How to be Sustainable in Style

It may come as no surprise to you that our Earth is in danger. Global warming is increasing at an alarming rate (hello… why is it still 35 degrees in Sydney in April?) and the damage from things such as plastic, toxic chemicals and mass production are taking their toll. As consumers, we have the power to make a difference through our living and spending habits. With Earth Day around the corner, here are some reasons why you should make the switch and how…

 IMAGE: reformation

IMAGE: reformation


1. Plastic is evil

Yes, it’s recyclable, but did you know it can take a plastic bottle 450 years to break down? Have a look in your bathroom at how many products are packaged in plastic. Do any of them contain microbeads as well? Used in exfoliating products and toothpastes, these nasty micro plastic pieces go down our drains and into our oceans – and into the mouths of our marine life. Whilst other countries have banned it, Australia still allows for the use of microbeads in products and the government has only endorsed a voluntary phase out in the industry.

We recommend: until laws are changed, look out for brands like Eyes of Horus, Sodashi,  and Dr. Bronner’s who use eco-friendly bio-degradable packaging and have no nasties in them.

 

 Eyes of Horus Lipstick Artemis

Eyes of Horus Lipstick Artemis

 Sodashi Body Balance Salt Therapy Exfoliant

Sodashi Body Balance Salt Therapy Exfoliant

 Dr. Bronner's All-One Toothpaste

Dr. Bronner's All-One Toothpaste

 

2. The production of one cotton t-shirt can use up to 2700 litres of water

No, we aren’t kidding. The Aral Lake in Central Asia is almost completely dried up from being used as irrigation for things like cotton farming. According to Fairtrade, cotton production also accounts for $2 billion worth of chemical pesticides a year. So, what are our options?

We recommend: Organic cotton – it is made without toxic chemicals and uses natural pesticides. While it uses more water, it is actually rain-water and not irrigated so it isn’t depleting natural resources. Choose organic cotton products from brands like Kowtow who use natural dyes to prevent more toxic chemicals entering into our environment!

Bamboo is another great alternative. Unfortunately, many bamboo-based fabrics are still made with toxic chemicals but those that have been certified guarantee eco-friendly manufacturing processes. So, if you’re buying bamboo clothes, choose brands like Bamboo Body who have Oeko-tex Certification, meaning the fabric is free from chemicals and pesticides.

 Kowtow Lines Shirt

Kowtow Lines Shirt

 Bamboo Body Taylor Top

Bamboo Body Taylor Top

 

3. ‘Natural’ doesn’t mean sustainable

Many companies are tapping in on the word ‘natural’. Don’t be fooled though – many are only using a few non-renewable natural substances whilst still pumping the products full of chemicals. The rise in demand for more of these natural resources has increased farming and mining which not only depletes them but uses more pesticides too.

We recommend: Dr Hauschka, Burt’s Bees and Kora Organics to protect your skin and the environment.

 Dr. Hauschka Revitalising Day Cream

Dr. Hauschka Revitalising Day Cream

 Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm

Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm

 Kora Organics Noni Glow Body Oil

Kora Organics Noni Glow Body Oil

 

4. We are running out of landfill

Every year, Australians send 500,000 tonnes of clothing to landfill. In fact, we are the second biggest consumers of textile products, right after the U.S. (which says a lot, considering how much smaller our population is in comparison to most nations). With fast fashion being cheap to produce and purchase, it usually has a shorter lifespan. Consequentially, our society has developed a throw-away culture that has become seriously harmful to our environment.

Most of these products are also made with synthetic materials such as polyester, full of toxic chemicals and do not breakdown. Maybe you send your excess clothes to charity? Did you know around only 15% of what is sent to charities is actually sold with the rest ending up in landfill?

We recommend: shop less, repair more and invest in better quality products that aren’t made of synthetic materials. Shop from brands like Reformation  and  KITX who are committed to sustainable practices, using eco-friendly and recycled manmade materials.

 reformation persimmon Dress

reformation persimmon Dress

 KITX MINI SKIRT

KITX MINI SKIRT

 

5. Many cosmetics contain chemicals killing our sea life

Keep an eye out for ingredients such as P-phenylendiamine (found in dark hair colouring and lipsticks), cosmetic preservatives BHA & BHT, Dibutyl Phthalate (found in nail polishes), Triclocan (used in skin cleanser & deodorant) and Diethanolamine (found in most cosmetics & skincare). These nasty chemicals have been directly linked to issues such as genetic mutation and death in sea life. Try to read to the ingredients before you purchase and help keep these chemicals out of our waters.

We recommend: Opt for brands who are doing their bit like Kester Black, Black Chicken Remedies and Original Mineral.

 Kester Black Nail Polish

Kester Black Nail Polish

 Black Chicken Axilla Deodorant Paste

Black Chicken Axilla Deodorant Paste

 Original Mineral Maintain the Mane Conditioner

Original Mineral Maintain the Mane Conditioner

 
Story by Paige Murphy.