Our Eco-Bucket List For A Greener 2020

Now is the best time to start the new year off with some excellent, good for the planet, intentions. We have eleven ideas to help you get started on an eco-bucket list for 2020.

1. Ditch the one-use plastic

Now is the time to go all out and load up on reusable shopping bags, reusable takeaway coffee cups, paper straws and more. Every piece of plastic you avoid using is one less piece of plastic polluting our planet.

2. Take the train

Whenever you can, book a train ride instead of a plane this year. Not only are you saving the planet from more unnecessary carbon emissions, but you also get to explore the world from a different perceptive out the window of a train. 

3. Build a sustainable wardrobe

Give yourself a new look this year by investing in a sustainable new look. Choose ethically made clothes from brands you trust. By ditching the fast fashion pieces for clothes that are made to last, and are made with minimal impact on our planet, you can look great and feel great about your choice. 

4. March for the Climate

Join a climate march this year and make a stand for the future of our planet.  

5. Switch to renewable energy

Consider changing your energy supplier to one that provides green energy from renewable sources. Alternatively, investigate the option to install solar panels and produce your own electricity from our ultimate renewable resource – the sun. 

6. Get on your bike

Make it a goal on your eco-bucket list to walk or bike to any destination within a few miles/kilometres from your home. Not only is this better for the local environment, but it is also fantastic for your health. 

7. Grow a garden for the bees

Bees are crucial pollinators who are having a hard time surviving in our changing world. Help them out and encourage them into your garden by avoiding the use of pesticides, having water available in the garden, and keeping plants such as lavender, honeysuckle and foxgloves.

8. Learn how to cook fantastic vegan or vegetarian dishes

By removing meat from some of your meals, you can reduce your environmental footprint by a significant amount. Try out some new recipes, invite some friends over and enjoy a change!

9. Start buying local and organic produce

Find out where to buy produce from local growers, by visiting their farm or their stall at a farmer’s market. Learn more about what fruit and vegetables are in season and plan your meals accordingly. Buying local seasonal fruit and vegetables reduces the distance our food must travel and there-by the carbon footprint of our food. As a bonus, local and organic produce is often much fresher and higher in nutritional value. 

10. Visit a national park

National parks are unique places set aside by our governments to ensure the protection of vulnerable wildlife and ecosystems. Support these national parks by visiting and learning more about your nation’s land and wildlife. 

11. Book a holiday off the beaten track

Skip the most obvious tourist spots that are drowning in tourists and find a new location to explore. Stay in a locally family-owned b&b, eat at a locally-run restaurant and take a tour with people who grew up in the area. This way, you will get to know the local culture resulting in a more authentic and enriching experience rather than feeling like just another tourist. 

2020, the beginning of a new decade, is an excellent time to start thinking more about the impact our lifestyles have on the planet. While having an eco-bucket list of eco-intentions is a step in the right direction, acting on these intentions is the crucial step. By turning these intentions into actions, together we can make a giant leap forward for the health of our planet this decade. 

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. 

– Chinese proverb

Is This The Decade We Finally Quit Fast Fashion?

The last decade has been a time of increasing awareness of what we put in our bodies. We have woken up to the fact that many mass-produced fast foods and drinks are simply junk to our bodies. We hope that in this next decade, we will, likewise, wake up to the harm that fast fashion is causing. 

To begin with, we think it is time we started to see fast fashion as the clothing equivalent of junk food. The Fast fashion industry pumps out junk clothing like McDonald’s churns out hamburgers. Fast fashion provides the means for us to fill our wardrobes with cheap clothing that promises to fulfil our desire to be fashionable. Much of this ‘junk clothing’ is made of cheaply produced material that is high in plastic and toxins. There is nothing of lasting value in these clothes, and our addiction to buying them is not sustainable or good for us or the planet. Therefore, isn’t it time we quit fast fashion for good?

