LIVE LIFE IN
for a better today and tomorrow sustainability in style
A NOTE FROM
Dear Sustainably Stylish Friends, In this issue the message is simple. Take action! Since Issue 6 there’s been a lot happening. The global pandemic has continued to disrupt the way our world operates, we’ve experienced a ‘rain bomb’ in Australia that saw lives, homes and businesses lost, and Ukraine has been invaded. On top of this, in late February the IPCC released a Climate Report (the Working Group II Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability) that shows that the impacts of climate change are happening now, not in some distant future. There’s a lot to be worried about and it’s easy to fall victim to #ecooverwhelm, anxiety or compassion fatigue. However, when I sat in on a Climate Council discussion on that Working Group II report, it was stated clearly that taking action on the things you care about each day, is the best way to avoid slipping into negative mindsets. So whether you choose to invest in a system like our Self-Coaching planner, or just commit each day to leading by example. Your actions matter. Now more than ever. They will keep you sane and they will contribute to the greater good. I’ve named Issue 7 in honour of our planner. It is for a better today and tomorrow. Take it one day, one action at a time. Watch them add up. Sustainably yours, Katie Image: Chambers Island during 'Rain Bomb' flooding Feb 27th 2022
Contents A Note from Katie...........................................................
Catch Up on What You've Loved................................. 4 Dates For Your Planner................................................... 5 From Our Community...................................................... 7 Profiling Your Values.....................................................
Potty for Plants...............................................................
Green Clean....................................................................... 23 Fast 5.................................................................................. 26 Why Care About Fungi?................................................. 27 Fashion Revolution........................................................... 29 Thrifted Basics................................................................. 32 Care About: Your Clothes............................................. 35 Tried and Tested.............................................................. 37 Sustainably Stylish Leaders: Louise Visser............. 41 From HQ.............................................................................. 49 Read..................................................................................... 51
WITH OUR PLANNING SYSTEM
What You Have Loved Lately
We love hearing from you and how you are using your Sustainability in Style resources.
You Use Your Planner
OUR FIRST #SHELFIE
The wonderful Emily has been loving life with her Self-Coaching Sustainability Planner. It’s taken pride of place on her custom-built shelves! It’s our planner’s first-ever #shelfie.
CURIOUS ABOUT CLIMATE? Busy Mum of two, Emma showed us how she gets her planning done, taking advantage of some quiet time in the parked car.
We did a wrap up of the IPCC Climate report that got lots of DM’s. It followed on from the Climate Council overview and is focused on Australian climate threats. 4
Dates for your
Add what appeals to you
APRIL 4th 6th 7th 12th 15th 22nd 18th 24th 24th 25th 28th 29th 30th
World Stray Animals Day International Day of Sport for Development and Peace UNESCO World Health Day Equal Pay Day World Art Day UNESCO Earth Day Fashion Revolution Week 18th-24th April Fashion Revolution Day World Day for Laboratory Animals ANZAC Day Day for Safety and Health at Work UN Day for Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare UN International Dance Day UNESCO
3rd World Press Freedom Day UNESCO 4th International Fire Fighters’ Day 4th Greenery Day 5th African World Heritage Day UNESCO 8/9th Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War UN 16th International Day of Living Together in Peace 17th International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 20th World Bee Day UN 21st World Day for Cultural Diversity and Development UNESCO 22nd International Day for Biological Diversity UNESCO 23rd World Turtle Day
3rd World Bicycle Day UN 5th World Environment Day UNESCO 7th World Food Safety Day WHO 8th World Oceans Day UNESCO 17th World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought UNESCO 20th World Refugee Day 21st International Day of Yoga UN 26th United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
You will notice coloured stars throughout our magazine issues. These colours correlate back with each of our eight tools and are provided to help you identify which of these tools support your sustainable living journey. For those who are new (or might need a reminder), these tools are harnessed throughout our website and form a key part of our sustainable self-coaching strategy within the planner. These eight tools are suggested throughout your year of self-coaching during daily planning and weekly check-in’s as a way to reduce eco-overwhelm and burnout.
Our toolkit BREATHE
Meditate to increase your mental and emotional resilience. Stop and take a breath when overwhelm sets in.
Lifelong learning increases your critical thinking prowess. When information gets too much critical thought processes can reduce overwhelm.
Make and mend things with your own hands and reduce your consumer impact. Use craft to get into ‘flow’ when feeling stressed.
Einstein famously stated that “Play is the highest form of research” Through play we find new solutions to wicked problems and reduce stress.
Reading allows us to gain a deeper understanding, increase empathy, and expand/challenge norms. Read to relax when stressed or gain clarity.
Sharing your Sustainably Stylish journey in a kind and empathetic way can inspire others. Having a support network when stressed is essential!
Sedentary lifestyles and overconsumption put strain on our planet and our mental and physical health. Stretch your body and mind to reduce stress.
Material culture and personal identity construct are part of how we go through daily life. Craft a sustainably stylish path that suits who you are.
Just before Christmas,we asked you 'What's one thing you're grateful for today? "
Why Gratitude Matters GRATITUDE AND MATERIALISM Research into gratitude practice and consumption or materialism is limited, however it is suggested that there are linkages between gratitude levels, resource consumption and pro-social spending. One study by Kiang et. al (2016) looked into children's views on materialism offering them (n=247) an imaginary windfall of $100 to spend in one of four ways: 1) buy, 2) give, 3) for presents or 4) to save. A notable outcome of this study was an interactive effect; the tendency for greater materialism to be associated with greater saving preferences was attenuated by gratitude. Where those who were being thrifty for their future only, were less likely to be generous to those around them. The researchers found that these results were consistent with prior work suggesting that materialism and gratitude are intricately related to important outcomes such as well-being. Kiang, L., Mendonça, S., Liang, Y., Payir, A., O'Brien, L. T., Tudge, J. R. H., & Freitas, L. B. L. (2016). If children won lotteries: Materialism, gratitude and imaginary windfall spending. Young Consumers, 17(4), 404-418. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/YC-07-2016-00614
WHAT'S YOUR IMPACT? WE CELEBRATED YOUR WINS WITH SOME RESEARCH TO HIGHLIGHT YOUR IMPACT
GETTING YOUR COFFEE FIX
According to a paper published by Visser and Dlamini (2021), there are around 500 billion cups of coffee consumed each year across the globe, and
to meet this demand for convenient caffeine, coffee pods became an innovative solution!
