Being a conscious consumer isn’t about being perfect. It’s about using your dollar, where possible, to support businesses that are making progress in a world that so desperately needs a radical change.

My Story

One year ago, I became friends with an incredible woman – Anne Foster. Anne is the founder of Elkie and Ark (an ethical and organic linen company). Encountering Anne’s brand was the first time I had ever been educated about supply chains, fair trade and more. I sadly used to think that “organic” and “fair trade” (for example) were for those who had a bit more cash to spend, and that buying conventional products wasn’t really that bad, I mean, I live in a civilised world, factories and farms in developing worlds can really be that bad!?

I didn’t choose to be ignorant. But I was way too trusting, not believing it possible for “credible”, mainstream, and making-lots-of-money brands to really exploit people down to an unliveable life. I was so wrong, and so sadden by what I discovered.

Realising the enormity of the problem, specifically in the fashion industry, perfectly synergised with a change that had happened cumulatively over the last four years. I have (and at this precise time) been living in Vanuatu, a developing nation of 83 islands in the South Pacific Ocean. In general, life is pretty simple here. (After 4 years here, a move to the US is on the horizon.)

Now, I don’t want “stuff”. I don’t want lots of clothes. I don’t want the chaos that clutter brings. And, I definitely do not want to contribute to funding businesses that put their profit margin over the lives of others.

When I first moved to Vanuatu, we took a container full of stuff here. But now that we’re leaving, we’re moving with our suitcases. It didn’t take long for me to realise that I was wearing the same clothes week in and week out, and ALL those clothes could easily fit into 2 cubes in an IKEA KALLAX 4×4 shelving unit. The moment I realised that, was the same moment I knew I’d never need have to have a lot of clothes ever again.

But, I do dream of a perfect wardrobe, one that:

breaths in my wardrobe
is ethically made
is all natural
is made with sustainable practices
consists of tones I love that mix and match without effort
will last me for years and years and years

Finally, I don’t believe in perfection. I don’t believe a perfect company or a perfect consumer exists. But, I do believe in progress. I for one am happy to support a business who is striving for better – even if they’re not quite “perfect”.

– Kimanh

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