Do our part for a more sustainable future
“Sustainability” has become the word of the moment as we strive to reduce our carbon footprint or make meaningful purchases while minding our budgets. Companies frequently talk about sustainable sourcing of products on their websites, and founders seriously consider their environmental impacts when creating companies. In fact, ettitude founder Phoebe Yu is passionate about the subject, and shares her commitment to reducing climate impact.
But what does it actually mean? And what can we as consumers do to be more aware?
Let’s break it down!
Googling the definition of “sustainability” returns the following: 1) “the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level,” and 2) “avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.”
In connecting with an expert who dedicated her undergraduate thesis to understanding the issues in fast fashion, we learned the concept of sustainability began with forestry, as the logging industry did not balance consumption vs. reproducing of trees. In time, they saw wood being consumed much faster than trees could regrow - a plot we also read in children’s story The Lorax.
So, going back to our original definitions, a product that’s “sustainable” must be maintained at a certain rate, and cannot deplete natural resources… meaning our fashion expert and the Lorax were both onto something here.
Now, how can we as consumers do our part?
- Make items last longer: Buying fabric goods that can handle multiple trips through the washing machine will save money in the long run. Sites like Brooklinen list the materials in their sheets, etc., and each purchase comes with care instructions for longevity!
- Consider consignment: Let’s admit it, we all have possessions in our homes we may have purchased or had given to us as gifts that are just taking up space… or six months after purchasing, we realized a trend we wanted to embrace just wasn’t going to work. The Poshmark app is a treasure trove of clothing and homegoods alike where consumers can buy and sell to their hearts’ content! Of course, local consignment shops are also a good option.
- Research behind the scenes: An aspect of sustainability easily overlooked is the labor that goes into producing those curve-hugging jeans and snuggly scarves we love to pull out as the weather cools. Organizations like Global Labor Justice shed light on gender-based violence that occurs in garment supply chains behind large, well-known brands that would give the socially-conscious shopper pause.
- Learn how brands fulfill their promises! Earlier this summer, we picked the brain of Dana Krastev, former leader of communication and strategy teams in Fortune 50 companies and current sustainability blogger. She laid out some brand champions in sustainability here.
Passionate about sustainability and want to learn more? Several podcasts are dedicated to the topic in a variety of fields! Stay tuned for more through StoreyLine, too, as our team learns more about the importance of monitoring environmental impact next week with Sustainability Of podcast!