Realtalk: Earth Day, Going Green and Overcoming Some Struggles
As 'sustainability' finally goes mainstream and more devastating news about the ocean emerges, I wonder how much of that actually inspires individual change.
Each year on April 22nd marks the anniversary of the modern environmental movement known as 'Earth Day'. According to Earthday.org: "The height of counterculture in the United States, 1970 brought the death of Jimi Hendrix, the last Beatles album, and Simon & Garfunkel’s 'Bridge Over Troubled Water.'
War raged in Vietnam and students nationwide overwhelmingly opposed it. At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. 'Environment' was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news.
Although mainstream America largely remained oblivious to environmental concerns, the stage had been set for change by the publication of Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller 'Silent Spring' in 1962. The book represented a watershed moment, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries, and beginning to raise public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and links between pollution and public health.
Earth Day 1970 gave voice to that emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns on the front page."
This year, Earth Day was solely dedicated to end plastic pollution. This year's campaign highlighted the world's dangerous consumption and careless use of plastic along with its long-lasting effects to marine life and our planet. With recent news like a sperm whale found dead due to ingesting 29 kilograms (64lbs) of plastic waste emerging, it really is shocking how much damage plastic pollution has caused even though it has only existed in the last 60-70 years.
Now I am no eco-warrior but I am determined to help change the current narrative in any tiny way I can. As most of you would've realised by now, I have been trying to pursue a more sustainable lifestyle and doing my best to help introduce the ideas and practices of sustainability while still enjoying fashion.
However, the phrase 'easier said than done' couldn't be more true in this case.
Because the truth is that sustainable fashion and pursuing a sustainable lifestyle is far more expensive and it requires a tremendous amount of effort. I still find myself browsing through the catalogues of fast-fashion and thinking twice about purchasing an eco-conscious item... but that shouldn't be the case if I'm such an advocate for sustainable fashion, right? It should come naturally and as easy as ABC, right? Sadly, thats not the case but am I determined to try? Hell yes.
One of the few things that I came up with this week whilst battling my inner struggles of wanting to keep up with fashion trends is that I decided to get a fresh new perspective on styling. Inspired by Who What Wear's quick but amazingly helpful article on 10 new ways to wear pieces you already own, I went through my closet and came up with new ways to wear and style my old clothes. And guess what? I scored new outfits and found numerous other items that still had tags on them - eek!!
And around the same few days where I was going back and forth about breaking bank over a few basic items of ethical clothing, I came across the news about H&M's newest Conscious Exclusive 2018 Collection - thank you weird Instagram algorithm and internet cookies for showing me this!
Here's a little 411:
Launched just last week partly in conjunction with Earth Day, H&M's newest line is everything a newbie conscious shopper like me could wish for.
The collection features the use of sustainable materials like Econyl, a regenerated nylon fibre made from fishnets + other nylon wastes and recycled silver obtained from above ground sources + industrial scraps.
The best part? Items from the collection start from £4.99 and includes every type of clothing that you can think of - from socks and intimates to culottes and formal dressing.
... And yes before you start, I understand that this goes against the real meaning of slow fashion and sustainability given that it's... ethical fast-fashion (yep, you just read the words ethical and fast-fashion one after the other 🙃) but as much as I'd like to support small, eco-conscious businesses... I have to admit that it is intrinsically hard to justify on spending a large amount on one or two eco-friendly garments.
So what's a girl got to do?
Here's me wanting one thing but opting for another due to financial constraints BUT let me use this opportunity to be reminded and serve as a reminder to similar minds that we all have to start somewhere.
There is power and strength in acknowledging that you're actively pursuing for change no matter how small that act may be. Whether your way is to recycle plastic cups, upcycle your old clothes, buy clothes with renewable materials, going for quality over quantity, saying no to plastic tableware or bringing your own bag during shopping... any small change is good.
Go forth and be green!
- Current Spotify obsession: Sleepless in Tokyo by P.Keys -