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Consumerism and Climate Change

Consumerism and Climate Change

Three years ago, in November 2015, all the nations of the world were in Paris for COP21 (Conference of the Parties). COP21 marked the first major breakthrough in terms of commitments made by major countries such as the United States and China to contain the advances of climate change.

Here we are with Donald Trump, a climate change denier, threatening to suspend the agreements signed by one of the biggest polluters during the conference in Paris. While simultaneously witnessing climate change day after day, degrees above degree, disaster after disaster, happening all over the world.

The truth is that COP21 is a step - albeit a very timid step - closer to what we need to stop climate change. The deal discusses clean and renewable energy, lessening the burning of fossil fuels and increasing the supply of solar and wind energy, but it does not address a crucial issue when it comes to climate change: consumerism.

Over half of the effects of the planet, including climate change, come from domestic consumption - that is, what you and the other 1.7 billion people who are part of the "consumer class" choose to consume every day. And at what speed and quantity.

Livestock is responsible for about 12% of greenhouse gas emissions  in the atmosphere, while the fashion industry accounts for around 10% of CO2 emissions . When we talk about climate change, we need to talk about our daily consumption - what we eat and what we wear is very relevant to climate change. The answer is we need to buy less.

For more than a year, Insecta Shoes and Modefica came together during one of the biggest days of global consumerism - Black Friday - to discuss the damage that over-consumption is causing in the world and for the lives of people who suffer most the effects of climate change.

On this Green Friday we shed light on studied data to reflect on your daily consumption and encourage you to engage in actions that address climate change beyond ethical buying and conscious consumption. It is time to reach out and strengthen the global movement of environmentalists fighting for this cause.

Of the 7 billion people in the world today, only 1.7 billion have access to consumer goods. This means that less than ¼ of the world's population is destroying the world's natural resources and leading to climate change.

As a society, we are transferring our desires and voids into consumption. The negative impacts of over consumption can already be measured in several countries.

As much as the government tells us that the solution is to shorten our showers, switch to LED lightbulbs and brush our teeth with the faucet off, the fact is that environmental impacts and climate change are much more related with the products we consume.

Climate change is a real problem and we are all living it now. However, climate change affect marginalized groups the most. Among them are women who are at the forefront of environmental problems.

If we continue to consume products at the same rate and burn fossil fuels as we burn today, the Arctic will melt mid-century. The melting of the Arctic will bring floods and droughts throughout entire cities.

This data is not meant to scare us away. Rather it gives the necessary push we need to start changing. Believing and engaging in conscious consumption is the first step, then it is necessary to become an activist, researching the problem and solutions, debating the issue and supporting organizations that are acting to reverse the effects of climate change.

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Grow pineapples & avocados in a jar

Grow pineapples & avocados in a jar

We’re taught to throw out “extraneous” parts of fruits and veggies all the time, but the reality is that many of them have nutritional value, some are gorgeous houseplants waiting to happen, and others can actually reproduce if you treat ‘em right!



Before you throw out or compost your avocado pits, try sprouting ‘em instead for some uplifting household greenery. Simply peel your pits, wrap ‘em in a wet paper towel, toss ‘em in a bag, and wait patiently for the roots to grow! Once they do, stick ‘em in water and watch the pits crack to make way for gorgeous green leaves! New life. Your friends will say wow.


To grow a pineapple plant, all you need is a nice, fresh pineapple. Phase 1: Twist the leaves (or crown) off the top, making sure the area where the leaves come together stays intact. Strip off a few of the lower leaves to reveal the stem, and then turn it upside down to dry for a week. Phase 2: fill a large jar with water, making sure its opening is large enough for the pineapple crown to fit inside. Stick a few toothpicks into the crown to suspend it in the glass of water. Then, simply place the glass by a sunny window and wait for roots to sprout! When they do, follow further instructions for planting your sprouts in a pot of soil: eventually a whole new pineapple will grow from your labour of love!


