A surprising connection between Valentine’s Day and sustainable shopping

With February being the month of love, I can’t help but think of an analogy, which I will share with you in a story.


Valentine’s Day is February 14. In the weeks leading up to that, people that have affection for one another plan the perfect way to express their feelings. They think up the most perfect gift for their loved one.


When the day arrives, so the stereotype goes, it is filled with flowers, chocolates and words of love. It truly is a sweet day to celebrate if you have someone special in your life.


But what happens on February 15th and after?


Are those sweet words and acts of kindness forgotten? Do we go back to rushing around and forgetting to express our love to those who matter most to us? 


The analogy that comes to mind as a maker of sustainable purses and handbags is a comparison to our love for the planet. Bear with me. 

 


An enduring love or a sustainable one?


Many of you in my tribe share my passion for being kind to the planet – and I really appreciate that about you, for the record! But sometimes I fear that our love for taking care of this place we call home gets tokenized and reduced down to sentiments. Maybe only actually celebrated on a few designated days each year – like Earth Day, Arbor Day, etc. 


Just like relationships can swing back to the status quo on February 15, genuine gestures of environmental stewardship can go by the wayside after special occasions. 


  • We still buy cheap items of clothing and accessories that either don’t last or get thrown away without much use
  • The Amazon Prime culture has increased our consumption of things, which generates a lot more plastic and wasteful packaging that is thrust into the ecosystem
  • Landfills continue to get larger as these trends skyrocket

Fast fashion is responsible for a lot of waste. Too much. Just in case you are unfamiliar with the term, fast fashion is defined as:


“inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.”


Here are a few stats on fast fashion that blow my mind, from earth.org:

  • We discard 92 million tons of clothes-related waste each year!
    To put that into perspective here is a visualization:
  • Fast fashion produces half a million tons of microplastics each year!

Do those stats disturb you? They sure do me. In fact, my disgust for the whole thing played a role in my decision to start Carry Courage. I talked more about how the company came to be in my last post.


Can we make a difference in fast fashion’s cycle of waste?


Of course we can! That includes you. :)


As I’ve gotten into my journey of making eco-friendly bags made from cork fabric, vegan leather and other sustainable products, I’ve connected with many of you who are passionate, concerned people that care about the earth.


People like my customer Michelle, who recently bought a few Creator essential oils bags. Michelle has recognized the beauty of not only buying sustainably for herself, but for her loved ones also. 


She says in her recent review: 


“I ordered 2 of these essential oils bags as gifts. They were delivered within a few days and they are beautiful.”



Michelle has caught the vision, and I love it. The vision is that giving sustainable gifts is a practical way you and I can fight back against the fast fashion pollution machine


These bags will be able to be used for so much longer than a cheap purse from Target, and they are made from earth-friendly materials. And they support a small, woman-owned business to boot. :)

 


Bringing it back to love


We started out talking about love, and that is how I’ll finish. 


For the ones we love, we go out of our way to express it on February 14th. I celebrate that! I also see the value in taking the time to express our love and appreciation regularly throughout the year.


For the world we love, the same applies. 


I challenge you to think about your consumption habits. Are you contributing to the fast fashion mess? This is not to shame anyone - just to get you to think. The planet deserves our love, too. Right?


I would be glad to get your thoughts and questions in the comments below. Meanwhile, take good care of the loved ones who have been entrusted to your care!


Cheers,

Marisa


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