating patents to transform and covert mainstream industries from tree based fibre, to sustainably grown and certified bamboo fibre, from structural products, to renewable energy to clothing.
Sustainable clothing is a shared passion for Wiseman and Westwood. As is the case for energy, textiles share diminishing supply of raw materials to meet increasing demands. More than 30% of cellulosic fibres come from the harvesting of natural forests, not to mention the negative environmental side effects that go hand in hand with traditional chemically based industrial pulping processes. Working with some of the world’s top clothing brands, EcoPlanet Bamboo has committed to not only provide them with sustainably certified bamboo but lead the development of a more environmentally friendly pulping process and transforming the entire supply chain from field to store. This will allow bamboo to replace the 1 million trees that are deforested each year to make clothing.
“We’re entering a new paradigm in both renewables and textiles with the advent of a disruptive technology in the form of bamboo. EcoPlanet Bamboo has humbly been referred to as the “Apple Computer” of the timber industry because we care about what matters and we have put our money where our mouth is to challenge the status quo where the world’s remaining forests are being depleted and exploited by cutting down 70-100 year old trees to be used to make products as basic and disposable as toilet paper" says Wiseman. EcoPlanet Bamboo is not just about providing a sustainable source of fibre, anymore than Apple was about providing it’s customers with a computer. It is about a commitment to innovation and giving consumers not only what they need, but in the way they want. EcoPlanet Bamboo is bringing the same dedication by investing in forward thinking R&D, collaborating with the biggest end users and hand in hand creating solutions so that one day people will have a choice between products that were made from cutting down natural forests or those that are certifiably tree free, while aiding in the restoration of degraded land and stagnant rural economies.
“For those companies who are listening to their next generation of sustainably minded consumers, we are here to help provide a solution” emphasizes Wiseman.