How to live your values, not just profess them. We interact with textiles almost every minute of every day, so ensuring they meet your personal ethics is of utmost importance. We’ve all heard of conscious buying habits, but what else is there?
Firstly, I encourage you to do a short exercise in values mapping; figure out what is important to you. This exercise will enable you to get clarity on your criteria – what you will and will not engage with. Here are some of the things we’ve come up with to help shape our decision making and action our values;
- Be discerning in your purchases, ask questions like where is it made? What is the fibre content, is it natural or synthetic? What are the ramifications of either textile in the use phase and when I no longer want it? How often will I use it? Does it actually fit my body shape? Am I willing to commit to this piece long term? This can be applied to clothing, bedding, accessories, food, white goods - well actually any product you buy!
- Attend events with like-minded people and open yourself up to a new way of thinking and doing. It’s as much action-based as it is personal development. We’ve found subscribing to podcasts like Dumbo Feather, On Being, Ladies We Need to Talk and Dear Sugars a wealth of knowledge.
- Read – magazines, books, papers, online manifestos – there is so much information out there to help you.
- Get involved – engage yourself, particularly when you might be feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of our collective future, it feels good to feel like you’re making a difference, big or small.
- Support small businesses and renewable developments. For us this means shopping local and organic, choosing the right bank and super fund and participating in our local community however we can.
- Take care of yourself – prioritize mental and physical health, seek out professionals and learn how to care and repair, we know too well what it’s like to feel burnt out.
- Waste management – compost (you can sign up to a compost sharing network if you live in an apartment via Gardening Australia) Again, by shopping at local vendors you can start to reduce your plastic packaging use - invest in re-usable/refill bottles for cooking oil, cleaning products, washing products, you can find a wealth of knowledge on how to do this via our friend Kira’s platform The Green Hub
- Learn that you are a part of the conversation, not the conversation.
- And the most important, be honest and authentic in your decisions and social interactions, because that, to us, is living your values.