It’s now less than 2 weeks until the start of The Fringe, and it’s safe to say we’re all very excited!
However, The Fringe can be intense, and especially if you’re there for the whole month you can start to lose your grip on reality. So we thought we’d help you out and prevent that from happening with our own list of tips/tricks/hacks, whatever you’d like to call them, for how to make the most of The Fringe and ensure you enjoy every second.
Firstly, let’s start with the most important question ‘What shows should I see?’
Well, these are our top tips:
Don’t go to The Fringe and just see the big names.
Try and find something a bit different.
If you’re stuck for ideas and overwhelmed by the huge range of shows on offer you could: – Ask people for recommendations OR – Use the Fringe’s Imagination Machine which will generate 3 random show suggestions complete with mini previews.
See something that you would never normally choose – you never know you might just be pleasantly surprised!
While you should definitely make sure you plan to see the shows you really want to see, also don’t be afraid to take a day just to wander around the city and go and see things spontaneously.
That’s great, now I have my list of shows I want to see, but ‘how can I save my money for these shows?’
Prepare for the expense – You can do The Fringe on the cheap. There are plenty of fab Free Fringe Shows and you can save your paid shows for the ones you really want to see. However, you should go into this with your eyes wide open. Everything costs more than you thought you would. The Fringe is great, but also expensive.
It’s not all doom and gloom however, there are ways to save those pennies!:
Eat in rather than going out for every meal.
Notes for participants: 1. Some bars and clubs will give you a fringe card. Revs did one one year and it gave you £1 shots (what a bargain!). 2. Get a participant’s pass from Fringe Central at Appleton Tower. This is a Free Fringe branded lanyard that allows you access to the Fringe Central Networking and other events. (Additional FYI: Lots of people around the city will give you discounts if you’re wearing it).
That’s fab! But what else can I do to make my Fringe experience the best it possibly can be? Funny you should ask! Here you go!
Miscellaneous tips on how to have a good Fringe:
DO NOT BE AFRAID to go to shows on your. It’s not weird, it’s not awkward, and why should you miss out just because none of your friends want to go with you
Pack light, and make sure all your things are well organised. You’re going to be living out of your suitcase for a month, so you’re not going to want too much washing but you also want to ensure you will be able to find all your belongings!
Make sure you give yourself time to get from one show to another. You don’t want to have to run through the streets of Edinburgh, it’s not pleasant!
Be nice to flyerers – they have a tough job, and you can always recycle their flyers after you’ve taken them!
Always have a raincoat on you – Edinburgh weather is temperamental at best.
Don’t be afraid to carve out time for yourself. The Fringe is a lot, and you will be surrounded by people constantly. While this is lovely for the most part, there is nothing wrong with needing to have a bit of ‘me time’ to replenish your inner introvert.
There you go, everything we think you need to know about how to survive and thrive at The Fringe! We can’t wait to see you at The Greenhouse in less than two weeks!!!
On Wednesday, the wonderful Caroline Duncan (GOES’s marine biologist) and Dr Stephanie Terreni Brown (co-director of GOES) sat down with our Artistic Director Oli Savage for a super fun and informative chat. (Don’t worry if you missed it, you can catch it here! – insert link).
We all learnt many, many things. But our main take home was that everyone can do their bit to make our oceans cleaner. So, in the spirit of this, here’s our take on three ways to change your lifestyle to make it more ocean-friendly.
1.Eat in a way that reduces your carbon footprint.
Now, we’re not saying you have to go vegan. What people chose to eat or not eat is entirely down to them. However, cutting down on your meat and dairy consumption will have undeniable, positive effects on the cleanliness of our oceans. Not just because decreased consumption of animal products will result in less CO2 emissions. But also because less demand for meat and dairy will result in less livestock – which has a surprising benefit.
Water supplies are not only polluted by agricultural practices, there are also contaminated by the animals themselves. Say, for example, that a farmer is grazing their cows in a field where there is a stream. Well it stands to reason that the cows will at some point walk over to the stream and ‘do their business’, polluting said stream. In other words, less meat and dairy = less animals = less excrement in our water sources. (Sounds like a winner to us!).
2. Think about the water footprint of food.
Dr Stephanie Terreni Brown highlighted a factor during our livestream which we think deserves a bit more attention: when it comes to preserving the health of our oceans, we do not only have to think about our carbon footprint, but our water footprint too!
