The Growing Market for Green Roofs

If all roofs were green, cities could disappear from a bird’s eye view. Green or living roofs (by which I mean a roof laid to grass or wild flowers) are so more than just a talking point. They have a real purpose; greening city landscapes, providing biodiversity, improving air and water quality and reducing sound transfer. They could also be a way to limit the damage of future floodwaters because green roofs can retain 70-80% of summer rainfall in contrast to traditional drainage systems that are unable to cope with the increasing rain water levels. Green roofs store the rainwater in plants and substrate; releasing the water back into the atmosphere through evapotranspiration. I predict we’ll be seeing more green roofs in the future and not just on commercial buildings and garden sheds, but on residential housing too. I’m therefore happy to present Sky Garden – the UK’s leading independent green roof specialist. In the rest of this post they talk about the exciting project’s they’ve worked on (including the roof of a salad factory and Gloucester services) and the different systems they can offer.

All the vegetation in Sky Garden systems are locally grown and use recycled materials where possible. From the organic material and recycled brick in substrate, to the high density recycled polypropylene in our modular trays.

Green Roof Projects

Kanes Foods
Green roof kanes

One of our most exciting projects in recent times is the 6,000m² wildflower green roof on the construction of a new salad factory local to Sky Garden in rural Worcestershire. The building was designed to minimise the impact to the local environment and blend into the surrounding Cotswold Hills. The wildflower meadow on the curved roof contains specifically pre-grown wildflower blanket with species local to the Cotswolds.

British Horse Society
British Horse Society Courtesy of Kier Group copy

The iconic 2200m² sedum blanket system on the roof of the BHS offices just South of Birmingham was for employees to offer guidance on everything you need to know about riding, horse ownership and working in the industry. The ‘doughnut’ shaped building with an ancient oak tree taking centre stage offered many complexities however has since become one of the iconic sedum roofs in Britain.

Gloucester Services
Gloucester-Shoot-04 copy

The service station on the northbound side of the M5 between J11 and J12 was constructed to be different from typical service stations. The 4,000m² state of the art bio-diverse living roof is designed to disguise the new service station as part of rolling Robinswood Hills. The wildflower seed mix was chosen to match the abundant grasses and wildflowers in the area such as the Self Heal, Yellow Rattle and Birdsfoot Trefoil. The roof helps to support and preserve the pollinating insects as well as the heritage of our native British wild flora habitats.

Green Roof Systems

Sky Garden offers a variety of green roof systems to cater for every need. All the vegetation is grown by our experts at our local Gloucestershire nursery. We currently offer four standard green roof systems.

• Sedum Systems – The traditional green roof system can be either a sedum blanket or sedum plug plant green roof system. Sky Garden’s sedum blanket is a pre-grown mat of mature sedum plants compared to the sedum plug plant system being individual sedum plugs planted across the roof.

• Wildflower Systems – Sky Garden’s wildflower system includes a wildflower blanket that is sown with a seed mix of 38 species of wildflowers and grasses to create a vibrant array of colour on your roof.

• Bio-diverse Systems – Sky Garden’s bio-diverse system, also known as a ‘brown roof’ system, mimics the surrounding environment that has been lost due to development in order to reduce the ecological impact as much as possible. Often left to self-seed, the substrate is contoured to allow for a variety of native species to establish.

• Modular Systems – The modular system is made up of pre-formed cells that easily ‘click’ together to create a complete green roof quickly and without fuss. Each recyclable polypropylene tray has build in water retention and includes a filtration layer, growing substrate and sedum plants.

All green roof systems follow a similar template. A protection fleece layer adds an extra layer of defence to the waterproofing layer. Drainage and water retention layers designed specifically for living roofs. This includes a filter fleece layer to prevent blockages to the drainage of excess water. A substrate layer created from recycled brick with organic material allows for nutrient and moisture retentive growing medium. On top of this would be your vegetation layer, whether it’s a pre-grown blanket, seeded or plug planted.

