You guys!!! This is super exciting!!! It's been two years since this exciting possibility first came to attention. And now an expanded collection of products in reusable packaging is a reality! The plan is to offer these products (+ more!) in spots around the world. Here in the USA, Loop is available now! + will deliver your order in a reusable bag. They will pick up that bag, along with empties, when they drop off your next order...or you can drop it off at a UPS location.
A few of the offerings are exciting options that I could not buy without packaging previously. I would love to try the body lotion, laundry detergent, plant-based burgers + ice-cream in reusable packaging!
A few of their products might be good temporary replacements for items we purchased from the bulk bins pre-Covid. I'd be extremely excited to avoid those plastic bags!
A few products made by innovators in the field of reusable packaging are available alongside these products...which would hopefully reduce the number of miles this reusable packaging would need to travel.
The emissions spent transporting this packaging from place to place gives me pause, but recycling also involves transport + so much more energy needed to break down materials + remake them.
A couple of their offerings made me laugh out loud. Plastic ziplock bags packaged in a tin are the very definition of greenwashing. Loop will take back the ziplock bags for recycling, but it would be much better to just avoid using the bags altogether.
I think you can tell I'm excited (word of the post) about this! Thank you again to Bea Johnson, Terracycle + The Story of Stuff for all of their work toward this new beginning whether directly or indirectly. Friends in the zero-waste community, we are part of this too! We prove that people have both the desire + the will to reduce waste. This is a giant step toward collective action! When companies such as Proctor + Gamble, Unilever, Nestle + Pepsi move in this direction, it has the potential to create a huge shift!
Loop is most likely an experiment + the whole industry is watching. Imagine being able to drop off clean containers for sterilization + reuse at the grocery store with each visit! (We already do it with our milk jugs.) If the costs are prohibitive (I found that a shipping/returns fee of $30 gets added to each order), consider giving them some feedback. Let's communicate that consumers want reusable packaging + that it is worth investing in. This is exciting, friends!!
All photos via Loop.
Our experiments with less over the past few weeks were done in hopes of being able to recognize our own personal "enough" in the kitchen. It took a bit of work + soul searching to reach this point. Let's be intentional about what we do with this clearer idea of "enough" going forward.
As for me :: I want to rest in enough. I want to make nourishing food for my family. I want everything to fit into the kitchen that I have. I want have confidence that moving can be manageable. I want freedom from the constant desire for more. I want everyone to have enough.
I value farmers, whole foods, health, peace of mind, being a part of making sure there is enough for everyone's need, our planet, living within our means + keeping things out of the landfill.
I copy my list of "enough" into the first pages of my journal each year as both reference + reminder. My entire list is entitled: "Enough :: Replacements Only" as a reminder that this is all I need to make delicious + nutritious meals for my family. My list has been thoroughly tested over the past few years. Having all of these things written down somehow makes me feel like my mind no longer has to wonder what else I might want or need.
My desires + values make me feel happy + strong + resolved. This is no grit-your-teeth deprivation. This is sweet liberation enabled by a joyous conviction. And I still get to shop for colorful, delicious, nutritious food every week! :)
Just as I was fully committing to the fairdare...I was also enjoying the stylings of Madewell. Ocassionally I still check in for styling inspiration...and ocassionally I find a Madewell piece I like secondhand. Madewell has offered a few fair-trade denim pieces over the past few years + this season offered a few non-denim fair-trade pieces too.
I always have mixed feelings about major brands offering fair-trade collections. The fact that they offer any fair-trade or organic pieces at all shows that they have knowledge of the lack of fairness in their current supply chain + that they know how to access fair labor + materials. These pieces point out with such extreme clarity the fact that these brand continue to choose extremely problematic sourcing for the vast majority of their offerings.
There is an argument to be made, however, for supporting the fair-trade pieces that these brands offer. I see these dabblings in the fair-trade market as experiments they are doing to see what customers want. What sort of message would it send to the powers that be, if a fair-trade collection sold out quickly + the sales of the non-fair-trade pieces plummeted?
I recently noticed that there is again a search tab for "fair-trade certified pieces" on the Madewell site (under clothing + then under featured shops). I'm not sure how many here are at all interested in Madewell anyway...and I do not ever want to move anyone toward anything other than conscious consumption. I do, however, want to offer the thought that I believe Madewell is monitoring clicks on that link. Their collection of fair-trade pieces has grown + their further transition toward fair-trade would be a big win for so many garment workers!
