24 March 2010

Shopping ethically

We try to make sure that what we bring into our home at owlet HQ has some ethical basis. We think about where it came from, How far away? Who made it? What was that like for them? Where did the money go? Did a little piece of the planet die in the process?

It takes a long time. Shopping these days is hard.

I'm reading the 100 Mile Diet at the moment and I'm a bit more inspired to think than usual. Unfortunately we start out with good intentions, and then household economics gets in the way. We could do better.

Here's what we do already:

Try to buy local and organic. Often thwarted by expense.
Grow a little of our own. Very little.
Try to limit plastic bags and packaging entering the house. But we get lazy.
Don't buy many clothes. Usually due to expense and cos we don't enjoy shopping.
Make gifts and buy handmade where possible.
Boycott Nestle. Easy to do and important to us.
Use the car as little as possible and buy stuff when we are out already.
Shop at garage sales. Much of the owlets clothes and resources are garage sale finds. Local and second hand!

Here's what we'll be working on:

Buying more local and organic stuff where possible. We've joined the local organic wholefoods co-op in an attempt to shop in this way and cut down on packaging. We have access to beautiful local produce. We should be buying more of it.
Growing more of our own food. The vegie patch is starting to become more productive with a little effort. Also vital so that we can afford the other local stuff.
Using the car less. Not easy with all the things the owlets get up to, but we're working on it.
Taking the Ethical Clothing Pledge. I've worked in the mainstream fashion industry before. I know the deal. Its why the owlet shop is full of clothes that are as ethical as I can make them. Its time Huz and I bought some new clothes. We'd like to do it right.


I pledge to only wear clothing that is one or more of the following:
1. Pre-loved
2. Handmade (preferably by me)
3. Reconstructed
4. Made with ethical / environmentally friendly materials
5. Made by a company with strong ethical policy & workers' rights

* Companies with environmentally friendly practices (such as cutting down on waste/energy/water) get brownie points
* If I get one little inkling of sweatshop labour, I'm outta there!
* Above all though, I think the most important thing is reducing the amount of things we use in the first place. Not purchasing ANOTHER piece of clothing just for the sake of it is the biggest statement we can make.


  1. That is so lovely, i talk things through with my children & growing herbs & vegetables ourselves is a good step too. Love Posie

  2. Hi Lauren
    Sorry to leave a comment, but I've sent you a couple of emails about ordering some clothes, and haven't heard anything. I wouldn't be surprised if my emails have ended up in your junk folder (there is something wrong with my domain security atm). Can you pls email me at allison@betterbirth.com.au - thanks! Allison

  3. If you are in the area (north side of town) let me know as I have excess basil at the moment so you can grab a bunch if your like, I'm nearly pesto-ed out!

  4. I feel super inspired by your post Lauren, thankyou for sharing. I really want to put in a veg patch at our place :)

  5. Totally agree with everything you said (again) and am pleased to note even more aims and standards we have in common!! I try to make all our clothes, and we're given some, and we op shop it too....can't remember the last time we bought a new anything. The important element for me is the realisation that everything is energy that remembers where it's been, hence wearing clothes made by slave labour you are literally putting a garment on your body that can remember the pain, hunger, and boredom of the person who made it, and you're putting it on your SKIN!!!! The largest organ on our bodies!!! Another reason why I love to handspin wool and craft wearable creations - I know the breeders too - which have lovely vibes and memories to be placed on your skin:) Thank you again for your wonderful insights!!

  6. I totally agree with you. I feel that wants to take a step to making their lifestyles a lot more eco-friendly, but don't always stick to it. Most people already know the strides they need to make, like bringing reusable bags to markets, buying a waterbottle to fill with water instead of buying packs of bottled water, etc. Secondhand clothing, and Eco-friendly fashion is a great stepping stone for people to be much more conscious and responsible for the world.
    Make sure to check out thehotlovemovement.com, an urban fashion line including supersoft organic tees, tanks, hoodies, and more, also ethically made. Proceeds of the sales also go to underprivileged communities to fund sustainable infrastructure projects!

  7. Cost certainly plays a part in our ability to do more ethically! We also have a small vege patch, buy few clothes (we tend to dislike shopping, too, which helps) and boycott Nestle. And MacDonalds. I agree that boycotting Nestle is relatively easy, until they buy out another of my regularly purchased brands and I don't realise for several months! My latest discovery is that they now own a significant part of L'oreal, who own the Body Shop. So that's off limits now too. Grrr. It's amazing what you can do without though!

  8. Love your blogs...i love ethical clothing choices too!! Thinking about making a pledge myself.
    By the way i was your 100th follower...yay for me!!!

  9. Excellent post. I'm making the pledge, although I do most of it anyway.


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