Who Made Your Pants?

Gorgeous Pants. By women, for women.

Make it easy, m…

Make it easy, make it happen

‘The environment’ is no longer the preserve of the greens or treehugger*. We’re all aware of climate change, we’re aware that the scientific consensus is that it is related to our activities. We recycle. We try to walk more. We buy energy efficient bulbs and we try to remember to look for local produce. We want to help, to play our part. We care.

But we’re human. We don’t always read the labels and we sometimes put a yoghurt pot in the wrong bin. We have a long day and order a pizza. We want a week or two in the sun. On a cold day in June we turn the heating on. It rains and we jump in the car. We take the easy route.

A lot of voices within the environmental movement say that we should have less, live smaller, want less, think more, make better decisions, work harder at it, damn you. And while that may be, ultimately, what is needed, that’s a hard message to win support with. We cannot expect people to stop wanting what they want as if we do we’re telling them they are wrong, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t listen much after being told that. We know what to do, feel like we’ve failed so don’t do anything.

I was lucky enough to hear Michael Braungart, co author of Cradle to Cradle, Remaking the Way We Make Things, at the Do Lectures in 2008. He said (and I apologise for misquoting as I’m sure I will) that if we insist on saying we must have less, do less, make less impact, the logical outcome is that we’re only doing it right if we’re dead.

And that can’t be true.

At that talk, Michael talked about the fact that we don’t necessarily want to have a load of plastic and metal discs in our house, we just want to listen to music and watch films. And now, Spotify and Netflix are providing those services without us having to give CDs and DVDs houseroom. Or require them to be made, shipped, stored and eventually thrown away. A better solution has been found, a Good solution has been found, that lets people do what they want, in a way that is Good. And it is easy. A new easy route has opened up.

The easy route is what has helped us humans become so successful. We are smart and we have evolved into what we are because of that.  What I took away from that talk is that what we really need to do is make it easy for consumers to make Good decisions.

We, as producers, need to engage with what people want and show them that it can be done in a way that does not feel like a punishment. As producers we have to make it as easy for people to make good decisions as it is the less good. We, as consumers, don’t have to deny ourselves, quite the reverse, we have to take responsibility for ourselves, engage in our decision making, care deeply about the choices we make, love the products and services we buy.

We should all be able to play our part, and care, easily. It should slot into our lives. Not everyone is gong to be an eco activist and nor should they have to be. I want my Doctor to be fully focused on doctoring, and my bike mechanic to be focused on my brakes. We shouldn’t have to be specialists to get involved.

At Who Made Our Pants? we make beautiful pants that would not look out of place on the high street from fabrics that are discarded, by women who are marginalised.  We make what people want to buy in a way that does Good. It’s possible. We’re having a huge impact – huge. And we hope you’ll agree that it is very, very Good.

*I have been known to hug trees

For more information on The DO Lectures or Cradle To Cradel, please see:

http://www.dolectures.com/speakers/michael-braungart/

http://www.mcdonough.com/cradle_to_cradle.htm

http://www.dolectures.com/

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