Late last year, we asked you, our beloved readers, how we could best support your sustainability efforts at Loam. Several of you wrote in asking about ethical companies that you could feel good about spending your money on as stewards of the earth.
Although we're sharing a few of our favorite eco-friendly businesses below, we did want to preface this article by saying that at Loam, we deeply believe that the best way to buy is secondhand. Scoring your furniture, clothing, pots, and pans from cool consignment shops and thrift stores is an easy way to minimize waste and support environmental sustainability. That said, sometimes we buy new. So how can we shop new, when we do, in a way that nourishes circular economies, fosters environmental accountability, and encourages better business practices? Herewith, a few thoughts:
HOW TO SHOP
Only shop from a place of sublime joy (not anxiety, or fear, or scarcity). Okay, yes—buying necessities like toilet paper isn't always a delicious communion with nature. But most shopping should be about generating more beauty into this world rather than patronizing places (strip malls, outlet stores, chains) that eat away at our access to natural beauty. Check out thrift shops. Frequent neighborhood boutiques. Savor craft markets. Make shopping an experience unto itself and you'll free yourself from the anxiety that underlies so much conspicuous consumption.
Buy less. Buy better. We do not need so much stuff in our lives! Forgo a litany of disposable products in favor of goods designed for the long haul. It's an opportunity to not only put value back into your belongings, but also to trim off the gunk in your life that's weighing you down. Cluttered closets, packed with rarely worn clothes, drain us mentally. Living with less really is an invitation to live lushly.
Establish priorities. So often, we say "I can't afford that" when what we really mean is "It's not a priority." So determine your priorities and budget accordingly!
Reframe what matters. I've found that not having a lot of disposable income makes me more judicious about what, how, and why I buy. I don't want to waste my precious cash on cheap stuff churned out from polluting factories that abuse workers! Knowing that impact matters more to me than cost, I always take care to buy very little and when I do buy, buy what's the best for my budget. I believe we always have access to living our values, however imperfectly, and that begins by reframing ourselves as agents of change in our everyday lives. I want to live in a world where the dominant modes of consumption and production nurture—rather than destroy—our earth and those who live within it. So I refuse fast fashion, strip malls, and the allure of low-cost products, choosing instead to make my own, grow my own, and buy (when I do) the best that I can.
WHERE TO SHOP
FOR TREKKING OUTSIDE...
FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS
FOR GROWING A LITTLE EDEN
FOR CULTIVATING A COZY KITCHEN
FOR GIFTING GREEN JEWELRY
FOR BUILDING A BETTER BEAUTY ROUTINE
FOR CLEANING WITH A CONSCIENCE