I just thought I'd leave that here, in case anyone wants to join me in sending a message. :)
And just to clarify...a few ways to apply the fairdare in regards to big brands:
All lovely photos feature fair-trade pieces made from natural materials via Madewell.
Lately I'm loving these library reads:
How to Build a Shed by Sally Coulthard (because I'd love to build all the things)
Anni Albers by Ann Coxon (because simple can be exquisite)
Upstate by Lisa Prystup (because it's a wabi sabi dream)
Oasis by iO Tillet Wright (because the desert is exactly where I'd like to be right now)
One dress :: 100 days.
Keep five t-shirts out of the landfill.
Always bring a smile to my face.
Now is the time for less.
My needs are small...oh, I've got plenty to be thankful for.
Loads of wishes for a happy, healthy new year, friends!!
My enneagram, Meyers-Briggs + astrology sign all attest to the fact that I feel things deeply. I imagine that this year has had us all feeling things deeply, no matter where we fall on these spectrums.
Today, I came across a concept that is not new, yet felt timely + worth noting...emotional flexibility. One aspect of emotional flexibility takes into account that we feel a variety of feelings throughout the day + allows us to both feel them one at a time and to hold them all at once.
This feels like the answer to the riddle I've been trying to solve this year. How do I experience the accomplishment of my daughter's graduation while knowing that my friend will never see her son graduate? How do I laugh at a silly joke, while people are dying alone due to Covid? How do we celebrate the holidays with gifts, when so many are facing eviction + food pantry lines? Joy + pain...desire to forget for one second + guilt. We balance these thoughts + emotions every day, but I think lately the heavy stuff has felt just so extremely heavy.
So these words from Brad Stulberg feel powerful: "Embracing the murkiness — and cultivating the emotional flexibility required to do so — yields large dividends. Resilience comes from deliberately practicing joy, even during awful times; happiness is intensified by experiencing and feeling deep sadness."
Emotional flexibility involves both advanced mental gymnastics + the most basic observations of life. It may feel natural when it allows us to clean up explosive diapers while not forgetting the existence of baby belly laughs + soft warm heads against our cheeks. It may take work when we experience frustration over the ever present socks next to the bed again...and have to remember the comfort that comes from knowing they always endure our cold feet in bed.
A few ways we can cultivate our emotional flexibility:
-allowing ourselves to feel our feelings without guilt
-noticing + naming our feelings
-journaling (to express + explore more deeply + gain perspective)
-write down three good things every day
-asking about + acknowledging the legitimacy of other's feelings
-practicing being present in all that we do (this releases us from the past + the future)
-exercising (can get us into our bodies + out of our minds)
-connecting with others (especially those who are emotionally flexible or provide perspective)
-connecting with our deeper values
-spending time in nature
-reaching out for professional help when needed
Emotional flexibility gives us permission to notice the beauty of a cloud-filled sky even as we are experiencing pain + loss. It allows us to feel sadness even as we know Georgia O'Keefe + mangos + sunbeams + new leaves on trees + desert wildflowers. Emotional flexibility strengthens our resilience + keeps us from depression + despair. It acknowledges that we contain multitudes...and that just might be our superpower.
Loads of love to you,
I'm not sure if anyone decided to do any of the experiments with less over the past few weeks. This might have seemed like a weird time to try less in the kitchen, but it might just have been the perfect time. The holidays are the just-in-case time that we are often thinking of when we wonder if we could ever do without all of the things we keep in our kitchens. These holidays were probably different than the usual (due to Covid-19), but they might be just the ones to get us thinking a little bit differently. (Also...there is no reason that these experiments couldn't be done now or at any point.) :)
If you did do any or all of the experiments with less, how did "less" make you feel? Did your drawers, cupboards or walls feel a little bit less chaotic? Was it easier to clean? Did simple methods make you feel a little bit more in touch with your meals? Did you feel less pressure to use neglected tools? Did you employ any new habits? Were there any benefits? Did you start thinking differently about anything? Have you come closer to recognizing your personal "enough"?
