Updated: Apr 9, 2019
Social Channels: @forageandsustain
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHAT YOU DO?
Forage and Sustain is an online platform that approaches all things related to sustainable and conscious living with a fresh perspective, delivered via lifestyle guides. I explore a myriad of topics that affect us in our lives such as self-care & wellness, conscious travel, slow living and ethical fashion. My aim is to educate on how to shift your focus to have a more positive impact in these areas, and to encourage you to become an active agent of social change.
EVERYONE HAS A DIFFERENT WAY OF DEFINING ECO-FRIENDLY OR ZERO WASTE. WHAT DOES SUSTAINABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
My entire ethos has always been “progress over perfection.” I believe that small changes amount to bigger, permanent action. In terms of sustainability, to me it means making the best choice possible when it comes to living better. Entering the space knowing that we are all human and not judging or putting pressure on ourselves to go from mainstream to zero waste overnight is always top of mind. Sustainability means thinking about aspects like ethics, the environment, animal and human rights, etc., and using those frameworks to develop a conscious mindset. Understanding that sometimes certain choices are difficult, but if you consciously make a point to do better by the earth and its inhabitants in most of what you do and buy, you are on your way towards a sustainable lifestyle.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO JOIN THE SUSTAINABLE MOVEMENT AND WHY DO YOU THINK BUSINESSES SHOULD BE MODELED THIS WAY?
Poor ethics in consumerism, excess waste, and the state of our environment were things that bothered me and I wanted to inspire others, and myself, to do better. I truly believe that sustainability is the only way forward. This doesn’t just apply to the environment in a macro scale, but I believe that we have lost what it means to be connected to the earth, each other, and ourselves. So many people suffer from chronic stress and anxiety, and part of that is due to a lack of connection and meaning in our lives. By encouraging people to live more consciously, that also feeds back into how we feel, and helps us to regain respect and understanding for the world around us. Businesses should be modeled in this way for these very reasons, and because the way in which we are going is not sustainable for future generations. Preservation of the planet and intentional living are mindsets businesses need to adopt in order to maintain a planet that can sustain us.
WE KNOW YOU'RE A BIG TRAVELER. DOES THAT REFLECT IN YOUR HOME'S INTERIOR STYLE?
In some ways, but not too much to be honest. When I travel, I usually only bring back a postcard as a souvenir, and instead choose to indulge in experiences. Some stuff that I have picked up along the way has made it into my home, but I try to be as discerning as possible – I choose to only buy things from other countries that are artisan-made and actually helpful to the local economy. So many places have cheap goods and souvenirs that are made in China for tourists, and to me not only is that inauthentic and wasteful, it doesn’t actually support the local economy. But of course, if I see something really special and unique, I will bring it back with me. I have an incense holder from Bali that I love and some prayer flags from the Himalayas that are hung up.
WHAT DO YOU FIND THE MOST CHALLENGING WHEN DECORATING YOUR SPACE IN A SUSTAINABLE WAY?
I guess it would be a combination of cost and access. Sustainably-made products are definitely priced a lot higher than the mainstream alternatives, which is understandable as to why, but it can be challenging to justify the added expense at times. Additionally, due to the nature of sustainably-made products, they’re often only available online (produced in other countries or artisans don’t have a brick and mortar shop), and that makes it much more difficult to bring in with the duty costs, and discern whether it’ll be a good fit for the house.
WHEN IT COMES TO INTERIORS, DO YOU PREFER DIY'S OR ARE YOU A SECOND HAND SHOPPER?
A little mix of both! I don’t mind trying a DIY if it’s straight-forward enough, and it can be a fun way to work with your hands and get the creative juices flowing. I’d buy second-hand less than I would DIY, but sometimes you can score a great piece on Kijiji!
IF YOU COULD FIVE SOMEONE JUS ONE ADVICE TO LIVE MORE SUSTAINABLY WHAT WOULD IT BE?
It would be to simply be mindful and aware of your actions, and what impact they have. I think in the west, we are so removed from so much of what goes on behind the scenes in factories all over the world, and not to mention the state of the environment around the world. We’re lucky to live in such a privileged society, so to live more sustainably, I’d say start connecting the dots of where products are made, how they’ve been produced, by whom and with what materials. By choosing one over another, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want to live in, so be mindful and purchase with awareness and intention.