Junk Fashion

Like junk food advertising, fast fashion advertising makes us crave their products by selling us on the idea that we need them. Fast fashion advertising has perfected the art of creating a desire for new clothing with each new fashion season. Fast fashion brands then meet this imaginary need with an endless supply of cheap, easy to buy clothing. In this way, the Fast fashion industry gets us addicted to buying junk clothing that gives little satisfaction past the initial rush of pleasure at purchase. 

Fast fashion trends are decided by the big brands who have the marketing budget to ensure that consumers buy whatever they happen to have in stock that season. In this way the large fashion brands dictate what we wear, similar to how McDonalds or Burger King decided on the portion size of our junk food and drinks. Fashion should be an exciting adventure of discovering something a bit different to what everyone else has, instead of what is trending on Instagram. 

The Cost To The Planet

While the fashion trends promoted by fast fashion brands are fleeting, the impact of our addiction to junk clothes lingers far longer. Our landfills are filling up with unwanted, almost new clothing. According to the EPA, the primary source of textiles in municipal solid waste (MSW) is discarded clothing; 16.9 million tons in 2017 alone. Worse, as many clothes are cheaply produced using synthetics derived from fossil fuels, they do not decay. Meaning mountains of unwanted clothing that is going to hang around our planet for a very long time. 

Fast fashion brands make clothes with cheap fabrics that are only good to wear a few times. This strategy keeps production costs low and ensures consumers will need to buy more clothes as they wear out continually. The cheaply produced synthetic fabric slowly falls apart when washed, releasing microplastics into the water. These tiny particles of plastic make their way into our oceans and rivers, spreading plastic to the deepest parts of the oceans and the highest glacier peaks slowly poisoning our planet and all who live on it.

Junk clothing pollution is not limited to the microplastics that pollute the water. In order to ensure the latest on-trend colours, manufacturers often use toxic textile dyes which also flows into waterways, poisoning them. The fashion industry is now one of the world’s largest polluters of water. 

The Human Cost

Our addiction to fast fashion also comes at a substantial human cost. In order to keep prices low, fast fashion brands choose to use factories in developing nations, where garment workers work in dangerous working environments, for low wages and without fundamental human rights. These garment workers suffer daily for our insatiable demand for junk clothing in many ways, including working with toxic chemical dyes that have devastating impacts on their physical and mental health.

It is not only humans suffering from our addiction to junk clothing. High demand for animal products such as leather and fur, mean animal welfare is often ignored in the endless pursuit of fashion. A recent scandal highlighted that some faux fur produced in China might, in fact, be real cat fur. The factories supplying the ‘faux fur’ had made a commercial decision to use real fur as the cost was much cheaper than making faux fur.

The impacts of our addiction to junk clothing are hard to ignore. Therefore, we hope this will be the decade that we finally see how harmful fast fashion is for us and the planet. We think 2020 is the time to ditch the junk clothing addiction for good. 

“Fashion fades, style is eternal.”

Yves Saint Laurent

Happy New Year from ILNI

“New beginnings are in order, and you are bound to feel some level of excitement as new chances come your way.” 

– Auliq Ice

Merry Christmas from The ILNI Team

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.”

– Andy Rooney

At The End of 2019, There Is One Question We Shouldn’t Need To Ask

Do you believe in climate change? Apparently, this question is still being asked, in 2019, at the end of the warmest decade on record. Greta Thunberg, in a recent interview, described her frustration at this question. As she explained, climate change is an undeniable fact, yet so many people, including some of our leaders, are still of the view that climate change is something you either believe in or you don’t. 

Perhaps this is why recent negotiations at the COP25 UN climate change conference in Madrid broke-down.  Despite meeting for two weeks, representatives of our nations were unable to make any concrete agreement on the rules of a global carbon market as laid out in the Paris Agreement. Instead, the summit exposed the massive divides that exist around climate change. Ignoring dire warnings from scientists and the protests of global citizens, our leaders showed they do not believe in climate change enough to enact the urgent measures we need to slow it. 