BUT ARE COFFEE PODS A GOOD IDEA? Well, yes and no! Let's explore what research has to say about this convenient coffee fix!
Researchers Komal, Vaidya, & Soydan (2020), did a lifecycle assessment of coffee pod use at the University of Tennessee–Knoxville. Their annual projections suggested that around 750 coffee pods were consumed on campus daily. This equates to 562,500 coffee pods over a five year period.
ARE POD MACHINES ALL BAD?
SO SHOULD I DITCH MY COFFEE POD MACHINE?
The answer to this question might surprise you!
The answer is no! Research into the environmental
Pod machines get a bad rep because they are
impact of coffee technology has found that cof-
linked with throw away coffee pods. But as some
fee pod machines (when you look at raw materials,
of you know, there are composable and reusable
manufacturing and use energy and end of life) aren't
coffee pods available! Compostable pods are a
too different to drip filters. However, there are lots
better option than plastic pods. Especially if you
of considerations depending on the model, and its
can ensure they are composted. However, Komal,
power usage (Hicks & Halvorsen 2018).
Vaidya, & Soydan (2020) note that, compostable pods still require a lot of materials and transport
Top tips- choose an energy-efficient model, power
just so you can make your coffee quicker.
it with renewables, buy a reusable pod and fill it with sustainable coffee
SOURCES Visser, R. (2021). Green purchasing behaviour towards compostable coffee pods. Sustainability, 13(12), 6558. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/su13126558 Komal, K., Vaidya, U. K., & Soydan, O. (2020). Life cycle assessment of compostable coffee pods: A US university based case study. Scientific Reports (Nature Publisher Group), 10(1) doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-65058-1 Hicks, A. L., & Halvorsen, H. (2019). Environmental impact of evolving coffee technologies. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 24(8), 1396-1408. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11367-018-1575-0
You packed a WHAT'S YOUR IMPACT? WHILE WE KNOW BRINGING YOUR OWN LUNCH REDUCES PLASTIC WASTE, WHAT ABOUT FOOD WASTE?
HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK YOU WASTE?
A study of a university dining hall in Brazil
dance, meal acceptance, portion size, plate
looked at users' cafeteria food waste. At the
waste (visual estimation and causes), and per-
time of the study the facility:
ception of the sensory characteristics. Once
A study in a workplace canteen (North of Portugal) that provided daily lunch to an average of 120 regular users gave a questionnaire to diners (n=160) asking about; canteen atten-
done, the diner's remaining food was weighed, >
had 85 employees
and the amount of food wasted was deter-
distributed about 4,500 meals a day
mined allowing for the comparison between
(3,000 meals at lunchtime and 1,500
the self-assessment of plate waste and the
meals at dinner.
Serving students, professors, train
DO YOU THINK YOU'RE ACCURATE?
ees, staff, and other members of the academic community.
Turns out, if you think you're wasting food, The research found that (over three days of
then you probably are!
study) there was an average of 68g of food waste per consumer. Factors like portion size,
The diners in this study showed an accurate
taste, odour, appearance, texture and tem-
perception of their plate waste. The main
perature contribute to food waste from this
reasons why they wasted food were similar to
university cafeteria setting. They also found
the previous study but predominately it was
that not knowing what is in food, or how it had
excessive portion size.
been prepared can result in waste. Bringing
BYO CAN SAVE YOU MONEY, AND SAVE THE PLANET!
your own food, that you have made in the right portion size eliminates these waste factors!
Deliberador, L. R., Batalha, M., Chung, M., & Cesar, A. D. S. (2021). FOOD WASTE: EVIDENCE FROM A UNIVERSITY DINING HALL IN BRAZIL. Revista De Administração De Empresas, 61(5), 1-17. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-759020210507 Pires, I., Machado, J., Rocha, A., & Martins, M. L. (2022). Food waste perception of workplace canteen Users—A case study. Sustainability, 14(3), 1324. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/su14031324
BY REFILLING YOUR BOTTLE YOU’RE REDUCING THE AMOUNT OF PLASTICS IN CIRCULATION. Why does this matter? Let’s look at some plastic facts. In 1950 fewer than 2 million tonnes of plastics were manufactured. In 1955 Life Magazine published an article on ‘Throwaway Living’ that helped to popularise throwaway culture.
IT WAS A SUCCESS! By 2018 this total of plastic manufacturing is estimated to be 464 million tonnes. Without changes, some projections suggest this amount could be 1124-1900 million tonnes by 2050.
WHAT'S YOUR IMPACT?
Around 8-9 million tonnes are said to end up in our oceans ANNUALLY. Plastic doesn’t ‘go away’ it just breaks down into micro and nano plastics.
BIOPLASTICS? There have been attempts to make plastics better by offering ‘bioplastic’ options which may break down (depending on where they end up). While some of these bioplastics are better than others, even
YOUR DECISION TO REFILL IS REDUCING THE DEMAND FOR PLASTIC PACKED PRODUCTS!
with the best options available (PLA, derived from Lactic Acid in crops like corn) it is projected that we would need around 52% of Earth’s arable land to meet the demand for bioplastics in 2050. In the research data (from 2015) showed that worldwide plastic generation was mainly from packaging (46.7%).
YOU ARE CHANGING THE SUPPLY CHAIN!
