Slowly, over the past few years I started to ask more questions. I think it began with food. After being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I started to ask myself what all those unpronounceable ingredients were in my food. Which led me to wonder exactly how my fresh foods were grown.
Then one day I heard a story directly from a man who took a leisurely stroll through a commercial orchard. That evening his shoes all but disintegrated. My mind was racing.
What do the employees and migrant workers do who work in that orchard every day?
What are the long term effects on their health?
I can’t believe I eat the fruits of those trees!
I began to realize that I wasn’t thinking about anything but the bottom line when I was shopping.
I shared recently that I blog mainly to document my search for beauty in this life. Why should we settle for ugly, fake and monotonous?
Now, when I look at a pair of adorable skinny jeans, I don’t see the rise, inseam and wash. I remember that a person had to work in the fields where the cotton was grown. What we’re their working conditions like? In 20 years, will there even be chemicals strong enough to get something to grow out of the depleted soil?
Someone ran machines that wove the fabric and sewed them into jeans. Is there such a thing as a good day in those factories? Did they get paid enough to care for their entire family?
I used to take these questions lightly; after all what can be done? I thought that the methods and conditions were standard and even if I thought they weren’t good enough…it’s not like I can do anything about it from halfway around the world.
But I was wrong.
There are other options. When I was a kid the alternatives were to buy that one uncool made in the USA brand OR make it yourself. Today, there are tons of people (bolder, more ingenuitive than I) that are doing something.
They’re farming, designing and creating all the while using their brains AND their hearts: Mindfulness. And that is beautiful.
They refuse to ignore the other humans and long-term consequences on the other side of our current manufacturing processes. Fair warning though: It also costs more to raise plants & animals sustainably and treat people well in production; which is why I’ll continue to wear my “holy” jeans until get lucky at the thrift store or save a pretty penny.
This can all be overwhelming to think about which is why I want to tell you three things.
Things to remember when trying to shop mindfully:
First, don’t worry about making perfect shopping choices overnight. Instead, practice being more aware and make slow, steady changes over time. Just like a diet, there are a veriety of options with many facets of how healthy each one is. Just do your best, and don’t compare that with anyone else’s choice.
Second, I’ll be sharing a couple more posts exploring helpful tips when shopping for food, clothes and other doo-dads.
Third (and best!) I made a free printable for all of you lovely subscribers to throw in your purse to help you shop wisely.
Sign up and get yours here and be sure to pin the link to this series!