A little while ago I was having a conversation with someone about sustainable fashion and he asked, but what do you mean by sustainable? So I tried to explain that sustainable fashion meant a process of making clothes that doesn’t harm the environment at any stage. As a result the clothes tend to be more expensive. And he said, no one cares about that. People just want things that are cheap. Why bother making or talking about anything that is eco-friendly when people just want cheap and convenient.
No one cares.
I think about this a lot. I know that a lot of people don’t want to change their behaviour for the sake of the environment. I see this every time I go to a coffee shop and I am the only one with a personal coffee mug. I know people want what is cheap because I am being inundated with Black Friday sales and I live in Canada. But I started this blog because I am passionate about saving the environment and changing how we act and think not only as individuals but also as a culture is essential to our longevity.
Being an environmentalist is like pushing a rock up a hill. You can see what needs to happen, it’s clear. But you can also see the resistance to change all around you. You see it in the people on the street but also in friends and family. Environmentalism is not about being liberal or conservative. It’s not about being rich or poor. It’s about the science and the science has existed for a long time. Western society has simply chosen to ignore it for the sake of profits. We have been told since the end of World War II that consumerism at all costs will be our salvation. We were told to buy buy buy in order to perk up the economy. And it continued into this century. After 9/11 President George Bush told people to go shopping as a way to show the world America was still strong and ready to get back to daily life. But shopping as a way of life is killing the planet. There is proof that mass consumerism and the drive to make things cheaper has contributed to global warming. The book “This Changes Everything” by Naomi Klein explains this quite clearly.
So do people mindlessly buy because they have been told to or are they simply not aware of how their actions effect the planet. I don’t know. All I know is that this pattern of behaviour has to change if we are to stop the tide of climate change. And I know that I am compelled to write about it.
I also know that me not buying another pair of jeans is not going to change the world. It’s big business that are the ones doing the most damage. But capitalism works on supply for demand. If everybody stopped buying another pair of jeans, that would make a difference. Stop putting gas in the engine and the engine will cease to work.
This is why I am here, pushing that rock up the hill. Me and all the other environmentalists out there, blogging and developing new technologies and driving for change. So the next time someone says to me that nobody cares, I can show him how wrong he is.