How do you think living and working in a major city has impacted your zero waste journey?
Easy access to bulk stores, second hand stores, and great farmers markets with package free produce are definitely bonuses of living in a major city. Before COVID hit, wide access to public transportation was definitely a plus for me as well. But that doesn’t mean you have to live in a major city to live more sustainably. For example, my family who lives upstate takes steps like growing their own vegetables and herbs, carpooling when possible, cooking lots of items from scratch, trying out DIY, and composting in their backyard.
We love how you’ve played a role in “rebranding” the idea of living sustainably and doing everything with the planet in mind, proving that it is possible to love fashion while being very mindful! What are your top tips for shopping & accessorizing sustainability?
I buy most of my clothes secondhand. Secondhand clothes are already in the waste stream, but are still wearable, so shopping second hand gives them a new life and prevents perfectly good products from ending up in landfill. When I shop, I look for classic, versatile pieces that can be endlessly styled, and worn many ways so I don’t have to buy new clothes to wear new looks. I also only wear natural materials like Organic cotton, linen, hemp, and wool rather than synthetic materials.
If I ever want something new, I evaluate my closet and see if I really need it. If I do, I try to see if there is anything that I can sell to replace it with. I like to keep a small wardrobe, and I only invest in things that are absolutely necessary — aka I never impulse shop!
This might be a hard one, but what’s your go-to, can’t-live-without, item from Package Free?
My menstrual cup! Close to 20 billion sanitary napkins, tampons and applicators are dumped into North American landfills every year—which can take centuries to breakdown. The average menstruating person uses over 11,000 tampons over their lifetime, and the applicators leave behind waste that lasts way longer than their lifespan. Did you know that tampon applicators are amongst the most common plastic items collected in beach clean ups?
My menstrual cup has seriously changed my life. It’s helped save me so much money, it’s a comfortable solution to period waste, and the best part is, it lasts up to 12 hours so you don’t have to worry about cleaning it while on the go—life saver.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced building your businesses and contributing to the growing zero waste movement?
I wish I could go faster. We have less than 10 years to mitigate the climate crisis, and while I feel that we have made great progress at Package Free, and as a global community, we still have a lot of work to do, and quickly!
What’s next for Package Free?
At Package Free, we aggregate the best sustainable alternatives to the products that people use daily. We will continue to grow our assortment and work with our customers to understand what sustainable solutions they are looking for, and then help to bring them to life!