For more info see www.sky-garden.co.uk

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New Ethical Brands at Berlin Fashion Week

Since it’s inception in 2007, Berlin Fashion Week has been a mecca for championing young designers and sustainable fashion. They run the Ethical Fashion Show and Green Showroom as a platform to promote some of the best ethical and green fashion brands. With an exhibition, a ‘Knowledge Lounge’ for green fashions, panel discussions and other activities, the Ethical Fashion Show Berlin is a genuine B2B fair for the professional fashion trade. Monday sees the start of Berlin Fashion Week 2015, which runs from 19th to 21st Jan. 165 international labels, including numerous new exhibitors, are set to present their progressive designs at these trade fairs, providing information about the future of sustainable production. That’s a lot of exciting new eco fashion!

Two fashion brands showing for the first time at the Ethical Fashion Show are Antiform and my friends at Here Today Here Tomorrow. Already well-loved in England, these proudly British brands are reaching out to Europe and the independent street style movement in Berlin sits happily alongside the high quality, responsibly sourced and produced collections.

Here Today Here Tomorrow is a fashion label that has been committed to social and environmental values from the very start. At the heart of their collections is the consideration of ethical production, beautiful materials and high quality contemporary design. Designed by the team in London, each product from the Autumn Winter collection is hand knitted by skilled Nepalese craftspeople, accredited by the World Fair Trade Organisation.

Antiform is a pioneering and experimental fashion label who is challenging the fashion world from the inside out. Each piece is hand crafted in their UK workshop by skilled makers, dedicated to using industry waste to create innovative fashion pieces combined with traditional craft.

Take a look at their collections below and say hello if you are heading to Berlin next week. The increase in brands to the ethical fashion showroom just goes to show that desire for, and interest in, ethical fashion business is increasing. It’s great that the event is being used to start a conversation too, with the inclusion of panel discussions and book launches, it’s about working together to build a better fashion future.

www.heretoday-heretomorrow.com
www.antiformonline.co.uk
Click here for a list of other exhibitors.

Antiform

Antiform

Antiform

Antiform

Here Today Here Tomorrow

Here Today Here Tomorrow

Here Today Here Tomorrow

Here Today Here Tomorrow

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A Week in the Life of Ethical Dressing

Dear people who ask me what ethical fashion is,

To coincide with London Fashion Week I decided to do a week in the life of ethical dressing to show that there are many ways to take part in ethical fashion. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and it can be fashionable (even if you might not approve of my personal style). London Fashion Week showcases the next season trends but the most sustainable thing to do is dress true to yourself. Buy things that you love and will wear again and again. There are lots of ways to dress ethically, for example:

• Buying second-hand or vintage clothes
• Buying fair trade, ethically made clothes from ethical brands
• Buying organic cotton clothing
• Buying locally produced clothing
• Making your own clothes
• Upcycling/recycling
• You can still shop on the high street, but buy good quality that you will keep for years.

AVOID CHEAP, FAST FASHION.

I signed up to What I Wore Today to post my outfits last week and will continue to do so! Here’s the round-up. There’s no fancy photography here, I do apologise.

The particularly observant amongst you will notice I got my hair cut 🙂

Day 1: No Nasties organic cotton tee and upcycled denim shorts (jeans given to me by my sister which were too tight so I chopped the legs off)
Day 1

Day 2: Vintage M&S dress bought from Oxfam, Urban Outfitters Urban Renewal upcycled man’s shirt (taken from other sister who didn’t wear it), charity shop belt
day 2 eco outfit
m&s vintage label

Day 3: Organic cotton Edun dress. Had it for years and just keep wearing it.
Edun dress

Day 4: John Smedley organic cotton, undyed, made in England sweater, charity shop Topshop trouser
ecooutfit4

Day 5: Vintage Chelsea Girl dress (altered to fit), Banana Republic charity shop wool cardigan (had a small hole in it I stitched up, make-do-and-mend!)
eco outfit 5

Day 6: People Tree fair trade, organic cotton Peter Jensen Bear Sweatshirt, Monkee Genes organic cotton, fair trade skinny jeans
ecooutfit6label
ecooutfit6

I wore these for a couple of days too. Shoes in the pictures are Clarks and Barratts – buy quality shoes which last. iPhone – yeah that’s not so ethical, but allows me to work!

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