Interview with an Ethical Blogger – The Sustainable Edit
Former fast fashion addict turned slow fashion advocate. Jen created The Sustainable Edit as a place to share her journey towards a more sustainable wardrobe and lifestyle.
The Sustainable Edit is a responsible style blog, offering advice and support on integrating slow fashion and slow living into your lifestyle without the overwhelm. Jen is passionate about inspiring and supporting other women to simplify their wardrobes with simple, honest and to the point advice.
We got together with Jen to talk #JustFriday, conscious shopping, and slow living. Curious to understand how to start living your life more sustainably? Jen gives us her tips for how to start out.
How did The Sustainable Edit start?
The Sustainable Edit started life as Tartan Brunette which was very much your typical lifestyle blog. However, as my interest in sustainable fashion grew and my content become more focused I knew it was time for a change and rebranded as The Sustainable Edit.
The Sustainable Edit follows your responsible shopping journey. How do people react to what you’re doing?
The response has been incredible. People seem genuinely interested in making some changes to the ways they shop. I love that I can share my journey and hopefully inspire people to adopt a more conscious approach to shopping. My audience has grown so much since I started sharing my journey, being able to share this with people all across the world is amazing, and so humbling. I’ve also found myself being welcomed by the responsible blogging community who are some of the most inspiring people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.
There's been a huge surge of interest in de-cluttering, and curating a meaningful, conscious home and wardrobe. Why do you think this sort of philosophy is on the rise?
I think so many of us have become overwhelmed with the fast pace of modern life and a society which is based on consuming stuff. For years everything felt so focused on earning more money and buying designer clothes or expensive cars. This just isn’t realistic for many of us and doesn’t make people happy. In contrast the idea of creating breathing space in your home and slowing down is very appealing and accessible. I also think social media has an important role to play in this attitude shift. Scroll through Instagram or Pinterest and you’re inundated with beautiful images of minimal homes and slow living inspiration. I know I’m always sharing photos of my favourite moments such as my daily dog walk in the woods or snuggling up with a book and a cup of tea. We are seeing more and more inspiration for simple living and it’s something all of us can embrace. Unlike luxury cars or designer handbags, most of us can afford to slow down and enjoy the moment.
Mmm, the idea of slowing down feels wonderful, doesn’t it? It’s the opposite of what Black Friday stands for. All that consumerist chaos, and too much spent on too much stuff! How do you feel about Black Friday?
I hate it!!!
I understand that for many people shops offering discounts in the run up to Christmas is very appealing and can obviously be beneficial if something you need is discounted. However, the discounts are often on old stock that brands just want to shift and don’t offer much value to shoppers. Having it for one day seems to whip everyone up into a frenzy buying things for the sake of it. 10% off is never a good reason to get into fights in the supermarket. Brands should be ashamed of themselves for creating this frenzy and getting customers so worked up.
Our #JustFriday campaign invites people to stop, take a breath, buy with thought, and shop with love. It's the meaningful antithesis to Black Friday! What place do you think #JustFriday has amidst the chaos of Friday 24th?
To me #JustFriday just makes sense. No discount is worth some of the Black Friday scenes we have seen in recent years. Trying to grab a bargain is no excuse for fighting with others or staying up all night. We need to remember it is just another day. Of course, if there is something you want or need which has a discount Black Friday is a good time to buy but you can do that in a calm manner. There is no need to sit up to midnight waiting on the website showing the discounts, just wait until the morning. Same for shopping in person just wait until later in the day and shop as normal.
I don’t plan on doing any Black Friday shopping and will be spending the day like any other Friday. I’ll be getting work done and walking my dog away from the crowds having a relaxing start to the weekend. There is also the added benefit of not wasting any money.
What first steps do you think shoppers could take to make sure they're making responsible, conscious shopping choices this #JustFriday?
Stop shopping! One of the most sustainable things we can do is just to use what we already have. Chances are you already have enough clothes in your wardrobe and a TV which works fine. So why waste your money buying more. You’ve already invested your hard-earned money on the products in your home so use them more and enjoy owning what you have. If we focus on the things we have rather than always thinking about our next purchase we will start to make more responsible choices.
If you really must shop then plan your purchases beforehand. Create a list of actually what it is you want or need. When you go shopping make sure you stick to this list. Don’t go into any shops or departments which don’t sell the items on your list. This way you won’t be tempted to stray from the list.
Black Friday is seen to be the start of the Christmas shopping season. What do you think makes a good gift?
Call me boring but I quite like a practical gift. When giving or receiving a gift I think it’s important that it’s something that will be used. There is no point in buying someone an expensive gift if it’s going to sit in a cupboard unused. I don’t think there is anything wrong with asking someone what they would like as it really does make life easier. And I don’t think you can go wrong with PJs and socks (who doesn’t want cosy socks this time of year).
And finally, any tips for starting a more sustainable/conscious lifestyle?
My number one tip would be to slow down. We all live such fast-paced lifestyles that we forget how important it is to slow down and appreciate what we have. Choose to sit in with your morning coffee rather than grabbing a takeaway or cook your dinner rather than getting it delivered. It’s the little things like this which make a difference.
Once you get into the habit of making more conscious decisions you will naturally start living more sustainably.
Want to start your Christmas shopping sustainably this #JustFriday? How about getting crafting with some DIY handmade gift ideas, or choose to purchase some ethically crafted fair trade gifts with amazing stories?