What is hard to comprehend is that nations who have personally and recently experienced the impact of climate change, Australia, Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia all refused to sign onto anything more than a watered-down set of carbon market rules. The US made it clear that climate change is not something they believe in when Donald Trump filed the paperwork to remove the United States from the Paris Agreement. Further, his administration has worked to block any provisions that might hold their nation responsible for climate change-related damages in the future. 

Do you believe in climate change? Flooding in St Mark's square Venice

Asking an adult if they still believe in Santa Claus would be an insult to their intelligence, so too is asking if someone believes in climate change.  Climate change is not a belief; it is real and is impacting the world in dramatic ways. One only needs to look at the images of St Mark’s square in Venice flooded in more than a metre of water or of the massive bush fires currently burning in Australia and Brazil to know that the world’s climate is changing, rapidly. 

According to the UN, there is at least one climate change-related disaster happening every week. This decade has been one of exceptional global heat, record retreating ice and rising sea levels.  Ocean heat is also at a record high, and the saltwater is 26% more acidic than at the start of the industrial era. Heatwaves and floods which used to be “once in a century” events are happening with alarming regularity. We have seen massive wildfires sweeping through parts of the Arctic, Brazil, the US and Australia. Vast areas of Asia, Africa and Australia are experiencing exceptional long-term drought conditions.  And, just this year, two record-breaking heatwaves spread across Europe in the summer. 

Climate change is not something one chooses to believe in. It is not a myth or a conspiracy theory. Our focus, and the focus of our leaders, must turn to solutions to this global problem. It is time to put aside the childish idea of believing or not, and admit we have a real problem that needs to be solved, together. As Antonio Guterres told leaders at the opening of the COP25 “We have the tools, we have the science, we have the resources. Let us show we also have the political will that people demand from us. The decisions we make here will ultimately define whether we choose a path of hope or a path of surrender”.  

Greta Thunberg also stood before these world leaders telling them ‘The climate emergency is not a future problem, it is something that is already affecting us, people are suffering and dying from it today.’. 

But, once again, world leaders in a summit dedicated to climate change, have still not grasped the urgency of this crisis. 

Our movements must be bigger than recycling and braver than holding signs. 

Rose Whipple, Teenage Climate Activist

Joyful, Feel-Good Books For the Christmas Break

When all the hustle and bustle of Christmas dinner is over, we love nothing better than to put our feet up and relax into a great book. For this Christmas season we wanted to share with you the books that have brought us joy. Here is our list of feel-good books to keep you warm and cosy this winter.

Laughter on the Stairs

Beverley Nichols 

This delightful book about life at Merry Hall is the perfect book to lose yourself in for a few hours. Having revived the gardens of the Georgian home he bought in book one, this book focuses on the renovation of the house, and the removal of the mistakes from the previous owners, Along the way the reader is introduced to unforgettable characters, Miss Emily, Our Rose and Marius. 

Delivering Happiness – A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose

Tony Hsieh

Delivering Happiness is the story of Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and how he created a corporate culture with a commitment to service and improving the lives of his employees, customers and vendors. Hsieh talks about how companies can achieve fantastic success by sticking to their core values, learning how to ‘deliver WOW through service’ and create a happiness culture that extends beyond the workplace.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

Mark Manson

A tell it like it is book by superstar blogger, Mark Manson, this is a refreshingly blunt book against the current cultural belief that positive thinking will fix everything. He cuts through the noise to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people. In his words ‘There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter’. This book will grab you with entertaining stories, ruthless humour and an alternative view on the pursuit of Happiness.

Julie and Julia – My Year of Cooking Dangerously

Julie Powell

A laugh-out-loud book following the author’s attempt to revive her life by cooking every recipe in Julia Child’s 1961 classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. A feast of a feel-good book that just may encourage you to spend a lot more time in your kitchen.

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

Dalai Lama XIV, Desmond Tutu, Douglas Carlton Abrams

No list of joyful books would be complete without this one. Two of the world’s greatest spiritual masters, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, share their wisdom about living with joy even in the face of adversity. The Book of Joy is filled with their stories, their teachings on happiness and the daily practises they follow. The core message from these two spiritual leaders is that to have joy yourself, you must bring joy to others.