SOURCE Rhodes, C. J. (2019). Solving the plastic problem: From cradle to grave, to reincarnation. Science Progress, 102(3), 218-248. doi:http://dx.doi. org/10.1177/0036850419867204
the world was not made for any one species Daniel Quinn
Profiling your Last issue we started to share more of the details about actioning your values motivators. In this issue, we share examples of values motivators and your characteristics
ANIMAL WELFARE AND COMPASSION MOTIVATORS
Based on the assumption that your lifestyle is all-encompassing of animal welfare and compassionate living. You will not budge on your no-animal-products-or-cruelty stance, and therefore your lifestyle choices will be guided first and foremost by this ethos.
People who might share your Values
TAKE THE QUIZ
ANIMAL WELFARE AND COMPASSION MOTIVATORS
Ideas you might be drawn to: > > > > > > > > > > >
Veganism or Vegetarianism Animal Rights Protests Domestic Pet Rights Animal Rescue Animal Rehabilitation Animal Ecology Careers in Veterinary Medicine Recreation that involves animals Seeing animals in nature Raising animals Working with animals
SOCIAL EQUALITY Based on the assumption that you love friends, family, art, culture, and the advancement of humanity equitably and fairly. This conclusion has been drawn from your love and passion for people around you and the assumption that you would like others to have the same quality of living that you do.
Ideas you might be drawn to: > > > > > > > > >
Social enterprise schemes Working in caring roles Spending time with family and friends Providing services for people Advocating for equal rights Supporting marginalised groups Volunteering your time for social charities Supporting children or children’s rights Leading groups or political causes
People who might share your Values
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
SIMPLICITY AND STREAMLINED LIFESTYLE MOTIVATORS
Based on the assumption that your focus is on getting the most out of your time to reach goals. You are interested in reducing the fuss in your life and want a lifestyle that works well for you with minimum time and energy (and possibly monetary) inputs.
Ideas you might be drawn to: > > > > > > > > >
Making your busy life more simple Reducing clutter (tangible or intangible) Prioritising the things that matter the most Efficient solutions to sustainability problems Saving time Less fuss and more freedom Using money to support causes or streamline your sustain ability actions Reducing the unnecessary ‘stuff’ you bring into your home Supporting causes or candidates that promote simple solutions
People who might share your Values
People who might share your Values
Based on the assumption that you have a passion for nature, natural flows, and an interest in conservation, repair, and preservation of the planet (and beyond). It is assumed that you want to live a life with minimal (or no) negative environmental impact. Ideas you might be drawn to: > > > > > > > >
Deep-green ecology Living in remote places or off the grid Protesting against deforestation Taking part in revegetation or conservation schemes Organic, or zero-waste schemes Undertaking schemes to reduce your environmental impact that might be challenging, or time-consuming. Outdoor careers or roles where you are actively protect ing natural habitats. Voting for or supporting causes or people who are fo cused on reducing human impacts on the environment
“WE DELIGHT IN THE BEAUTY OF THE BUTTERFLY, BUT RARELY ADMIT THE CHANGES IT HAS GONE THROUGH TO ACHIEVE THAT BEAUTY.” – MAYA ANGELOU
Potty for indoor
If you’ve seen any pics from Sustainability in Style HQ, you will know we are proud plant parents. If you don’t already know some of the benefits of inviting plant babies into your life, please feel free to check out these posts from our website.
easy care plants
Spider plant Chlorophytum comosum You’ve likely seen these plants in your grandparent’s house, or perhaps you grew up with one in your bathroom at home. These plants are easycare, require well-drained soil and indirect lighting. They offshoot baby ‘spiderette’ plants that you can plant in soil or root in water.
A beautiful and easy-care way to introduce greenery into your life, the Peace Lily has beautiful deepgreen leaves and stunning blooms (spathes). Peace lilies like indirect lighting and can handle low light conditions. They don’t love bright sunlight as they get scorched leaves. They like to be kept moist but will let you know when they are drying out as the leaves will get droopy.
This plant is another easyto-grow gem that offers a beautiful leaf structure for very little effort. It likes humid conditions but not soggy soil. If you don’t live in the subtropics like we do, then place the plant in its pot over a tray full of water (with pebbles to elevate it and avoid root rot). These plants don’t love bright light, indirect sunlight is best! If you have variegated varieties of this plant, they may be more tolerant of increased indirect lighting.
Droopy plant and dry soil: Your plant might be thirsty!
Droopy plant and wet soil:You might be overwatering your plant.
Tall and spindly plant: Your plant might need to be moved closer to light sources
Yellowing or burnt leaf margins: Your plant might be getting ‘sunburnt’
Yellowing, brown or falling leaves: Your plant might be hungry and need a natural fertiliser.
These are generalised tips; it is best to look up the specific details for your plant-baby species.
plant problems 21
"FLOWERS ARE A PROUD ASSERTION THAT A RAY OF BEAUTY OUT VALUES ALL THE UTILITIES IN THE WORLD.” – RALPH WALDO EMERSON
We’ve tackled green cleaning many times over the years here at Sustainability in Style, however, we’ve yet to investigate eco-friendly cleaning ideas in our magazine!
STEAM Invest in steam cleaners. There are lots of cleansers, creams, and cloths out there on the market, but we are yet to find anything that rivals a steam cleaner. A steamer can cut through bathroom scum in a heartbeat and doesn’t need anything more than water and a power source (if you’re on renewables that’s even better). Depending on the type of steam cleaner you buy, they can be used on anything from clothes to couches, and grout to grime.