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Vegan "Cheese" Bread

Vegan "Cheese" Bread

"Pão de queijo", cheese bread or cheese roll is a typical Brazilian recipe and a very delicious snack! This is a twist on the traditional recipe, which was veganized 🌱 

Try it out and tell us what you think?


  • 1 1/2 cups tapioca flour
  • 150 g cooked sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon flaked amaranto or quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt


1 - Pre-heat the oven to 180º / 356° (Fahrenheit).

2 - Mix all the ingredients until they stick together in one mass.

3 - Shape into balls and bake for 20 minutes. 

See the full recipe here:

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Banana Peel Pulled "Meat"

Banana Peel Pulled "Meat"
Instead of tossing banana peels, why not go zero waste and use them to cook an amazing & plant-based dish? 

To make this Banana Peel Pulled "Meat" you will need: 

  • 7 banana peels⁣
  • Juice of 1 lemon⁣
  • 1 chopped red onion⁣
  • 1 clove garlic, minced⁣
  • 1 bay leave⁣
  • 1 chopped red pepper⁣
  • 1 green pepper chopped⁣
  • 1 grated carrot⁣
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder⁣
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika⁣
  • 1 teaspoon cumin⁣
  • 2 cups tomato paste⁣
  • 1 cup of water⁣
  • olive oil and salt⁣


1 - Scrape the white part from inside the banana, then cut into thin slices. Add the lemon juice and let rest while chopping the other ingredients.⁣

2 - In a pan, add the olive oil, onion, garlic, and bay leaf. Also the bell peppers, banana peels, and carrot.⁣

3 - Sauté for a few minutes, then add the seasonings. Add the tomato sauce and mix well.⁣

4 - Lower the heat and leave this tasty mix sitting for about 40 min on low heat for best results.⁣

- Letting garlic sit in water helps to peel them much easier.⁣
- The white parts of the banana are indigestible, take these parts out before cutting.⁣
- Banana peels can be stored for 1 week in the refrigerator, so you can store some and make this dish when you have enough.

See the full recipe: 


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We use recycled plastic in our shoes—and that's okay

We use recycled plastic in our shoes—and that's okay

We are past the days of overloading the planet—which never should have come to begin with—but not all is lost. In 2018 the July Without Plastic campaign became garnered attention as we began to see laws banning straws and plastic bags as well as several actions that demonstrated the importance of dreaming up a world with less trash. People have begun to think more about this excess waste, questioning the use of disposable plastic altogether.

One of the most interesting debates we have seen is that coming from Modefica, which questions absolute truths like none other. So let's get right to the point: can recycled PET not be considered a sustainable solution for the fashion industry?

First of all, let's talk about responsibility. Extended responsibility falls to companies. That means that what we do in order to sell something becomes our problem forever. Basically, "you become eternally responsible for what you produce”—and this is even more so if it’s made of plastic. When this product is then purchased, the responsibility belongs to the consumer as well. This is known as shared responsibility.

If it’s up to us, our shoes will not end up in landfills ("us" includes you, our customers, and Insecta). Our close the loop project allows you to return your used shoes when you’re done with them. We then turn it into components for new shoes! And regardless of the composition of the fabric (which can be 100% PET or PET + recycled cotton), it can be turned into stuffing for new insoles. No landfills, and no plastic ending up where it shouldn’t.

When the problem is microplastic, it’s worth remembering that this is a problem much more linked to consistently washed clothes that release a residue into the water system. Shoes should not be machine washed or soaked, though, right? We advise you to clean ours with a damp cloth or soft brush. The dirt comes out, but the microplastics do not.

We work with recycled materials whenever possible, giving new life to materials already in existence that would otherwise become junk. This is very much the case with PET bottles that we turn into fabric—to give you an idea, in the 5 years our company has existed, about 10,532 plastic bottles have been turned into shoes, and many have already been returned and recycled, instead of going to waste.

We understand that this system may not be perfect. But as we like to say, here at Insecta we have the humility to know that we will not be able to totally heal the world, however much we wish we could. Our goal is to encourage small actions so that everyone knows they can pitch in and help, and that little by little change does occur.

