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From a loyal fast fashion buyer to a more responsible customer

Lucky enough to have never been in one, but unlucky enough to have witnessed a fair amount, I can safely say that “on/off relationships” are not the one. You know exactly which ones I’m talking about too – the complicated ones, where the participants of said relationship thrive off the highs, only to be absolutely crushed by the lows. They’re messy and almost never right for any party involved, and yet they continue in this tiresome “will they, won’t they?” cycle. They’re up and down but ultimately what’s needed is a drastic change in order for anything to get an acceptable place. 

When I was younger, I volunteered in organising sea clean-ups but I can’t really say I knew the severity of the problem.

I would say my awareness started to grow 7 years ago when I worked for Vivienne Westwood who is one of the biggest (and coolest) environmental activists out there. Whilst following her Climate Revolution blog and climate related protests, I started realising how big the problem actually is, how every single thing in this world is connected directly or indirectly to the Earth.

Initially, I was even thinking “Environmental activism is for Hippies”, making excuses such as “That’s not my problem”, “My contribution will not make any difference anyway” or similar. 

What actually bothered me and why I never took action before is because I didn’t know where to start and what to do to make any difference to such a mammoth global issue (in such a huge picture worldwide). I still don’t. I’m still learning about sustainability but now it’s more than obvious to me that this is my problem too.
This year, I decided to at least try to do something. I will be incorporating a few sustainable changes into my life every year. For 2021, I choose 5 simple ones:

Incorporate sustainability into my job. Work with purpose not exclusively for consumerism. Hence why I founded GAIA together with Robyn in the first place. 

  1. Avoid single use plastic:
    • Wear reusable face masks
    • Use reusable bags in shops
    • Drink water only from reusable water bottles
    • Buy zero waste groceries when possible
    • Reuse any single use plastic as long as possible
  2. Buy clothing mostly from sustainable brands
  3. Buy animal products from local and sustainably verified producers
  4. Use or repurpose every non sustainable thing that I own so far

I’m aware I can’t change my habits instantly so I hope these small steps will point me in the right direction. 

About the Author

Kim Matrljan

Kim Matrljan

Founder of GAIA. After working in digital marketing for brands like Vivienne Westwood, Selfridges, COS and Rolex, I realised the fashion industry needed change and I wanted to be part of it.

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