How do we go about reducing our water footprint then?
Well, there are simple solutions like turning the tap off while you brush your teeth and taking shorter showers. There are, however, other factors you can take into consideration. The production of products such as rice, cotton, and almonds are huge water drains. Therefore, in order to reduce our water footprint we should also consider reducing the consumption of products that have a big water footprint.
3. Think before you bin/flush.
Finally, we want to address our throw-away attitudes. In an era of fast food, fast fashion, and fast cars we’re all very used to having something, discarding it, and moving onto the next one. It’s been well-publicised that this kind of attitude has seriously negative effects on the environment. What’s not often publicised, however, is the specific effects this has on our water sources.
When you put something in the bin, the bin man takes it away and it ends up in landfill. Yes, this is obviously bad for the landscape. But the landfill leachate (or ‘bin juice’) that is created from landfills pollute our rivers and streams, which in turn pollutes our oceans. So, think before you buy something you know has to go to landfill. Do you want to contribute to the creation of even more stinky bin juice?
Another way you can ensure your waste products don’t pollute our water sources is by disposing of unused medicines safely. It’s quite common for us to throw medicines we no longer need down the toilet because it is easy, convenient, and doesn’t make a mess. However, when these pharmaceuticals go through sewage treatment works, they are not filtered out, meaning they end up polluting our oceans. (Sad reacts only please) So, rather than flushing your unused medicines down the toilet, next time take them to your local pharmacy and ask for them to be disposed of safely? Then you can ensure that no lovely ocean creature will be harmed because of your cold.
There we have it. Just a couple of little tips to help you live a more ocean-friendly lifestyle. We hope this blog will help to prompt small lifestyle changes and give you the information necessary to start asking questions about what else we can do to clean up our oceans!
These questions can (probably) all be answered by the wonderful team behind The GOES Foundation and Clean Water Wave. So head on over to their websites if you want to find out more, and stay tuned for even more collaborations between us as we come ever closer to the start of The Fringe!
We’ve been telling you all about the amazing work that Clean Water Wave does this week, so now it’s time to enrich your water knowledge to help us all understand quite how significant their work is. Partnering with these guys has dramatically opened our eyes to the global water and sanitation crisis, and we hope that you guys feel as inspired and passionate about CWW’s work after reading this as we do!
These are just some of the shocking facts we have learnt:
And it’s pretty evident that there is a global clean water and sanitation crisis.
Now, stats like that can awaken a natural instinct to do something, to act and make a difference. There is just one problem in this noble response, the majority of us do not possess the knowledge, skills, expertise, or resources to actually do anything ourselves.
There are, however, some people who do not have these obstacles to overcome, and they include our friends at Clean Water Wave! Their CAFE (Clean Aqua For Everyone) water filter systems are long lasting, durable, and sustainable systems which deliver clean drinking water to rural and peri-urban communities across Asia and Africa. We’ve spoken before about how in awe we are of the work that these guys do. But when we place their work in the context of the clean water and sanitation crisis, we can see how through working with such a great organisation we are able to do something which can really, truly make positive, life-changing impacts in people’s lives.
Clean water is something that we are all, at some point, guilty of taking for granted. To live under the constant pressure of not having regular and easy access to water must be an unimaginable stress. And it’s horrifically unjust that in a global society where a select few have so much that so many people are denied basic resources they need to survive. Which is why we’re so passionate and excited about working with CWW as they can truly make a difference!
If you want to do you bit to tackle the water and sanitation crisis, then head over to Clean Water Wave’s website to find out more about the organisation and what you can do to support their life-changing work.
Our awesome partners over at Clean Water Wave are doing important work every day.
One of the main things we love about them is how they put sustainability at the heart of their work. It’s not just about providing clean water, it’s about providing long term solutions for clean water. Solutions that can last for a very long time, and can support whole communities far in to the future.
That’s an attitude we really admire – because, as it turns out, thinking about things from a sustainable and long-term mindset doesn’t just help them out. It helps to make the world a better place. And of course, we love that.
But how does that work? How do they go about thinking sustainably? And how has it impacted them? All great questions – why don’t we let them tell you. And hey, maybe that will help you understand why we’re so obsessed with them…
So, Clean Water Wave. Neat name – remind us what you do exactly?