This article is at the request of one of our lovely readers
PURPOSE-BUILT CLOTHS AND DUSTERS There are lots of cloths, dusters, mops, and other cleaning equipment that will help you to clean, dust and grime bust without chemicals or a power source. Many of these products work wonders and will last you for years to come. However, some may shed synthetic microfibre particles that end up in our waterways. Ask the company who is making them about the fibre content. If you choose to use products made from synthetics, be sure to wash them in a washbag designed to catch microfibres. One of our favourite investments here over the years is a rubber broom and brush. Rubber brooms and brushes are a great way to capture pet hair in a flash! 15 23
BIODEGRADABLE, REUSABLE, AND RECYCLABLE! Earth lovers who prefer their cleaning low-fi and biodegradable might like to consider recycling old clothes into cleaning cloths. While these cloths might not be as purpose-built as their microfibre counterparts they will keep fabric out of landfills (bonus tip: if you use natural fibre clothing as rags you can put them in your compost when you’re done). To make your cleaning more effective you can either make or buy creams, cleansers or polishes. If you choose to buy, look to your local bulk or wholefood store for BYO container refillable options, or purchase from brands that offer refillable, bio-degradable or recyclable packaging. If you’re looking for kitchen brusher or scrubbing pads opt for items made from wood, metal, or natural fibres. There’s everything from compostable scrubbing pads to coconut scourers available on the market.
Green Your Commercial Clean If you’re in a position where you need to use chemical cleaning products (due to health or sanitisation concerns) research places that will offer a refill or allow you to buy in bulk. This can help to cut down on the waste associated with smaller commercial bottles. You can also consult with your healthcare provider and look to support your sanitisation with options like steam cleaning
While technology might not be everyone’s thing, choosing to invest well in your cleaning equipment can save you loads of time and hundreds of dollars in products. Spend time exploring websites and reviews of vacuums, carpet cleaners, mops, etc. to find one that will work for your home and family. People with children or pets will have different cleaning needs to a single person in a studio apartment. Once you identify the right product for you, invest in one that offers servicing, replacement parts or batteries, and has a long lifespan. Can’t afford to buy new? Look for quality products second-hand!
MAKE YOUR OWN Did you pay attention to your Grandparents? If you did this might not be new information. You can clean your house with basic pantry items! From bicarbonate of soda to citrus and vinegar, spending a few dollars on basic supermarket items like this can save you a fortune on your cleaning bill. Bicarbonate of soda has loads of uses (you can read a bunch of them on this post here). Eucalyptus oil not only smells great, but it also works a treat on sticky residue, in your laundry, and as a floor cleaner (to name a few).
FAST 5 • • • • •
Five things to add to your compost that you might not have thought of.
Dust from sweeping or vacuuming Shredded paper or cardboard Clothing made from natural fibres Wine corks (that aren’t coated or painted) Damaged books (if you remove the cover and tear them up)
At Sustainability in Style HQ, we are passionate about Environmental Sustainability. It’s our core value and keeping the planet safe and beautiful is what drives us to keep showing up and sharing. It should come as no surprise that we have chosen to support nature with our planner sales. For every two planners sold we are helping Rainforest Rescue to protect and onward maintain a square meter of endangered Daintree Rainforest.
WHY CARE ABOUT...
WHY CARE ABOUT... Last issue we looked at the wonders of the rainforest. We got such excellent feedback about it that, this issue we’re exploring a little deeper by delving into the wonders of Fungi and the forest floor
Many types of fungi act as the ‘composters’ of the world. Taking plants, leaf litter, wood and the bodies of animals and breaking them back down into the soil
You may know that fungi can be a food source for you, but did you know that animals eat fungi too! Some animals ONLY eat fungi (mostly slugs and snails), they are called ‘Fungivores’.
When fungi get busy composting, they release nitrogen, phosphorous, carbon, and oxygen into the air and soil.
The mushroom that we see aboveground is the ‘fruit’ of a fungus. It grows up from underground networks of mycelium and its function is to spread spores, which are work like plant seeds.
Fungi create underground mycorrhizal networks in forests spreading out their hyphae and providing a connection between trees. Allowing for the transfer of nutrients and water.
We harness the powers of fungi for everything from food (like cheese and sourdough) and alcohol (beers and wine) to medicine (penicillium). Our lives would be very different without them!
FASHION REVOLUTION Fashion Revolution 18th 24th of April: It’s time for a Fashion Revolution. Join us for the month of April as we work towards Fashion Revolution week. Fashion Revolution was born in the aftermath of the fourth largest industrial disaster in history, the Rana Plaza Collapse.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED IN FASHION REVOLUTION Check the website and your local area for #FashRev events in your local area. From educational talks to clothing swaps, there are lots of ways for you to learn and participate in Fashion Revolution Week.
Rana Plaza was a building in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It housed, among other businesses, a number of garment factories employing around 5000 people. On the 24th of April, garment factory workers were required to work in the eight-story commercial building despite concerns for its structural integrity. On this day, the building collapsed, killing 1134 people, and injuring more than 2500 others. The garment factories were producing clothing for brands you may know and wear.
Communicate with your favourite brands online asking them ‘Who Made My Clothes?” or “Who Made My Fabric?”
WHAT’S FASHION REVOLUTION Fashion Revolution began in 2014, on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, calling upon customers to ask ‘Who Made My Clothes?’ of their favourite fashion brands. The aim of this action was to increase transparency in the global fashion supply chain. Each year Fashion Revolution has built upon its traction and messaging to create cultural, industry and policy change within the fashion industry.
TAKE ON A #HAULTERANTIVECHALLENGE: Instead of the traditional fashion haul, where you go shopping and post a video of what you’ve bought, try a #haulternative; a way of refreshing your wardrobe without buying new clothes.
THE PANDEMIC AND YOUR WARDROBE: COVID 19 has impacted the fashion industry in devastating ways. Learn more about the impact, take action, and share your knowledge with others.
TRY A MOVIE NIGHT WITH PURPOSE. Learn about the impacts of the fashion industry by engaging with some important resources: 30
WHAT TO WATCH
WHAT TO READ Wardrobe Crisis: Claire Press Clothes to Die For: Lucy Siegle Slave to Fashion: Safia Minney Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes: Dana Thomas
#FASHREV 2022 MONEY|FASHION|POWER The mainstream fashion industry is built upon the exploitation of labour and natural resources. Wealth and power are concentrated in the hands of a few, and growth and profit are rewarded above all else. Big brands and retailers produce too much too fast, and manipulate us into a toxic cycle of overconsumption. Meanwhile, the majority of people that make our clothes are not paid enough to meet their basic needs, and already feel the impacts of the climate crisis – which the fashion industry fuels. As global citizens, we all have the power to take action. Now is the time to rise up together for a regenerative, restorative and revolutionary new fashion system. Now is the time for a Fashion Revolution
Basics For those who are new to the idea of shopping for fashion second-hand, we’re presenting some basics that are easy to find at an op-shop or online second-hand seller near you!
