I may be a poster girl for all things handmade, but I do not reject new technology. New technology and artisan crafts are not mutually exclusive. They can complement each other. Their combined forces can combat environmental pollution and the decimation of communities.
“Fashion is made to become unfashionable. By virtue of being in style, a look must eventually be out of style…”, Coco Chanel. A multi-billion dollar industry rests on an ephemeral concept of what is trendy and what is not. We continue to buy trendy clothes. Last season’s discards end up in opportunity shops and landfills. The volume of waste is large. Many second-hand shops spend money to get rid of old clothes dumped in front of their shops.
Some of you would argue, that fashion is circular. Trends re-emerge every now and then. But they come back with a different twist. The original clothes do not match the current avatars.
Do we continue to splurge on cotton, leather, and polyester to the point of excess?
Do we discard fashion and focus on functional clothing? Can there be a happy marriage between sustainability and fashionability? Let us explore the options.
Looking back to my childhood, I recall my grandfather going to the markets every morning. He would bring back fresh fruits and vegetables in weathered calico bags. Most households either had no refrigerator or refrigerated produce was frowned upon. Plastic bags had not raised their hydra heads yet. The vendor would pour veggies into the calico bag or wrap them in banana leaves.
Let’s stop to think for a moment to think, how many times can you re-use the different types of re-usable options.
The green re-usable bags found at the supermarkets should be used 37 times.
Paper bags should be used 43 times
Calico bags should be used 7100 times
What do you do with so many calico bags, someone asked on another forum. That set me thinking. What do you do indeed? But then, I discovered so many ways to re-use calico bags.
Organic eco sustainable, these words are repeated often. What do they mean? In a nutshell, sustainable is a product, practice or lifestyle choice that sustains natural resources and communities for future generations. The classical meaning of organic is anything that derives from plants or animals. Organic is now associated with environment-friendly or sustainable living.
Is it necessary for us to practise sustainable living? Or is it another fad that will fade out with time?
The spectre of global warming looming large. Major cities are becoming gas chambers. Taps are running dry. Tsunamis and earthquakes are wreaking havoc. The truth is, we do not have a choice anymore. Either we adopt sustainable living or we perish.
What do we do to become sustainable? We do not have to do a lot. If each one of us takes a few simple steps, we will make this world a much better place.
As we commit to a plastic-free July in 2018, I cannot help reminiscing about my childhood. In the society I was born into, community living, recycling, and zero waste were the norm. I have memories of the milkman who would deliver milk every morning in glass bottles. The aroma of freshly ground spices from my grandmother’s kitchen would fill my being. Savouries wrapped in recycled newspaper paper bags would tickle my palette.
A cottage industry thrived on the recycled newspaper bags. One group would go from house to house collecting old newspaper. Another group, mostly women, would make paper bags out of old newspaper. Nothing discarded, nothing wasted.
Things we used in our daily lives were handmade. Artisan groups worked in unison. The weaver, the potter, the carpenter, the farmer supported one another. After the two great wars, words like ‘assembly line’ and ‘mass produced’ reared their ugly heads. The advent of plastic or nylon dealt a firm blow to many things natural. Plastic has many virtues. It is bright, strong and hard wearing. The problem, it is too hard -wearing. It refuses to go away. It chokes our waterways and clogs our landfills. How can we, you and I, get rid of this menace.
It takes a little effort but we can all ditch the ‘p’ word, now onwards.
Plastic-free July say no to plastic bags
Use and re-use organic cotton totes for shopping. Put your grocery in organic cotton drawstring bags. Organic cotton is a certified sustainable fabric. It is rain fed and chemical free. Deidaa makes customised organic cotton bags for clients all over the world. Looking for calico bags in different shapes or sizes, plain, embroidered or printed? Your search ends at Deidaa.
Replace plastic take away boxes with stainless steel bento boxes. Stainless steel is sturdy and lasts long. It is biodegradable. Carry your own stainless steel water bottle and drinking straws.
Furoshiki is the ancient Japanese art of wrapping gifts with a scarf or a piece of cloth. The receiver can unwrap the gift and use the scarf – wrap as a bandanna or necktie. This is one gift wrap that will not end up in the trash can.
Catch ’em young
Get your kids involved in simple cooking and gardening projects. Children should learn early in life that food comes from the soil and not from the refrigerator. Children can practise sustainable living through baking, cooking or maintaining a veggie patch. Deidaa has a range of organic cotton kids aprons that add to the fun. Pesticide and chemical free, these aprons do no harm to the tender skin.
Potty about potter
Get ceramic jars for your storage needs in the kitchen. Ceramic jars add character to your kitchen. Ceramic crockery comes in vibrant colours, motifs, and shapes. Mixed and matched correctly, ceramics add that Latino vibe to your table setting.
Got a few plastic-free tips of your own this winter 2018? Share them with Deidaa’s readers. Post comments and suggestions on deidaablog or at http://www.facebook.com/deidaafashiononline. #regram@deidaafashiononline, tag #deidaafashionline. Each post, comment or regram is rewarded with a #coupon code for 10% discount on all products at deidaashop. For more plastic-free photos, follow Deidaa at http://www.facebook.com/deidaafashiononline or on Instagram @deidaafashiononline.