Whether you’re aware of it or not, every little decision you make sends a message to the world. From the things you buy, consume, do or say; it's all a reflection of the type of world you want to live in.
Buying spinach packaged in a plastic bag? You’re sending a message that says you’re happy with that packaging. Therefore, the spinach company is going to keep packing it the same way thinking consumers are satisfied (don’t ask me why spinach is the first example that came to my head- maybe because it's something I struggle to find plastic-free)!
Buying clothes from fast fashion companies like Pretty Girl Clothing (or whatever the company is)? You’re saying you like their clothes even though the company is compromising on quality, killing the environment, paying workers fair wages- as long as it’s cheap. Therefore they’re going to keep cutting corners to make the same low quality garments to send to all the consumers buying them.
But it’s cheap and I can’t afford anything else?
First of all, buying something that’s cheap and that you know doesn’t align with your values makes you feel icky and not very nice about the purchase anyway.
And second of all, there are affordable alternatives out there that don’t force you to compromise on quality or sustainability.
The alternatives could include buying spinach from your local organic produce store or farmers market that have fresh produce you can put straight in your own bag.
But what clothes can I buy, I don't want to spend lots and Pretty Girl Clothing is so cheap?
Buy vintage or second hand where possible! Most vintage pieces are high in quality, as they’ve managed to stand the test of time. This option is also super sustainable considering when you buy something second hand, you’re diverting it from ending up in landfill.
Although they may be pricier, you can also invest in high quality new pieces from sustainable companies every now and then, they’ll last you for years because of how they’re designed and if it’s a style and piece that you’ll wear all of the time, then it's a good investment! As opposed to a top from that fast fashion store that falls apart after a couple of wears, meaning you can end up spending the same amount of money anyway because you then have to replace it.
When enough people start choosing the alternatives, these other companies start to notice and are pressured to make changes in accordance with consumer trends. For example, the spinach company will notice people aren’t buying their product and stop using plastic packaging (or risk going out of business) and the fast fashion site will be forced to start being more conscious about their processes and make more ethical and sustainable clothing going forward.
So take note next time you make a decision; what message are you sending to businesses, to yourself and to the universe? Make sure it’s one that aligns with your values and one that you feel good about. Start living consciously!