You know by now that we’re a social enterprise and we love clean water. You might also know that our water treatment system is called the Clean Aqua For Everyone (CAFÉ_, and that it’s designed to be robust and super sustainable. As you can see, it’s a pretty big piece of machinery, and it’s really created to last!
Obviously that’s awesome. Why is sustainability a part of that for you?
For our small team, it’s really important that the impact we make isn’t just a one off. Clean water never stops being important, so we don’t want to make a piece of equipment that will work for a short time and then break. That can have a really negative impact on the communities in which we work. For us, that means it’s essential for us to think sustainably – think long term.
And how do you implement that sustainability?
Essentially, when building CWW and creating the CAFÉ systems, we had three key things to bear in mind.
We have to get the right design for the water treatment system. That means a machine that’s sturdy and won’t just break.
We have to build and source from the right materials. Strong materials, and sustainable materials.
We have to work in partnership with communities, and with organisations that take a long-term view to improving livelihoods.
We have a lot of experience working in low income communities and know that getting the technology right is just part of the equation. Yes, it’s important – vitally important – to design and manufacture something that works and is robust. But CWW is more than just the physical things we build. Everything we buy and use has an impact, and it’s important to us that we ensure that impact is a positive one. That means keeping a close eye on our suppliers. We want to ensure they understand our mission, and have good business practices such as not using child labour.
You mentioned partnering with communities too. Why is that important?
Relationships with communities are essentially to making a lasting positive impact, wherever we work. Just turning up and installing water systems might help in the short term, but they won’t really reach their full potential. Ensuring that our work is fully transparent means that community members are engaged and on board, so that they can manage their water systems in to the future.
That’s why – rather than jump straight into implementing an international project – we are spending a lot of time researching best practice in international development, learning from those that do it well and from those who recognise they could do better.
It’s also why we are working with great partners, in the UK and internationally, to get the right fit, to ensure a long-term approach to clean water for communities.
Are there any other ways you’re approaching that community aspect?
We’re actually set up as a social enterprise, which is a little different from a normal business. It basically meant that profit from the sales of our water treatment systems is ploughed into doing our homework, and getting the right approach for community development. That’s opposed to just generating more and more profit for personal gain, like a typical company. We think that’s really important because it shows that we have faith in the system, and it also means we can grow and improve to create even more exciting and sustainable ways of making clean water!
And finally, if you could sum up the idea of sustainable, clean water…
To make clean water in a way that improves health, livelihoods, and the environment for the long term.
In case you missed it (although for that to happen it would mean that you weren’t following us on either Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram , so get on that now!) we’re partnering with the GOES Foundation and Clean Water Wave during this year’s Fringe. We’re so thrilled to have this wonderful opportunity, and we want you to be as hyped about it as we are.
Now, we’re not silly here at BoxedIn. We appreciate that two amazing organisations which both promote the environmental importance of cleaning our oceans and provide water filtration systems to remote communities, and a slightly wacky, boundary-pushing theatre company might not seem like an obvious match. But here’s why we believe this partnership will work so well, and why we’re both really excited for the adventure that will be The Edinburgh Fringe!
We’re both passionate about tackling the climate crisis
This is probably the most obvious linking factor between our two organisations. Although we’re both approaching the problem from different angles, we both have the same objective: to limit the effects of climate change and prevent irreversible damage to our environment.
There are many different contributors to climate change, and consequently there are many different ways to tackle the problem. And this is part of the reason why we believe The Greenhouse has the potential to really make a difference, because we offer an open, non-confrontational space to discuss the many aspects of eco-activism. To have the privilege of having GOES and CWW with us right from the beginning really kicks the doors open to allow us to get these important conversations rolling right from the off!
We can learn a lot from them
What’s so great about having open conversations is that you can see things from other people’s view, and you can also learn a lot from their experience and knowledge. Now it’s safe to say that the GOES and CWW team have an impressive amount of knowledge between them. (Their doctorates and MBAs put our paltry undergraduate degrees to shame!) And we’re looking forward to learning all about how important the ocean is to the protection of our environment, and what we can all do to protect our oceans!
Hey, and maybe we could give them some acting tips if, on the very slight off chance, we awaken their inner thespian and they decide to make a career change!
(Disclaimer; We do NOT want this to happen. The whole GEOS and CWW team are brilliant and have absolutely nothing to learn from us. They are also doing very important work and should definitely keep doing that!)
