Looking after our own and the health of the planet has never been so important. So as sustainability starts to become part of our mainstream vernacular, Grazia spoke to some inspiring women with a passion for the environment about what else we can do to keep up the good work.
1. Learn the 5 Cs
Marci Zaroff is an eco-lifestyle expert, educator, innovator, author serial ECO-preneur and the Martha Stewart of eco lifestyle. Marci is a strong believer that millennials are “driving the rapidly growing movement for sustainable and ethical fashion.” Marci suggests, “Look at the five Cs when you are shopping. So, community, conscience, connection, creativity and collaboration; this is the DNA of how we should be thinking about every choice we make. We should be reading labels and understanding the products we are buying and supporting. And try to encourage and support those who are doing well by doing good.”
2. Educate ourselves
Samata Pattinson is an author, former fashion designer, CEO of Red Carpet and Green Dress - an organisation that pushes sustainability to the forefront of the fashion conversation. Samata is also an award winning designer, creating fashion made of sustainable materials for the red carpet. She advises, “Pick up one book, pick up two books, and just read for yourself, and see if you don’t get interested. I challenge anyone not to be interested once they just start reading and start educating themselves [on sustainability].”
3. Follow the 5 Rs
Cassia Patel is Programme Director of Oceanic Global Foundation, a global NGO that engages new audiences in ocean conservation. Cassia’s passion for the planet sees her help individuals and organisations find sustainable alternatives to plastics. According to Cassia, we should keep the 5 Rs in mind. “The first R is reduce. So reduce your consumption, and then buy less and reuse the things you have as best as you can, for as long as you can. Repurpose, people are mending and fixing their clothes and learning how to sew and repurpose their items which is amazing. To rot is next; so compose if you can and if you have the opportunity. You can freeze your compost, so that is one way that you can then store that. I’ve done that for years, I actually moved out of an apartment and I forgot that I actually left seven plastic container’s full of compost in the freezer, and my friends were not happy with me! But that’s an option. The last one is to recycle. But there is very limited capacity, infrastructure, and a lot of gaps in that loop. So buying and living local and just reducing our consumption as much as possible is a great place to start.”
4. Rent the runway
Marci continues: “I am a huge advocate and ambassador of Rent the Runway [a fashion service that enables women to rent designer dresses and accessories]. I love the idea that we can rent fashion, and that we can have new fresh looks all the time, give it back and then someone else is wearing it. I think these new circular models are disrupting our industry; they are innovative and enable us to shop online. This is the future of fashion.”
5. Make healthier more informed choices
Samata adds, “We are waking up. So in fact we are focusing on and taking responsibility for our immune systems more than ever before. This is not only for our own health and well-being but the health of our planet. And because of that, the concept of organic is starting to take route. So I think that people are looking at organic differently than they did before and questioning their food choices more – thinking so is this healthier for me, is this better for me?"
6. Shop emotionally
Finally Grazia Middle East Editor-in-Chief Alison Tay leave us with this: “Know yourself better. Understand your impulses; realise why you are drawn to an item of clothing and actually shop emotionally. If we all approach every decision and every action with the same amount of heart and emotion, I really think our purchases will get smaller, but our world will get so much bigger. Work is love made visible, which means if we love our work, it’s not work, it’s love. And then every day we can be planting seeds and cultivating more love to share because I think that it’s ultimately what the world and every person on this planet wants and needs.”
Photo: Designecologist for Unsplash