Celebrating Show Your Stripes Day 2024

Celebrating Show Your Stripes Day 2024

Sustainable Fashion Roundup - May Reading Celebrating Show Your Stripes Day 2024 9 minutes Next What does ‘regenerative fashion’ mean?

The climate stripes are of course a gradient of blue and red stripes that shows more than a century’s worth of rising temperatures. Conceived by Prof Ed Hawkins, they’ve appeared everywhere from the football kit of Reading to the cover of Greta Thunberg’s tome, The Climate Book. These warming stripes even have their own special day in the calendar!

With Show Your Stripes Day coming up on 21st June, we thought we’d dedicate this post to the special occasion.

How it all began

The graphic was made back in 2018 and launched in 2019 by Professor Ed Hawkins (read our in-depth interview with one of the UK’s most foremost climatologists). Instead of another ordinary chart with numbers and labels that the average person might ignore - or forget - the climate stripes graphic is as famous as it is because of its visual impact. They remind us that climate change is happening everywhere, and that no one country is immune.

Before that, Professor Hawkins was already known for his use of graphics as communication tools. His climate spiral was shown at the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.

Professor Ed Hawkins MBE in a Show Your Stripes hoodie by POMPProfessor Ed Hawkins MBE in a POMP #ShowYourStripes Hoodie

A dedicated day

The stripes were a global hit, receiving more than a million downloads within the first week. Politicians, media platforms, and international organisations all over shared the image to mark the summer solstice. Now, 21st June is recognized as an annual #ShowYourStripes Day.

Its sole purpose? To raise awareness of climate change by starting conversations and inspiring impactful tangible actions.

What’s been done before

The last four years have seen an abundance of news coverage, initiatives, and products utilizing Hawkins’ climate stripes to convey the message of climate action.

In 2020, Pueblo Vida Brewing - a sustainability-conscious local brewery and taproom - and the University of Arizona Climate Systems Center came together for a beer design collaboration. In Jersey, UK, local artist Ian Rolls partnered with the Jersey Met Department and the States Environment Department to create a mural for the country. The wall is updated each year, as well as repainted when the occasional troublemaker decides to decorate it with graffiti.


In 2021, the justice-focused movement Common Grace held a full-day event “Knit for Climate Action” at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia. Scarves were knitted and gifted, an art installation was on display, discussions were had with Australian MPs and Senators, and so much more.

In 2022, the University of Reading and Reading DC signed a partnership with the goal of improving the club’s sustainability. The deal includes a 10-point plan designed around carbon emission reductions.

Getting involved in 2024

On this day, no matter where in the world you are, we’re all encouraged to show our stripes in any way possible, online or offline! Not only that, it’s a day to spread awareness about climate change and rising global temperatures. So don’t worry if you don’t have any Show Your Stripes material and want to avoid unnecessarily consuming.

What you can do:

  • Wear or show off a SYS product you own - get creative!
  • Share the graphic and its meaning online
  • Share the stripes respective to your city or country
  • Write a story about how climate change is impacting your home or a place you care about
  • Ultimately, start a conversation about climate change.

Remind me, what exactly do those Stripes mean?

Regular readers will know that the climate stripes are the simplest way to illustrate that climate change is taking place. This is because each stripe or bar represents the temperature in that country, averaged over the year. You can learn more about the climate stripes in our detailed blog post, here.

Other major climate events for 2024

As 21st June comes closer, let’s take a look at some of the other climate events taking place this time of the year. Most aren’t affiliated with the #ShowYourStripes movement, but they do provide opportunities to encourage conversations and actions to combat climate change.

The UK

Reading Climate Festival

With Prof. Hawkins’ work taking place at the University of Reading, it should be no surprise that we kick off our round-up of activity in the UK in Reading. The Reading Climate Action Network in collaboration with Reading Borough Council, REDA and The University of Reading has organised the Reading Climate Festival to run between 8th and 21st June. The programme includes a range of events, including an art installation in Reading Museum: Julian Grater’s Arctic Mirage is based on research trips to Greenland. Sounds fantastic, right?!

What you’ll find:

  • A Youth Mobilisation Day
  • Wellbeing walks and talks
  • A Big Lunch in Forbury Gardens for the whole community
  • Art installation
  • & more.

The Great Big Green Week

The Reading Climate Festival coincides with The Great Big Green Week which runs from 8th to 16th June. The Great Big Green Week is self-described as “UK’s biggest ever celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature”. It first took place in September 2021 and involved over 5000 events. In 2023, Great Big Green Week took place in June, and we saw more than a quarter of a million people get involved. In 2024, the focus will be on swaps: from books and clothes through knowledge and skills. With so many things going on, we’re not going to replicate all of that information here. Instead you can search here.

What you’ll find:

  • Allotment activities
  • Upcycling & recycling workshops
  • Knowledge swaps on discussion panels or wildlife reserves
  • & more.

Rest of Europe

Bonn Climate Change Conference

The Bonn Climate Change Conference runs from 3rd to 13th June and provides an opportunity for the invited parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to resume their work and pick up negotiations where they left off at the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) in the UAE in November 2023. Note that registration seems to be open to Parties to the ConventionUnited Nations and related organisations and agenciesmedia and non-profit organisations with observer status only. For most people this will be an event to be aware of rather than attend in person!

School Climate Strikes / Fridays for Future

Every Friday, there is a climate strike held in (some!) schools. This was started by Greta Thunberg as a 15-year-old back in 2018 and has been continued with the goal of forcing the Swedish authorities to implement policies that deliver the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

That’s not to say that the Fridays for Future movement is restricted to Europe as we can see here:

What it involves:

  • Creating signs, banners, and bold visuals
  • Skipping school (informing teachers before)
  • Speaking up about climate change
  • No violence
  • & fun!

Global

World Environment Day - 5 June

In 1972, the United Nations held its first major conference focused on environmental issues and as momentum gathered, the General Assembly adopted a resolution designating June 5 as World Environment Day with the first one happening in 1973. The idea is that governments, cities, businesses, NGOs, and individuals undertake activities on that day that demonstrate their concern for the preservation and enhancement of the environment. Each year, there is a focus on a particular aspect of this agenda. In 2023, it will be about land restoration, halting desertification and building drought resilience under the slogan “Our land. Our future. We are #GenerationRestoration.” You can find activities to sign up for wherever you are in the world.

What you’ll find:

  • Desert clean-up
  • Land restoration initiatives e.g. oil polluted soil bioremediation
  • Music album releases
  • Tree planting
  • & more!

    Conclusion

    We're likely to be at the Reading Climate Festival on 21st June. If we make it, you can be sure that we will be following Prof. Hawkins’s advice and wearing one of the items in our #ShowYourStripes range to drive conversations on the topic of climate change.

    Either way, we’re interested in learning about how you have conversations with people about climate change so please comment below. If there are any other events, we should be adding, please let us know about them too!

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