Engraining Sustainability into Everything You DoSep 13, 2022
When we talk about “sustainable living,” what does that really mean? We probably all have an image in our heads as to what this looks like and truth be told - there is no one way to live a sustainable life.
We like to think of a sustainable life as one that engrains sustainability considerations into everything we do. Today’s blog is all about how to do this and why it matters. Because all of us can participate in sustainability, we just need the right tools to get started!
If you prefer to watch, check out our YouTube video on this topic. If you want to share your thoughts with us, make sure to leave a comment in the comments section.
Before we get started - are you a member of our Crew yet? No? Sign up for our weekly newsletter here! You’ll get updates on sustainability news, current events, industry solutions, and thoughtful opinions like this :). We hope to see you there.
Without further delay, let’s get into engraining sustainability into everything we do…
Before we can start implementing a more sustainable life, we first have to learn about the basics and explore all the topics out there. One of the easiest places to start is an industry you’re most passionate about. For us, it’s the apparel industry, but you could also explore sustainability across the auto industry, energy sector, agriculture, health & beauty, and so much more.
If you’d rather learn about the basics or general sustainability topics, this is a great way to cover all your bases. If you’re a high school or college student and you don’t know what industry you want to work in, learning the sustainability must-knows will help you further down the road when you do find your perfect industry. And PS we’re all in the apparel industry in some way, right? Have a look in the mirror and in the closet :)
No matter what camp you’re in, we recommend taking in as much information as you possibly can. Read books, articles, and reports or watch videos and documentaries. YouTube is a great free resource and here are some of our favorite channels:
- The Underswell (our own channel!)
- Climate Town
- Our Changing Climate
If you’re willing to spend some money, ask us about our Academy or Masterclass! The Academy is a monthly subscription that gets you all the best sustainability resources and industry updates. The Masterclass is our first sustainability 101 class designed to introduce students to the topic of sustainability. If you’re interested in either of these options, email us at [email protected] to get more information.
2. Put Things into Action
Once you feel comfortable with some of the sustainability topics you’ve learned about, it’s time to put them into action! First things first, make the changes you know we need to make. This isn’t to say you have to tackle everything all at once, but we all have to start somewhere.
We can only accomplish so much in our personal lives, so it’s important that we do our part to push brands and policymakers to make changes too (yes, this means advocacy!). Here in the States, we can influence policy by being actively engaged with politics. Make sure to vote, write your Congress person, and keep an eye on the news. Similarly, we can influence brands through writing to them, staying up to date on the latest industry news, and keeping a critical eye on sustainability claims.
On the same topic, we should be supporting brands that are committed to sustainability. Maybe they don’t have it down 100% yet, but it’s all about the next steps. It’s one thing for a brand to claim they’re sustainable because they have one collection that uses recycled polyester, but it’s another when a brand takes this first step and outlines what their next step is going to be (think progress). That’s one of the reasons why Patagonia is often called the “North Star” of sustainability - they never stop improving!
This mentality of “voting with your dollar” applies to all industries. One of the easiest ways to start is at the grocery store. Try switching some of your items for Organic or Fair Trade, or try buying some plant-based options (Tip: Chobani’s Oat Milk is a killer substitute for conventional milk and you can find it at most grocery stores). And, choose brands that are making their best efforts to reduce/improve packaging. Small steps become easy and soon enough, you’ve created a whole new lifestyle for yourself that you can take pride in.
3. Take That Lifestyle to Work
Now that you’ve educated yourself and you’ve made the changes in your personal life, it’s time to bring that energy to work.
At your job, you can become the vocal advocate for sustainability. People will start to know you as the sustainability go-to, which will help you create a network of other sustainability lovers. As this network grows, you guys will create a movement throughout the entire organization - your efforts will become undeniable! Be the first domino!
While making progress may take some time, remember to keep your energy up and that some progress is better than no progress.
Do you have any sustainable lifestyle tips that may help others? Share your thoughts in our LinkedIn Group! If there are any topics you’d like us to cover or have any questions, don’t forget to email us at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for being part of the movement!
#keeplearning #sustainability #sustainablelifestyle
Top 35 Things to Know if you're learning about Sustainability in the Apparel Industry. Have you downloaded the guide yet?
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