A new year marks the opportunity to make positive daily changes, both that are self-serving and support our natural world. There’s a shared feeling that living environmentally-consciously is a challenge, with the constant pressure that no matter how sustainably you consume, it’s never quite good enough. In reality, small, practical and realistic everyday changes, when unified, can make a big difference. If you’re unsure how to live more sustainably this year, here’s a rundown of our pragmatic tips that can be easily integrated into your daily routines.
How to live more sustainably - 5 things to consider in 2024
1 - Reuse and Relove
The “Make Do And Mend” campaign was introduced during the Second World War to reduce clothing consumption and conserve resources, promoting sustained love and wear out of your existing wardrobe - something we could all learn a thing or two from in the present day. With less than 1% of textiles being recycled into new textiles or clothes, it’s clear we’re still deeply entrenched within a “one-use” culture.
While sewing and garment creation is itself an art form, basic, everyday sewing skills can be learnt with practice and help give your wardrobe new life. Alternatively, you can always take your items to a tailor who can help with tears, breaks and transformations, allowing you to get more wear out of your existing clothes and reducing your need to buy brand-new ones.
2 - You are what you click
Social media has immense power over our moods, beliefs and shopping habits. We are what we consume, and the longer we follow, subscribe to (and therefore support) those who promote fast fashion and OTT consumerist lifestyles, the harder it is to see the wood for the trees when it comes to our growing climate crisis.
Take this January as an opportunity for a detox - remove brands, influencers and channels from your digital life that don’t align with a sustainable step forward. Instead, fill your feed consciously with accounts that are striving to do better. We recommend the following as a good start:
- Besma Whayeb - a local Brighton influencer passionate about curating a sustainable lifestyle
- Sustainably Influenced - a podcast and platform dedicated to helping you live life consciously, headed up by sustainability influencer Bianca Foley.
- Fashion Revolution - a fashion activism movement seeking to educate and spread awareness of the fast fashion crisis.
- Slow Fashion UK - a community page that educates and hosts regular events, fashion mending workshops and clothes swaps.
- Ayten Gasson - you won’t just find beautiful silk lingerie on our page. We regularly post sustainable tips and educational highlights over on our social media pages, taking deeper dives on our monthly updated blog.
3 - Leave fast fashion in 2023
The world is slowly but surely waking up to the horrors of fast fashion, becoming more disillusioned with its practices. Brands in retaliation are only going to push sales harder, so we suggest a break up with fast fashion for good is well overdue. Make a commitment in 2024 to shop less and with brands that put our planet first - we’ve even created a handy guide to help ease your addiction. Here are a few local, sustainable brands you could support instead of the fast fashion giants:
- Ayten Gasson (of course - read more about our commitments here)
- Curate & Rotate
- Toba Brighton
- Sophie Darling
- Ruby Moon
4- Go green with eco-friendly living at home
Living a sustainable life isn’t always easy, but it’s always rewarding - and often cost-effective. Making green choices at home and leaning towards eco-friendly living is an easy way to make daily, positive differences. While we can’t all afford to kit out our homes with environmentally conscious technologies etc, there are small actions we can take that won’t have you out of pocket (but just might save you some pennies).
- Let your clothes air dry and avoid tumble drying
- The “switch off rule” for lights and technology every time you leave a room
- Grow your own fruit and veg patch
- Choose (at least) 1 day per week to go meat-free
- Invest in a dependable tote bag to save on constant, pollutive plastic bag purchases
5 - Take advantage of public transport
Cars are a major contributor to air pollution, introducing significant amounts of nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide into our atmosphere. Moving into 2024, try to utilise the various forms of public transport available near you, especially for short journeys. Buses, trains and even Brighton’s uber-sustainable Beryl Bikes are all more conscious modes of transport, and often cheaper (as you’ll know if you’ve visited any of the city’s car parks lately!) Find out more about sustainable travel around Brighton & Hove here.