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FOREVER Solar?

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/forever-21-selects-permacity-solar-to-construct-los-angeles-countys-largest-single-rooftop-solar-power-system-258609961.html

I found the above article, written about American fashion retailer FOREVER XXI, after an event in Los Angeles, California. Attending the event were Mayor of LA, PermaCity Solar (an innovative leader in specialized energy solutions), and of course, the retailer. The fashion giant announced plans to build the largest single-rooftop, solar-powered system in LA County.

“Forever 21 is in a unique position to encourage innovation and accelerate the adoption of clean energy, including solar power,” said Don Chang, founder and CEO of Forever 21. “We are honored to be part of this program and to be contributing to L.A.’s goal of generating 33% of its electricity from renewables by 2020.”

Working with LADWP’s (Los Angeles Department of Water and Power) Feed-In Tariff (FiT) program, FOREVER XXI will be able to use customer-focused, local solar programs to generate solar power for their own use, as well as to benefit the entire city with clean renewable energy.

However, at the same time that they are announcing this new solar project, they are opening an 18,000-square-foot concept store that promises the cheapest of the cheap. Yes. Solar panels are an excellent source of energy, in this case it will avoid the annual production of almost 13 million pounds of carbon dioxide – equal to the emissions created by burning 6 million pounds of coal, or the equivalent of taking 1,200 passenger cars off the roads.

When you fall under a category of “fast fashion” and promise the “cheapest of the cheap,” one wonders. When consumers purchase items that they can only wear once or twice before it starts to fall about, and wish to immediately replace it, it begins a repetitive cycle of purchase and dispose. Not only the cost for material for the clothing, but the expenses and resources used to ship out the products. The vast paychecks of the companies CEO’s. They constantly have new styles, shipped in almost daily. Since stuff isn’t being made in large quantities, there is more material waste. Now there are extra costs related to shipping the products so far, so quickly.

FOREVER XXI’s 5.1 megawatt high efficiency solar panel system is great, but it’s only a drop in a vast bucket of water. There are a lot more things they need to change, such as transportation methods, material efficiency, etc., before they can be seen as truly eco-friendly.
-Beth Hosick

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