We’re excited to do something different
How many Fringe venues have you heard of being made out of entirely recycled and reclaimed materials?
None? We thought so.
How many Fringe venues have you heard of that are running an entirely zero-waste marketing campaign?
None? We thought so.
How many Fringe venues have you heard of that are operating without any mains electricity?
None? We thought you’d say that too!
In case you haven’t realised by now, at The Greenhouse (and BoxedIn in general) we like to do things that are a bit different. Not just for the sake of being different, don’t get us wrong, but because in order to really make a differen-ce you have to do something differen-t (see what we tried to do there!). By fusing our two companies together in our unique little venue, we hope to create a place that is different, exciting, interesting, informative, and so many other adjectives, and in doing so create a space in which we can really start to enact change!
We think it will be fun!
Finally, not most importantly, but nearly as important to us as a team, we think this partnership will be fun. For us (and everyone attending it – hopefully) the main point of attending The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is to have fun!
We may be trying to tackle a serious problem, but we don’t think that means that we can’t have fun doing it. You know like when a medical professional says that you need to exercise and the best way to do that is by finding an exercise that you enjoy? Well, that’s what we’re hoping to do at The Greenhouse, if you will indulge that awful comparison. But instead of trying to cure an individual’s ailment, we’re trying to help prevent climate change! We really hope that engaging in the environmental activism debate from a fun angle will really allow us to connect with our audiences and actually make a difference.
Performance is fun, the GOES and CWW team are crazy enough to agree to partner with us, and we’re all going to be at the largest performing arts festival in the world. How could this be anything but a super exciting and inspiring project?
If you’re looking forward to our partnership with GOES and CWW as much as we are then head on over to their websites now to learn more about the companies and the awesome work they do!
Did you know that more than 70% of our oxygen comes from the oceans?
And most of our carbon dioxide? It’s absorbed by the oceans as well, used by tiny plants floating in the water called phytoplankton. This – not the Amazon, or any other land-based forests – this is the planet’s main carbon sink.
These tiny plants collect whopping amount of carbon dioxide – we estimate around 12 gigatonnes of it every year! So it’s a bit of a shock to the system to learn that over the last 60 years, the amount of plankton in the oceans has halved. That means the amount of Carbon Dioxide that can be absorbed by the oceans has decreased significantly, leaving it to wreak havoc in the atmosphere.
The question, of course, is why? Increasing temperatures and an abundance of Carbon Dioxide should be an absolute field day for plankton the world over – we would expect them to flourish under these conditions. But they’re not.
Enter the GOES foundation, an international organisation that works hard to raise awareness for the importance of keeping our oceans clean. They’ve got a pretty convincing argument – micro-plastics and toxic chemicals being dumped in to the oceans, which are crippling for most types of plankton. More horrible stuff in our ocean leads to less plankton. Less plankton leads to more CO2. More CO2 leads to more global warming. And we’re sure you can fill in the blanks from here.
So how does that work exactly? Let’s think about coral.
Take Oxybenzone, for example. Oxybenzone is a chemical commonly found in many different types of sunscreen. Just like many other toxic chemicals, it often gets absorbed and concentrated on tiny plastic particles (micro-fibres from synthetic clothing, micro-beads, that kind of thing). As the plastic absorbs more and more of these types of chemicals, it becomes completely coated and even more toxic. And corals, being none-the-wiser, grab that particle, thinking it’s food. That’s a big problem.
The coral gets inoculated with a huge dose of Oxybenzone, which it is not at all equipped to break down. The reason this chemical is so prevalent in sun blocks is because…well…it’s really good at blocking out sunlight. So it reacts with the coral in exactly the same way the sun block protects you from getting burned. The corals can’t absorb any more sunlight, which quickly leads to a stress reaction, and coral bleaching.
Normally, coral can survive temperatures up to 32 degees celcius. The stressed coral can now be killed by temperatures as low as 28 degrees. That may not seem like a huge difference, but considering that just a 5 degree change in global temperatures is considered enough to totally wipe out human civilisation as we know it, it kind of makes sense.
In Florida, 90% of the coral is dead already, and the situation is similar across the world’s coral reefs.
Unless we stop aquatic pollution, the remaining coral will be dead in 10 years.
Coral reefs are critically important to supporting all aquatic life in our oceans: they are a source of food, they protect land from erosion, and provide nursery space for tiny fish.
