One thing is certain: There is no quick fix to solve what is happening to our planet – the need for action around climate change has never been more urgent. And let’s keep it real: The fashion industry’s impact on the environment is significant and not something we can ignore any longer. This month’s issue contains many questions (and answers!) about the conventions we must challenge in order to make a lasting difference: Is it possible to have a fully sustainable fashion brand? Why are women impacted more by climate-change issues than men? How do we support the young activists taking extreme steps for our planet? We also flag small habits that can add up. My biggest challenge is reducing my carbon footprint. I used to brag about how many miles I travel, but now I feel ashamed of it, so I look to airline offset programs to mitigate my travel emissions. Since my daughter became a vegetarian two years ago, our household rarely has meat anymore, and I’m trading or borrowing clothes with my girlfriends like I used to do back in high school. Here are a few eco-friendly habits members of our team are adopting.
“I’m going to start using reusable make- up-remover pads instead of disposable wipes. I already travel by bike five months of the year, and I’ll extend this by one more month.” SOPHIE BANFORD, publisher
“I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll never be someone who regularly cooks at home, so I’m making a concerted effort to bring my own containers when I get takeout or at least visit places with compostable ones.” VICTORIA DIPLACIDO, digital director
“I already have all the compulsory reusable products – silicone snack bags, stainless-steel straws – but I’m done making excuses for not using them 100 percent of the time. So even if it means permanently saving space in my bag to make sure I always have my portable coffee mug with me, I’m doing it.” PATRICIA KAROUNOS, associate editor
“I’m eliminating processed food from my diet. I feel most connected to the earth when I cook from scratch, and it reduces waste significantly.” MELISSA PERDIGAO, beauty editorial assistant
“I’m committing to driving less. Whether it be walking, taking the streetcar or (very anxiously) biking around Toronto, it’s an easy way to reduce my carbon foot- print.” CHRISTINA TOURLOUKIS, editorial assistant
“I already use a reusable coffee cup and water bottle, but now I’m levelling up and bringing my own containers when I get lunch. And I’m taking advantage of all the beauty brands that are doing a program with TerraCycle rather than trusting the city to recycle properly.” LESA HANNAH, beauty director
“In addition to continuing to lead a plant- based lifestyle, I want to focus on reducing food waste and eating more sustainably. This means eating locally and seasonally when possible (making trips to the local farmers’ market when I can), freezing food and ensuring that food waste is composted.” HANNAH ZIEGLER, digital editorial assistant
“I’m trying to shop more sustainably this year. That means more thrifting and buying vintage, learning how to repair my clothes and only getting a new piece if I really, really love it.” ERICA NGAO, fashion editorial assistant
“I don’t buy very much clothing and prefer to buy quality that will last a long time. At home, we buy the exact amount of food we need so there is minimal waste. And I have decided to replace my car with an electric one.” ANNIE HORTH, creative director
“Our beauty director, Lesa, introduced me to great products like Guppyfriend, a washing bag that reduces microplastic pollution by catching fibres that get released when you do laundry. I’ll also be making it a point to shop at zero-waste markets for household products like hand soap and laundry detergent.” ELAINE JYLL REGIO, fashion & market editor
“I switched to soap bars a year and a half ago after feeling guilty about throwing out yet another empty body-wash bottle. Next up, I’m looking into options for shampoo and dish-soap bars.” JED TALLO, art director
This article originally appeared in the April 2020 issue of ELLE Canada, on newsstands everywhere March 16. Subscribe here.
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