It's been over two years since I've decided to make the journey to a more eco-conscious way of life in my fashion, beauty regimen and other areas of my life. The journey is definitely not at an end. To put things in perspective, I used to buy something new every week and only wore maybe 10 percent of my closet. I had so much that I didn't like and I knew my style needed a makeover. Fast forward two years, I was able to limit my spending, (having no spend days to a month of not buying anything new) which made me discover what really made me happy. In this post, I'll share with you some of the emotional hurdles during my process.
Realizations I Discovered on My Two-Year Journey
Photography by: ELLELLE Productions
Understanding the Longevity
I've learned not to be too hard on myself, and not get discouraged about where I was at in the journey versus where I wanted to be. Especially if I bought from a company that didn't 'tick' all the boxes. For instance, if a company gives back to the community, uses non-toxic materials but wraps their product in a sheet of bubble wrap, was not a going to be a deal breaker for me when it came to purchasing the item. Don't get me wrong, I would LOVE to 'tick' all the boxes and I'm striving to do that one day, however, in a vast ocean of people and companies that consistently take a part in the pollution (myself included) it really makes the nitpickiness mute. On the other end of this counterpoint, one day I do plan to have a bamboo toothbrush... but just not today. The journey will take longer than I originally thought but in no way does it feel like a burden or something I have to do because I'm not that hard on myself. Learning that a lifestyle change doesn't happen overnight was an important lesson I digested along the way.
Finding My Style
I now feel more confident in my sense of style than I did before the journey. It took a lot of practice (trying different looks, styles, silhouettes) that resulted in a lot of self-discovery. For instance, I found out that I'm more casual than I originally thought, but I still love to wear a pair of heels out every now and then. I realized I would follow fashion rules and buy all these 'core' pieces like a blazer or dress pants that I knew I would never end up wearing but just bought because some fashion magazine said I had to have them in my closet. Then I would impulse buy the rest of my closet without knowing how my clothes were made. Don't get me wrong, I still have the urge to treat myself on the whim, (impulse shop) but I take that urge knowing I'll make a better decision that I've made before. Researching brands, following other ethical bloggers, looking in the company's About Us section to see if they were transparent, and experimenting with my style, led me to those better decisions and ultimately finding my style.
Making Small Baby Steps
I forgot that even a few lifestyle changes can make an amazing difference and that the more I got rid of the things that I didn't need the better I felt. For instance, just last month I was using all natural, non-cruelty beauty products but I was using three different lotions and all plastic bottles. In trying to eliminate my plastic consumption, (something I had put off in fear that it would be too difficult) I cut my beauty regimen in half and now use only one plastic bottle. If you think about it, eliminating just five plastic bottles every 2 months equates to 300 plastic bottles in ten years from just myself alone. That's a lot of plastic being dumped into the ocean. However, I was able to make this change in baby steps, with fashion and then slowly working on my beauty routine. Trust me, I have a lot of areas in my life that I still need to work on. Next, I want to tackle food and the kitchen, eating healthier (plant-based) meals and reducing my plastic waste in the groceries I purchase..
What I'm Wearing - (@ The Don CeSar Resort)
Bart Simpson Jean Jacket - Found on eBay
Pink Swimsuit Top - Upcycled and bought years ago
Black Moto Jacket - Found in Local Antique Shop
Photos by: ELLELLE Productions (ellelleproduction.com