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For the second of our Quick Q&A, we're going to be chatting to earth-pop duo Berne, finding out what's new with them, sustainability, how they manage to live consciously, and some other interesting topics!


Ethereal Earth-pop duo Berne come with a deep-rooted mission to inspire better care for the planet through their music and lifestyle. Their dreamy electro-pop songs poetically bring to the surface current issues of the climate emergency, diversity and the refugee crisis, and animal rights, while instilling hope for the future.

Supported by BBC Introducing, Berne continue in their mission to inspire and urge people to bring about change in the world, to highlight that we are in charge of the future and that together we can make a real difference.


  1. What have you been up to recently? We recently released our remix EP 'Stay Remixed'. It is an EP collecting remixes of our debut EP ‘Stay’. ‘Stay’ is a creative exploration of important global themes such as the climate emergency, the refugee crisis, and animal rights. It is a celebration of the power of coming together to make change for good. The tracks on ‘Stay Remixed’ were made by remixers KNTRL (Malta), WOJTEK (Berlin, Germany), Dozier (Los Angeles, USA) and Joanna Åström (Malmö, Sweden).

To continue to echo the power of coming together, the highlight of ‘Stay Remixed’ is a virtual remix experience that can be found at stayremixed.berneofficial.com. It is an interactive space created to explore the tracks and the remixers, as well as highlight positive environmental change and champion environmental charities in 4 locations around the world.


We also recently played our first festival - Better World Festival, a festival about environmental sustainability, unity and wellness, in Stoke-on-Trent City Centre. We had a blast performing our show after so many months!

  1. What is your favourite song about climate change and/or the natural environment? One of our favourite climate songs is Joni Mitchell's 'Big Yellow Taxi'. To know that it is still relevant today, despite being written in 1970, is difficult to accept. In fact, it's the opening track to 'To The Earth', our covers EP collecting four songs written between 1967 and 2016 that shine a light on the treatment of the planet and its people. You can listen here.

  2. When did you first realise that we have a problem with climate change? In the last five years or so, we have become extremely environmentally aware. We feel encouraged to question the status quo and often think about the impact our actions have on our planet. Naturally, this made its way into the songs we were writing and the soundscapes we were creating. So we launched Berne as an Earth-pop duo exclusively making music inspired by the climate emergency and social justice.

  3. In what ways do you try to limit your impact on the natural environment? Being climate-aware has slowly made its way into all aspects of our life and our work. It guides us in many ways, both artistically and otherwise. The issues we write about, the soundscapes we create, the collaborations and the partnerships we make, the grants we apply for, and the merch we don’t make, are all guided by our goal to leave a lesser impact on the planet. There is always more we can do, and it does get overwhelming, but we like to focus on what we can do and celebrate the small wins. We are often presented with opportunities and challenges that we confidently move away from because they do not align with our environmental and social values. We recognise our privilege for being able to do this and appreciate that not everybody is in a position to do so.

  4. Which sustainable brand would you most want to collaborate with and why? We’d love to collaborate with brands whose mission is to help solve big problems like food waste. We love Oddbox, who rescue odd fruit and veg from going to waste. We would also love to partner with NGOs who are working for causes that are dear to us, such as Choose Love, Sea Shepherd, Friends of the Earth amongst others because we think that music and art have a big role to play in climate and social activism.

  5. Do you have any projects on the horizon that we should keep an eye out for? We’re really excited about performing again over the next couple of months. Our next show is on Saturday 18th September at Moth Club Hackney in London supporting REYKO on their European tour. You can buy tickets here.

We’re also going to be working on a number of new tracks that we’re really excited to share. We’re also currently researching how to make our shows carbon-neutral, so watch this space!


Chatting to Berne was great! Follow them on their socials for more music and information: https://instagram.com/soundslikeberne or https://facebook.com/soundslikeberne.


We connect music influencers exclusively with sustainable brands and if you're interested to join us for free, click the button below now!


