At Unique World Inspirations our mission is to spread awareness of conscientious and conscious lifestyles and the power we each have to make an impact on a global scale through our local decisions. Through each of our choices we the power to positively impact our global family, and by utilizing the power of our purchases we can work together to make the world a better place!
Through our interviews from around the globe, we hope to give inspiration from personal stories and journeys of mindful purchasing. We hope you are enjoying these interviews of real-life examples of agents of change and collecting tips for your exploration on conscious consumerism along the way.
In our interview with Jennie, Founder of The Maker Journal and Bazaar she shares how a passion for fashion inspired her lifestyle change. Based between Singapore and Helsinki she shows how through conscious choices, based upon our values, allow us all to make a positive impact.
How did you first learn about Fair Trade and conscious consumerism?
I've always been aware of Fair Trade, but the concept of conscious consumerism is relatively new to me. It dawned on me slowly how big of an impact my purchasing decisions were having on people and the environment after educating myself through documentaries and articles. What started as an interest in sustainable fashion, expanded to an all-encompassing lifestyle change.
"What started as an interest in sustainable fashion, expanded to an all-encompassing lifestyle change."
What motivated you to make changes in your purchasing?
"It was seeing organizations and brands showing an alternative way of making products. I interned for a brand that worked solely with emerging designers, produced everything locally in London and paid the designers fairly, which they usually wouldn't under the guise of 'experience and exposure'. This is a huge problem in the fashion industry especially.
What exactly do you do to purchase consciously?
With everything I buy, I try to support local companies who produce locally the most. I avoid big chains or multinationals because those tend to outsource their production and when that happens, you never know where and how it is actually produced. I'll look at labels and certifications that would indicate that the product is sustainable and ethical.
What has been the easiest and hardest part?
I don't know if there has been anything easy about this journey except maybe the fact that I now spend and waste less money and cheap things I don't need so I have much less clutter. It has made life simpler. It is always hard to find alternatives, especially when you start considering all the products that you buy.
What factors do you look into or research when purchasing?
Depending on the product, but regards to fashion I would do a lot of research. Working in the industry, I already know a lot about fabrics and materials, so I will make informed decisions based on my knowledge of those.
Secondly, I will look at how much information the brand gives about the production/supply chain of the product and where it's made. If something is not revealed or seems a little like they are trying to cover something up, it's usually obvious that it's unethical.
Does choosing conscious and Fair Trade products cost you a lot more?
On the contrary, I think it ends up saving me money. I know the common conception is that it's just more costly, but conscious shopping is about so much more than just buying more expensive things. It's about cutting down on your consumption in general, and when buying Fair Trade, you are buying quality products that get the job done better and last longer.
"It's about cutting down on your consumption in general, and when buying Fair Trade, you are buying quality products that get the job done better and last longer."
What advice would you give to purchase more consciously?
Figure out your values and then act on those. If you are looking to support your local economy, check who the company is owned by and where the products are made. If you want to lessen the burden on the environment, look into sustainable textiles, recycled and circular products.
Do you find the switch in goods and products have improved the quality of the items?
Absolutely! I find the conscious products are always made better, because they are made mindfully with quality materials in order to last and justify any higher price point.
How do you feel your purchases make a difference?
Especially if I am supporting a small brand, I feel like every little individual purchase matters. It's kind of like charity if a lot of us contribute a little, we can make a difference. It's also a nudge to the brand that what they are doing is appreciated and they should keep going.
"Especially if I am supporting a small brand, I feel like every little individual purchase matters."
What’s your favorite conscious consumerism quote?
There's so many! I think one of my favourites is 'you cannot exploit women in one country to empower them in another'.
We want to thank Jennie for being an inspiration! By following her passion for sustainable fashion she has expanded her conscious lifestyle. Through conscious shopping choices, we not only can simplify our lives we can make a positive impact locally and globally. Thank you Jennie for reminding us that each of us can make a difference in a global movement.
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The Maker Journal and Bazaar are journeys to discover and unveil artisanal fashion and makers to global dwellers of today. They are first and foremost a celebration of makers and an appreciation of the hand making techniques that they utilize in creating naturally imperfect and poetic designs. They are a call for everyone out there who is overwhelmed and numbed by mass consumption, production, and media that want to lead a slower life. They aim to create a community of conscious individuals, who care about the decisions they make with their purchases, cherish the things we buy and support emerging creatives.