Laura is a freelance writer and a slow fashion blogger for The Green Edition. Originally from Scotland, she now lives in Amsterdam in the Netherlands with her husband and two miniature schnauzers. When she isn’t writing, she can often be found in nature or browsing a local secondhand shop.
What first started you on your ethical journey?
I studied environmental science and became more aware of how our world works. What really struck me was the impact that humans have on everything. And without rules and guidelines, people seem to take and use resources until there’s nothing left. Thankfully when I started to research more into it, I found a huge community of people trying to make things better. This is one of the reasons I started The Green Edition, to provide information and show that normal people can make a difference for the better.
What’s your number one tip for how people can start to help the planet?
Be curious. Start thinking about the resources you are using day to day and how they are impacting the environment. There is a lot of information out there and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Especially because everyone lives different lives, not all the advice will suit everyone’s circumstances. But by taking an active interest, you are already on your way to making a difference.
Do you have any recommendations for books, films, documentaries etc that would help people just getting started on their own journey?
I’m a big fan of any David Attenborough documentary, he inspires everyone! The True Cost documentary is a good one to learn more about the failings of the fashion industry. I also like ‘Drawdown’ which is a book full of properly researched solutions for what we can do both individually and as a society. I love it because it’s uplifting to know that we can actually make changes that are worth doing.
Do you have anything you’ll never leave the house without?
I always remember to take a reusable bag. I keep one in my handbag and one in the car. They fold up so don’t take up much space and I’ve lost count of the times they’ve come in useful. I sometimes take a reusable water bottle, or coffee cup on car journeys and I’ve been taking time to sit in cafés instead of drinking on the run. I wish I would remember to take a bag to pick up litter! I always remember after I’m already out of the house, it’s something I want to work on.
Tell us more about the slow fashion movement
Around the time I first started to live more sustainably, I found out about the zero-waste movement. It was through that that I found out about slow fashion. I was trying to minimise unnecessary things in my home and had a huge wardrobe full of clothing that I didn’t particularly like or feel connected to. I’ve reduced it dramatically and now love getting dressed in the morning.
For other’s getting started with a sustainable wardrobe, I would recommend looking at the clothes in your wardrobe. Find out where they were made and what are they made from. Fast fashion is more often made from synthetics in countries where the living wage standard isn’t being adhered to. It can be sobering to check your own clothes and realise you’ve been buying into that! I started to shop second-hand as there are so many clothes already in circulation. It’s a great way to shop because you can find almost anything from a beaded dress from the 1920s to a cool band tee from last year.
Let’s clean up our planet! Everyone can get involved, however small a contribution. There are so many of us trying to make a difference, but we can always do with more. A great quote about zero waste living goes something like ‘we don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly, we need lots of people doing it imperfectly.’ I think it was from zero waste chef Anne Marie Bonneau. It can be applied to all areas of sustainability though; we just shouldn’t be afraid to start.