Rise & Resist

Waking up this morning with my cup of chai and listening to the quiet grumbles of Furgie, my cat, gently sleeping beside me, I opened "Rise & Resist" by Clare Press expecting to find another book full of ideal but no action. To my surprise, I was captivated by the beautiful stories of others who took initially small actions but made a huge wave. I was specifically moved at the inclusion of activism against consumption. We've been made to believe purchasing mass amounts of things is normal, even desirable. But what happens to all that stuff when we move, change our minds, or need a life revamp and no longer want boho but decide it glitz?!

For nearly the past decade, I have been conscious of the negative environmental impact of my consumption of fashion, plastic, and meat. I made changes in my fashion consumption. In fact I name my new purchases over the past 10 years: ten pairs of undies, one long sleeve flounce top with mesh cutouts, one pair of Inkka's sneakers, one Eddie Bauer rain jacket, and ten pairs of costco socks which have all been lost. Sadly, even with barely shopping over the past decade my closet is still overflowing from my early days of spending nearly every paycheck at Hautelook, Forever 21, or ASOS. I realize that even though my consumption in dollars has greatly decreased my consumption mindset hasn't. A consumption mindset is being fixated on things and a presumption that if I have THAT thing it is going to make me a better version of myself.

Last year I moved across the country from "The Biggest Little City in the World" to Austin, Texas. During the final months of cleaning out my house I was still overwhelmed by the amount of clothes, accessories, and shoes that were spilling out of my closet (many items of which ended up going to a landfill). The point here is that I am aware of the issues in the fashion industry but still struggle and find myself overflowing with clothing. This made me think, if I am barely able to turn my desire of a sustainable wardrobe into a reality how about someone who is barely dabbling into what sustainable fashion is or means?

While my sustainable journey and wake up call on the environmental crisis started in fashion, I don't believe that sustainability in our lives can be isolated to one thing. We must be striving for sustainability in all areas of consumption- food, television, social media, relationships, and natural resources (water, fossil fuels, soils, etc.). This organization is a journey focused on how we can all make progress wherever we start on our sustainable goals and being transparent with each other along the way.

Just like all the different people in "Rise & Resist", with every small effort we make as individuals, there is sure a big wave of change to follow.

- Ashlee