Over the last few months, I’ve been learning more and more about sustainability in the fashion world and growing in ways that I wasn’t expecting. I’ve been trying to educate myself on a lot of topics so that I can make smarter decisions for myself, my family, and the future of our planet. With that education, in my opinion, comes a responsibility to share the things I learn with the voice I have here.
But committing 100% to a clean, eco-friendly life isn’t realistic with our family budget and especially with raising a toddler on that budget. Lately, I’m being super picky about what campaigns I take on and our family wallet is definitely feeling it. It’s been hard to know what to say yes to and what to say no to and that challenge has been scary and difficult. So I decided to write out a little manifesto that feels right for me and for Lemon Stripes. One that I can commit to and feel good about.
I’m sharing it today so you know where I stand and because I have all of you to hold me responsible for sticking to it.
This is not a space where I will only be promoting sustainable and ethical brands, but it is a space where I will be sharing what I learn along the way. It is a space where I’m committed to doing better.
If you want to follow people who are much more committed to sustainability than I am, I highly recommend checking out my friend Jess’s blog and Instagram. She has done an incredible job in the last 6 months or so of completely changing her lifestyle and fighting for our planet. And my friend Meg is dedicated to a “no shop” 2019 which she documents in detail on her Instagram and blog.
Here is where I stand:
Stay educated. I am committed to actively seeking out information on the products I use, the clothes I buy, and the partnerships I take on. If I speak to a brand or shop at a store, I will ask where the products are made and dig deeper into their sustainability practices. Even if we can’t buy the “right” things all the time, being educated will help us make better decisions when we can.
Share what I learn. As I learn more on the topic and discover interesting brands, I’ll share them here and on Instagram to spread the word. For example, the dress I’m wearing was sent to me by a reader who created her own sustainable line of clothing. You can read her story here. It gives me so much hope now that I’m seeing so many people stepping up and trying to make a difference in the fashion industry. I’ve added a category to my site called sustainability where you will be able to find all of my tips and learn about brands that are making a difference. You can find that anytime in the navigation bar at the top of the blog.
Live a balanced life. I am committed to doing the best I can with the information I have. I want to be super clear on this. Will I still shop at Old Navy for Amalia once in a while? Probably, until I find another affordable solution. Will I also try to seek out sustainable kids lines and support and promote them? 100%. (PSA: My current favorites are Sweet Bamboo and Mini Boden. I just bought her this cute dress.) Will I support sustainable clothing brands for myself like Everlane and Reformation? Duh. Will I also continue to shop at J.Crew? Also duh. But I’ll also continue to encourage J.Crew and other brands, with the contacts I have there, to step up to their game.
Outside of fashion, will I shop with reusable bags? It’s 2019. If you’re not doing that already, wake up! But will I sometimes forget them? Guilty as charged. Will I continue to search for clean beauty products? For sure. Will I also bleach my hair? Yup. Anel and I have always been and 80%/20% family when it comes to clean eating and that’s how I plan to look at it for the rest of our lives too.
Don’t be hard on myself. I’m going to make mistakes. I won’t be perfect. That is ok! If we can all learn from our mistakes and do a little better next time, then we’re headed in the right direction.
And that’s it! It’s not a huge commitment, but it’s a realistic one. I fully believe that if we can all just do a little bit better, we can move the needle and change the way the world works.
What is your personal manifesto on sustainability?
Photos by Julia Dags.