Jeans Look for classic brands and fits. Levi’s are a firm favourite. Look for denim that is well worn, try to find 100% cotton for a classic long-wearing style. If you’re looking for some stretch in your denim be aware that elastane isn’t biodegradable, so when it comes time to compost your cotton jeans, you will have to remove it from your compost when the cotton has broken down.
A worn in Tee
There is nothing more comfortable than a well-worn vintage cotton t-shirt. THINK ABOUT YOUR VALUES MOTIVATORS WHEN YOU SHOP FOR YOURS. Animal Welfare and Compassion: Look for tees with animal welfare messages that support your causes. Environmental Sustainability: Be on the lookout for hemp and linen tees that are biodegradable and offer a unique textured fabric handle. Alternatively, you might want to hunt for tees with environmental protection messages. Simplicity and streamlined lifestyle: Shop for your second-hand tees online using apps like eBay or Depop. You can sort by brand, colour, size, and fabric. Often 100% cotton tees are structurally stable and can be easily washed in your washing machine. Perfect for those who are busy investing their time into other pursuits. Social Equality: Carefully select the op-shop or charity that you purchase your tee from. Choose well and you can support wonderful social causes. You might level up your tee game by choosing one with a message that supports your goals. 33
UNIQUE BAGS You will find a vast collection of second-hand bags and purses on offer on second-hand markets or your local charity store. Whether you’re seeking to invest in a leather option or looking for something vegan-friendly, there will be something to suit your needs if you look hard enough. When purchasing a second-hand bag consider taking all the things you would normally keep in your bag along with you. Test it out to see if everything fits and that zippers, buttons, and handles are functional. Don’t buy a bag that doesn’t suit your carrying needs. Buying the wrong one might result in breakages, or you won’t use it and it will clutter up your closet.
Sunglasses It can be a challenge to find sustainably made sunglasses that suit your face and shopping online is often the only option. Buying second-hand means that you can play around with fashion-forward frames that will suit your face and your style. Check the labels on your second-hand sunglasses to see what UV protection they offer (it should say something like UVA & UVB protection or UV400). If you’re unsure about the UV protection of your second-hand sunnies you might want to take them to the optometrists to ask about testing their protection level.
When it comes to stains, time is of the essence. The sooner you can act the more likely you are to have success with your stain removal! Stains come in a couple of forms, water-based or grease-based. Water-based stains might include drinks (coffee, wine, tea), body fluids (sweat, blood, vomit), some foods (i.e. beetroot, turmeric) Grease based stains might include cosmetics (foundation, lipstick, sunscreen, deodorant), food (fatty or oily foods), and grease. When you’re tackling stains it’s important to consider the type of stain and the type of fabric. Greasy stains will require some kind of solvent, while watery based stains will likely respond to detergents. Greasy stains should be treated ASAP, depending on the fabric and its washing instructions, you might choose to use a grease-fighting detergent (especially if the stain is fresh). If you happen to spill grease on your clothes while cooking using some dishwashing liquid right away may prevent it from setting. Some people choose to use absorption methods, placing baby powder, cornstarch, or bicarbonate of soda on the stain to absorb the grease. Stains that
This section gives you top tips on how to care about the things you already own. As this Issue spans Fashion Revolution week, we choose to care about our clothes!
are set might require more effort. You can choose to use commercially available cleaners, soaking methods (many suggest hot water soaking, this will be dependent on the fabric and the type of stain). It can be handy to have a grease targeting cleaning agent in your laundry arsenal, and some absorbent power (corn-starch, baby power, or bicarb). This means you’re ready to take on greasy spills in a pinch! Unless you’re some kind of spillproof god/ess there’s a good chance that you’ve encountered everyday water-based spills like coffee, tea, or the dreaded beetroot stains. The good news is that most of these can be fixed quickly. If you treat your stain as soon as it happens, it should vanish without a trace. Often with just a quick rinse or a soak. Stains that have set can provide a challenge. These may need to be treated (as per cleaning instructions) with storebought cleaners or home remedies. You will find a lot of stains can be treated with bicarbonate of soda, lemon juice, borax or vinegar. These may be used to spot clean, scrub or soak depending on stains and fabric. They also make the basis of great home-made cleaning products so adding them to your pantry will offer many benefits. 35
Cleaning on the go
Cleaning on the go. If you are prone to spills or have kids in tow. It can be handy to have a cleaning kit in your bag. Keep some bicarb in a small container, a littlebit of degreasing detergent (you will find that dishwashing liquid can be good on most food spills), and a soft absorbent cloth.
You will come across stains that will not budge no matter how you treat them. These may need professional help or chemical-based interventions. Check with a professional cleaner for help on valuable items you can’t fix at home. If you’re having trouble removing stains, some commercial bleaching or colour-run removal products may be the solution. These may not appeal to people living a low-tox life but they can save valuable clothing items.
Can't remove it?
Why not hide or highlight?
If there’s a stubborn stain that won’t budge you might want to highlight it by adding some embroidery around it, making it a feature or use the same colour thread to blend it in. If this isn’t your thing you might want to consider having the item altered to hide the stain or wear an accessory to cover it (badge, patch, or scarf). You can also choose to wear the item as a base layer and cover stains with layers of clothing. If it’s not salvageable you can wear it at home or use the fabric to make something that you will love and enjoy.
TRIED AND TESTED
We’re bringing back an old favourite here at Sustainability in Style, our tried and tested series. Many years ago this was a regular feature, and these posts on our website still get hits. We won’t be sharing brand names of items that we try as we don’t do sponsored content here, just a general rundown on some of the sustainable living ideas out there that you might not (yet) have tried for yourself. In this issue we are looking at tooth tablets.
