It was with great interest that I read the latest update from trendwatching.com GUILT FREE CONSUMPTION.
"Discover consumers' growing hunger for GUILT-FREE CONSUMPTION: a new kind of consumption free from worry (or at least with less worry) about its negative impact, yet that still allows continued indulgence."
- SELF: Guilt about what one brings on oneself.
- SOCIETY: Guilt about what one causes, directly and indirectly, to other people (and other living creatures).
- PLANET: Guilt about one’s impact on the environment at large.
I was somewhat bemused by the use of McDonald's as an example, (the Tecoma 8 I'm sure would take issue) but anyway this idea makes good business sense and consumers are an unforgiving lot so beware McDonald's!
I've long held the belief that the cure for Climate Change lies with the individual as governments have proven themselves over many years to be largely useless. I read with exhaustion this morning that neither our new Environment Minister Mr Hunt nor Foreign Minister Ms Bishop will be attending the Warsaw Climate Change Summit. It's not surprising considering that our Prime Minister once described climate change science as "absolute crap"
Even though my pattern business is tiny it's important to me that I make responsible choices.
So what am I doing...
1. Firstly all of my patterns are printed to order. That means when I use resources (paper, power, ink, packaging) it's for something that you the consumer actually want.
2. The paper I print on is 100% recycled and "made in a facility that is ISO 14001 accredited and with process chlorine free pulps; thereby helping to reduce harmful by-products"
3. Packaging; the post bags I use are tough enough to re-use (please do) and are also recyclable. In selecting a plastic cover for the patterns I went with the tougher and thicker option so as to ensure it would last for the life of the pattern; I'm actively looking for a paper equivalent but so far without luck.
4. Inside each pattern is a card which is made from recycled stock and printed using non-harmful vegetable based inks by a Melbourne based company called Print Together. I use this for attaching fabric swatches so instead of throwing away my offcuts I attach a small amount for you to use as a reference when shopping. Hopefully this in turn prevents waste by helping sewers make better choices.
5. I recycle as much as I possibly can which explains the many bits of pattern making card that I have lying about waiting for exactly the right shaped piece.
6. If I need equipment for my business my first point of call is the local antique/op/junk shops. It's another way of recycling and in most cases the objects are better made and tougher than any modern versions. One of my favourites is the engraving stamp I found; very soon each pattern will be stamped with a seal marking it's authenticity.
7. A couple of years ago I set myself a challenge - I decided I wouldn't drive my car for an entire year. Now I love my car so this was a big deal but guess what, I survived! As a consequence I now walk (great exercise) or take public transport whenever possible, if there are trains, trams or buses going to my destination (business or personal) and it's viable to do so then that's how I get there....so every single pattern is hand/feet delivered to the post office.
Yes, there is so much more that I could be doing but I've committed myself to actively seek out more sustainable practices for my business and life when ever possible...a challenge for all of us.