Friday, June 26, 2009

Business School Grad to Eco Fashionista

Before moving out West, I went to business school back in Ontario. I wasn't sure where the path would lead me, but I studied marketing because I saw it as the most creative aspect of the academic business world. A lot of things really inspired me during my education - mainly things that included strategy and outside of the box business practices. There were also a lot of things that turned me off, or things that just gave me a nagging feeling in my gut.

I think since starting ecocessories I have gained a lot of insight into things that I studied, and why I really was attracted to certain things, and turned off by others. For example, I loved marketing because I saw it as an opportunity to influence and motivate people. There are so many good things in this world, and positive messages that need to be spread! However, many of my peers also loved marketing too. It better helped them strategize how to push the latest consumer products into the hands of unsuspecting citizens. By this I simply mean that so many household products are blindly consumed everyday and many people don't even stop to consider whether these cleaning sprays, cosmetics, or soaps are truly safe. This safety net can often be traced back to the marketing messages the consumer goods companies have associated with their products.

I really don't like that type of deception, which is one reason I moved to B.C.! It is so easy here to live a healthy, organic lifestyle. One of the main excuses I hear from people is that it costs so much more. But does it really? Yes, green products may be a bit more pricey on an individual basis but when you really think how you are benefiting your health in body, mind, and spirit I think you gain much more value in the long run. How and what you consume is a choice. Consider the individual parts of the next item you purchase - where did the metal, plastic, hardware come from? How was the item constructed - who had a hand in its production & distribution process from conception into your hands? Answer these questions and make your own decision about whether a change needs to happen in your own consumption habits. Are you a conscious consumer?

I'm designing in preparation for Portobello West this Sunday, but lately I have been struck with many thoughts reflecting on the lifestyle I've chosen. I think it is important to reflect on these choices on this blog so my readers can better understand ecocessories and it's importance to me. I'm going to write a series of posts this summer while I'm traveling back to Ontario during July telling you my reflective stories.

I'd love your comments below - how do you make your consumption choices? It is important to you to consume organic, environmentally-friendly, or non-toxic goods?


  1. I completely agree. I would like to consider myself a conscious consumer but it wasn't easy at first, it can take some time to adjust your habits. Remembering to grab organic/natural products, to be able to look past all the things labelled organic that really are not and pick what is good for both yourself and the environment can seem like a lot of work. However, once you begin buying these products it just starts to become what you naturally reach for in the store. Shopping organic and natural is a bit of trial and error, but don't let one bad experience push you away.

    Beyond the personal benefits you receive by using products and consuming food that do not have chemicals, you also contribute to helping the environment by choosing items that had lower environmental impact on the earth.

    ecocessories is a great example of a conscious business. Each piece is made using sterling silver (a highly reusable material), recycled beads (eliminating waste and creating beauty), and all handmade parts. The artist's lifestyle really is reflected in the business.

  2. Thanks Allan - living green really is a lifestyle choice that works best when you and all members of your household are wholly committed!

    I couldn't live my personal life green without living my professional life green, and vice versa.

  3. shopping organic here is definitely still really expensive, but getting better!

    I recently started buying organic milk from a nearby specialty store, with the added bonus of glass bottle packaging (returnable and reusable!) and locavore approved (kitchener!)I find buying local is the easiest way to go green without breaking the bank, and is one of the easiest ways too. All grocery stores will tell you where their produce comes from so you can at least have a choice!

    ps great blog post, I totally agree about the mixed feelings with marketing

  4. Hi Rob - yes mixed feelings is a great way to describe it. The most important thing is that there are people like us asking these questions, and making better choices.

    One person can make a big difference!