Earth Month: Friday Lunchtime Lives - meet Laura from Seven Shades

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Earth Month | The Contented Company | Eco Friendly Plastic Free Zero Waste

On Friday 9th of April Laura from Seven Shades joined me for one of the Friday Lunchtime Lives I'm doing over Earth Month. Meet Laura and discover all about her business, what inspired her to take environmental action, what she's trying to do to restore our Earth (the theme of Earth Day 2021).

 

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• Who you are and what does your business do?

My name is Laura. I run Seven Shades - a sustainable clothing brand in between my full time job and my motherly and wifely duties.

 

 

• How did you came to start an Eco business? What made you take action? 

Contented Company | Zero Waste Eco Friendly Plastic Free | Earth Day | Seven Shades | LauraI always wanted to do a "t-shirt business" - my husband is a designer and he dabbled. He always said he needed me to help him make it a full time job, but I was so focused on my career I didn't have the time.

 

Then after a series of quite stressful situations, I decided having a Plan B was a good idea. I went back to the t-shirt idea, but I wanted it to not have an impact on the planet.

 

There are so many businesses already doing slogan t-shirts, but none were all for the sustainable route. So I did some research, sourced great Fairwear and sustainable options and hey presto!

 

My market research came from literally asking a couple of mates. I was quite surprised that some didn't really care about the sustainable aspect - they were bothered about price points.

 

I think the shift now has changed. If you offered the same product for the same price but knew one was better for the planet, I'd like to think 100% of the population would go for that. This is what the big brands have cottoned onto (excuse the pun 😉), but there is a lot of "greenwashing" taking place and as consumers and business owners we need to ask more questions and challenge ourselves. 


• What do you do / would you like to do more of in order to help ‘restore our earth’?

Contented Company | Zero Waste Eco Friendly Plastic Free | Earth Day | Seven Shades | LauraOne of the things I have done with the business is to offset the damage we might cause. People will always need clothes, and I am good with running a clothing business. We are very careful on the numbers we produce, products we choose.

 

For the last year I have been paying into a carbon offsetting scheme called Ecologi. Each month I pay a small amount (the price of a takeaway coffee) and trees are planted.

 

We have recently linked this to sales and subscribers, so for every sale or new subscriber a tree is planted. For me planting trees is one of the most practical and helpful ways to give the earth more O2 and less CO2. All the trees planted in the scheme are protected and you can see the impact live on the website. (Sometimes I unsubscribe and resubscribe to plant more).


• What’s your tip to feel less overwhelmed, but take more action?

The best thing for me is to remember that it's not all on my shoulders. People often feel overwhelmed with being sustainable as they feel there is a lot to do. They are right, but it's about making small, manageable changes.

I started off by swapping plastic cotton buds for bamboo ones, and then to bamboo toothbrushes. From there I went to washable makeup remover wipes, to more eco cleaning products. Toilet roll, laundry eggs, etc. Each time I make a small swap I am making a difference.

I also listen to amazing podcasts such as 50 Shades of Green with Lauren Derrett, another Eco-curious business owner. I now use her reusable sanitary towels.

I aim to change at least one thing each month. I also offset. I do like updating my wardrobe. I know that this won't ever change, however now I buy less impulsively. I also try (where possible) to wait until it appears on eBay in a couple of months. Buying preloved is a great way to save the planet and your cash. I do love my trainers, those I do buy new, but I buy with consciousness on the brand - there are so many amazing eco brands where you can buy new with less guilt.

I am now trying to be more plant based, which is a personal challenge as I am allergic to carrots and most vegan options out and about involve carrots in some way. So I know I need to be better at home in terms of making my own sauces and food.

The key thing to remember is that you don't necessarily need to jump head first into "Swampy" mode. In fact, living a modern life kinda makes it impossible.

Switching to green energy is a good first step, but also really examine the big brands who are going "eco". Particularly the fast fashion brands. You can't realistically have a sustainable t-shirt for £5 - read up and check it out carefully. If something is looking too good to be true, it probably is. It will be ticking a box to feed into the fast fashion where women and children are being mistreated.

My best advice is to look to the smaller brands who are all about sustainability, or if larger, are they certified B Corp companies? What do their policies say on ethics and sustainability? 

And always remember, the consumer has the most power. If you choose to wait an extra couple of days for the sustainable option, the world won't stop turning.

Contented Company | Zero Waste Eco Friendly Plastic Free | Earth Month | Friday Lunchtime Lives | Laura Neuveglise Seven ShadesFriday Lunchtime Live 9th April

If you would like to watch our Live on replay, head to the saved IGTV.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

I hope you have enjoyed learning about Laura and Seven Shades and hearing about her eco journey and eco tips as much as I did.

As always, any questions, please just shout.

With love from our family to yours,

Stay safe and keep well,

Elena x

 


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  We offset our carbon footprint via Ecologi