Treat yourself to great news for April 2024!

It’s an interesting question: why is the ‘news’ almost always bad? Isn’t good news just as important as the negative stuff? To balance things out, we’ve been in search of beautiful positive stories to brighten your day.

Desert island castaways shout for ‘help’

So what do you do when your small boat gets in trouble and you end up stranded on a tiny, weeny desert island in Micronesia? You ask for help – and that’s what the crew did. The men spelled out the word ‘help’ in palm tree leaves on the beach, it was spotted by the US Coastguard, and the US Navy dropped survival packages to keep them going until they could be rescued. Just like in the movies.

Polynesia declares personhood for whales

Anyone who has anything to do with animals knows every individual creature is different, with its own personality, likes and dislikes. Now Polynesia has officially awarded whales legal ‘personhood’ in an attempt to help protect the animals in the Pacific. It’s called the He Whakaputanga Moana declaration, outlining a comprehensive plan to care for them and intended to protect the rights of the whales to migrate freely, conserve and grow their shrinking populations. It’ll create protected areas and use mātauranga Māori – the traditional knowledge of the Maori people – along with modern science to set up a dedicated fund for whale conservation.

British doctors cure a teen with an incredibly rare genetic condition

Every child’s life is precious, which is why we enjoy this story so much. A little girl with an extremely rare genetic condition is the world’s first to be cured by pioneering British doctors. Just 21 people on the planet suffer from WILD syndrome, but 13 year old Kai Xue also suffered from the potentially fatal condition chylous ascites, whose cause was a mystery until recently. Now Kai has finally been cured following an intervention by the internationally-renowned Dr. Mona Mossad. A five week stay at Staffordshire Children’s Hospital later, she has returned home. Isn’t that lovely?

SolarMente revolutionises Spain’s solar power scene

Sometimes all it takes is one person to drive dramatic change. When Wouter Draijier, a Dutch engineer living in Barcelona, noticed the dramatic lack of solar panels in the city, he was shocked. It turned out to be the fault of Spain’s unpopular ‘sun tax’, which discouraged people from using solar by making it needlessly complex and expensive. By contrast in his home country, the Netherlands, a third of homes have solar. Now the company he has set up, SolarMente, is changing the way people use energy in Spain, an exciting subscription service that lets homeowners and businesses fit solar panels with no up-front cost.

It’s such a great idea Leonardo DiCaprio has invested in it, along with the US tech startup accelerator Y Combinator. The idea is to speed up solar adoption to make it ‘very easy’ for every home in Spain to go solar. With modern solar panel tech delivering impressive results even in countries where it isn’t that sunny, we could do with an initiative like that here.

London’s happiest bus driver

Former homeless man and Big Issue seller Patrick Lawson has been dubbed the 'happiest London bus driver'. He used to sell the Big Issue at Kings Cross station, now he’s the proud owner of the accolade from the London Bus Awards thanks to 45 passengers who praised his work. Patrick had spent 20 years sleeping rough and been imprisoned several times when he approached the charity Single Homeless Project in 2016, which helped him rebuild his confidence, renew his licence, and retrain. He is clearly a very happy man and his smile is just beautiful.

Swiss climate activists score a massive win

Congratulations to the Senior Women for Climate Protection, a group of 2,400 determined Swiss women mostly in their 70s. In a move that fires a shot across the bows of the world’s governments - too many of which are dragging their feet over climate change - the female climate activists have scored a vital win. The ruling, that Switzerland’s failure to curb emissions had violated their right to family life, marks a historic victory. This landmark case that played out in the European Court of Human Rights puts pressure on governments to do more to fix the climate crisis. This is the first ECHR global warming case, creating a precedent for climate activists in other countries to hold policymakers to account. The ruling is expected to influence climate action and litigation not just in Europe but far beyond.

We’re with them all the way, and we’re with you all the way in your own efforts to protect the beautiful blue planet we live on and the environments that sustain us. Check out our Unique One Offs collection and our Revived Collection of lovely refurbished clothing, and enjoy our stunning collection of brand new slow fashion.

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