Living a more eco-conscious lifestyle can be easy when you know how! From recycling plastics, creating a compost heap at the bottom of the garden and purchasing only ‘slow fashion’…You may find yourself in sustainable overload! We have teamed up with The Fore Studio’s founder, Hannah – who has given us an insight into her top tips for living a more sustainable life.
1. Fast fashion vs slow fashion
The first of our sustainable tips lies in what we wear. The fact that the fashion industry will be responsible for using up 1/4 of the world's carbon budget by 2050 shocked me to my core. Nearly 53 million tonnes of garments are being produced every year, 77% of which - end up in landfill or an incinerator. While it’s sometimes hard to resist the allure of fast fashion… we can’t deny the fact, that it is killing the planet – FAST!
I’ve never really been much of a shopper but over the years have managed to amass a rather large wardrobe from a mixture of airport retailers and US department stores. This came to a screeching halt on the day I needed to give my household insurer a valuation of the contents of my closet! I was horrified and decided that the only way to get penance for my shopping sins, was to turn my wardrobe into a kind of stand-alone circular economy.
I have found that over the years, I have regularly fallen in and out of love with my clothes. My sustainable head couldn’t help but become annoyed at my outlook on clothing, it wasn’t until I found my answer lay in renting my garments to others. It’s a triple win for me as it allows me to live sustainably, whilst gaining an additional source of income as well as the joy of rediscovering the pieces when they come back in. I am sitting here wearing a sweater that I bought in JFK c.1993. It was “re-discovered” last week and I feel like it’s brand new!
2. Reducing your plastic pollution in the bathroom
It dawned on me a couple of years ago, that we were busy fighting plastic in our kitchens but not in our bathrooms. Although the average British household doesn’t display single-use plastic bottles in their bathrooms - we do manage to consume an average of 216 bottles of haircare every year.
With a small business that strives to be sustainable, my retail arm threw up some big headaches. In the end, the solution lay in shifting people’s perception of value from just the product, to the product and its packaging. By selling a beautiful bottle (the perfect mix of style and longevity) and inviting them to simply return to us, with the empties for a top-up.
We slowly offered them a planet-friendly solution, that was low in cost and wastage, but high in shelf appeal. I’ve heard that there’s a new deodorant on the market that has thought in the same way… I wonder who that could be?! Wink, wink… we think that MAY just be Proverb’s Refillable Natural Deodorant.
3. Saving the jellyfish one disposable mask at a time
On our list of tips to be eco-friendly is one that might not have crossed your mind were we not in the midst of a global pandemic: single-use face masks. Though the use of face coverings is recommended for our common well-being, there are now more disposable masks than Jellyfish in our oceans.
Whilst I’m not a big fan of the jellies, the other critters have a lifespan of 450 years. This makes face masks an ecological time bomb, that could cause more damage than the virus itself. It seems silly that when throwing out an old bandana or T-shirt, to not up-cycle it into a sew-free mask.
4. How to eat sustainably
The food we consume is a major driver of climate change, and time is against us. Each apple, tomato and chicken drumstick will have a carbon footprint. Plus, with a heck of a lot of us to feed, one of the easiest and most sustainable things we can do to make a change - is to eat with the seasons.
Essentially, if we ate food as it is grown and harvested, rather than when we wanted it (strawberries in December?!) things would be a lot simpler – for both, our bodies and our planet. It’s important to point out that eating “locally” is not the same as eating “seasonally” as miles aren’t the best indicator of a food’s total carbon footprint. The reality is that producing them at home requires just as much, if not more, energy to mimic the climate conditions necessary for growth. Government stats revealed that British-grown tomatoes had more than three times the footprint of Spanish-grown tomatoes that had been harvested, shipped and eaten in season.
We’ve covered quite a bit of ground on how to be sustainable when it comes to food, so let’s recap: shopping LOCALLY and SEASONALLY is the key to reducing your carbon footprint since you are buying produce from countries that are meant to be processing said product at that time of year.