Tag Archives: Arran Stephens

EP!C 2013: A Look at Sustainable Living

Sustainable Consumption Workshop

Sustainable Purchasing & Production CHANGE JAM Workshop

Vanessa Timmer, Executive Director of One Earth nonprofit ‘think and do tank’ and Chris Diplock, founder of Collective Research Group presented a wonderful discussion on sustainable purchasing and production both at a corporate and family levels. So what does this have to do with fashion & retail? Consumption. Chris mentioned a communal tool shed project he helps out with that allows neighbours to borrow power tools that would otherwise cost too much to rent or end up being unused in a garage.

I loved the idea of community and sharing, so I shared the story of how I have 4 weddings to attend in August and was determined not to buy a dress. I threw out my request on Facebook, and within minutes I had friends and acquaintances open their closets up to me. Workshop participant Anna Mae Abia also brought up NextDoor.com, a brilliant use of technology creating real-time bulletin boards among neighbourhoods. For example, someone can post that they need to borrow skis for the weekend, inform others about nearby traffic accidents, or invite neighbours for a potluck. It’s just too bad that Next Door is currently only available in the US (although Anna Mae and countless others have written emails to rally for a Canadian version).

“GMO OMG” Film Screening

“GMO OMG” film screening presented by Nature’s Path

The film “GMO OMG” documents the quest of Jeremy Seifert, a young father of 3, who attempts to better understand what he’s feeding his children. He quickly learns that GMOs permeate the American agricultural industry, and only few have the courage and patience to switch to organic farming. I loved that this film came from a father’s perspective, and I’m sure you would too. Jeremy tries teaching his young boys about nutrition through DIY “GMO goggles” made of spaghetti sticking out the side of the eyewear like whiskers. He teaches them to see how dominant GMOs are in the grocery store, fast food chains, and even in corn fields.

I don’t know if I was left with anything more than a smidgen of hopelessness at the end of the film, as I had just learned that 90% of beets contain GMOs. One of the suggested solutions was to keep food production at a smaller, more manageable size. As an interviewee in the film mentioned, industries and companies are not too big to fail, they’re simply too big.

And as it’s important to be aware of what’s in our food, we must also be aware of what’s in our clothing. Check out the Greenpeace campaign that convinced Zara to “eliminate all discharge of hazardous chemicals from its supply chain and products by 2020.”

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