Becoming

Michelle Obama

As the first African American woman to serve as the First Lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama emerged as one of the most iconic and influential women of our times. In Becoming she invites readers into her world, by weaving a story of the experiences that have shaped her. Filled with blunt honesty and lively humour, Michelle describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.

The Art of Looking Up

Catherine McCormack

The Art of Looking up is a stunning book that captures 40 of the world’s most treasured ceilings. Filled with impressive photography and a fantastic commentary on the conception, execution and the artists who created these astounding ceilings. Discover a new way of seeing these iconic ceilings:

  • Vatican Palace, Rome, Italy
  • Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, UK
  • Louvre Museum, Paris, France
  • Dali Theatre-Museum, Figueres, Catalonia
  • Museum of the Revolution, Havana, Cuba
  • Capitol Building, Washington, DC, USA

If Truth Be Told: A Monk’s Memoir

Om Swami

As a young boy, Om Swami moved to Australia to chase his dreams of success and wealth. Despite all his dreams coming true and becoming a multi-millionaire, he felt deeply frustrated by a life of seeking God in all the wrong places. His unquenchable desire to explore his spirituality prompted him to give up his high-flyer life and move to India to live in solitude in the Himalayas. Finally finding his sadhana he is now considered one of the foremost spiritual leaders in India, and perhaps the only monk with an MBA and a Business Computing Degree from the University of Sydney. A Monk’s Memoir is his honest story of this journey.

You know you have read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend

12 Gifts Of Kindness This Christmas

Tis the season for gifts and giving. This year, we have found 12 great gift ideas that come wrapped in kindness. These 12 gifts of kindness are a way to share your compassion and care for the planet and all who live on it. After all, this is the best way to celebrate the season.

WaterAid gives the gift of water

1. The gift of water

Give a gift of water, sanitation and hygiene this Christmas through. WaterAid’s gift shop. Your donation provides a handwashing station for three families or a toilet for a school. WaterAid will send a gift card to your recipient, letting them know their gift is helping support communities in some of the poorest parts of the world have access to clean water and sanitation this year.

Send A Cow This Christmas

2. Send A Cow

Send A Cow is another fantastic gift service that will send your donation to rural Africa where a family in need will receive the gift of a calf. The family will be supported in raising the calf and will then give the first-born female calf to another family, who will also benefit from this gift.

3. Support Local

Look around for great gifts from your community to give this year. Wherever you live, there are bound to be many small businesses producing fantastic local food, wines or products that would make a great gift and also support small businesses.

4. Give An Experience

The gift of experience does not require much wrapping paper or plastic packaging. Tickets to a film, an afternoon-tea or an online magazine subscription are all great ways to give something unique that is also friendly to the environment.

5. Socially Conscious Luxury

Sana Jardin is a socially conscious fragrance house producing clean and sustainable fragrances by working with women micro-entrepreneurs from the flower growing regions of the world. Many of these women previously had only limited access to work as flower harvesters, and now in partnership with Sana Jardin can improve their lives through commerce, not charity. Our favourite fragrance is REVOLUTION DE LA FLEUR EAU DE PARFUM with Madagascan ylang-ylang and other exotic blooms like Moroccan jasmine and frangipani.

Give the gift of a new start with a Starting Out Box

6. Give the Gift of a New Start

Centrepoint is a charity that works with homeless youth, giving vulnerable young people a place to live, practical and emotional support as well as helping them get back on their feet with a new job. This Christmas you can gift a Starting Out Box which gives one young person a one year lease on a room at Centrepoint, cooking lessons, counselling sessions and a full health check. Your gift can ensure a safe Christmas for one young person, and a positive outlook for the new year.

