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Take a look at these crazy cool content creators, writers, artists, and more. I've said it before, but I am so honored to be a part of such an amazing group of hardworking people.
My Journey to Ethical Writing
Welp, I won't start at the beginning, because that'd make for a very long and disjointed post. And I need to avoid that theme as much as possible, or else I'd go on a 1,000+ word rambling… so easy for me to do.
I've been an unofficial minimalist for several years now. I first had inklings of desiring to be more minimal when I still lived in California, wanting to "leave it all behind" and venture out into the world with just my favorite belongings on my back.
During that time, my life looked extremely different. In short, I was a very materialistic beauty blogger who lived in an increasingly cluttered house. I was in a bad marriage and I wanted out. I was unhappy, plain and simple.
Desperate for a fresh start, I packed up most of my belongings in just a few boxes, shipped them and my car across the United States and back to Philadelphia, filed for divorce, and started a new life with the bare minimum by moving in with one of my best friends. I left a lot of physical and emotional stuff behind.
Since then, life changed a lot for me. Relationships swelled and diminished. Belongings swelled and diminished. I moved so many freaking times.
Oh, and I swelled and (almost-fully) diminished when I had Beans.
Somewhere in there, I started this blog to share my journey with minimalism and mindfulness.
I was looking to shake off the bad breaks from the divorce and from a painful breakup after a very painful year and a half of severe mental illness, and I figured starting a new writing venture would help me get there.
Minimalism Led to Slow Fashion
With minimalism came a small wardrobe. Purging my closet often came naturally to me. I begrudgingly donated some of my favorite tops after I realized the stubborn momma-weight wasn't going to melt off as easily as I'd hoped.
In a part of my new life, I found myself on a much smaller budget than I was used to, first because I was a stay-at-home mom recovering from several hospital stays with zero income (except some passive income I'd set up before Beans was born).
Then, post break-up and move-out from Beans' dad, I was on my own with a baby to raise. And a super duper shitty job with a toxic boss who was giving me the amount of money that a high schooler could've made doing the same work. I took nearly a $20K paycut from my last full time job when I found that job.
It would've been easy for me to fill up my closet with junk: go to Old Navy, Target, and Forever21 and buy BOGO t-shirts in every color of the rainbow, get dozens of cheap shoes that would need to be replaced every season, etc. I had the gap in my wardrobe to fill from being bigger, and I didn't have the money to get what I wanted.
Instead, I took a look around (mostly Instagram and on other blogs) and realized I didn't want to support the fast fashion industry. I'm not good with stats, but fast fashion = cheap labor, tons of industry and post-consumer waste, and a perpetuating cycle of BUY BUY BUY that I couldn't get behind.
I veered toward secondhand and repair.
Once my job situation changed (hallelujah) and I was being paid a fair salary for my skillset (double heck yus), I turned to ethical brands like Patagonia and Pact. I curated my closet with higher quality items through Stitch Fix and similar services (because it seems I'm only able to pick out grey cotton t-shirts whenever I try to shop for myself).
I promised myself only to buy leather accessories moving foward (for quality and repairability's sake). And I still never found a suitable replacement for my (now super beat up) cold weather boots, so they just completed their 5th year of service.
I'm not perfect. I'm still very tempted by fast fashion, but I do my best to purchase high quality and good-to-do brands now.
Slow Fashion Led to Nearo Waste
So in case you're new here, #nearowaste means near zero waste. As a household, I really don't think we can go fully zero waste (nor do I want to—because I don't have time to go find carton-free organic grass-fed milk for my overly thirsty toddler).
But from there it's been like going down the rabbit hole.
(I'm now realizing most of my posts have to do with down there and I'm not sure how I feel about that insert nervous laughter here.)
And because I'm a chronic oversharer, I couldn't just DO these things, I also wanted to share my journey in the hopes that others would catch on.
And boy, have they. And that makes me so fucking happy!
I have a few friends who switched to the cup. Worked for some, not for others.
Some swapped out their chemical-laden deodorant for a natural variety. Win win.
I gave away natural poop spray to friends and family like it was candy.
And the positive impact continues to be news to me!
Nearo Waste to Ethical Writers
So all in all, I want to express how overjoyed I am to be a part of a larger community that are also eco-pushers. To quote one of my favorite tweets, it's easy to feel like we're all "shouting at clouds" when we put stuff out on the internet.
My hope that by being a member of Ethical Writers, I can share my stories with a larger audience and help make the eco world more approachable and real.
Thanks EW for having me. Let's do this!
Cover photo via Felix Russel-Saw