The time has come for us to seriously re-think our habits, and how we interact with our oceans. They are the real lungs of our planet, and support the vast majority of life on earth. We hate to say it, but if we continue the way we are, things are looking quite bleak.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, however! The fate of the oceans is not yet signed and sealed – and even with small, incremental changes, we as individuals can make a huge contribution towards securing a healthy and sustainable future. Restoring the productivity of plankton and plants in our oceans would mean a total of 24 gigatonnes of CO2 can be absorbed by the oceans each year. Of course, there are other measures to be taken, but this would be a huge step towards a carbon neutral world!
Oxybenzone – oxybenzone is commonly found in sunscreen and any products with an SPF. BUT not all suncreens and cosmetics contain Oxybenzone. Check the labels on the products you buy, and make sure to avoid this at all cost. If you’re wondering what chemicals might be less bad in your sunscreen, take a look at this handy chart GOES made.
Micro-plastics – micro-beads have been banned in the UK (horray) but you may have some still sitting around in your bathroom. If you do, get rid of them! And as for micro-fibres, the solution is simple: when buying clothes, make sure to priorities items made from natural materials.
Triclosan – this is commonly found in toothpaste and other cosmetics. Again, now you know, you know! Make sure to avoid products with this ingredient in it, there are plenty of alternatives out there!
And, if you’re looking for something a little extra, there’s something else you can do too. Part of the problem of chemicals in our water systems is down to inadequate treatment facilities. Tertiary treatment facilities treat waste water to remove chemicals, and there is a shocking lack of that in the UK. To implement it requires government investment and intervention. So, write to your MPs, demanding more oversight on this issue. We want cleaner water! We want to help our planet’s health! Only by being active together can we hope to help create a more positive future for our climate and our earth.
As you may have gathered from our exciting week about all things oceanic, we are very excited to be putting clean water and oceanic health at the heart of The Greenhouse’s sustainability mission. Learning about how safe drinking water can be so closely related to preventing climate change has been so interesting to us, thanks, of course, to our partnership with Clean Water Wave and the GOES foundation.
What you may NOT know about, however, is all the awesome events that we will be running with them over the next few months and during The Fringe. From full residency days to organised workshops and casual drop-ins, we’ll be taking every opportunity to share their wealth of knowledge about everything we can do to preserve the planet’s health. If you want a taster of the kind of wisdom we’re talking – head to our Facebook page and check out our live-stream with their director and co-founder Dr Stephanie Terreni-Brown. And then check out all these awesome things we’ve got lined up with them for the next few months!
Days in Residency
Tuesdays throughout August will see Clean Water Wave and the GOES Foundation taking up residency in The Greenhouse. They will be hosting a wide variety of events, including workshops and informal discussions. So pop down to meet some of the CWW team and chat to them about the amazing work they do and how you can get involved. If you’ve got any burning questions about what they’re doing (and you haven’t already hit them up on Twitter or Facebook) this is a great place to ask!
As well as our standard programme of workshops, we’ll be working with CWW and GOES to create a series of bespoke themed workshops. Looking for a practical space to learn about oceanic health and what you can do to help make the planet healthier? Or thinking more about how safe drinking water can have a direct effect on slowing down climate change? Then these will be perfect for you! Just head to our workshops page to have a look at everything we have on offer.
But what if you just want to know about Clean Water Wave and the GOES Foundation NOW?! We understand, we wouldn’t want to wait any longer to hear about these amazing people either – but not to fear! Every day at The Greenhouse, you’ll be able to find one of our fabulous team members sat at our Ask Me Anything table. Got a question about your contribution to non-toxic environments? Or wondering just how Clean Water Wave go about making their innovatively sustainable water treatment systems? We’ve got you covered. And if we don’t quite know the answer, we’ll submit your questions to Clean Water Wave themselves via Twitter, where they’ll get you back directly!
We hope you enjoyed our live stream from last Thursday with Dr Stephanie Terreni-Brown, where we discovered way more about Clean Water Wave and the GOES foundation. She also shared some top tips for a non-toxic summer! Well, we enjoyed it so much that we’re going to be doing plenty more – keep your eyes peeled on our Facebook page for opportunities to submit questions or topics for discussion. Our next stream will be coming up in July – don’t worry, we’ll keep you updated when it’s coming up.
Content Content Content!
