Lately, after the plastic campaigns I have launched, I began to question myself about the word “sustainability”. And what exactly means being sustainable? I observed people and myself and found interesting how many times we care so much about one thing (lets say for example about not using plastic bottles anymore) and then we forget to question what is it that we put on our skin. Why?
I believe because we don’t think of being one with the world and the environment.
Last week I was invited to a conference in Milan organised by SkinEco, an international organisation about ecological dermatology. And before that, always last week, I bought a book about natural fibers because although I work in fashion I know almost nothing about what I wear.
What we put on our skin, what we wear, what we eat and what we use is all connected. And caring so much about the Earth made me realise I need to care about myself too. But it’s not that easy and straightforward as I imagined. We live in an era where information is polluting our minds making it really hard to understand what is really sustainable and healthy.
I sat down and thought about what sustainability means to me:
- It has to do with TIME: Whether it’s fashion, beauty products or food it must take its natural time to become the final product we consume. Then, while clothes should be made to last, food and cosmetics have different life-spans. A food that lasts 5 years on the shelf is not sustainable for our bodies because inside it’s made of substances that were not meant for nutrition (not everything that is edible is good to eat, especially when you don’t know the longterm effects on your body). The time I’m talking about is also linked to personal responsibility, with that I mean to use and reuse the clothes you own despite fashion’s dictatorship. Or if you’re done using it give it to a friend who will continue to wear it (then you might wonder what to do with your very old t-shirt – oh hey vintage is back btw! LOL – well use it as a cleaning-the-house uniform or gym-uniform or gardening-uniform or use it to clean… there are many ways you can use old clothes, throwing them out should be the last resource). Last but not least, we should start to think about this –> the time it took to make it, the time we use it and the time it lasts in the environment after it’s been used. Humans have invented brilliant things only to discover later the harm of them, we must THINK LONGTERM!
- It has to do with RESPONSIBILITY: Responsibility of human, animal and Earth’s life and wellbeing. It is not acceptable that millionaires business owners leave the people (and the animals!) making their business profitable starve and live in inhumane conditions. As consumers we too have the responsibility to educate ourselves about what we buy. We cannot just point the finger, nobody can point the finger. Be conscious of who you are supporting and what you are supporting.
- It has to do with COSTS: To produce a certain way it’s obvious that costs will go slightly up. But this would mean —> a dignified pay for the workers, a dignified and respectful life to animals. The industries, lets say it, have fooled us into believing they can make our food and clothes for cheap. They didn’t tell you how. Nor did they tell you that someone on the other side of the world will suffer from our beautiful and fast lifestyle. From now on keep in mind, every time something is cheap, someone else is paying for it. Cheap meat = animals are raised without respect, packed in cages, fed with GMOS (not always but… where does all the gmo corn go? think!) etc. Cheap clothes = women/children in Asia work like machines only to be able to survive, they have no rights, nor a real home.
- It has to do with RESPECT: This is hard, it’s not just about respecting a person or animal but it’s about respecting my skin, my organs, my endocrine system on the long run (going back to time). Farmed salmon is very bad for children’s and pregnant women health, sun screens are full of endocrine disruptors, synthetic fabric can irritate the skin, etc. For the sake of external beauty we lose our health sometimes. But skin is not an impermeable layer protecting the inside from the outside, there are many ways chemicals enter our bodies even when we don’t eat them directly. So this is the respect I urge to see from the industries of the future, to think “All-listically”.
This is what means being sustainable to me, these four areas cover ethics, justice, and health.
As a model I work in the beauty industry and I can’t pretend anymore not to be touched… also I would be a hypocrite to take care of the environment and plastics and then turn my head the other way concerning micro-plastics in cosmetics, creams and fibers.
Starting from defining what is sustainable, I will research, try and write about sustainable brands and cosmetics/creams. They exist! 😀 But we need to start educating ourselves about what is in our products!! Many of you read the food labels, very few read the cosmetic labels… I understand, I tried last summer to read the label of the creams I have and it was all so complicated! If food ingredients have names we don’t know how to pronounce well cosmetics’ only readable ingredient is water ahahahahahahahaha AAAAAAAAAnyway … Stay tuned! And comment about your views on sustainability.