We're launching Quick Q&A, a new series for our blog readers where we're going to be talking to up & coming artists with about what's new with them, sustainability, how they manage to live consciously, and some other interesting topics!


First up to get familiar with us is Acid Latin DJ Vander! See his Q&A below...


  1. What have you been up to recently? For the last months I’ve been working a lot in the studio, making new music and re-inventing myself as a producer. I have three releases lined up at the moment that I can mention these are Vamos A Bailar EP that will be released in August with remixes from Spaniol, Jose Noventa and Ykonosh, Deliverance EP with my friend Saudade that will be released in October on Oliver Koletzki’s label A Tribe Called Kotori and Theben EP a collaborative EP with German producer SolidMind coming up on Pipe & Pochet’s label.

  2. What is your favourite song about climate change and/or the natural environment? I Sea by Joep Mencke - it’s my favorite track from Joep’s EP project that is inspired by The Outlaw Ocean. A book by Ian Urbina that uncovers the struggle of what’s going on there.

  3. When did you first realise that we have a problem with climate change? I can’t recall the first time I realized there was a problem - I guess I was always aware of it because I had a sustainability class in school that taught us this from an early age. What I can mention is that there are several moments in my life that made me realize the magnitude of the problem with climate change. The most recent one was to experience and see with my own eyes the wild fire spreading in Turkey. We see this stuff in the news and media but it’s not until you see it that it triggers you. At least that’s my case.

  4. In what ways do you try to limit your impact on the natural environment? I try to change my habits in a way that reduces my environmental impact. From refusing plastic bags in stores to reusing bottles and reducing my meat consumption. It’s a lot of little things that add up. I’m still learning new ways that I can reduce my environmental impact. I also added an eco-rider to raise awareness in the music industry about this problem and of course help them reduce their environmental impact.

  5. Which sustainable brand would you most want to collaborate with and why? There’s a new Amsterdam based brand that is doing something very innovative - its called wearebasics.nl - they’re impacting the supply chain of the fashion industry by allowing their users to bring their cloth back to the supply chain to be recycled. Also their clothes are incredibly cool so I would love to work with them.

  6. Do you have any projects on the horizon that we should keep an eye out for? There are indeed some projects on the horizon that I am super excited about but I can’t mention at the moment. What I can suggest is for you to follow my journey on Instagram @vander.music and stay tuned because what is coming will be mind-blowing.

We enjoyed learning more about Vander very much and we hope you do too! Check him out on his socials @vander.music for more of his work and vibe!


We connect music influencers exclusively with sustainable brands and if you're interested to join us for free, click the button below now!



What is greenwashing?

You’ve probably heard of greenwashing before. You'd be forgiven for thinking that greenwashing is a good thing (it has the word 'green' in it after all!) but you'd be mistaken. We're here to bring to your awareness this form of dishonest and misleading marketing that companies are incorporating into their strategy more and more.


In short, greenwashing is when companies and brands market themselves as eco-friendly / sustainable / environmentalist / ethical / green - but fail to live up to those standards in practice. Such companies tend to overdo it when trying to fool the public that they are eco-friendly . This is becoming a particular problem now, with the rise of digital and social media marketing - things are not always as they seem.

Culprits can be found particularly in industries where there is a community of genuinely eco-friendly companies, including:

  • Fashion

  • Hygiene and personal care products

  • Personal home cleaning products

  • Energy


Trendy / Honest?

While it is fortunate for many companies that being sustainable is now ‘trendy’, not-so sustainable companies are latching onto this trend un-deservingly. These types of companies' intentions are not about caring for the environment and making their practices green; they are instead to reap the rewards of looking like a sustainable brand.


In reality, there are certain industries that cannot fake sustainability, due to the nature of their service. For example, sustainable energy can only be marketed as such, if it really is sustainable. However in an industry such as the fashion industry, greenwashing can be very prominent - specifically in fast fashion. The very essence of fast fashion goes against every type of eco-friendly practice out there, therefore fast fashion brands that deem themselves as ethical are participating in pure greenwashing. Scandal. We are NOT impressed.