It might be helpful to write our answers down. The act of writing can anchor these thoughts in our minds. Ask the others living in your space for their feedback. Sometimes we get surprising answers. Sometimes I find that I've been anticipating people's annoyance...only to find out that they like the change + have positive reasons that I haven't even crossed my mind! (yay!)
Now we can decide if we want to extend the experiment + address the things we've set aside at a later date...or if we want to address them now. If you decide to wait, schedule a date in your calendar (not more than 6 months from now)...so that the time does come. The things that you are no longer using can be useful to others.
When taking a look at the set aside items, few different categories of things might arise:
Seasonal pieces ::
You get to decide if you want to keep a Halloween-only, candy bowl or a just-for-Christmas platter. If simplifying interests or becomes a necessity, think multifunctionality. One beautiful, cream platter can work for all the holidays + may be a beautiful piece to collect incoming + outgoing mail on ordinary days. The same basket that holds a collection of mittens + hats could corral the Halloween candy for a few hours each year. Holiday decorating can be done with pumpkins, pine boughs + popcorn garlands that can be composted when the festivities are over.
Sentimental pieces ::
Consider limits. I'm keeping my maternal grandma's plates + bowls. These were the only ones that survived from her wedding china. I have a quilt that my paternal grandma pieced + my mom finished. We use it as our picnic blanket. I have my mom's sewing basket, which I keep sewing bits in too. Along with some photos + letters, these items are useful, beautiful + have meaning to me.
Use what you keep. I like to use my sentimental items, because I get to see them + they make me happy. A friend of mine displayed her children's painted plates around the soffits in her kitchen. We used our girls' painted plates for our meals for years. As our girls grew older, I thought they might be less enthusiastic about eating off of them when friends came for dinner. Now we eat their birthday cakes off of them each year.
(It might also be helpful to go back to the original posts :: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05 :: to revisit some of the considerations when deciding what to include in our "enough".)
Excess pieces ::
Get them used. Let's do our best to get our excess items into the hands of those who will appreciate them. If others want an item to stay in the family, entrust it to them. My goal is kindness when offering items to others. I let them know that I'm letting go of some things + if any of those things might be useful to them...great. If not...great. I just thought I'd offer.
I try to be mindful of not letting these things become another's burden. If someone has a problem letting things go or has already communicated feelings of overwhelm or guilt in regards to "stuff", I might not ask them if they wanted more things. I think that is kindness too. Offer things to an agency that works with adolescents aging out of foster care, refugees, abused mamas, formerly incarcerated or homeless folks. Sell things or offer them on a free website.
Hopefully these experiments with less have left you feeling more of something positive! Hopefully they've helped you recognize your "enough" in the kitchen! Take note + celebrate!
This jacket was a slow make...not because it was especially time consuming to sew. I just took my time making decisions...like what pattern to use (this was my original plan), whether or not to add a lining, whether or not to add a collar, and what closure method to employ. The fabric felt extra precious + that increased the pressure to get this project just right.
A note on this fabric :: I haven't seen the actual structure of this fabric discussed online (I'm sure it has been, I just haven't come across it), so I thought I'd mention it here. It feels luxurious like I thought it would...soft, with some heft + weight. The reverse side, however, is a very delicate, loosely woven cotton cheesecloth. The wadding is just cotton yarn laid in rows + tacked only by the visible quilt lines. When the fabric is cut, these yarn strands are loose + able to shift within the open square. The reverse side of my fabric showed pilling after a single prewash + line-dry.
These factors led to the feeling that this fabric needed to be lined, which was not planned. I contemplated whether or not to quilt the whole jacket to this lining. I would have liked to quilt it by hand, but couldn't find any floss to match. At the moment, only the pockets are quilted to their linings. I will see how shifty the rayon/linen lining is with wear.
Pattern modifications :: I used the Grainline Tamarack Jacket pattern, straightened the hemline + lengthened the body a bit. A lining was added. To keep the jacket from flaring out at the hem, I added 2 inch wide elastic at the back hem. A collar + patch pockets were also added.
Snaps were used as the closure method. I get nervous about the durability of the snaps on this delicate fabric, but I think it gives the jacket a nice finish whether or not I use them.
Pattern :: Grainline Tamarack Jacket (modified)
Fabric :: Merchant & Mills Jacquard cotton
Lining :: rayon/linen from Joann
on a journey toward zero-waste, simplicity, + compassion :: daring to choose fair one choice at a time