Eco Exhaustion

This blog post is long overdue. I was proud of myself for sticking to a schedule – posting every three weeks or so, I managed to keep on top of things. That all went to pot during April; I was home from university for the Easter holidays, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t busy! I had my dissertation to finish, as well as two other essays. Then I was suddenly finishing my final year, moving out of my student house in Newcastle, coming home, planing a trip to New Zealand (!) and hunting for a job. Suddenly, posting was not just a week late, but two, then three, then four… you get it.

Ridiculously, I was feeling as though I’d failed – and I’m a perfectionist, so that meant stopping completely felt better than coming back to my blog which I’d put so much time into. I also credit Instagram with adding a huge amount of pressure: I was constantly trying to KUWTI (Keep Up With The Influencers), which was never going to work. Having less than a hundred followers means I’m hardly the Kim Kardashian of sustainability, and that’s not a bad thing! Although the sustainable movement is evangelical by definition, I created this blog for me – to write about my personal experiences and to join in the conversation – and that’s important to remember. Of course, I’d like to make a difference, but being such a small fish in the huge, murky, weed-filled pond that is social media meant that I felt like my impact was minimal.

I also constantly felt as though I wasn’t doing enough. The sustainable social bubble is one of seemingly constant oneupmanship, of people proclaiming just how virtuous they are, without any of the difficulties that actually come with such a huge lifestyle change. I’m being a little disingenuous – I know – many bloggers/influencers/instagrammers do acknowledge how extraordinarily hard it is to make consistent, meaningful changes to the way they consume. Even then though, there’s a note of ‘please forgive me’ behind the captions of their pictures: one memorable example is a blogger apologising for the plastic cap on her bottle of vinegar, in an otherwise plastic free haul.

It’s exhausting. It also heightened my imposter syndrome – was I really qualified to be writing styling advice? Not at all. Has being in the fashion bubble (even in a teensy weensy way) magically made me über cool and stylish a la Anne Hathaway’s transformation in A Devil Wear’s Prada? Sadly not, although I think that may be because I do not have Stanley Tucci sighing over my current writing outfit of Birkenstocks, old jeans and a ratty t-shirt.

Luckily, I don’t want to be a stylist.

Being away from it all for a few months has made me think about what I do want to do with this blog. It’s not really sunk in yet that I’m no longer a student, but even if it hasn’t, it does mean that the content I’m producing needs to evolve. Mainly, I want to be more positive in my approach. It was really draining to constantly write negative articles; I want to feel good about being part of the sustainable community, and not hopeless and drained. I’ve also thought more sincerely about the way I actually consume, and to be honest, I’ve always been conscious about how I spend my money, mostly thanks to the thrifty energy that runs through my maternal line, passed, grandmother to mother to me (my brother has no such qualms). It would be lying to say that I need to give up fast fashion, since I was never on board with it in the first place.

What I really want to do is focus more on articles. This means The Green Mode is about to go in a more journalistic direction. It’s still going to be personal – after all, I’m the one writing it – but it’s going to be less about shopping and more about the issues around sustainable fashion that interest me.

So, like the green shoots in my mum’s garden after dead heading, The Green Mode is not starting from scratch, per se, just moving forward. I’ve got some pretty exciting things lined up. If you want to join in the conversation, you can find me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter: just hit the links in the banner and give me a follow!

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