The holiday season usually sneaks up on us, but this year is different. After a slow awakening from our pandemic-induced hibernation, the sparkling allure of the holidays has been dangling in front of us for months now. We are more than ready—ecstatic even!—to step out of the isolated caves of our homes and feel the crisp, cool air on our faces and the warm hugs of our family and friends around us again. We are finally regaining our footing as a society: life is beginning anew. And this, more than anything, is what 2021 has given us to celebrate.
Moving into the winter months, a flurry of activity will descend upon us. Buying gifts, planning parties, booking travel—it will be easy to become overwhelmed, to overbuy and to take shortcuts, like purchasing disposable items or last-minute gifts. But just because it is a busy time, does not mean we should sacrifice the environmental commitments we’ve made throughout the rest of the year. In fact, this season is the perfect occasion to honour our pledges in a conscious act of rebellion against the excessive nature of the holidays. With all of the innovative and sustainable options available to us now, there’s never been a better time to generate positive change through mindful consumption.
GIFTS THAT KEEP ON GIVING
Gifts this year have the potential to do more than just delight loved ones. Gifting consciously produced items actually comes with the added bonus of creating opportunities for discussion about sustainability with the recipients. It’s a chance for you to share your excitement about all of the eco-innovations that are being produced around the world right now, and perhaps even sow the seeds of a more sustainable mindset in those you hold dearest to your heart.
Some of our favourite conversation-starting items are vegan leather shoes and accessories. The faux leather industry has come leaps and bounds in recent years. Gone are the unrealistic “pleather” products of the past, which unfortunately contributed to plastic waste just as much as they promoted animal welfare. Instead, the sustainable fashion industry is celebrating its newfound mastery of the art of turning food scraps into animal- and planet-friendly vegan leather. This represents a revolutionary step forward in the pursuit of a circular economy as one industry’s waste becomes another industry’s raw materials. Consider leathers made out of discarded apple skins, pineapple leaf fibers or other food industry castoffs when shopping for ethical shoes and bags this holiday season. Nothing will astonish your friends and families more, or invite them to ask more questions, than finding out that these items are made from fruits!
Other areas in fashion that are experiencing a disruption in the status quo are the athletic apparel and accessories sectors. Traditionally relying on synthetic materials like polyester due to their lightweight, durable and quick-drying qualities, activewear brands are now exploring natural alternatives with all of these same advantages and more. As new year’s resolutions lurk right around the corner, contribute to the wellbeing of both your loved ones and the planet by gifting consciously produced sport apparel this season. For accessories like bags and jewellery, recycled rubber, plastic and various metals are also becoming more mainstream. These giftable items make it easier than ever to spread sustainable cheer to everyone on your gift list this year.
We encourage you to share your enthusiasm about all of these and other recent developments in sustainable materials with your loved ones while simultaneously creating opportunities for discussion about why they are necessary in the first place. The gift of knowledge and a cause to believe in are the greatest gifts you can give—but of course it doesn’t hurt to include a recycled gold necklace as well!
NEW WAYS TO DO MORE
With new sustainable brands being born every day, it can be difficult at times to navigate the abundance of eco-friendly and ethical options. This is where specialized apps and curated marketplaces can come in handy. These resources enable you to make informed buying decisions, allowing you to feel confident that your purchases are having the impact on the planet that you desire.
The issue of microplastics is an ongoing dilemma for our oceans and marine populations. Many personal care products like toothpastes, cleansers and lotions still contain microplastics that are shed into our waterways every time they are washed off in the bath or shower. To help educate and guide consumers towards microplastic-free products, apps are able to scan personal care products and alert users regarding the presence of plastic ingredients. The power of portability with apps like these is invaluable, and opens up so many opportunities to make more mindful purchases in the future.
We are also excited to be celebrating Fairbee’s first holiday season. Through our platform, we aim to encourage consumers to try new things without putting stress on our planet. We bring together some of the best sustainable fashion and lifestyle brands out there into one informative marketplace. We are so looking forward to making sustainable shopping fun and easy for you, from this season and onwards.
Finally, as you move through the holidays and into the new year, consider taking on the challenge of offsetting your individual carbon footprint. We often hear about corporations making commitments to carbon offsets, but the ability to do so on an individual level is an exciting new development. It will make you reflect on your personal energy consumption, allowing you to set goals for how to become even more eco-conscious going forward.
We hope that in the coming months, as you gather with friends and family to celebrate both the festive season and the joys of being together again, you get the opportunity to share everything you may have had to keep cooped up inside over the past few years. Share love, share laughter and share knowledge. Take everything you have learned about yourself and the planet around you and gift it to others. Celebrate how far you’ve come on your own sustainability journey, and then get excited about all the ways you can do even better next year. Together, let us all step into an even more positive and conscious 2022.