Sustainability has become a bit of a buzz word lately. You probably think it has something to do with the environment, but what does it really mean to shop sustainably?
To me, shopping sustainably means shopping with a conscience. It means asking questions about where a product was made, who made it and with what materials?
It can be overwhelming trying to navigate your way toward the most sustainable choices, and how do we even know that what we are being told is the whole truth?
Thankfully, there are a few easy ways to ensure that you are taking steps in the right direction.
Here are three ways you can shop more sustainably right now -
BUY LOCAL ~ yep, seems pretty simple doesn’t it? Just choosing to buy from your local makers and producers (farm gate) is a more sustainable way to shop. Why? Because you’re cutting down on carbon emissions released when products are transported from one place to another. This is particularly relevant to our fresh food choices. By supporting local farmers and eating seasonal produce, you are supporting the production of crops that are appropriate for our environment as well.
Supporting locally owned businesses in general, means sustaining your local community. It stimulates the local economy and your money stays in your town.
BUY HANDMADE ~ handmade products are not only unique and special, they are also a more sustainable way to shop. Generally speaking when we buy handmade, an item has been made using just that, someone’s hands. It uses much less energy than a mass production assembly line.
People also value handmade items more than mass produced, they often see them as ‘artisan’ and take pride in their possession. In doing so, they ultimately take better care of them and keep them for longer. Not to mention, the quality of handmade is most certainly better than any mass produced factory made item.
BUY SECONDHAND ~ buying second hand might seem like an obvious choice, but for many this option is met with reluctance. I can assure you, buying something second hand, doesn’t mean its second best! As soon as an item leaves a retail store it becomes ‘second hand’ regardless of whether that item gets used or not. And think of the money you’ll be saving!
Preloved clothing is a great example of how we can re-use what others no longer want or need.
‘If one million women bought their next item of clothing second hand instead of new, we would save 6 million kg of carbon pollution from entering the atmosphere’
Andrea Hurley has over 20 years experience in the field of retail and Graphic Design. Andrea has a keen eye for unique, quirky design and strives to bring her customer only quality products sourced mostly from independent designers and makers. A keen designer, maker and crafter herself, Andrea is also the creative heart behind hand made business Bird & Blossom. (www.birdandblossom.com.au) and A Hurley Design (www.ahurleydesign.com.au). Yep, life is busy, but she wouldn't have it any other way!