My Journey Back to Sustainable Living

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Written By Lucy Spencer

Leading by example, Lucy fuses eco-conscious fashion and decor to encourage a sustainable lifestyle.

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From wearing second-hand clothes as a child to straying into the fast-paced worlds of fast fashion and fast food, my journey has been a circuitous one.

But it’s never too late to change!

As I grew increasingly sensitive to chemical smells that triggered my migraines, I found myself reconnecting with my roots in sustainable fashion.

My hope is that my story inspires you to embark on your own sustainable journey, regardless of where you’re starting from.

Early Years: The Roots

Young girl thrift shopping with her mother

Growing up in a household where the garden was our grocery store and the health food shop was a go-to destination, sustainable living was just a way of life for me.

With parents who were bona fide hippies and financial constraints, thrift shopping was a pragmatic, eco-conscious choice.

As a child, my friends would laugh when they discovered I didn’t know what McDonald’s was during a school cheeseburger day—something that now speaks volumes about my upbringing.

While I may have occasionally envied my friends’ trendy outfits, my early years laid a foundation that I would later come to appreciate deeply.

The Detour: Fast Fashion and Fast Food

Teenager eating fast food in a food court with friends

The magnetic pull of fitting in with my friends led me down a path of fast fashion and fast food during my late teens and early adulthood.

The addictive allure of quick, convenient, and trendy options took hold of me, distancing me from the eco-conscious upbringing that once shaped my choices.

It was a period of complete immersion; sustainability and health took a backseat as the desire to conform and instant gratification became my driving forces.

The Awakening: Health and Awareness

Young woman with her head in her hands suffering a migraine

As a young adult, my burgeoning sensitivity to chemical smells became impossible to ignore.

What started as a reaction to certain fragrances quickly escalated into a full-blown aversion to strong chemical odors, intensifying the migraines that had plagued me since my early teens.

Coupled with a growing realization that my happiness stemmed from embracing my own style rather than conforming, I knew it was time for a change.

My initial focus was on diet, as I returned to organic foods to reduce my exposure to harmful chemicals.

From there, it was a natural transition to scrutinizing my wardrobe and home environment. My path back to sustainable living and conscious fashion had begun.

Returning to My Roots: Modern Choices

Young woman shopping in a thrift store

As life’s responsibilities piled up, my love for thrift stores was rekindled.

Each visit became a treasure hunt for unique, sustainable fashion items.

For those essentials that I preferred to buy new, such as underwear or special occasion outfits, I turned to organic fabrics as my go-to choice.

Simultaneously, my humble herb garden evolved into a flourishing vegetable garden and orchard.

Using spray-free and biodynamic practices, it became a source of immense pride and a testament to my commitment to sustainable living.

From the clothes I wear to the food on my plate, my choices are now a reflection of my values and the lessons learned from my unique journey.

The Path Forward

As I look ahead, my journey towards sustainable living is far from over.

My aim is to continue replacing items in my home and wardrobe with eco-friendly, non-toxic alternatives, as and when they need replacing.

Nurturing my garden remains a constant passion, as I strive to foster a harmonious relationship with our wondrous home, Earth.

To those inspired to embark on their own sustainable journey, my message is simple:

Start slow, but start today.

The idea isn’t to make a drastic overhaul that creates its own problems but to make incremental changes that accumulate over time – here is how to get started transitioning to sustainable fashion.

And of course, have fun in the process!

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