"I recently discovered that when you shop with independent businesses, more money stays within the local economy..."
Tell us a little bit about yourself and the reason you started your businesses Ethical Influencers and The Haulternative Closet.
Hi! I’m Besma. I write the sustainable fashion and lifestyle blog Curiously Conscious, and I also run the Ethical Influencers community, and a bi-annual clothes swap called The Haulternative Closet. Both ideas came to me by meeting with fellow sustainable fashion enthusiasts - for Ethical Influencers, I realised there needed to be a place for people passionate about sustainability to connect online, and for H.C. it was more about the fun I was having with my three best friends swapping clothes!
Do you have any eco changes you are planning on making to your current lifestyle?
Last year I set myself the goal of travelling more and flying less, which didn’t really go as planned… This year I decided to not set any intentions, and instead be kind on myself. Let’s see how 2021 goes!
How does a typical week in lockdown look for you currently?
Having worked from home for a few years prior to the pandemic, my routine has stayed quite similar. I try to work between the hours of 9:30-5:30, and then I like to run or go through a mat workout at home a few nights per week. I’m currently living in Brighton so I also enjoy taking a coffee in a flask and walking alongside the sea!
Now that we are all spending more time at home do you have any advice for simple changes we can make to our home lifestyles to help become a little more planet-friendly?
My first recommendations are always to change the things that make a big difference with very little effort involved - so consider changing your bank account, pension, energy provider, insurance, etc. Then in the home, how can you look after your belongings so they last longer? How can you reduce on water or energy usage? I’m really starting to focus in on circularity being an answer to our current overconsumption crisis, and these steps can feel small but make a big impact too.
What is your most recent & favourite planet-friendly purchase?
I just purchased a Staud moon bag second-hand on Depop as a post-Christmas treat, I can’t wait to style it and wear it out when lockdown is over.
Have you learnt an interesting sustainable fact recently or have a top tip to share that we could all learn from?
I recently discovered that when you shop with independent businesses, more money stays within the local economy than national chains. I think this is especially important with the amount of online shopping we’re doing at the moment - so if you can shop small and local, please do! It’ll support the wider community and keep your area in better shape.
If there was one thing you could change with a click of your fingers to help fight climate change what would it be and why?
My boyfriend and I recently discussed this - I think it would have to be human nature’s approach to wanting to dominate everything. The climate crisis is fuelled by our innate craving to dominate land, resources, and even exploit other people for gain. Imagine if that wasn’t a driving factor in humans, and our economy? Imagine if we instead valued investment in people and planet, in sharing, in giving back.
What positive hopes for the planet do you have for 2021?
I hope we see a slow recovery from the pandemic, and better support for those most affected by it.
Who is your favorite eco god/ goddess we must all tune into or check out immediately?