22 weeks today
UGH. Don’t listen to me, because clearly I’m buying ALL the stuff lately, but I know intellectually that the best thing I can do individually to make a difference with regard to fashion waste, waste in general, climate change, etc., is just to BUY LESS. Buy less, or nothing at all, and when I buy, buy the highest quality I can afford (something that can be worn, then passed on), or secondhand.
I wrote about this several years ago – that living a more sustainable, eco-friendly life doesn’t require buying specific designers or only organic cotton, or buying ANYTHING AT ALL. What we really need to do is take care of what we have, and avoid buying what we don’t need. Way to practice what I preach, huh?
I’m not trying to be hard on myself, just realistic – and hold myself accountable. I try very hard to avoid buying new, and I do buy a LOT less than I used to, with a greater proportion of my wardrobe secondhand, but sometimes I just can’t resist the shoes. *facepalm*
Anyway, see below some reading material about why that reusable cotton tote may not be so much better than plastic grocery bags, and why organic cotton isn’t necessarily better than conventional. At the end of the day though, it seems like overconsumption in general, more than WHAT we’re consuming, has contributed more to the sad state of our environment/climate than we care to admit. We cannot consume our way out of it.
But speaking of buying less, this whole maternity clothing adventure has been really tricky to navigate; I thought I could get away with wearing regular clothes for longer than I have been able to. This skirt from Storq, for example, is similar to a ruched James Perse skirt I have, but this one is much more comfortable because it’s actually meant to fit a growing belly while staying slim everywhere else. My JP skirt doesn’t stretch enough to be as comfortable, and all I want now is at least to be comfortable in my clothes.
It’s different for everyone, and you really have to just go with what is comfortable and affordable for you, but I am REALLY REALLY appreciating the maternity pieces I have now. I don’t know how people use the “rubber band trick” for jeans for very long – I couldn’t even do it in the first trimester.
As I round into my third trimester next month I’ll write more about maternity clothing and why I love it, but in the meantime, if you’re pregnant and debating whether or not to buy a pair of maternity jeans, DO IT.
That cotton tote is worse for the environment than that plastic bag. WUT. I read the article, saw the research, and I will still refuse a plastic bag anywhere I go. I think that’s beside the point. The greater takeaway is again, that banning plastic bags, buying more reusable cotton totes, etc., isn’t going to solve the plastic problem. All of us being more mindful will definitely help – aware of how we reuse the bags we do receive, and then discarding them appropriatly when we’re finished with them.
Also, I didn’t take a deep dive into all the sources/statistics for the article, so take that for what it’s worth. Yes, if every person is buying a NEW cotton tote for every plastic bag they would have received, then absolutely the environmental impact of cotton totes seems high. If a person is using a cotton tote they got at a conference 15 years ago and have already used a thousand times to avoid taking a plastic sack, then the impact is less (they’d still have to use it 6,100 more times to have the same environmental impact according to the article – but again, is that for a newly purchased cotton tote or an old one?). It just doesn’t seem right to conclude that a plastic bag, reused once as a bin liner, has a lighter environmental footprint than a cotton tote, used many times.
Organic cotton might be worse than conventional cotton. I need to see more on this, and I think there are a lot of assumptions here – about yield and impact – but yes, I know that cotton in general requires a lot of water to grow, and is ultimately not the most eco-friendly fiber (linen and/or hemp is much better – and even alpaca or non-mulesed wool might be superior in terms of environmental impact), organic or not. Is organic cotton just greenwashing? Like bamboo was/is ten years ago?
There are so many conflicting articles about what’s better or what’s worse, what we should do, what’s not worth it, about individual action, etc., etc. it can get overwhelming to figure out what to do. I’m going to stick with doing what I’m doing, which is trying to make the best choices I can given the information I have at the moment. No one is perfect, and LESS is better.
I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend, I don’t have anything planned. I did start hand quilting the square quilt I made last summer, thinking it will be great for the baby when he arrives, so I’ll try and work on that some. Otherwise, I’m fine with doing nothing. Nothing at all.
How was your week? What are you doing this weekend?