WHAT ARE TOOTH TABLETS? Tooth tablets are replacements for packaged toothpaste or dental care products. They offer the same tooth-cleaning functions as your regular toothpaste without the waste. Tooth tablets are for sale from many different brands, and we’ve tried a few here at Sustainability in Style HQ. The ones we are currently reviewing are from a bulk-foods store, so they were a zero-waste purchase. THINGS TO CONSIDER Before embarking on a new dental routine it’s important to talk over the options with your dentist. There are lots of things to consider when it comes to tooth care. Some tooth tablets have fluoride, an additive that helps to protect against tooth decay. The tablets we have trialled have fluoride. Some people choose to avoid this so if this is you, then check the ingredients before purchasing. Many tooth tablets have abrasive cleaners like sodium bicarbonate in them, this can wear on tooth enamel. Please speak with your dentist as to whether or not abrasives are suitable for your teeth.
TRIED AND TESTED FIRST IMPRESSIONS Honestly, tooth tablets are a bit of a weird experience. Switching out the socially accepted tube of toothpaste for some strange tablets kind of made me feel like I was up to something suspicious. I tend to cart my toothbrush and toothpaste to work if I have a long day ahead of me, so (even though it’s weird) a pill takes up much less space in my bag. The tablets give you the added bonus of finding a cute little box or jar to keep them in on your bathroom vanity. You don’t get that option with a tube of toothpaste. HOW TO USE Using a toothpaste tablet takes some getting used to. To use it, you bite into the tablet and as it mixes with your saliva or water in your mouth, it begins to take on a more ‘toothpaste’ like feel. Once you start to brush, the feeling is much the same as regular tubed toothpaste. You will find that there is less foam from a toothpaste tablet. This might not be a surprise if you’ve used natural toothpaste in the past, as many of them lack the foaming surfactants (like sodium lauryl sulphate) used in mainstream toothpaste brands. Surfactants are mainly added for their foaming properties rather than cleaning power and can be an irritant to some people. Your teeth are cleaned by other (abrasive) ingredients and the act of brushing so don’t fret about the lack of foam!
FEEL After brushing my teeth feel great! They are dentist-clean but don’t feel that ‘squeaky’ clean or dry mouthed that I might feel when using regular commercial toothpaste. I have a dental allergy to an ingredient in toothpaste that causes mouth ulcers and makes my lips peel. This has occurred with both mainstream and natural toothpaste including some brands of tooth tablets, and it is not linked to fluoride. It is not a common allergy, and the doctor has not been able to pinpoint the specific ingredient causing it yet as most toothpaste brands don’t offer the list of all ingredients. The brand of tooth tablets I am currently trialling is still in early stages, so I’m not sure yet if it will be a long-term option for me. But for all the rest of the people out there without uncommon toothpaste allergies, I highly recommend tooth tablets as a zero-waste option. COST It cost me $8.00 AUD for 74 tablets purchased from the bulk-food store. The suggestion is to use one tablet for each time you brush, so this supply would last a little over a month. You can always experiment with using half a tablet for each brush if you prefer but talk to your dentist about your needs. Some sellers of toothpaste tablets will offer subscription services where supply is sent automatically to you. Research to see what suits you best.
TRIED AND TESTED TOOTH TABLETS AND YOUR VALUES Environmental Sustainability: For those who are passionate about the planet it is easy to see the benefits of switching to tooth tablets as they can reduce or eliminate packaging (depending on what brand you buy). Social Equality: If you’re passionate about social equality look for a brand of tooth tablets that are giving back to society with each purchase. Animal Welfare and Compassion: Many beauty and hygiene companies are linked to animal cruelty. Look for a tooth tablet brand that offers products free from animal cruelty and ingredients. Simplicity and Streamlined lifestyle: Find a brand that will offer you subscription-based tooth tablet delivery schedules and you will never have to think about buying toothpaste again.
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'Every dollar you spend, is a vote for the kind of world you want.' 41
We have a very special interview for our Sustainably Stylish Leaders series that’s landed just in time for Fashion Revolution. We are delighted to be sharing a Q&A with Louise Visser, Founder and Director of Sinerji Clothing. SIS: Hi Louise, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to share with us. Can you start off by telling us a little more about your sustainable fashion venture? LV: Sinerji began as a brand in 2007. At the time I was a silversmith creating one-off pieces. I wanted a change from the challenges of working alone and being everything in my little business (the creator/manufacturer/sales manager etc.). I saw fashion as a way to engage with teams while also addressing social and environmental issues. Fashion also appealed to my practical side. Clothing is something we utilise every day; I loved the idea of using everyday items to facilitate change.
