For many, the idea of living a more eco-friendly lifestyle is appealing yet overwhelming. Plastic is everywhere in our lives, from the lining of our coffee cups to our protective phone cases, and the fast fashion churn seems unstoppable. And besides, we all want to look our best, right? Being a more conscious consumer doesn’t mean style has to go out the window.
Here are some easy ways to make your lifestyle more earth-friendly, from your wardrobe to your beauty cupboard to your home.
Invest in well-made, sustainably and ethically produced clothing that will last – Avoid flash in the pan trends and create a thoughtful wardrobe of classic pieces that will work well together for years to come. The Common Good Company is a Melbourne-based sustainable and ethical essentials brand closing the loop on fashion, one t-shirt at a time. TCGCo has developed its own 100% recycled material composed of 60% recycled pre-consumer cotton and 40% recycled polyester to eliminate the unnecessary waste, water use, land use and pollution that is typically involved with the production of yarns made from virgin materials.
Anything but basic is the flattering ‘Jane Doe’ tee, designed with particular attention to the shoulder, neckline and waist. RRP: $35
Look for sustainably made sunglasses – Most sunglasses are made from acetate, which uses fossil fuels. Mari & Clay is a stylish sunglasses brand created by a pair of optometrists intent on marrying quality eyewear with a sustainable mindset. Their frames made from bio-acetate, a plant-based material that replaces harmful phthalate-based plasticisers used in acetate with organic additives with responsibly-harvested materials like cottonseed and wood pulp. And once they’ve reached the end of their life, you can send them back to Mari & Clay as part of their in-house recycling program. Their ‘Goulburn’ sunglasses are a classic round shape with a touch of teardrop for a modern twist that will suit most face shapes. RRP: $219
BYO a reusable shopping bag that makes a statement – It should go without saying by now that single-use plastic bags are unnecessary. Go for a chic and roomy tote like cruelty-free and sustainable accessories brand Ahimsa Collective’s Trendy AF Cloth Tote Bag, which will take you from the farmer’s markets to brunch and everywhere in between. RRP: $29.00
Do your homework before buying jewellery – The jewellery industry has a long history of exploitative practices, so invest in ethically and sustainably produced pieces. Sustainable artisan jeweller Sofia Maria’s line of fine jewellery is inspired by organic lines, natural textures and imperfect forms. With its earthy aesthetic and minimal design, all jewellery by Sofia embraces the Japanese philosophy of wabi sabi and celebrates the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. Every item in the collection is slowly handmade by Sofia herself in her Manly Studio. Each piece is effortlessly elegant and made from 100% recycled metals whenever possible, with all materials being locally sourced and recycled right here in Australia. The Helena necklace is a large organic pendant inspired by the connection between the feminine and the moon, hand-forged out of Australian recycled sterling silver. RRP: $195
Buy beauty products with a circular packaging program – it’s no secret the beauty industry has a plastic problem – according to Euromonitor International, in 2018, in the U.S. alone, almost 7.9 billion units of rigid plastic were created just for beauty and personal care products. Australian skincare brand Rawkanvas is one of a growing number of brands with reuse and recycle programs to try and curb the amount of packaging that goes into landfill. As well as offering vegan, natural skincare that really delivers results, the products come in beautiful #shelfie worthy glass packaging that can be returned for recycling and store credit once empty. All you have to do is collect your Rawkanvas empties, rinse out any residual product and send them back to the brand. The new Refined Clarifying Red Wine Mask is the perfect antidote to iso skin. RRP: $54.00
Make your signature scent an ethical one – unfortunately, animal testing is still common practice for many of the big fragrance houses, so consider vegan-friendly options. From their home in Melbourne, Váhy Parfum’s founders design luscious bouquets using natural ingredients, delivering a remarkable line of scents that have been inspired by a spirit of wanderlust and the desire of balance and simplicity in life. Every perfume in the Váhy collection is created in Australia with essential oils, concentrates and absolutes infused in organic sugarcane alcohol. And, adhering to their vision of premium and ethical practices, is cruelty-free with 0% synthetics, and 100% natural ingredients that are >80% organic in composition. The ‘Luna’ scent is a boutique fragrance that’s fresh yet sophisticated, light yet spicy with the intoxicating scents of bergamot, ylang ylang, frankincense and patchouli. RRP: $240.00
Go for glass when shopping for and storing pantry staples – The kitchen, and specifically the pantry, accounts for a huge amount of single-use plastic. Shop with your own reusable glass containers for pantry staples like pasta, legumes and nuts at bulk food stores. Bonus: your pantry will look much more visually pleasing and you’ll be able to see clearly how much of each ingredient you have left. Ikea have a great range of glass containers in varying sizes, like the Eklant glass jar with bamboo lid. RRP: $6.99
Choose eco-friendly dishwashing brushes – It might seem like such a small element of your kitchen, but most dishwashing brushes, scourers and sponges are made from plastic and need replacing regularly. Luckily there are eco-friendly options made from natural materials that get the job done just as well and they also look a lot more stylish on your kitchen sink. Yeseco’s dish brush and head set is bamboo and sisal, making it 100% natural, biodegradable and compostable. Furthermore, with sisal coming from the fibres of the sisal plant, an agave plant that’s grown in Brazil, you can rest easy knowing that your brush will remain tough and strong. Once you’ve finished with your brush head, hold onto your handle and reorder the replacement heads. RRP: $16.00
Support homewares brands that give back –By choosing to support brands that have made a commitment to ethical and sustainable production you can rest easy knowing you’re not contributing to the exploitation of vulnerable workers or landfill. Dharma Door’s Large Jute Basket is a stylish way to store your laundry, linen and firewood. The basket is handmade – from start to finish – by fair trade artisans in remote, rural communities of Bangladesh; two strong and sturdy handles show off their stunning skills. Brimming with natural warmth, character and the brand’s trademark textural touch, The Dharma Door’s woven baskets are the perfect way to settle both storage and style. RRP: $229.00
Avoid plastic and aluminium coffee pods – the pods your home coffee machine uses might be convenient but they’re not good for your environmental footprint. Bondi Pods is a brand doing a Nespresso-compatible pod made from an entirely plant-based biodegradable composite using sugarcane and sugar beet to replace petrochemical based plastics. The coffee within the pods is also Fairtrade sourced and certified. RRP: $9.50 for 10 pods.