7. Choose Love Gifts

Choose Love is the world’s first store where you can buy real gifts of kindness for refugees. Filled with practical items like tents, nappies, sleeping bags and more, the Choose Love store is the perfect place to shop with compassion. A perfect example is the simple hygiene kit which is a supply of shower gel, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary items and shampoo for three months to a refugee.

8. Advent of Change

Advent Of Change is an advent calendar filled with gifts of kindness. Your single purchase of this calendar donates $1 per day to one of the 24 connected charities. A fantastic way to give the gift of giving to someone special this year!

9. A Gift Of Research

Buy a priceless gift of medical research by donating on behalf of a friend or family member to Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Your gift recipient will receive a card letting them know their gift is funding research into childhood cancer. Alex’s Lemonade Stand supports research into finding cures and improving quality of life for children with cancer.

Help a Sister through Women for Women International

10. Help A Sister

This gift is a monthly sponsorship gift to women who are survivors of war. Women for Women International connects the donor and the receiver by way of letters and support. The gift of sponsorship ensures these survivors of war can afford food, clothing, shelter and business training as well as essential advice and assistance. This year-long gift equips women survivors to earn money, regain confidence and actively participate in their communities.

11. Adopt a Rat

Adopting a rat is the most unusual suggestion on our list of 12, but an excellent gift idea for someone who has everything! Through Apopo you can adopt a trained detection rat working to identify the location of landmines in Cambodia or the presence of TB in Tanzania. With a rat adoption, your recipient will receive an information pack on how rats can be trained to smell landmines or TB, an adoption certificate and a monthly newsletter about the teams of rats working in these vital detection tasks.

Give a climate positive gift with CHOOOSE

12. A Carbon Removal Gift

Give a gift of one-year carbon removal from Chooose, making the recipient climate positive for either six months or a year. Chooose works in partnership with carbon removal projects around the planet, removing 6000 kg of CO2 per annual donation.

Choosing gifts of kindness at Christmas is a great way to introduce others to the joy of giving. It is a great way to share compassion, kindness and give to causes that are close to our hearts.

We believe kindness is contagious,

sprinkle it everywhere this festive season!

Nine Ways To Finish This Year On A High And Make Next Year Even Better

The end of the year is just around the corner, with only around six weeks until we ring in the new year. Now is the perfect time for that one last push towards your yearly goals, and to set yourself on the path for a great start to the new year. We have come up with nine top tips that will ensure you finish this year on a high. 

1. Do Less

As counter-intuitive as this sounds, doing less is all about getting the important things done and leaving the not so important tasks for another day. We all get a little frantic at this time of year and tend to rush around doing a million things every day. Take your daily to-do list and cut it in half by moving as many items as possible to another day or removing them altogether. Less is more if you want to focus on nailing those goals before December 31st.

2. Get Outside

Even though it is cold outside, getting out in the fresh air for a short walk can have a significant effect on your mood and happiness levels. When your happiness levels are high, your productivity levels also get a boost 

3. Turn on Some Tunes

Music is magical for improving our energy levels. Update your playlists with some feel-good music that will get you in the mood to check off those last few goals and get grooving on it.

4. Write it down

Write down the most important goal you plan to achieve before the end of this year. Put it in a prominent place and remind yourself daily to put the action in towards achieving this goal. Make sure the note to yourself is somewhere you will spot it many times over the day, such as inside your phone case or on the corner of your computer screen. The key is to remind yourself to keep taking action towards the goal consistently.

5. Hydrate

Most of us forget to drink enough water throughout the day, but our bodies and minds need water to perform at optimum levels. Get in the habit of sipping on water throughout the day and help your mind and body operate at their full potential.

6. Pick Up A Book

Even just 10 – 20 minutes of reading keeps your mind fit. And, giving our eyes a break from a screen sometimes is essential. So, relax with a book and get lost in a story or learn something new 

7. Stop Multitasking 

Focus on one task at a time. When we juggle multiple tasks, we make more mistakes and decrease our productivity. Rather than responding all day to messages and emails, create set times of the day when you can focus on responding to emails. Dedicate periods of uninterrupted time to allow yourself to be fully engaged in more complex tasks.

