Tips for Sustainable Living with Emma Waight
Ethical fashion blogger extraordinaire Emma Waight, of Oxfam Fashion endorsed blog emmawaight.co.uk, is on a mission to change the way we shop.
As a fashion student, Emma was disappointed by the mixed messages about ethics – and how hard it was to know if you were making the right choices. So the yoga-lover and avid teapot collector decided to start blogging to share more information and prove ethical fashion was not “boring or uninteresting”.
Since then, perceptions have changed, with both consumers and brands now more interested in how and what clothes are made of – something Emma predicts will soon not just be a lifestyle choice, but the main driver for fashion businesses.
“The Rana Plaza disaster [where more than 1000 people died after a building containing clothing factories collapsed in Bangladesh last year] was just awful. I think that has made a lot of people really question where their clothes are coming from.”
Emma’s tips for Sustainable Living
This Friday is World Environment Day 2015 – a day to celebrate the environment and take global action. With this is mind, we asked Emma to share her top tips for sustainable living. Read on to discover her five simple ways to green your daily routine and help care for the environment.
1. Wear it, love it, pass it on
– a mantra very familiar here at Braintree.
Trends such as ‘swishing’ are becoming really popular. “You organise a gathering and each person brings a handful of clothes they no longer wear so you can swap. It’s a really fun night and means your old clothes find a new lease of life.”
2. Buying second-hand
If you can try to buy furniture and homewares second-hand. “You can buy pre-loved solid wood furniture at a snip of the price of new pieces, saving you money and saving the environment from unnecessary wastage. I personally believe it’s also healthier to have these things in your home, rather than new products that could have been treated with chemicals.”
3. Avoid over-packaged food
“Buying loose veg in the supermarket is often cheaper than the pre-packaged options. Also don’t go reaching for those plastic bags unless you really need to. I’d bag up tomatoes but put a broccoli in my trolley as it is. You’ll also find stores like Whole Foods and local indies selling dry food stuffs (cereal, nuts, grains) by weight. Buy in bulk using paper bags and decant into old, sterilised jars at home.”
4. Borrow when possible
“Before buying something that you only expect to use once or a few times, see if you can borrow it. You can borrow wine glasses for parties from many supermarkets, tools can be hired by the day, or perhaps you can borrow something from a friend or neighbour?”
5. Shop locally
Emma’s top tip for people wanting to be more sustainable? Shop at local independent stores and boutiques. “You might have to look a little harder -often they aren’t on the high street – but usually the smaller stores will have independent labels with ethical or sustainable messages to them. This also supports the local community and it’s good to be thoughtful about where you are spending your money.”