Everyone wants to look good and feel good but how can you really feel good if you know on some level that your choices are harming the planet? Maybe you do your best to recycle, turn off the lights when you’re not using them and use less gas, but what about the things you do to take care of yourself? Are you taking care of the environment as well?
Diet is a great place to start when you’re trying to live sustainably. Making the right choices with diet is maybe the simplest and most effective way to feel good about yourself and how you look. Sustainability is truly the key here, because fad diets for quick weight loss are often not personally sustainable or very good for the planet. They tend to create either a ton of waste from prepackaged product or an unnaturally high demand for specific produce. For example, when the avocado became so trendy as a vegan food staple that it became the focus of a number of restaurants in recent years, they drove the price of the fruit up and availability down. If a certain grain common in one country becomes popular in the US due to a diet craze, then the country that produces that grain may experience shortages of an important staple crop. You have to think globally and responsibly and review the global side effects of your dietary choices.
With regards to diet, it sort of goes without saying at this point that there are some key points to address in the “live and eat better” category. First, it’s hard to debate eating organic foods. You pay a bit more for properly grown and harvested foods, but that’s a given. If you want better, you typically pay for it. Paying farmers fairly and eating food that’s not dependent on chemicals seems worth it no?
Second, eating less (or no) meat / animal product is both healthier for most people, and definitely healthier for the planet. Again with the organic, because… well for the same reasons. Have you ever visited a dairy farm? No? Yeah, don’t. Just trust us, organic happy cow farms are just better. Have you seen Babe? Those farms exist. Find them, buy from them.
Third, eat food with as little packaging as possible. Why? Because as a general rule, the more it’s packaged, the more it’s been processed. So this is our trusty hack that helps you to remember that if it’s fresh, packaged minimally and packaged without a ton of plastic… it’s most likely better for you. Not foolproof, but if you are not a label reader slash foodie researcher slash grocery store Karen, this may be your easy to follow method. Also… less waste. But we figure you were able to put that together yourself.
Oh, sidebar… with regards to supplements, you should TRY to get your goodness from your diet. However we all know that we simply are not all designed to do that much complex math. If you are looking for some nifty ways to add goodness to your diet, we suggest looking into certain mushrooms, finding a label you trust, and doing a bit of sleuthing. You should first check out places with actual reviews before adding a supplement (like the way that person who is obviously not a journalist actually tried Le-Vel Thrive) to your diet.
Staying active and getting out in nature is another great way to keep yourself healthy. For starters, staying active is a great way to keep your body healthy, and when your body is healthy you will feel good. And when you feel good, you look good. Getting out into nature specifically is a good, sustainable practice. A walk requires virtually no equipment (except maybe good sturdy shoes). You don’t have to drive to the gym to take a walk or ride your bike. In fact, you may be able to eliminate driving to lots of places if you are able to walk or ride a bike instead.
Being out in nature fosters a connection to nature and will make you more conscious of what local areas need to be cleaned up or could be made more friendly to local plants and wildlife. It builds a sense of community and this creates a more healthy feeling of well being and connection. In this digital age we have become increasingly detached from each other (and obviously Covid has created some weird side effects to further this) and we crave a human connection to others. Getting out of your front door, saying hello to neighbours and being more active in your local area is more rewarding than you may think. Pro Tip: if you wish you had a dog to walk but don’t actually own one, most shelters have volunteer dog walking programs that let you “borrow” a canine, so you are also doing a really good deed if you sign up. Adding good deeds to your “live better, feel better” list gets you bonus points.
When you’ve got solid foundations, you can pay less attention to “fixing” the surface. Skin care is often overlooked in Western culture, but it is the thing that is both the most attainable, and also the most desirable when looking for ways to upgrade your appearance. Healthy skin is one of the first indicators of good health and a healthy lifestyle. This means it tends to radiate a wealth that isn’t purchased, is reflective of a healthy individuality (which is subconsciously appealing to others) and low key self confidence as it shows that you care enough about yourself to take good care of yourself.
So while it seems a bit odd to list skin care under sustainability, just like diet it’s an important thing to look at from all sides. Are you plastering your skin with toxic chemical ingredients? Do you recognize that the first line of defence is nutrition and hydration? Are you putting cruelty free makeup (or no makeup) on your shopping list? Are you making the same important choices. It takes routine and persistence, and the results are often accumulated over time rather than immediate. However, a good skincare regimen will work wonders for your confidence and your look, and it often relies on removing toxic chemicals from your life and making your diet healthier.
Removing toxic chemicals from your life and building a healthy diet in a way that benefits your skin will likely also benefit your hair. Having good hair is always the dream and the best way to get reliably good and healthy looking hair is with sustainable practices. Putting too many chemicals in your hair will be as bad for your hair as it is for the environment, so be aware of what you’re putting on your head and down the drain.
Our experience with salons and hairdessers gives us the inside scoop on how healthy it is to NOT wash your hair. Don’t fill it with product and expect the product to disappear… but if you are not a product user, or you use naturally based products (GO YOU!!) then you can simply go through the motions in the shower and massage your scalp as though you were washing it, and skip the shampoo, which is extremely drying and ruins your PH balance. It may take a bit but you will start to notice that after overproducing the oils for a few weeks, your scalp calms down and restores your natural balance and you will soon have gloriously shiny and healthy hair! Use dry shampoo (or cornstarch) and / or essential oils (depending on your scalp type) to enhance your locks and learn that you can be fabulous without a ton of yuck gumming up your tresses.
All kinds of beauty products can have toxic effects if they’re not properly tested and approved (or even if they are tested and approved depending on where you live,) so do a little homework on your beauty regimen to make sure it’s as wholesome, healthy and eco-friendly as you can get it to be. You might be surprised at how many lipsticks etc contain lead, heavy metals and formaldehyde. And those are only the things that are easy to understand… there are all kinds of endocrine inhibitors, carcinogenics, etc that have no business being in the beauty… business.
Don’t forget to consider packaging! Beauty products often come in obscene amounts of plastic and that plastic has to go somewhere when you’re done with it. Since the glorious rise in clean beauty products and demand for less plastic, some of our favourite companies have started to package their goodies in much more planet friendly packaging and offer refills rather than always needing to purchase an entire compact of colour to get one shade. One of our favourites, Sappho, we use on many of our editorial shoots and love them.
Clothes are another area where sustainability definitely matters. Where does the fabric for your clothes come from, and where does it go when you’re done with it? Who is making those clothes, and where? These are all questions you should be asking every time you’re thinking of refreshing your wardrobe or cleaning out your closet.
If you have been hiding under a rock the past few years, perhaps you haven’t heard of the movie The True Cost, the story that finally got people paying attention. It specifically came about because of the Ghana collapse and was meant to draw attention to how unethical fast fashion is… but it had a much bigger effect (thankfully) than that. Suddenly the discussion around fashion’s role in our ecological and ethical demise was around every watercooler, boardroom and media channel that was worth their salt. It is actually a huge issue and it is one of the cornerstones of why Trend Privé exists… to educate and inspire a better way to do things. If you need an understanding, you will find it here. If you need inspiration, you will find that here too. Peruse our Directory for the brands that we love, whether because they use natural fabrics, dyes and production methods, or because they give back to humanity in some way, or both.
All of this comes together to create confidence, and confidence is the best thing you can do to improve your look. Be confident in your look and make sure that you can be confident that you haven’t hurt the planet in order to achieve that look. In the end, it’s pretty simple really. Looking good and feeling good is more than skin deep. If you know that you’re doing good at the same time, you’re going to look and feel even better about yourself. And we have to say… Good looks GORGEOUS on you!