Sustainability should satisfy the needs of the present without adversely affecting the ability of future generations to satisfy their needs. *source
The next time you find yourself needing or wanting something, try making a change to something that’s more sustainable. Finish up what you have (from your dryer sheets to your sandwich bags) and donate what you don’t love (from those old shoes to that jacket you no longer wear). Then start the conversation with friends on the products they use, and do your research.
When we know better - we do better!
I’m certain that if you start finding meaning behind the goods you spend your money on it will fuel your passion to do better.
It’s taken me many years to get to where I am now, and every day I’m learning how I can do better. I’m keeping it as simple as I can and starting the topic with what we wear… I plan to share other ways of reducing our environmental impact down the road.
The fashion industry is the second largest industrial polluter to our earth *source.
You might hesitate because sustainable brands can be more expensive. And there’s a good reason for that - starting with, people are getting paid fair wages. The way I justify this is simply, “quality over quantity”/ “less is more”. And I’ve also found that sustainable brands are better quality, therefore they last longer.
I’d much rather have 10 things I LOVE, than 100 things that are just ok.
Here are a few examples of the simple changes I’ve made that make a difference (in our own lives and the lives of others):
Outerwear. Several years ago I entered the flagship Patagonia store in Seattle and I found myself immersed in all the good that one brand can do for the environment and local community. Sustainability is the core value that the company was founded on. The jacket I purchased that day my daughter has since claimed. The quality is so amazing, it still looks brand new. I use that Jacket as my mid layer when skiing, so I’m justifying replacing it with this one. Merrel and Sorrel are a few other leaders when it comes to sustainability. I like that these brands not only encourage people to get out in nature, but also come with a mission and reminder to help others minimize their environmental impact.
Jeans. Madewell and j-crew recently announced their fair trade certified denim and they go far beyond that to improve their impact and support their communities. You can read more here - It’s impressive! Although this wasn’t the mission the company was founded under, I appreciate a large business seeing the need for change and setting an example. I have high hopes that this is a sign of change in consumerism!
Jewelry! My journey in becoming a Noonday ambassador has given me the knowledge to realize how powerful our purchases can be. I now crave wearing things that matter and have a story behind them. When I wear pieces of jewelry that were handmade by artisans and come with a story it’s like I can feel the positive energy coming from the impact.
Socks. Made from wool (natural and renewable) these are my go-to socks in the mountains or lounging at home. The SmartWool Advocacy Fund supports organizations that aim to protect the natural environment and create opportunities for future generations to get outside. Again, this is one of those items where the quality is so great you won’t need another pair for years to come.
Backpacks. My littlest recently needed a new backpack and as we noticed all the $40 backpacks at Target it made me go home and research a backpack that not only had sustainability behind it, but something that would hold up for more than a few years before needing a new one. I found Fjallraven and since learning about the company we’ve purchased 2 backpacks after a quality test was done on one of our last trips.
I believe it’s our responsibility to start making these shifts. Avoiding fast fashion can be hard - but again, even small changes make a difference. I’m not after perfect, just after doing better than I was yesterday. I encourage you to try one new sustainable brand and feel the impact it makes.
As always, I’d love to hear your passions on this subject and any changes you’ve made.