8. Strategic Downtime

Our brains operate better when they are rested and not stressed. We make better decisions, and we think more clearly when we have had a small break. Set aside times throughout the day when you can give yourself a complete break from work or thinking about work, even for twenty minutes. Your brain will thank you for the downtime, and you will be amazed at how much smoother your day feels.

9. Learn To Distance Yourself

Stuff happens. Life is full of frustrations, detours, and annoying challenges. Keeping your focus on your goals even when you feel frustrated requires distancing tactics. The most straightforward distancing tactic is to ask yourself ‘Is this going to matter to me in a year?’. Shift your thinking to the big picture, and don’t get caught up on the small stuff. You will be amazed by how many frustrating distractions disappear using this simple question.

Keep The Important Stuff In Mind

Along with these nine tips for finishing this year strong, we wanted to add the essential ingredient for having a great year every year. Spend your time with those you love. Make the special people in your life the priority by sharing, talking, engaging, and bonding together. Nothing could be more important than this. 

Happiness Never Decreases By Being Shared

– Buddha

Think Global, Start Local – How To Support Environmental Movements Right Where You Are

Often when we think about taking action on the current environmental crisis we face on this planet, we only think big. We think of the large global movements; cleaning plastic from the oceans, lobbying our governments to follow international climate accords or persuading companies to switch to environmentally-friendly practices. In focusing on global action, we sometimes overlook the incredible environmental movements which operate locally. These grass-roots volunteer organisations are making a difference in smaller, but no less important ways.

This week we wanted to focus on ways to support our local community organisations. We want to highlight some of the easiest ways you can immediately connect with organisations working to impact our planet for the better. 

Get In The Know

Do a search for any environmental groups and organisations in your local area. There are likely to be many fantastic groups doing their small part for the planet that you haven’t even heard of yet. Seek them out and find out more about what they do and how you can support them.

Be Their Fan

Now you have found some great organisations working locally, follow them on social media. Like and share their posts and help others find them too. Sign up to get their updates and encourage others in your town to do the same. 

Get Together

Make an effort to go to some of the events or classes arranged by these organisations. You might learn something new, meet some new people and at the same time feel great about supporting an organization doing good for our environment. It is a bonus for the organisation if you can also encourage others to join you. Turn up to their events with a team from your company or as a neighbourhood group and really show your support for what they are doing. 

Use Them

Well actually, use their services. Many fantastic local environmental movements have some excellent services they offer to the community such as repair cafes, toy libraries, community gardens, and much more. Support them by making use of the services they offer. 

Donate

Most local organisations rely on the generosity of others to survive. One of the best ways you can support is to donate regularly to help them cover their costs.

Donate in Kind

Donations don’t have to be only in money. Many local organisations operate with the essential help of volunteers or by donations of food, clothing or furniture. 

Add Your Voice To Their Message

Help your local environmental movement in getting their message out. You can offer to help canvas the streets, organise events, write letters to politicians or design a website for them. Be part of their efforts to change government policy, company or individual behaviour by lending your skills and voice to their cause. 

Share Your Ideas

Don’t be shy in offering new ideas to organisations working in your local area. Perhaps you have an excellent idea for a local cleanup or a tree planting day. Or maybe you can offer to coach volunteers in a skill that you have expertise in. 

Together We Can Do More

Get your neighbours, friends and coworkers to join in supporting local environmental movements by becoming members or regular donors. If there is no group in your local area focusing on an issue you feel strongly about, start one. Get a few like-minded individuals together to do something good for the environment. You can start small with a local cleanup, a small community garden plot or even hosting a class on an eco-friendly topic. Get active and encourage others to join you.  

Kindness to our planet needs to happen at every level; globally and locally. We hope that we will open our minds and hearts and support anyone who is working to make a difference, whether they are trying to change the entire world or just a small part of it. 