And besides all this, it is worth remembering that we are always researching and working to create better solutions. Nothing is final. What we do can always be improved.

Want to continue this conversation? Have any doubts? Want to know more about how we make our shoes? Let's talk. Contact us via our social networks or at

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14 Netflix Documentaries That Will Make You Rethink Consumption

14 Netflix Documentaries That Will Make You Rethink Consumption

This conversation is an invitation for you to let the series of the moment go for a little bit and immerse yourself in a Netflix documentary session with us. There is a lot of good to be found there and a lot of messages that can open one’s eyes and minds, making us rethink consumption, whatever form it may take: food, fashion, or entertainment, to name a few.

 Check our doc recommendations and a learn a little about each of them, below.


 Cowspiracy (2014)

 Although we’ve already discussed this documentary, we insist: everyone needs to watch it. Directed by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, and executive produced by Leonardo Di Caprio, the main focus of the film is to show how the breeding of animals for slaughter and predatory fishing is destroying our planet—from deforestation, to water pollution, to the extinction of species.

 Cowspiracy also challenges big organizations that fight for environmental issues, like Greenpeace and WWF, as they do not address certain urgent and essential subjects necessary to preserving the environment, other species, and ourselves.

In addition to depicting the problems, this documentary also explores solutions, both in terms of what is possible in the future and those that already exists as viable alternatives to animal products. Environmentalist or not, everyone who eats should give it a watch.

 Food Matters (2008)

From director and producer James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch, this Australian documentary puts modern food in perspective and shows how it is weakening our minds and bodies. The main focus of this film is to make us rethink our way of conceptualizing health—as led by the pharmaceutical industry and western medicine.

Some of the data and researched shared is truly impressive, showing how our diet, in addition to supplements and meaningful detoxification can not only improve our overall health, but treat chronic diseases and even cancer. In a very practical way, this documentary is an invitation to remove our health and our food from the clutches of big corporations and industries that are making us sick and getting rich off the profits.

No wonder it’s classified as "controversial, cerebral and provocative” by Netflix.

Forks Over Knives (2011)

In order to put our health in perspective and show how animal-based foods and processed foods are doing us all harm, Forks Over Knives proves how degenerative diseases can be controlled, or even reversed with a balanced, plant-based diet.

Directed by Lee Furkson, the film is a flood of information about diseases considered “western," such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and others—and how all are related to our diet. No wonder the comments on this documentary usually boil down to "I totally changed my diet."

Food Chains (2014)

Produced by Eva Longoria, this documentary shows the conditions analogous to slavery on American farms and how this relates to large food chains and supermarkets. This is a global problem when it comes to food production. In Brazil, 30% of slave labor cases are found in the livestock industry, mainly on cattle ranches, 25% in the sugar cane sector, and 19% in other crops. And in the United States is no different.

This doc features a group of tomato pickers on California farms and how, through the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), they fight for their rights and for better working conditions. The purpose of the film is to question and hold the trillion dollar industry that is major supermarket chains accountable and to show possible solutions to this problem—if everyone were to get involved.

Food Choices (2016)

This documentary addresses our food choices not only as a source of disease but also as a precursor to environmental devastation, inequality in food distribution, and climate change. Doctors, specialists, nutritionists, and people who have changed their diet are interviewed.

It is quite inspiring and does not take sugarcoat: it is time to change our diet if we want to stop clogging ourselves with toxins. Doing so would also ensure more people have access to good food, people live longer, and less harm is done to the environment and other species.

Fed up (2014)

Awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Katie Couric discusses childhood obesity in this doc—a serious and growing problem not only in the United States, but worldwide. According to the doctors and researchers interviewed, it is the greatest health crisis in history and the first time that American children have a lower life expectancy than their parents.

Produced by Laurie David, also the producer of An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary talks about the sugar industry, how the government is subsidizing this epidemic, and companies are putting (as always) profits above health. In an interview, Bill Clinton states that 80 percent of this health problem could be resolved if American schools prepared food for children.

