Eco-living, eco-friendly is a term that’s loosely thrown around these days, and we can understand that it can be frustrating not knowing how to trust and what to look for when trying to find the right brands that fit your lifestyle.
So, to be as transparent as possible, we want to share what the terms eco-living means to us. Eco-living (or eco-friendly) means we’re doing our best to live a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources and personal resource by using alternative methods of transportation, energy consumption and diet.
Are we perfect? No. Are we trying. Absolutely. It takes years of deconditioning to be as mindful as possible,
But, here’s the thing. We don’t expect everything to be living eco-living, or sustainably living all the time. We do hope, however, that people are mindful of their choices- whether that comes to travel, or eating or consumption in design or fashion.
To that end, we’ve gone ahead and pulled together a list of our favorite traits that we feel all eco-friendly brands should have before they make any sort of sustainable living or eco-living claim.
1. Pay attention to the materials: what is it made of? Organic materials like recyclable, renewable materials like linen, hemp, Tencel or silk organic cotton are fine, but most other materials are not biodegradable. So unless you’re upcycling (aka buying vintage), be mindful of what materials make your products.
2. Ignore jargon: just because something is locally made doesn’t mean that the materials used are local. Yes, we know the growing trend of high-brow is market products as handmade or locally made. Take a deeper look to see where they are sourcing their base goods from. If, in fact, those goods happen to be sourced locally as well, then you’re all good, but if they ship their raw materials in, then you’re not really taking part in sustainable living, are you?
3. Be wary of all fast fashion: not only because they are ripping designers (both big and small off), but they also most likely have factories without the best working environment. Yes, we all love a good dupe (esp because we like looking designer without breaking the bank), but be mindful of where those garments are made.
4. Cruelty-free and sustainable are not the same thing: cruelty-free normally applies to the beauty industry. You’ll see that claim on products that haven’t been tested on animals. And while we love knowing that no animals were harmed on our quest for better skin, it’s important to note that those particular products could still have ingredients in them that are not sustainable.
5. Pay attention to cause donation. One of our biggest pet peeves is the pinkification of everything for breast cancer awareness month when every brand comes out with a “pink ribbon” version of their product in an attempt to get you to open up your wallet for a good cause. What most fail to disclose is what percentage is being donated. The same thing happens with other charities as well so it’s really important to understand how it works. One of the things that we pay attention to see if the companies solicit money directly from you in order to donate that to the charity, or they donate an undisclosed amount just to look good publically.
There are many different ways to live a sustainable life, but the key is awareness. Being aware of everything that you consume- whether that’s clothing, food or with travel.