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much

– Helen Keller

The Fine Art of Shopping with Intent

Shopping with intent is about actively choosing to buy from companies and brands who value the same things as we do. For every dollar we spend sends a message about what we value. Shopping with intent means choosing to vote with our wallets for companies who align with our set of values. 

Too often, we spend money without thought of what we are giving value to. By choosing to shop with intent based on what we value, we support companies doing good and can demand change from those who are not.

Most of the time we buy something as it is a reflection of us. We buy things because they reflect our creativity, our status or simply because they highlight our best features. Buying with intent means we also care about the message behind the brands and companies we support. 

Decide What Matters The Most

Shopping with intent is about deciding what is important to you. Focusing on the issues you feel strongly about and using your purchasing power to make a difference by spending with companies who are aligned with your values.

Environmental Protection: In valuing the environment you will want to be buying products that are made in an environmentally-friendly manner. You will care greatly about sustainable products and supporting brands that use these.

Ethical Practices: In valuing ethical practices you care for the people behind the products, you will want to be buying from companies who treat workers with dignity, pay fair wages and ensure safe working conditions. You may also prefer to purchase locally-made, artisan-made and fair-trade products. 

Cruelty-free: In being concerned about the welfare of animals, you will be looking for brands that are vegan, cruelty-free and PETA-approved. You will be wanting to steer clear of animal skins, animal by-products or any item that has been tested on animals. 

Giving back: In being charitable with your money, you will be looking for brands that give back a portion of their profit to charities that you support. 

Your ideal set of values will be a combination of some or all of the above. For example, you may value products that are vegan, ethically produced and environmentally-friendly. You may, therefore, choose to buy things that do not take away from others, but instead give back to communities and to our planet. You may choose to only buy things that are from sustainable resources, can be recycled and do not add to the waste in our oceans. 

Realising the effect of your purchasing power is a powerful shift towards shopping with intention. Incorporating this intent into everything you buy makes a powerful statement to companies about the need to walk the talk when it comes to consumer values. 

shopping with intent

Steps Towards Shopping with Intent

Unsubscribe

Unsubscribe from stores and companies who do not follow your values. If you don’t see their advertising you won’t be tempted to buy from them. Find brands you like, that are aligned with your values and follow them. 

Learn More About The Brands

Get informed about the companies you buy from. Be sure to read the company’s About page to find out more about who they are and what they stand for. If the company claims to be environmentally-friendly, ethical or vegan, you will find more details on their About page. Look for certifications to prove they have gone the extra mile to be recognised as an ethical brand and are willing to submit to random audits to keep their certification. 

To consume or not to consume. 

Just because you can buy something, doesn’t mean you should. As conscious citizens, it makes sense to pause and consider if this is something you really need to add to your home or wardrobe. Shopping with intention does not mean going without, it means consciously choosing items which align with your values, and impact the world in a positive way. It means refusing to buy from brands who do not match your values. 

Ask The Hard Questions

Before you buy something, the most important questions to ask are: ‘Who made this item?’ and ‘How was it made?’. This is particularly important for fashion items. Here are some great resources to do just that:

The Fashion Revolution the global movement towards a fashion industry that values people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure.

The Greenpeace Detox Catwalk encourages mainstream fashion labels to reduce the level of toxins used in the production process of their clothing. 

Start using the Good On You Brand Directory to check the impact of your chosen item on the planet, people and animals. 

Rank a brand gives you the latest sustainability rating for thousands of brands. 

Find out more in the consumer guides produced by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). 

Value Longevity

Shopping with intent also takes into account the durability of an item. Taking care to buy high-quality items also comes with the commitment to take care of them correctly through their lifetime. Companies like Patagonia’s worn-wear program is an excellent example of a company caring about the longevity of their products, with guides on how to care for them and repair them. 

Feel Great About Your Choices

The most important part of shopping with intent is to choose products from brands that you feel good about. It is about choosing items that you can proudly wear, knowing they align with your own values. Purchasing from value-based brands is an intentional vote for a better world for all of us. 

 “There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness”  

Mahatma Gandhi