For us, Earth Day is a day to stop and reflect. To pick up on dropped conversations and good intentions lost in the busy day to day — a good reminder to ourselves that as a community, what we do can really make a difference. We love that those things can be as simple as how we care for our favourite pieces of clothing. For now, there is #noplanetb so here are some of the things we do in our own homes that can really have a positive impact and spark fresh conversations around the dinner table.
1. Wear more, wash less.
Old habits die hard and many of us have learned to wear once and wash. Save water, energy and time — try only washing your clothing when needed with a freshen-up in-between. Linen is amazing in so many ways — naturally soild resistant and quick to dry — a great natural material to adopt the philosophy of 'wear more, wash less'. Living in your Linen Mini Dress? Next time you jump in the shower, drop in your favourite essential oil, hang your garment on the other side of the curtain, and let the steam do the rest! Our days are filled with a million details — one less thing to do is good for the environment and great for the soul.
2. Stay cool.
The evolution of washing machines and detergents mean that washing your clothes in cold water gets them just as clean as a hot wash. Keeping your clothing out of the dryer lengthens their lifespan and saves 4kwh of energy per load. By using a clothing rack or line drying in the summer breeze, the average household can save our atmosphere from more than a tonne of carbon dioxide every year.
New York City, Park Avenue tenament circa 1900
3. Go natural.
We all try to choose natural detergents with no colorants, artificial frangrances or phosphates, because of the positive impact it has on our bodies, water ways and oceans. Skip the fabric softener — the tradition of using fabric softeners is a throwback to the 50's when washing machines of the time left our clothing feeling rough. Fabric softeners (liquid or sheets) are a strain on our ecosystem and contain chemicals that are know asthmagens that can cause healthy individuals to develop asthma. There are great local companies that are trying to make a difference by using post-consumer, recyclable plastics or biodegradable packaging, to further minimize our impact. We love throwing our support behind these companies that are working at making meaningful change.
There's more and more research being done that's shedding light on the things we can work towards in contributing to make a positive change in our communities and the planet. We've recently come across the work being done by Mark Browne on micro plastics (in this case, fabric fibres) that are being shed from synthetic fabrics in the wash and ending up in our water ways and oceans. These microscopic plastic fibres are being ingested by small fish, that are ingested by larger fish to devestating concequences. When synthetic fabrics were introduced and adopted by the activewear industries, the intention was never to do harm. These incredible new materials were light, offered temperature control, moisture control...really, a slew of technical qualities that made them perfect for the active individual. Decades later we find that they're harming the very environment that they were intended for — think Patagonia, Nike, North Face. Patagonia, has over the last couple of years, been investing in research to study the true impact that their products have on the environment to better develop new materials that don't have these unintended consequences.
We continue to be inspired by the people who are trying to be a part of finding a solution and creating change.
Happy Earth Day!