In a world grappling with the urgency of climate change, it’s crucial to acknowledge those who are not just making an effort but are leading the way. Billie Eilish, a beacon of hope and action, is one such individual. Her commitment to sustainability, deeply ingrained in her eco-conscious upbringing, has permeated every aspect of her life. From small acts like reusing wrapping paper to significant strides in greening her tours and merchandise, Eilish spearheads a movement towards a more sustainable music industry. Her journey is a testament to the power of individual action and the potential for change.

A Green Tour

Billie Lolla Performance

Billie Eilish on tour.

Eilish’s 2022 tour was a testament to her dedication to environmental sustainability. Implementing policies that reduced waste and eliminated single-use plastics, her tour saved millions of gallons of water by opting for plant-based meals and utilising zero-emissions battery-saving systems. These efforts didn’t just stop at the logistics; even the merchandise reflected her eco-friendly values. Her website also states, ‘All merchandise clothing will be made from 100% recycled cotton, organic cotton or recycled polyester. Posters are made from 100% recycled paper.’

Sustainable Fashion

Eilish’s influence extends far beyond the realm of music. In 2021, she made a powerful statement at the Met Gala, agreeing to wear a gown on the condition that the designer, Oscar de la Renta, stopped selling fur. Her collaborations with major brands like Nike and Gucci have also been marked by a focus on sustainability, ensuring that only environmentally friendly merchandise was produced. For instance, her redesigned Nike Air Force 1 shoes are made with 80% recycled materials and 100% recycled polyester, setting a new standard for sustainable fashion.

Billie Eilish in her Gucci clothing

The Family Influence

Eilish’s commitment to sustainability is deeply rooted in her upbringing. In her family’s Los Angeles home, solar power was adopted early on, and efforts like removing the lawn to save water were part of everyday life. Her mother, Maggie Baird, played a crucial role in instilling these values. Maggie also continues to support and promote sustainability through initiatives like Support + Feed, which encourages the acceptance of plant-based food to mitigate climate change. The influence of her family is a testament to the power of early education and the role of support in fostering sustainable values.

Collaborative Efforts

Lolla stage sustainable solar

REVERB Solar Panel set up

Eilish’s efforts are supported by partnerships with organisations like REVERB, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing environmental concerns in the music industry. Together, they launched the ‘Music Decarbonization Project’, aiming to eliminate carbon emissions from the music industry. This initiative has led to significant changes, such as partially powering her headlining set at Lollapalooza with zero-emissions battery systems charged on a temporary solar farm.

A Sustainable Album Release

Billie Eilish is taking her commitment to sustainability to new heights for her forthcoming album. She will release a limited number of 8 vinyl variants through her website and all major retailers, including HMV and Amazon, each on the same day, containing the duplicate track listing across the board, all produced with the most sustainable practices available.

The standard black variant is made from 100% recycled black vinyl. The remaining 7 coloured vinyls will be made from ECO-MIX or BioVinyl. ECO-MIX uses 100% recycled compound from leftovers of any colour that cannot otherwise be used, ensuring every disc is unique. BioVinyl, using non-fossil fuel materials like used cooking oil or industrial waste gases, helps reduce carbon emissions by 90% compared to virgin vinyl while maintaining the same audio and optical quality.

Hit me Hard and Soft Vinyl

Billie Eilish – Hit me Hard and Soft Vinyl

All vinyl packaging is made from FSC® certified recycled paper/boards made 100% from post-consumer waste and recycled pre-consumer fibres. The ink used is raw plant-based and water-based dispersion varnish. Instead of shrink-wrap, the sleeves are 100% recycled and reusable. For shipping, all finished goods are packaged and shipped to depots in up to 93% recycled and 100% recyclable shipping boxes.

Cassette shells will be made from recycled shell pieces ground down and reused to make new cassette shells, with no plastic cassette boxes used. Instead, FSC-certified eco-friendly stock will be used to make o-cards. Compact Disc packaging will be in softpaks, with zero plastic jewel boxes, made from FSC Certified stock with 100% renewable fibres and up to 30% post-consumer recycled fibres that are 100% recyclable.

The Challenge of Merchandising

One of the biggest challenges in the music industry is making merchandise sustainable. Eilish has been vocal about the need for ethically made, high-quality materials, even if it means higher costs. She has reduced the number of merchandise drops and ensures that everything, from vinyl to packaging, is produced sustainably. All merchandise clothing uses residual dead stock from prior productions, organic or recycled polyester or cotton, non-toxic dye inputs, and intentional design processes for circularity, reduced climate impact, and regeneration to minimise harm to people and the planet.

A Shared Mission: A.R. Richards Ltd and Billie Eilish

Eilish’s sustainability efforts echo the ethos of many companies, particularly our waste management division. We are committed to reducing environmental impact through efficient waste management and recycling services. Just as Eilish seeks to minimise waste in her tours and merchandise, A.R. Richards Ltd offers comprehensive waste management solutions, including skip hire, haulage contracting, and euro bin services to businesses and events, ensuring that waste is managed responsibly and sustainably.

Billie Eilish is not just a global music icon but also a powerful advocate for sustainability. Her efforts, from green touring practices to sustainable fashion collaborations and eco-friendly album releases, set a benchmark for the music industry. As we move forward, her example inspires individuals and industries to adopt more sustainable practices, ensuring a greener future for all.