Writing about green things, and some other random things too
Writer of a weekly Wednesday newsletter,
learning how to become a greener person
Two current obsessions:
I'm also very fond of cutting and gluing scraps of paper, and using the end products as illustrations for my series of children's books on where things come from (things like undies, disco dreses, dinner and water). I've also spent too much time photographing people who dress the same and writing random stories about life (mine, not yours).
Photos and illustrations all my own
a year of buying no clothes
Stories and blog about no clothes shopping for all of 2018
waging war on disposable coffee cups
Why you should carry your own
the greening of
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sit and read one of my short stories
My books, art and resources for teaching sustainability in the classrooms
fashion revolution week, 25 april 2018
Things for me to do this week:
- Buy milk;
- Make seven quick and delicious dinners;
- Do seventeen loads of washing;
- Organise play dates for kids, (it’s school holidays and their social life is way better than mine);
- Go to work;
- Do work;
Things for me to achieve this week:
- Raise awareness of Fashion Revolution Week.
I often feel like it is hard, verging on impossible, to achieve anything because I just get so busy doing. Sure, I go to work where I am busy doing stuff. I manage, mostly, to keep the laundry baskets under control. I buy food and cook it. I occasionally read to the kids and I try to always answer their questions (which are getting harder and harder — why is a rocket called a rocket?) and listen to their worries and only call the Poisons hotline when I feel it is absolutely necessary (like yesterday when I gave one child Betadine throat gargle and she swallowed the whole thing).
The thought of achieving anything that is not related to either work stuff, family stuff, or transport between the two, can also be just a little tiring. Especially when just getting out of the door, on time, in the morning, with brushed hair and clothes on, with no toothpaste stains down the front — although, if stains were present it means that I have managed to brush my teeth (or that I have found a slightly unclean top on the floor and have put it on in hurried desperation), can be a little overwhelming.
Part of my paralysis, I think, is that for something to be worthy of being called an achievement it should be something massive. Meet Max Deutsch, a dude who set out to achieve something new every 30 days in 2017. His challenges were not small. For example, he aimed to: solve the Rubik’s Cube in under 20 seconds; land a standing backflip; build a self- driving car; develop perfect pitch; and win a games of chess against the current world champion. Not sure how, exactly, managing to feed my children anything other than a vegemite sandwich for lunch during the week equates.
But it does. In fact, really, getting out of bed every day is an achievement. Achievement is to accomplish some purpose or effect. That doesn’t have to be changing the world in one day or getting people to apply the lens of the Sustainable Development Goals to everything they do or becoming a grand master in chess. It can be something simpler, easier and certainly more tangible, like educating/annoying my work colleagues as to the fact that, this week, it is Fashion Revolution Week (FRW).
FRW calls for transparency and fairness across the fashion industry. It came about out of the deadly disaster of Rana Plaza, a building collapse in Bangladesh on April 24, 2013, that killed more than 1,130 garment workers, (see Issue 45 for more information on FRW).
You could think that there is nothing you can do about this issue — what could you possibly achieve on this issue? Actually, you can achieve a lot. To start, all you need to do is begin asking questions about where your clothes come from. You can ask the brand you are wearing, you can go to their webpage and investigate, you can read the label on your shirt, you can go through the 2018 Baptist World Aid publication, you can click onto the Good On You app. If you want to go further than the origin of your wardrobe, check out some of the resources below, (the children’s book comes highly recommended). You can listen to the Wardrobe Crisis podcast, head to a FRW event, shop for ethical clothing or just forward this newsletter onto a friend or two and have a conversation. Conversation leads to change right. It leads to really, really big change.
I’m saying I achieved because I raised FRW with work colleagues on Monday, and it sparked a super interesting conversation between work colleagues that covered a whole range of fashion related topics, including:
- How do you find our which label is doing the right thing?
- What would happen if you stopped shopping completely?
- Is buying expensive better than cheap?
- How do you know you are buying quality?
- How long can you save up for an item?
- How long should you expect an item of clothing to last?
If only I had also managed to brush my hair and put on a clean shirt for work then, surely, for this week anyway, I would have almost reached a Max Deutsch level of achievement!