Sustainably Stylish Leaders
On my first trip to Thailand, that year, my travel partner had to urgently return home due to a death in the family. I found myself on my own, on my first overseas trip. I had been told there were amazing fabrics up in the north of Thailand and planned on heading that way. I met some Thai artists up in the very North of Thailand. They were preparing for an upcoming art exhibition. We spent many days painting together and with very little language in common, connecting through art. I participated in this exhibition. I had other contacts in the area, but it was through these lifelong friendships that I was introduced to the teams that we are currently working with. These teams are village-based and largely from the Karen Thai tribe. The fabrics that we work with in this area are handloom and help support the heritage of these people, as well as bring together community. We still work with the same group, but have also added 3 42
more teams from the area and 2 teams in India. SIS: What are some of the challenges that you’ve faced producing ethically and sustainably? LV: Our initial challenges were vast! Designing, producing and successfully bringing to market a fashion label in this highly competitive industry as a small business is challenging enough. Producing Ethically and sustainably means adding further requirements to what is sourced. So the pool of suppliers becomes smaller, and the search for the perfect partnerships a bit more intensive. There are also limitations with regards to fabric types, dyes and a whole range of other things when addressing issues. It can be quite a journey getting everything to line up. We found some groups that we really loved as far as social ethics went, but had issues with their access to fabrics that met our environmental requirements and vice versa. Further to that, once the designs are bought to market, finding customers that are willing to invest in them and understand the difference in slow and fast fashion can be a challenge too. When we first began, the terms ‘slow fashion’ and ‘Fair Trade’ were not really coined yet. When you have lower mark-ups to allow for higher wages and better quality fabrics that can also mean less budget for marketing. Putting this side by side with fast fashion brands can really squeeze you. It takes some time to find your people on both ends. We are happy to say these limitations are changing as demand and awareness is growing. There is still lots of room for growth though, and definitely still a lot of challenges for those brands paving the way. Sinerji does rely on passionate and supportive consumers to help us spread the word and start discussions. We believe these challenges have added to how rewarding it feels to have our products continue to make it to the market year after year. It’s totally worth it. SIS: We know you use bamboo in your garments and wanted to know more about how bamboo fibres can be produced sustainably? LV: Bamboo has been produced in awful ways and has gotten a bad wrap sometimes over the years. It can be chemically intensive, destructive to natural
forests and discharge can be very damaging to waterways. The only reason this happens is for cost-cutting purposes. For us, this reputation is quite frustrating. As a crop bamboo is fabulous environmentally. It requires little water or pesticides and gives back nutrients to the soil. It’s not the fibre that is the issue; it is the type of harvest and how it is produced. We look at the bamboo’s origin, check that it is processed using a lyocell process (which uses less and low toxin chemicals derived from salt) and a closed-loop manufacturing process, thus a more sustainable alternative to the rayon viscose process. Closed-loop means that the effluent is always reused and reprocessed, nothing ever gets released into waterways or soils. It’s a great system for recycling water too. Other fabrics such as Tencel are processed in the same way, (lyocell, closed-loop etc) but have a better reputation. This is only because Tencel is actually a trademarked brand (owned by Lenzing), not a fibre. So all Tencel must be produced under that brand and via their process. Lenzing could not trademark bamboo, so bamboo has been open to the market for many different processing options. SIS: What’s it like to spend time with manufacturing teams that you’ve worked with for more than a decade? LV: We are so thrilled to continue to have good relations with our suppliers over the last 14 years. We have grown with them both personally and professionally. Many of our team members are like family. We are thrilled to see them grow and thrive. We have seen the impact of access to education and the outcomes that this provides through many team members seeing their children go off to university. This has added so much to these communities. The continuation of heritage practises in Northern Thailand such as natural dyeing and weaving has bought great joy to all involved and has a strong effect on bringing together the community. I always feel very privileged to be invited into these community spaces when I go to visit. Quality of life has improved with better health care and better housing facilities for many involved. We watched our young team in India claim back their father’s factory, floor-by-floor, one fair trade step at a time. Their father was badly deceived by an American fashion business and it nearly sent him broke. He managed to hold 43
onto the factory building and was subletting it to make a small income but gave up on the fashion industry. When we met his son and daughter they were very interested in creating a socially and environmentally sustainable framework and enter back into the fashion industry. They had already begun on a small scale on one floor of the factory. Ten years later and they have been able to generate enough business to now operate on all four floors. Their father has even begun a small line of his own again. It’s been so satisfying to watch them grow with us with good ethics at the core and to see their father’s faith restored in the industry. SIS: A little birdy shared an exciting titbit about you! You’ve done a TED talk! Care to share how this came about, how you felt, and what you shared? LV: We were encouraged to apply! It was not something I would have otherwise done as public speaking is not my favourite thing and I was knee-knockingly terrified (to say the least). What kept me going was the importance of our message and our journey (by then I had a business partner who had come on board, Alice). Mostly, what I wanted to share was why I felt the focus on profit as solely numbers was misplaced, and how if we focus on profit as a diverse equation that includes the empowerment of people, we may even end up with a better end product. And certainly more life satisfaction for all involved. We touched on situations like the factory conditions in Bangladesh with no idea that the Rana Plaza collapse would occur only weeks after our talk and spur a global discussion that was well overdue. SIS: What would you say have been some of the highlights of your sustainable fashion journey? LV: I didn’t really have any idea of the extensive journey I was about to embark on way back when I first became involved. I didn’t have a clear idea whether I could pull it off either! My first inspiration was to share a hope that business could include respect for each other, a passion for what you do and whole growth based on collaboration rather than competition. The biggest highlight is moving through the uncertainty of whether that’s even possible, to knowing it’s possible. I know I have helped to give my own children permission to dream. Alongside that is the joy of watching an industry grow. In the beginning, it felt very much like we were a bit alone in the dark and it was very easy to have lots of mo-
ments doubting whether what we were doing was making any difference. Seeing the slow fashion movement grow and evolve has been a huge highlight. I can see the small brands are collectively having an impact on the whole industry. There is pressure for the big brands to make change. Bring it on! SIS: What would be your top tip for people wishing to start a sustainable fashion brand or make their current label more ethical/sustainable? LV: Make a wish list, but don’t let it turn into eco overwhelm. Business owners have opportunities to make changes each day, there is so much that we could do. All journeys are best taken one step at a time. SIS: Care to tell us about your print designing process? LV: The print process is something that comes really naturally to me, so I find it the most difficult to describe! I’ve been sketching, drawing, and painting my surrounding environment for most of my life, ever since I could hold a pencil (and during my young years possibly in unwelcome places, like house walls). I’ve always found contentment by observing my surroundings and expressing my observations through art. So that’s basically what I do, constantly observe my environment, and then translate it into sketches that become prints. I love using Australian flora and fauna in our fabric designs.