The amazing work that CWW and the GOES foundation are doing is spread out across the globe – and across the internet. We’ll be sharing updates about their new projects and just how they’re spreading the message of clean water and oceanic health everywhere they go. Wanting to keep up to date? We’ll be pulling out the highlights, and you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for even more updates!
But something that we’ve only just realised is a lot of this dialogue is…well…it’s kind of land based. And considering that 71% of the planet is covered in water, we’re thinking it might be time to broaden our horizons a little.
We’re very excited to be partnering with Clean Water Wave and the GOES Foundation to help place water at the centre of our sustainability and climate goals this Fringe. Over the next few weeks and months we’ll be talking more about the awesome work that they do, and why clean water is essential for not just our health, but the health of the planet too!
Introducing the Clean Water Wave
One of our two partners for this year’s Fringe is Clean Water Wave – a Scottish social enterprise that is flipping the status quo of water treatment. Typically, water treatment requires a LOT of energy, chemicals, and technical expertise. That means it can be unaffordable for many low income communities across the world – even in Scotland!
Arsenic in groundwater is common in many countries and is naturally occurring; for example, arsenic is very commonly found in groundwater across the Ganges and Brahmaputra river deltas in South Asia. Drinking this arsenic water over a long period of time results in cancers, skin lesions, developmental defects, diabetes, neurotoxicity and heart problems. Using arsenic contaminated water to irrigate food crops and for animals also means arsenic enters the food chain, too.
It’s often wildly unsustainable. The CWW team have seen lots of water projects that are well intentioned but that simply aren’t built to last. That means that money is spent on, for example, a water pump for a community to get drinking water – which is great! Only for the pump to fail because no one is responsible for its upkeep, or the community can’t afford to repair it, or can’t easily get hold of the right equipment to fix it. The pump is left in a state of disrepair. So, simply, there’s no water for that community.
Treating water sustainably
That’s not ideal. Obviously. Which is why Clean Water Wave’s work is so ground-breaking. With a small team of water scientists and community engagement specialists, they have developed an innovative water treatment system that can clean 50,000L every day – using solar energy, and without using chemicals and moving parts. Just a perfect example of what happens when we put sustainability and longevity at the centre of our thought process.
Clean Water Wave has been set up in response to both of these issues. Their CAFE filtration system ensures that the quality of the water it filters is genuinely safe for human consumption.
Water and social enterprise
The #CleanAquaForEveryone water treatment system is the answer to sustainable decentralised water provision for community scale. And alongside this new technology, CWW have created a business model to ensure these systems can keep running well in to the future, no matter where they are.
CWW’s social enterprise model means that all of their profits and assets are used for socially and environmentally beneficial projects and not for personal benefit. Any surplus CWW makes as a company is returned to further our goals to have 10million people drinking truly clean and safe water over the next ten years.
Get in touch!
If you’ve got any questions about drinking water, pollutants, social enterprises, or community development, get in touch with the Clean Water Wave team – they’d love to hear from you!
They will also be with us throughout the Festival, so keep a look out for our programme.
It’s our sustainability boutique next week, and we’re so, so excited to bring you some awesome products from sustainable sources! Not only because shopping is fun, but because what we buy and how we shop is often forgotten when we come to consider how our actions could be affecting the environment. So we thought we’d talk about it, because what is The Greenhouse if it’s not something to make you think about things you haven’t considered before?
Sure, we know that buying food in plastic or items that have to be transported long distances are bad for the environment, but how often do we stop and think before we buy our clothes? The fashion industry has been under fire in recent months for its contribution to climate change. So much so that The UN has put in place the ‘Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action’ , and more recently ‘The UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion’, highlighting that although this aspect of our lifestyle has been under the environmental radar for a while, it’s important this issue to be brought to prominence.
Now don’t you worry. We get it, having yet another aspect of your life under evaluation (see what we did there) can seem a bit overwhelming. But we’re here to show you this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are our five top tips for being a sustainable fashion consumer:
Shop less, shop better
Now we are obviously ALL guilty of succumbing to the lure of a sale or the wonderful thing that is student discount and buying clothes we don’t need (or even really like that much) because they’re cheap. But buying clothes in this way is extremely unsustainable. Think to way back when people wore their clothes until they were threadbare and could no longer be patched up. It is possible to wear clothes for more than one season, and it is possible rewear an outfit because let’s face it, no one’s going to really remember if you wore that before anyway!
