Q&A – 5 Tips for a Sustainable Lifestyle
In Wild Tussah’s 4th Q&A session, 4 sustainable fashion experts shared their tips for a sustainable lifestyle. Read on to learn new and varied ways to cultivate a wasteless and more abundant lifestyle.
Carlotta Cataldi from Slow Fashion Forward
Carlotta Cataldi is a co-founder of Slow Fashion Forward; a creative agency for sustainable fashion and textiles that offer sustainability strategy and communication services to fashion organizations. You can find out more here.
- Live with balance: do not sacrifice absolutely everything in the name of sustainability to avoid burn-out. Find the perfect equilibrium in your life between responsibility and non-systematic guilty pleasures.
- When it comes to fashion, believe in your sense of style, your uniqueness, and try to not follow trends (it’s so difficult, I know). This way you won’t need to make a wardrobe shift every year.
- Develop a big picture worldview! Start reading a book on Systems Thinking, for example. You are not alone on this planet, and the choices you make always have a bigger impact in another part of the world. All lives are equally worthy, so choose well so that all lives can benefit from your wiser choices.
- If you can, always buy locally-made items (be it food or clothing or furniture…). Try to get in touch with the actual maker, and fall in love with the story behind a product. I ensure it will never reach landfill.
- The best clothes are the ones that already exist, so don’t forget to frequently attend flea markets and local vintage stores. Mix and match vintage pieces with new, sustainable fashion.
Rachel Kibbe from Helpsy
Rachel Kibbe is an ethical fashion thought leader, advocate and activist who has written for The Guardian, The Business of Fashion, Refinery29, Racked, among others. She founded Helpsy; an online retail store that sells ethical fashion, beauty products and homegoods. You can find out more here.
- Think before you buy – are you duplicating something that you already have?
- Buy with the intention of having something that lasts – so look for quality.
- Don’t eat animal products.
- Turn down/off your air conditioning!
- If you live in the desert, grass shouldn’t grow there, so garden accordingly.
Carrie Davies from From A Confined Space
Carrie Davies is a designer, trend forecaster and founder of From A Confined Space – an ethical concept e-store stocking sustainable womenswear, menswear and accessories. You can find out more here.
- BIKE IT – Whenever I can I ride my bike to and from meetings, shops, the studio or hanging with friends, I ride. Cycling is the quickest and most environmentally friendly way of travelling around London and it keeps you fit, so no need for the gym. Although you do battle the elements and when the wet English weather’s a little bit too much I opt for public transport.
- SHOP LOCALLY – I’m lucky to live in a buzzing creative neighbourhood with many local grocery stores, independent retailers, cafes and restaurants making it easy for me to shop locally and support smaller businesses. Many of the cafes and restaurants in turn have localized sourcing policies and seasonal produce meaning that a little goes a long way.
- ORGANICS – I try where I can to buy organic produce from fruit and veg to my daily skincare routine. By minimising the amount of chemicals in the products I buy I hope that helps in having a more sustainable lifestyle. By increasing the demand for such products, we hope to reduce the use of pesticides globally.
- GROW YOUR OWN – Even if you’ve got the tiniest flat growing your own is not only sustainable, but very rewarding. I am not green fingered in any way, but have managed to keep a few herbs happily growing on my windowsill. Growing mint makes for great fresh Mojito’s and parsleys is a fantastic source of vitamin C when used as a natural tea. But for serious cooks, basil is easy to throw into any dish and is so easy to grow (my secret weapon).
- BE INFORMED – There’s so much out there now for people who wish to live a more sustainable lifestyle and shop ethically. It can take a bit of research, but by being informed you can make a conscious decisions about your impact. Check out sites such as Elux magazine and Ecouterre for news updates as well as site such as Collectively who share stories of people and brands doing great things. You could also follow our #LunchtimeRead on twitter @ConfinedS where we share a short news story daily at 12.30pm GMT.
Brooke Vlasich from Passport Couture
Brooke Vlasich writes about artists, artisans, culture, and her travel experiences in her blog Passport Couture. You can find out more here.
- As a passionate traveler, I’ve become concerned about how traveling can affect the environment. I’ve followed more travel bloggers and websites that promote ecotourism. I’m currently researching companies that promote conservation and am finding ways to become more involved with them, whether it’s through donations or promoting and assisting their projects.
- When shopping, I use cloth bags or paper bags that can be recycled later over plastic bags. If I do have plastic bags, I give them to a friend who crochets them into stronger, reusable grocery bags.
- When it comes to shopping for clothes, I find shopping at used clothing or consignment stores to be incredibly helpful. As I’m shopping, I also try to consider if I can incorporate pieces into multiple outfits so I don’t over consume.
- I recycle as much as I can as well as find ways to re-purpose items for a great home decor piece or fashion accessory. My mom’s love of shopping for used furniture and painting and adding decor to it is something I will definitely aspire to when I have a future home.
- Knowing how to mend and repair clothing is essential to reducing waste and ensuring that items aren’t tossed out. Rather than throwing out a pair of pants because the hem came out, why not learn a quick hemming stitch so you can keep your clothes? Or, if you don’t want it, organize to swap with friends or sell it online. Don’t throw it out when there are so many other options!
Thank you ladies for your helpful tips. If you’re a sustainable fashion expert and would like to be featured in our next Q&A, please contact us.
You can read more about the future for sustainable fashion seen by experts in our previous Q&A.