In this documentary’s sights are the big companies that, according to the experts interviewed, "are acting like the tobacco companies acted in the 1930s and rejecting all the accusations." And if you want to know more about the size of the problem with regard to refined sugar in our daily diet, you can find plenty other docs on YouTube.


Tricked (2013)

How is the sex industry related to human trafficking? Directed by John-Keith Wasson and Jane Wells, Tricked puts prostitution on display along with the people who fuel this industry. The doc features interviews with escorts, prostitutes, pimps, clients, and police officers responsible for investigating and combating the problem.

Hot Girls Wanted (2015)

Another documentary about the sex industry, but this time analyzing amateur porn and how 18-year-old girls will get into it, and then want to stop there, but find themselves trapped in a situation they could not imagine—without the strength to leave. And how the consumption of digital porn is the big pivot of this global problem.

Directed by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus, the documentary, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, shows a little of the day-to-day lives of these girls, their crises, their expectations, and their yearnings.

Blackfish (2013)

This documentary is made for those who still insist on visiting circuses with animals, aquariums and, of course, SeaWorld. Gabriela Cowperthwaite shows the life of Tilikum, the captive killer whale—also known as 'killer whale’—and the sadness and abuse behind a life in a tank. Blackfish was responsible for making SeaWorld fully rethink its business model after seeing profits from its parks drop by 80% after the release and huge success of the documentary.

It is a sad documentary, no doubt, but totally necessary to understanding that wild animals must live and be free in their natural habitat without training, confinement and exposure. Do read more about the problems of building entertainment around animals.

The Ivory Game (2016)

Ivory is banned all over the world, but that does not mean it does not exist, that there is no demand, or that all trafficking of valuable material takes place under the radar—especially in China. Also produced by Leandro Di Caprio, The Ivory Game is a disturbing documentary that shows illegal elephant hunting aimed at meeting the world’s demand for ivory—and how it is driving animals to extinction.

This documentary also helps us to understand the wondrous creatures who form families and walk in droves—reminding us of the cruel industry that is animal tourism in Asia and how we, as tourists, are further supporting the massacre of this species.


The True Cost (2015)

One of the most important films about the fashion industry, The True Cost, reveals a behind-the-scenes look at mass and globalized fashion production, from manpower, to disposal, to raw material production. Directed by Andrew Morgan, it features talks by Stella McCartney, Vandana Shiva, Safia Minney, Lucy Siegel, and many other fashion and environmental personalities.

The documentary looks at the problems of fashion production in countries such as China, Vietnam, India, and Bangladesh with a new lens, revealing how subcontractors are pressured to keep prices low and production high by big brands and companies, exploring issues like unionization and the Rana Plaza disaster.

As we’ve previously discussed, like Cowspiracy, this is a "must-see" for fashionable people, or anyone who fights for social and environmental issues in general.

Iris (2014)

Iris Apfel is a symbol of style in the fashion world. But that's not why this biographical documentary exists. Iris has an accumulation situation—apartments full of things purchased in her many trips around the world, especially during her work as a decorator, including for the White House.

It's interesting to see her unique personality and how, little by little, she's giving away and relinquishing her relics—which range from furniture to haute couture dresses. This is a documentary about style, consumption, fashion, and the story of an iconic woman fond of buying rare items in unexpected places.

Not on Netflix, but worth seeing as well:

Traceable (2014)

"If a pair of jeans costs $500 it's considered luxury, but if it was produced in a village where people cannot drink the water, is that really luxury?" Asks Simon Collins of the Parsons School Of Fashion in the Canadian trailer for Traceable. This is really a question that does not let up, nor should it. After all, from fast-fashion to luxury brands, fashion is often massively produced under dubious and often degrading conditions—destroying the planet and abusing people in the process.

Written and directed by Jennifer K. Sharpe, this documentary was released before The True Cost, but it raises the same questions: who made our clothes, how, when, and where? It also looks at the importance of traceability and how it can act as a solution.

