On September 20th, four million people across 163 countries participated in the Climate Strike lead by 16-year-old, Greta Thunberg. Greta began to raise awareness of the climate crisis a year ago while protesting outside the Swedish parliament. She started out alone, sometimes with a few friends. Today, Saturday the 21st, she will speak at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City after traveling to the U.S. from Europe, by boat to avoid the negative environmental effects of flying.
One of the main reasons I know about Greta and her work is because of my favorite band. The 1975 has spent this summer working with her to raise awareness about the climate crisis. They release their newest album this February and dedicated their entire opening track to giving Greta a platform to speak about the climate crisis. Keeping with the tradition of the last three albums, the track is titled “The 1975,” but instead of their usual 11 lines about blowjobs, this album’s version is a 5-minute spoken-word piece by Greta Thunberg. I’m not going to line, I get choked up almost every time I listen to it. With this upcoming album, The 1975 is making some inspiring changes that every other artist in the industry needs to implement.
Image courtesy of Ben Stanstall via Getty
I can sum up this point with two tweets from Jamie Oborne, the founder of the British independent record label Dirty Hit.
This is easily the most impressive change that The 1975 has made and one that I expect all major artists to implement.
In last week’s article, I briefly touched on how The 1975 has decided to print over old, unsold shirts and sweatshirts for the new album instead of creating more waste by creating brand new merchandise. They then set up booths at some major festivals like Reading and Leeds where fans could bring any t-shirt and get one of three new album logos printed on it for free (BYOT).
Image courtesy of The 1975’s Instagram
Matty Healy, the frontman of The 1975, talked earlier this summer about how the band needed to find a sustainable way to make the physical forms of the new album (vinyl, CDs, and cassettes). Their cassette is made with recycled plastic housed in 100% recycled card sleeve. The CD is a soft pack CD pressing printed on 100% recycled card. The descriptions of the products also state, “To make every effort to reduce plastic usage this CD [or vinyl] will be shipped without plastic shrink wrap.”
“People” is the second song on The 1975’s upcoming album, after the spoken word of Greta. The song opens with, “Wake up, wake up, wake up, it’s Monday morning, and we’ve only got a thousand of them left.” This band hasn’t been an advocate for this movement for years. Over the course of a couple of months, they have made the important decision to use their platform and resources to set a standard for the music industry and that is why I continue to admire this band more than any other artist. It is time to rebel.