All posts tagged: shop ethical

The Eco Fashionista : A Vest

After a recent purge of unwanted clothes in my wardrobe and inspired by the Perth Fashion Festival ReStyle challenge with local fashion bloggers, I thought I’d start a recurring feature called “The Eco Fashionista” – a term I coined when I first began my ethical clothing journey. The idea is that I show you how easy it is to shop secondhand, upcycle unwanted pieces, buy fair trade and generally shop ethically. I’ll even show you how to incorporate these items into your current wardrobe. So I’m going to start this off with the humble vest. I found this vest in my local Salvation Army store for $5. Vests are such a great way to accessorise an otherwise boring outfit. You can layer it over jeans and tshirts, a dress or even over work clothes for a more corporate look. Basically it’s a very versatile little item to have in your wardrobe!

When you need something

When you ‘need’ something what is the first thing you do? Just go out and buy it? I’m pretty sure that’s what alot of people do. I like to think of it as “no conscious buying“. And what’s the opposite of that? CONSCIOUS BUYING. Giving great consideration to each and every thing you buy. My Mum mistakes ‘being thrifty’ as buying a super cheap knife on sale at Red Dot. That’s not thrifty because if that knife isn’t going to last it’s not only a waste of money but a waste of resources and will become landfill. Today I bought a bassinet. It was after a long discussion with my partner and alot of research. It occured to me how much effort I had put into something someone else might have just gone out and bought without the blink of an eye. Having a baby (any day now!) has put me in what must be the biggest consumption period of my life. These are necessities (not just a new dress to wear on the weekend) …

Awesome Christmas shopping (that you can feel good about)

Oh my goodness tomorrow is December. That means there are 25 days left to do your Christmas shopping! I’ve discussed that Christmas has become a somewhat consumerist nightmare, but I also understand that gift giving at Christmas is a hard tradition to break. It’s more about being smart about your Christmas shopping – and buying sustainable and eco friendly gifts is definitely something to consider. So, here is a list of great online stores that offer unique gifts that you can feel good about buying: Eco Toys http://www.ecotoys.com.au An awesome website absolutely full of sustainable and eco friendly toys, clothing, furniture – you name it, they’ve got it. There’s nothing more disturbing than a kids room full of plastic toys (that happen to break far too easily). These are the types of toys that become heirlooms! (featured above: Bajo mini rocking horse, Dobbin & Drum teepee & Wishbone bike) Ethikl http://www.ethikl.com.au/ Ethikl is somewhat of an online marketplace selling eco friendly, ethical and fair trade products direct from the artists themselves. There’s a massive range from beauty to bags to home and garden. A …

Anti-consumerism and Christmas

The title of an ABC news article I read this morning was “Anti-consumerism is the new democracy” – it certainly piqued my interest (and thanks to WAste Not for bringing it to my attention). It discussed the case of the Kellogg’s workers who in the 1930’s chose to work less hours a day in order to spend more time at home with their families. They chose family life over more money. The less money you earn, the less money you spend. This article questioned whether this would work and if you earn less money, could you still enjoy life? I recently, with the support of my partner, changed careers. Well, it wasn’t just about getting a new job as it was about getting a new lifestyle. I work in what we think is one of the first creative co-op agencies in Perth. I now work in an environment that encourages flexibility and a good work/life balance. We have the ability to work from home, drive to work after peak-hour, bring kids or pets to work, and generally it’s a …

Defining free-range eggs

If you haven’t heard the news, the Australian Egg Corporation this week sent a draft of ‘free-range standards’ to egg producers/farmers which proposes to allow a free-range egg farm to run as many as 20,000 chickens per hectare instead of the industry’s current model of 1,500 chickens per hectare. Allegedly there are egg producers who falsely claim to have free-range chickens. This is, of course, a great concern to ethically minded consumers (or economically minded – who wants to pay twice the price for nothing?). Whilst it’s great that the Australian Egg Corporation is trying to define what is considered ‘free-range’ and enforce a minimum standard, I think that this number (roughly two birds per square meter) should be the minimum industry standard for cage or barn chickens – but not free-range chickens! I’m not sure about you, but when I buy free-range eggs I like to envisage chickens roaming an open pasture in the open sun, free to peck at the ground and eat bugs and worms (which is their more natural eating habits …