The shopping habit that makes this possible is to buy less, but buy better. Now what do we mean by this? Well, quite simply we mean that in order to be able to wear these clothes day-in-day-out they have to be 1. Good Quality and 2. Something you love – so you want to wear them again and again. We’re not telling you to spend all your money on clothes, because that would just be ridiculous! What we’re saying is, instead of buying 10 items at £3 in the massive sale on ASOS (other online retailers and stores also sell clothes), why don’t you spend that £30 on something you really love?
This practice is not only a lot more environmentally friendly, but it also means you don’t suffer from the post-sale-shop-binge regret. We’ve all been there and you and your bank account are never happy about it.
One way to make sure you avoid adding to these problems is to check the label in your clothes for plastic. Common plastics found in items of clothing are polyester, acrylic, rayon, and additionally try to avoid conventional cotton as its production normally involves farming practices which are extremely harmful to the environment.
It’s cool, trendy, some might even say hip, AND it’s environmentally friendly, so why are we not all doing it?
Vintage shopping is such a great way to bring really unique and stylish pieces into your wardrobe, with the added benefit of being eco-friendly because you are both reducing the level of textile waste AND ensuring less clothing items need to be created in the first place. Obviously we understand that this is only applicable to consumers of vintage clothing on a wider level, just you buying that really cute denim jacket is not going to have a massive effect. However, if you don’t play the game you cannot win (or something like that). So what are you waiting for? You’re environmentally friendly makeover starts now!
Get creative with upcycling
It’s all well and good talking about not buying too many new clothes and keeping them until they wear out. But what happens if you’ve grown out of your old clothes, or you just really want to revamp your wardrobe? (Fashion is a form of self-expression after all).
Why not try upcycling some of your old clothes to re-fashion them into something that fits, or simply to breathe new life into your wardrobe? If you don’t know what upcycling is, it’s simply reusing something unwanted in a way as to create a product of higher value or quality than the original.
And last, but not least, the thing that will make all these other tasks easier, why not create a capsule wardrobe?
This is a lot easier said than done, admittedly, but is super useful especially if you are short on space and want to buy higher quality items. Additionally you will save yourself a lot of time in the morning as you don’t overload yourself with decision fatigue!
So there you have it, our tips on how to shop for clothes in a more sustainable way. Living in an eco-friendly way means that we must all reconsider our lifestyles in many different ways, but this doesn’t need to be difficult or invasive, it can be fun too! And we hope that we have shown you that in this blog post.
Looking forward, we cannot wait to see you at our sustainability boutique on the 2nd and the 4th April, and at our outdoor gig on the 4th too. Make sure you’re are following us on Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram to keep up to date with all our progress and fun events to come!
After the success of our launch event AND our mystery book sale, we thought it was time to introduce you to our events team (Annabel Steele and Cate Hanlon) ahead of our sustainability boutique next week!
To start, can you guys introduce yourselves?
Annabel: As well as being Head of Music for the Greenhouse, I’m also one of the events managers. This is the first time I’ve ever worked on the logistics side of a project but I am loving every second. While my wonderful, organised and competent partner-in-crime Cate deals with literally anything that involves a level of sanity, I’m dealing more with the collaborative side of the job: meeting up with fellow creators who want to get involved in the events that we’re putting on, and want to make sustainable art. I’m an environmentalist, a traveller and a creator, so this has been the dream job.
Cate: I’m the other half of the events team, and I’m also producing two shows with The Greenhouse:Daphne, or Hellfire and The Voices We Hear. I make a lot of lists and charts, and Annabel makes our events creative and fun. I’m very excited to direct my environmental efforts into something productive (and very cool!) instead of just silently seething whenever I see people take plastic grocery bags.
What’s your experience of being part of The Greenhouse team been like so far?
Annabel: I’ve been involved in a LOT of projects and groups during my time at university thus far, but The Greenhouse is absolutely the best thing I’ve gotten myself into. I could talk forever about how privileged I feel to be working with some of the most talented people I’ve ever come across, to build a venue which brings together theatre and the environment, two endeavours which are really important to me.
Cate: It’s easy for environmentalism to seem futile or exhausting or overwhelming. There have been times where I desperately wanted some coffee but didn’t have my keep-cup on me. The Greenhouse makes caring rewarding, which I think is extremely important. I’m so lucky to be working with people who are truly the best of the best, creating without wasting. This is such a unique opportunity, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.