How can we spot greenwashing?

Spotting greenwashing can be a little bit tricky, however, there are a few tell tale signs.


OVERDOING THE GREENERY

We mean green imagery, green colours, green themes, nature, nature, nature. When presented with such, we must ask ourselves "but how are these claims supported?" A good measure is to usually have a look for genuine certifications and to check the ingredients list / clothes labels, to actually see what the product is made of instead of letting the aesthetic sway us.

VAGUE CLAIMS

The next tip we can give you is to analyse the claims. A lot of the time, brands that 'greenwash' make meaningless and generic claims such as: ‘earth-friendly’, ‘plant-based’, ‘non-toxic’, ‘reusable’ ‘clean’. Sometimes when we're in a rush, trying to manage efficiently buying products and making it home from work in one piece during rush hour, it's likely that we don’t have the time, patience, or energy for an in-depth analysis' of the grocery store shelves every single time – which happens, so please don’t be too hard on yourself (just focus on not screaming at anybody on public transport).


However, it helps to familiarise ourselves with which claims / sustainability labels seem fishy, and which ones we trust more, this saves us time, and our guilty conscience. The thing with sustainability and trying to make environmentally responsible purchasing decisions a habit / lifestyle, is that it can become overwhelming, you might feel like you have to do everything perfectly, otherwise it doesn’t count, maybe that your efforts are not enough. THAT IS NOT THE CASE. Any little thing you can do to help, will make a difference. It’s not a race or a competition, it’s a responsibility. To cut to the chase, the labels shown below are some examples of what we would sniff out as fishy / not entirely reliable:


cogencyteam.com


This is not to say that products containing these types of labels are 100% 'greenwashers', it's simply a good idea to be a little more critical and to analyse the company's claims slightly further.


How do we spot honest eco-marketing?

We’re not here to name any names. However, we would like to introduce you to types of labels that are used when the company can back their sustainability claims. By becoming familiar with these, it will save you time and increase your confidence when trying to shop responsibly. Some examples are the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) for cotton, or the Fairtrade label for lots of products, including cosmetics, food, etc. Realistically, nobody can be sure of all of the technicalities of materials, chemicals, colours, etc. that are sustainable / not sustainable (unless they're superhuman or they have religiously studied the art of sustainability, in which case please contact us hello@petrapartnerships.com, we'd love to hear more from you) – the lingo associated with 'greenwashing' is designed to confuse us.


One way you can get further insight into a brand's sustainability claims is if you go to the company's ‘About Us’ page. If what you find here is decently specific, great news! If you seem to see gaps in information or extensive green imagery, the more doubtful you should be. The labels below are examples of what you should be looking for: very specific and descriptive, they are usually a reliable sign of true sustainability as the brand is backing up their claims with some evidence. Always look for further information if you still feel unsure or uncomfortable with purchasing something.



What is the solution?

Anyway, this blog post isn’t about trying to lecture you or to make you scribble pages of notes in a desperate desire to memorise the rules of greenwashing. Greenwashing has no official rights or wrongs, but it is a problem because of its deception to consumers, which is against most companies' ethics; and in the long-term, because it's misleading consumers to purchase products that are damaging to the earth and to themselves. It just slows down or even hinders our transition into a circular economy and sustainability as normal, but the more aware we become, the easier it is for us to avoid being 'greenwashed'.

Our blog is officially about to come alive! As you all may know we launched PETRA during the pandemic, and some things have proven difficult for us, as they have for the rest of the world, but we are now officially on a roll! In the coming months, this blog will focus on all things environmentalism, music, fashion, sustainable brands, etc. The way we can help you is by us writing to inform, review and recommend certain products for you, whether they be fashion, personal care, etc.


We will write about necessary and relevant topics to keep you guys in the loop! In turn, this will make it easier for you to become familiar with actually sustainable, sustainable brands – very soon you'll all be walking into stores and picking up all the correct items on your upcoming grocery / fashion hauls, effortlessly! Stay tuned…

PETRA






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