SIS: As we move towards Fashion Revolution, what wisdom would you like to share about creating a more sustainable fashion production system? LV: I was really excited to see “Who made my fabric” become part of the conversation recently. While “who made my clothes’ is very relevant, it is common to only think of the stitching teams. This is an important part of the process, but only one part. It’s so good to see this extended to the teams who made the fabric that makes up our garments. It’s always been important to us to look at the whole process as much as possible. Maybe this is has been at the forefront for me because the first people I met in our supply chain were the fabric weavers of Northern Thailand. The stories they told me of the effects the chemical dyes had on them and their families really stuck with me. The difference a living wage can make for a fabric producer is so very important to consider. So are the environmental effects on the waterways of the people creating our fabrics. There is no point in having money for living expenses if the environment we live in is no longer habitable. It is also important to take care of the health of the people who are making our fabrics. The constant ingestion of chemicals has damaging effects to the health of the people who make our clothes. I’m excited to see more detailed questions being asked. SIS: What keeps you motivated to continue your sustainability mission? LV: The direct difference I can see it is making 45
to the teams involved, the change I see evolving in customers and the growth I see within myself. This is a constant motivator. I’m excited about the change in perception about what fashion is. Once considered a frivolous venture without any heart or soul, there is a rise in the understanding and support for fashion being a loved venture created by artisans who excel in their field and share loved art with the world. Fashion is being viewed as a possible conduit for change. Pieces of loved art are rarely worn, experienced or discarded without thought. Expressions of love for the planet and respect for humanity are now a new growing trend. I’m excited to be a part of that. SIS: What’s your favourite sustainable living or environmental quote? LV: Hmmm! Just about every single word David Attenborough has ever said works well for me. Aside from that, I like these two in combination; “Be the change you want to see in the world” (who said this is under constant debate). I love this simple quote as it invokes action for change. If there are environmental changes I want to see or social changes, I’d like to think I’m doing what I can to implement them into my life rather than waiting for others to action them. We all have a vocation that can enact change. 'Every dollar you spend, is a vote for the kind of world you want.' (LN Smith), I love this one as it encourages support for change. Every dollar we give supports a business to continue to do what they do. We are consumers. Even when we are trying not to be. We have an opportunity to make choices with our consumption that can support both positive and negative change. I like to challenge myself to think deeply about whom I’m giving my dollars to and make sure where possible they align with my ideals.
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Eric and the butterfly This summer, we visited Butterfly Hill in Nambour QLD and learned about attracting butterflies to our garden. We have lots of citrus trees in our yard here at HQ and discovered plenty of caterpillars on them! Feeling empowered by the new knowledge, we decided to share our home with some (very hungry) caterpillars to help them make it safely to the butterfly stage. Our very first caterpillar was named Eric (after the author of the book 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar), and we were lucky enough to witness Eric emerge from its chrysalis and become a glorious butterfly!
SEE ERIC TRANSFORM
SEE BUTTERFLY HILL
Thinking about keeping caterpillars? Here are some points to consider:
Are you allowed to
Check to see if there are any specifics about keeping caterpillars in your local area. Things to check are, 1) it’s ok to keep insects in your neighbourhood, 2) if there are pest species to look out for, and 3) what time of the year you should be on the lookout for caterpillars and butterflies.
Identification When you know what time of the year to look for caterpillars, look for them near your home. Caterpillars eat A LOT so you will need to be nearby their favourite food source. You will need to identify the caterpillar (Google Image search can help with this).
YOU WILL NEED
Local Help Check to see what services are available in your local area for caterpillar keeping. There might be places like our local butterfly house, or you might find online groups (check Facebook) that can help you as you learn.
A secure enclosure for your caterpillar A container that holds water (to place leaves and branches in) with a covering to prevent caterpillar drowning (we found that a luffa sponge in a glass of water prevented caterpillar drowning and held branches snug) To find the caterpillar’s food source nearby (they are very hungry) A safe space for butterflies to emerge without wing damage
Understanding Caterpillar Stages Your caterpillar will go through several stages of eating and shedding before it creates its chrysalis. To get to this stage your caterpillar will need lots of food. Place leaves and branches in a water source (ensure that this is covered so that caterpillars can’t fall in and drown) and replace them with fresh leaves regularly. When your caterpillar is ready to form its chrysalis, it will get very active and may try to escape. It is trying to find the right place to attach for its transition. One of our caterpillars escaped and pupated on a cord. Ensure your enclosure is safe and there are plenty of sticks for the transition. When the butterfly emerges, it will need space to expand and harden its wings. Ensure they have plenty so their wings form correctly, and they can fly. At this stage, your butterfly will be ready for release.
READ BOOKS WE'RE LOVING THIS ISSUE ORGANSED BY YOUR VALUES MOTIVATORS
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY MOTIVATORS A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.
David Attenborough (2020)
Elizabeth Kolbert (2015)
SIMPLICITY AND STREAMLINED LIFESTYLE MOTIVATORS The LifeChanging Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
Marie Kondo (2014)
Greg McKeown (2021)
ANIMAL COMPASSION AND WELFARE MOTIVATORS Vegan Style: Your Plant-Based Guide to Fashion + Beauty + Home + Travel
The Ethics of What We Eat
Jim Mson and Sascha Camilli Singer You will notice coloured stars throughout our magazinePeter issues. These colours correlate back (2007) with each of our (2019) eight tools and are provided to help you identify which of these tools support your sustainable living journey. For those EQUALITY who are newMOTIVATORS (or might need a reminder), these tools are harnessed throughout SOCIAL our website and form a key part of our sustainable self-coaching strategy within the planner. These eightHalf tools are suggested throughout yourThe year of self-coaching during daily The Sky: Broken planning and weekly How check-in’s to Change as a way to reduce eco-overwhelm Ladder: How and burnout. the World Inequality Changes the Way We Think, Live and Die Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (2010) Keith Payne
BOOKS FOR YOUR SUSTAINABLE SELF Phosphorescence: On awe, wonder & things that sustain you when the world goes dark
Setting Boundaries: Care for Yourself and Stop Being Controlled by Others
Julia Baird (2020)
Dr. Rebecca Ray (2021) 52
Our next Issue Will arrive at the end ofJune 42