Tell us more about the events you’ve planned.
Annabel: We’ve got a few bits and bobs dotted throughout the semester, including outdoor gigs and our Sustainability Boutique.
Cate: That’s where we’ll be selling lots of cool products including metal straws, reusable produce bags, and wooden toothbrushes. Keep an eye on Facebook for more details, we’re very excited!
Of all the fabulous events you’ve organised, which one are you the most excited about?
Cate:Honestly, I think the entirety of Fundraising Week is going to be incredible. There’s really something for everyone, whether you love a night of chill music or a massive party (or both).
Annabel: Yeah we have some amazing stuff planned. We have a Secret Garden Party, the famous BoxedIn Beach Bonfire and, my personal favourite, a collaboration with Wax Collective which will see a daytime set-up of environmentally friendly creative stalls – we’ve got a bunch of fantastic student societies on-board to make it a gorgeous day – followed by St Andrews’ first ever zero-waste house party. It’s going to be big!
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced organising a zero-waste event?
Cate: The biggest challenges have been the smallest – it’s amazing how many little things we just look over in our day-to-day life. It’s relatively easy to reduce waste, but it’s quite another thing to eliminate it entirely. I’ve found that my whole mentality has shifted – for example, we used poster paper in my management tutorial last week, and my immediate reaction was ‘I need to save this poster so I can use the back for a sign’. If you were at our mystery book sale, the back of that sign was full of notes on social enterprises.
Annabel: We want to keep everything creative, especially our collaborations with societies and groups like Wax and Capture Collective. But it’s a really big challenge to get people creating visual art without using any plastic or unsustainable products. We’re working with Transition on a couple of our events and they’re making homemade dyes using herbs and spices, which is fab, and Capture Collective are looking into building a corkboard out of bottle corks for one of our events too. All in all, while it’s been challenging to keep this aspect of the events zero-waste, it has also been incredibly fun and also so rewarding to get myself and other people thinking about how to do things differently, in order to put the planet first.
What would you say is the best thing about organising events?
Annabel: Getting new people into environmentalism! At our Launch Event, I had several people come up to me, wanting to know more about the project and wanting to get involved. That has to be the most rewarding thing of all, because ultimately this project is about spreading awareness of the environment and when people come up to me and specifically ask how they can get on board, it’s explicit confirmation that we’re doing exactly that.
Cate: I love watching everything come together – what was, two months ago, just a spreadsheet of ideas is becoming a reality. We also have access to such an incredible pool of people and such a broad spectrum of talents, which makes our job so much easier.
If you had absolutely no restrictions (financial, geographical, etc), what kind of event would you love to organise for The Greenhouse?
Cate: I think a campout would be amazing – I’m not an outdoorsy person at all, but some of my best memories from school were our trips out into the mountains (I’m Canadian, and we take camping very seriously). Nothing bonds people like taking away modern conveniences, where the only source of entertainment is overly competitive card games. Nothing makes you realize how much garbage we produce like carrying it around with you for a few days. Nothing makes you realise how important our planet is like getting out and seeing it.
Annabel: Music, travelling and environmentalism are the three things I hold dearest, so my dream event would be an amalgamation of all these. I’d organise a sailing trip, destination somewhere in Europe that I hadn’t visited before, where I’d host a sustainable music festival. Loads of gorgeous music, promotion of grassroots artists, so much vegan food (and alcohol, of course), sustainable clothing sales, outdoor yoga… all the good stuff.
And looking towards to The Greenhouse’s future, what are you looking forward to the most about going to The Edinburgh Fringe?
Annabel: Enacting real change. I believe in this project so much, and I really do think it’s going to achieve everything it’s setting out to. I’m excited beyond words to spread our message and to get people talking about sustainable theatre and prioritising our beautiful planet.
Cate: This will be my first time at the Fringe, so I’m super excited for the happy chaos that comes with that. More specifically, everyone involved with The Greenhouse really believes that what we are doing is critically important. It can be incredibly difficult to reconcile creation and beauty with the reduction of waste, but humanity doesn’t stand a chance if we can’t do that.
Thank you so much to Annabel and Cate for taking the time to answer our questions! Make sure you join us at our Sustainability Boutique and are following us on Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram to keep up to date with everything we’re doing over the next couple of months.