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Filtering by Tag: ethical business

Day 13 What is zero waste?

Cindy Rangel


In Bea Johnson's book, Zero Waste it is defined, as a  "philosophy based on a set of practices aimed at avoiding as much waste as possible."   Johnson goes on to explain a very clear and refreshing perspective on how to approach your zero waste first steps and recycling being one of them but not the first one.  In particular she goes into detail about how living a zero waste life begins outside the home.  

Here are the 5 Steps she refers to in her life-changing book, Zero Waste:

pyramid zero waste.jpg

I'll admit, I am just beginning my journey on zero waste.  It's a great resource to begin with even if you are entertaining the idea of living a zero waste lifestyle.  It's an eye-opener on how much waste has been in our society or tolerated as human beings.  

I've always considered the idea of where something goes after its functionality.  What the HELL do I now? Throw it AWAY??!! What?  UGH. It's like this ugly word I consider in my experience.  I like the way things were back in the day.  It was more simple.  But it was before the Industrial Revolution and before the textile industry took a hike overseas so the profit could be even more for the larger businesses.  But I ask, who is paying the price?  Someone has to pay for the price. And Zero Waste brings an alternative solution that begins with you.  I invite you to check out her TED talk .

I really enjoyed how she writes about being an ambassador in your community and gives the A-Z on guidelines to adopt this lifestyle including many other initiatives like letting your voice be heard through letter writing campaign and refusing or active discards.  For example, she refers to actively refusing things that have extra packaging or having "active discards".  When we return things with unnecessary packing to the manufacturing you send a message of change to the manufacturer instead of "inacton" of condoning it, the extra packaging.  In our decision to actively discard it, we send an empowering message to say enough is enough and I'd like to change the way things go.  

I like that message.  A message of change is important.  It doesn't mean right away. You need to do all of this now kind of change.  It means, what is your next change?  What is your next step? What will happen if I make this one decision?  She gives sample letters which is super helpful when starting to make changes in your lifestyle.  I encourage you to read her book.  It's quite inspiring and a wonderful read.  

WE cannot wait for the system to change. We individuals are the system.
— Colin Beavan, No impact Man



Cindy Rangel

What am I doing right now and WHY?

So what's my next step? Testing my product prototype and a continuation of researching for my sustainable accessory business.  This is my second time around in the sustainable fashion and today the fashion industry had made good changes in the sustainability field surely turning in the right direction in terms of sustainability.  However progress in fashion industry, particularly the manufacturing industry is slower than expected but we are considering the apparel industry is an archaic industry in which there has not been much innovation in recent years.

Change, it's always part of the fashion industry right? You see a lot in fast fashion but what's happening right now in sustainable fashion? Well, it seems like there are more and more independent designers coming into the market and people are actually getting excited about it.  It's a movement catching on with a purpose which brings me back to the why.

The why is probably THE most important reason people decide to do things in life.  For me, it was this and only this.  THIS is equivalent to how sustainable fashion crosses with entrepreneurship.  I was an education major but know this is my calling and I have to take the risk and say YES to this endeavor.  Saying no will only lower the risk to like zero to be the entrepreneur that I am.  What does that mean?

My schedule well, there is not schedule.   I have a temp/pt job and I will blog about that later.

Usually I work 15-20 hours in the really early am.  But what really gets me out of bed is most likely a workout at 5am.  Get that morning snack like an apply or granola bar and I am off doing 5 miles.

Then I work and come back, eat and off to writing content for the blog, research for business, social media campaigns, more writing for the blog, data and number crunching and then following up on my prototype.  Then, going back to the "drawing board" but there really is a drawing board.  I am a visual person so all this is really important for me to see on some white paper hanging on the wall.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg.  I need to make sure all of this aligns with my mission and the WHY.

Why am I starting a sustainable business again? The why remain with people and the industry that has SO MUCH potential.   This is industry is a big elephant in the room no one really talks about or mainstream media neglects to address.  Only with disasters like the Rhana Plaza in Bangladesh and other disasters does it call our attention.  What's happening?  Who is actually paying the price of this archaic industry abroad.  

I want to be a part of a community involved and caring about their community on a local level and global level.  The community creates a sense of belonging and don't you want to be a part of community where you can connect for the same purpose?  That's my why.  I want to create a community that empowers themselves and one another.  

The why is centric to all things in business.  When you have lost your why. You may have lost your way.