We still can’t find a way to watch this documentary, but as soon as we have, this article will be updated. And if you know where to watch it, please tell us!

Unravel (2012)

This short—with no captions in Portuguese—shows a universe of clothing being discarded and how tons of used items go to India to be turned into poor quality blankets. All the work is done by women, mostly by hand, and it forces us to reexamine the rhythm of our fashion consumption, in addition to the sheer amount of clothes that are being produced and thrown away all the time.

Directed by Meghna Gupta, this documentary features pertinent statements from Indian women working in these 'recycling' plants such as: “Water in the West must be very expensive, since people do not wash their clothes. They just throw them away.” Little does the speaker know it is not water that is expensive, but the fashion that is very cheap and of low quality, and that people lose all appreciation for it as soon as an item’s label is gone.

Remember: most of the documentaries listed here have websites where you can get more information, research data, and studies, as well as calls to get involved and participate in actions. After all, they’re not worth watching unless you’re willing to get your hands dirty.

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8 ways to live with less plastic, starting today

8 ways to live with less plastic, starting today

We use things only briefly that last for generations. Have you ever stopped to think about the fact that all the plastic ever produced is still here? Think of this yogurt cup from the 1976 Montreal Summer Games, found on a Canadian beach in 2016. Pretty much intact, 40 years later.

zero waste life without plastic


The Race for Water, out of Switzerland, released a study showing that about 250 million tons of plastic are produced each year, 35% of which is made up of items used just once, for about 20 minutes. They also talk about plastic garbage dumps, also known as garbage soup, which cover 15 million square kilometers scattered across our oceans.

Sigh, okay, but how do you actually help change this? You can start like so:

#1. Consume less overall. Plan to buy only what you need. For example, if you’re buying things for your home, consider bazaars and antique shops, where you will find far more durable metal parts, not to mention more beautiful items, none of which come packaged.

#2. Bring your own bags. They don’t have to be cloth if you don’t have them. Start by not throwing away the plastic bags you already have. Always reuse, and try to make them last. Try to increase the life span of everything you already have before you acquire something new.

# 3. We’re always mentioning this, but remember: refuse straws. Seriously. You do not need them. And if you do, consider reusing them. Save them, wash them, and don’t throw them away. Or look for metal or bamboo straws to carry with you in your bag.

# 4. Refuse bags at the pharmacy. You do not need a bag to carry a container of pills that fits in your pocket. And if you have an ecobag on hand, this will solve your problem in the case of a larger purchase.

# 5. Get into the habit of assembling an ecobag “kit”—leave a cup and water bottle near your door so you don’t forget them when you leave your house. Depending on your destination, some things will be more or less necessary. Over time, practice will make perfect and your kit may include other items like portable cutlery and cloth napkins.

# 6. Take good care of what you already have. To live a life without plastic means eliminating so-called "single use plastic,” that is, the disposable plastic that is used just once (sometimes for mere seconds). Since this material lasts forever, take advantage of its potential for reuse ~ ad infinitum.

# 7. Rethink how you dispose of recyclable waste. We've already talked about using versus not using grocery bags, remember?

# 8. Did you buy something with disposable packaging? No need to worry. First, make sure it’s clean (learn how here), and then send it on its way to a selective collection or recycling cooperative.

zero waste life without plastic

Even with all of the information we have, we know there are certain things that cannot easily be cut out. Things like disposable syringes for medication, certain medicines, and of course, condoms. You won’t stop caring just because you can’t completely eliminate waste, will you? One cool bit of news is that Lauren Singer's blog has an interview with Meika Hollender, co-founder of Sustain Condoms, all about, you guessed it, sustainable condoms. Looks like there is already a condom out there with a sustainable footprint, and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes more accessible.

How about starting a "30 days without plastic”—or your week without plastic—any time soon? Or maybe you’ll go for a “no plastic until Christmas” endeavor. You can start now by clearly setting your goals. We’re pretty sure it will alter your perceptions about consumption and soon become a habit!

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