Hello Darling Loves, it's been a fair while between blog posts but we have just headed into Fashion Revolution Week 2018 and so it was time for me to get writing again and join this conversation.
At Brown's we are all about local, ethical and handmade goods, everything that comes into the store I either know the maker personally, or if it's a designer who makes overseas I am very thorough in asking questions about who is making the products, under what conditions and what materials they use.
Now, there are of course I am imperfect, and some items I know where the garment is made, but the tracking of the fabric making is a bit sketchy. As well as this there are issues to be noted in lots of other pieces I stock at Brown's - all ceramics are fired at very high temperatures which uses lots of electricity, some of the earrings I stock are made from resins and plastics, and lots of my stock arrives wrapped in plastic bubble which can be reused, but overtime serves no purpose and goes to landfill...
Also I personally try to live my values around ethical consumption, but I forget my 'keep cup' at least half the time, I drive too much and we have two cars in my family of three (2 adults), I own an i-phone, I forget my reuseable shopping bags every second shop, I often buy way too many vegetables and then will be too busy/lazy to compost, and (this makes me feel very bad) I bought Clark's shoes last week because they were on sale and I loved them, even though my Good On You app said as a brand they were 'Not Good Enough'...
So it's hard, I get it. I actually think the current climate in our world is such that it is real work to make ethical, sustainable, conscious choices - it's much easier just to use the plastic supermarket bags, to get takeaway coffee cups; it's cheaper to buy clothes from H and M or Uniqlo - and it takes research, effort, saving and work to be a conscious consumer.
Taking all of this into account I wanted to share some information with you to hopefully help you to make more conscious choices when consuming without it being such a hard slog to do so.
For me the first thing I need to do when I want to change behaviour (and I continue to need to stay on track) is to get inspired! Here are some resources that help me to learn what others are doing to change the world and make me feel inspired to do the same:
Firstly, I read The Green Hub, this amazing website gives you information on everything ethical and sustainable from an article the most sustainable contraception to use, to providing the details of ethical wedding dresses under $500. It is awesome! It also shares lots of great real stories of people who are making beautiful contributions to saving the oceans, rainforests, animals and people of the world.
Secondly, my quarterly delight is Peppermint Magazine who produce a beautiful, sexy magazine but do so in an ethical and sustainable way. The stories they share are well researched, detailed and engaging, these are interspersed with facts and tips on how to do better in your own life in regards to what you eat, buy, wear, own. They also have lots of interesting stories and event suggestions on their website, plus they run the Pep Talks series where amazing change makers come and talk to a group of likeminded types about their way of working in the world. Wondrous!
And finally, Eco Warrior Princess, a website that has articles on all kinds of interesting stories on how to do things to make change in the world, and to catch us up on all the latest news in the Ethical, Sustainable, Environmental space.
Good basic resources on how to shop ethical are Ethical Clothing Australia for ethically accredited clothing information, Shop Ethical which rates everything from baby food to microwaves. And finally the Good On You app which you can put on your phone to check if your fave fashion pieces are ethical or not.
Then, here are some bloggers sharing their journeys and their gorgeous tips on how to shop and live more ethically, particularly around fashion. My personal fave - The Unmaterial Girl, Never Ever Pay Retail for all your op shopping tips, Op Shop to Runway which tells you how to op-shop, borrow, vintage and buy ethical your way to a super gorgeous wardrobe, and finally Fashion Hound by Faye De Lanty who is a gun at helping us style second hand goodies to make them rock!
Finally there's lots of ways to dig deep on this topic and learn so much about the issues that are facing our world due to fast fashion and overconsumption. They can be hard to read/hear sometimes but gosh they are important to know, and all of them have calls to action to help you know what you can do to make change in your own life.
My go to in this space are: the book Wardrobe Crisis by Clare Press, as well as her amazing podcast, plus her Sustainable Style column in The Sydney Morning Herald that is now defunct but there is a backlog of great stories. Then, The War On Waste TV series that was on the ABC (and is still available on iView) as well as the associated website which has lots of great stories. Each year I read the Ethical Fashion Report by Baptist World Aid Australia, which provides ratings on all the major Australian brands.
Plus finally there are some basic things you can do - shop locally, support local businesses that have ethical credentials and value that (like us!); buy handmade; buy lots of your fruit and veg at local markets, reduce the food miles; ask questions, ask where things are made and grown; and finally, if it's too cheap there is a reason for that, someone, somewhere is paying.