Last week we were proud to host our latest in-store event, a Sustainable Living Panel. Our very own Cat ‘Treen’ Anderson was joined by three other local brands doing their bit to promote a more conscious lifestyle, including zero waste advocates and sustainable social enterprise, Lil (Lower Impact Living), vintage-dreams-turned-reality Depop company, 5thseasonclothing, and repair workshop, second hand store and community hub, Edinburgh Remakery. An introductory discussion to all things conscious living, the panel set about discussing how they got their independent businesses started, what drives them to live a cleaner lifestyle, and the easy ways in which we can all do our bit for the environment. Their advice was so valuable we wanted to share it with you all!
Read on to find out their simple steps to going green.
Make your clothes last longer
Gillian from Edinburgh Remakery had the best take on this number one tip. ‘We’ve lost a whole generation - possibly two generations - of people with the skills to repair and maintain their clothing. We’re giving others these skills to lengthen the time these garments can be worn, before they then can be remade into something else.’ It’s all too easy to abandon your well-worn jumper once it starts to pill, or develop small holes. Denim gets thrown away thanks to a rip in the knee. Change your expectations for your clothes and set the bar high to make them last longer. Head to the Remakery on Leith Walk to get clued up on mending methods, find your local sewing school, or ask a family member or friend if they can teach you simple steps so you can repair your own clothes.
Reuse, Rewear, Recycle
‘Everytime you shop second-hand, it’s one less item that will be bought from the fast fashion industry’ Lauren from vintage clothing seller, 5thseasonclothing, spread her joy of going second hand in your purchasing to compliment new pieces. The whole panel sang the praises of scouring Depop, ebay, charity shops and vintage stores to find special items from years gone by, ready to be worn again in a new way. Already have plenty of clothes you don’t wear? Don’t get rid of them, just organise a clothes swap with friends or head to ebay. Style up old and new for a fresh take on style - on a budget! Take the time to hunt for gems you’ll never part from.
Think all-year-round wear
For Gillian, her previous experience working as a clothing designer for high street manufacturers shocked her at the pace the industry moved forward, and the sheer volume of product being produced with a new collection ready for stores every six weeks (!) and her message now is clear. Buy less, buy better. Think ahead to future seasons to come and consider if you’ll still be loving this piece then? Will you find enough ways to wear it with your pre-existing wardrobe? Is it versatile and durable enough to stand the test of time? If so, invest in the best.
Small steps, big change
When it comes to making an impact on our planet’s resources, the idea is to go low. Lower Impact Living’s Louise spoke about how important. The snowball effect of your actions, and the actions of those around you can make a huge impact. Big companies consider every purchase you make ‘The more we change what we spend our money on, the more companies are taking note’. Choose to shop at your local independent grocers, avoid Amazon and support smaller businesses that make ethics a priority. Find something manageable you can change in your life and stick with it. Grab your keep-cup (and keep using it), always have your favourite bag for food shopping within reach to avoid plastic or paper bags, but in Cat’s words ‘Do something that makes you feel rewarded, not something that is a challenge and easily given up’.
We’ve all felt overwhelmed when trying to make a change for the better. But even worse, we can often feel guilt for not doing ‘enough’. Shift your mindset to the positive! Only follow those accounts on Instagram that make you feel good, keep you inspired and nurture a community you relate to. Share your best vintage finds with friends or take them along next time you go on a charity shop hunt. Explain to your family how you are using reusable cleaning products, or natural alternatives. Share what you’ve learnt without judgement and spread the word of going green in a positive way to inspire others to take small steps - without the guilt.
Huge thanks to all our incredible panelists - go follow along with their journey in going green and get involved if you are local to treen. Need more info on how to live more sustainably? Check out all our Sustainability blog posts here.