Why You Don't Have to Be 100% Sustainable.

Today, I wanted to address something I've heard a ton in this community: "You can't blog sustainable fashion unless you are 100% sustainable." 

And while I see the importance of this (people want to hear from an expert!) I also think it's incredibly discouraging to those trying to make the lifestyle switch.  It sets the message that people have to be 100% sustainable right from the start of their journey, which is absolutely not the case.  

As with anything in life, you can't expect to just jump right into something and be 100% perfect at it, and sustainability is no different. Although I've been working towards this lifestyle for the past three years, I'm still doing just that- working towards it.  I still have ups and down within my journey, days where I forget my reusable coffee cup and have to use a plastic one, or days like today where my entire outfit consists of fast-fashion pieces I'd purchased in the past. 

And there's nothing wrong with either of those scenarios. Sure, they aren't ideal, but at the end of the day, I'm not going to throw out perfectly good clothing because it's unsustainable. That would just be contributing even more waste to the planet, which is of course something we'd want to avoid.  So naturally, I'll wear that clothing until it serves its time for me, and then I'll donate it. And in the meantime, I won't purchase anything else from that retailer.  Again, it's not an ideal situation, sure, especially from someone who puts such an emphasis on environmentalism, but it works for now.   I've made the mental commitment to this lifestyle, and going forward, I'm going to do all that I can to fulfill this commitment. But it takes time, it takes learning, and it takes work, both physical and mental, to get to that state of living.

Because the thing is, your journey is not just a straight line. You don't just wake up one day, decide you're going to live sustainably, and then make that change perfectly right then and there. It's not an angular movement. It's more of a jagged journey, accompanied by ups and downs, triumph and doubt,  and confusion and knowing.  You'll have days where you feel on top of the moon for making the choices you did, like ditching that takeout box and using your own reusable container instead. But, you'll also have days where you slip up and eat a hamburger instead of a salad, and that's okay too. That's part of the process, and that's what makes it so beautiful. Your ability to acknowledge when you rise to the occasion and when you slip up speaks stronger than any physical item can.  And through it all- the good, the bad, the ugly- you'll learn and grow into the best version of yourself. And that in itself is a truly beautiful thing.  

So who cares if you're not 100% sustainable right now, or tomorrow, or in three years from now? We're all on our own journey, and it's important that we honor that journey for what it is, and not try to rush the process. Maybe my journey today involves me wearing unsustainable clothing. That's okay. I may not be where I want to be yet, in terms of my wardrobe, but one day, I'll get there, and knowing that makes me enjoy this journey even more.  

So, enjoy the process. Trust the process. And screw anyone who says that you have to be 100% perfect right from the start. Your journey is your own beautiful thing, and what matters at the end of the day is your commitment to this lifestyle. How and when you get to living the lifestyle is completely up to you. But know that you'll get there, with time, and everything will be okay.  

Photography by: Emma Li

Location: Uptown Oakland, CA

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