Upcycling – old to new

Previously: Recycling clothes. Continuing my 3things pledge to become an ethical fashionista, I have been on the challenge to discover the wonderful world of upcycling. Upcycling is the process of converting a somewhat useless product into something of value. In the world of fashion upcycling can also be referred to as reconstruction, refashion or reclaiming. There is even the term ‘trashion’ (trash+fashion). The best part about upcycling is you can use nearly everything in your wardrobe again and make it into something new. WHY you ask? Why not!? Why not use something you already have and make it into something new? It’s exciting, it’s crafty and there is a definite sense of achievement when you realise nothing went to waste when making that item. Best of all it can be virtually free if you use something you already have. Upcycling yourself involves at least some basic sewing skills for small things, and a sewing machine for the more complex things (or be willing to pay a tailor or your Mum to do it for you).You …

Recycling clothes – seek and you shall find

Previously: Becoming an ethical fashionista The road to my becoming an ethical fashionista has challenged the way I  look at fashion and shopping. It can no longer be about satisfying an immediate want and going to the cheapest fashion store to buy it. I have to consider what my ethical choices are and the first consideration should be looking at what already exists – second-hand or vintage clothes. With so much waste in the world, fashion certainly contributes with its ever changing trends encouraging people update their wardrobe constantly and subsequently throw away old, out of fashion clothes. But where do these old clothes go? Either the bin (I hope not!) or to goodwill clothes bins for recycling. Firstly, let’s get two things straight. I might refer to things as ‘second-hand’, ‘recycled’, ‘op-shop’ or ‘vintage’ – what’s the difference? The only difference is, specifically referring to something as ‘vintage’ refers to clothes typically from the 70’s and earlier (and are almost ‘in demand’ for their uniqueness) they are usually harder to source. Most of them …

Becoming an ethical fashionista

As I have mentioned before, I recently made an ethical fashion pledge via Oxfam’s ‘3things to change the world’ initiative. Whilst I later expanded this to becoming an ethical shopper (in all facets of my consumerism), the fact still remains – I love fashion and I can’t give it up, so I had to find an ethical and sustainable way of being involved in fashion. How can being an ethical fashionista ‘change the world’? Ever wondered how clothes from the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and so on are still found in good condition today? Do you think most of today’s mass produced clothes will last that long? Ever wondered how many new clothes you’ve bought, and subsequently how many old clothes you ‘threw out’? Hopefully most of you give old clothes to charity, but in the UK in 2009 it was estimated that 63% of people’s old clothes go to landfill.   Most of these clothes are perfectly fine, or at least most of the fabric is still in perfect condition. Ever wondered how a top …

Ethical shopping – it’s all about reading the label

I made a pledge via 3things to choose vintage/pre-loved clothes over brand new ‘sweatshop’ cheap clothes. In hindsight it was an odd thing to choose, but I knew that I was going the easy route of shopping at super cheap fashion clothes stores without considering where these clothes came from, who made them, in what conditions and at what cost to the environment. What I’ve since decided is I’m going to expand this pledge to something bigger – to shop ethically and not just clothes, but everything I consume. So before I can fully become an ethical shopper and fulfil my pledge, I first had to find out what it all meant. What is ethical shopping (or being an ‘ethical consumer’)? One of the biggest key words here is “considering” – and consideration is all about respect, concern and thoughtfulness. Considering how the product will affect other people or animals Considering whether the production of the product has been made using sustainable practices Choosing products that are of good quality Choosing products that are themselves …

Are you using dangerous chemicals in your home?

Think about the roles that the chemicals in things like cigarettes, drugs and pesticides play in the media. The general message is that they are extremely dangerous for our health and that we should avoid contact wherever possible. This is why it shocks a lot of people to discover that the greatest risk of exposure to synthetic organic chemicals comes from within our own homes. In Australia, the chemicals used in our homes are the least controlled and regulated. This means most Australian households have hundreds of dangerous compounds lurking in their kitchens, bathrooms and laundries that have not been put through adequate (and sometimes any) testing or certification processes. And not only are these potions harmful to ourselves, but the environment is also suffering. Given the poor standard of chemical regulation in Australia it is a fair assumption that we cannot trust industry with our health. We need to take the power back into our own hands by arming ourselves with a little knowledge and acting accordingly. The only way to limit damage to …