Do you remember that study that came out last year on ethical fashion? It basically concluded that people A) have no interest in learning whether child labor was involved in the making of their jeans, and B) look down upon those who do. (It also said that those who care are less fashionable, which might, overall, be true, but I like to think many of us are debunking that claim.)
I shrugged it off at the time—wow! so surprising that people don’t want to know how their actions affect others!—but when I happened upon some click bait recap of this study I hadn’t seen before, I started to really wonder… Are the people in my own life rolling their eyes? And, does it matter if they do? Should I become more open about my conscious living journey, or should I quiet down?
We as a society like to pile our own insecurities onto others. So if someone is constantly reminding you—say, by posting links on Facebook to your conscious living blog—that you might be doing something bad by supporting fast fashion, it’s natural to feel a little put off. It’s not unimaginable that even if it’s not all preachy, even if it’s just a few facts about ethical fashion or tips for greener living, there might be an adverse reaction. Truth is, the majority of people you know separate ethics from fashion, ethics from consumption, and ethics from the environment. But, then:
Think of a book you couldn’t stop talking about afterward—suddenly every thing you saw, every conversation you had, related to the message of this book—you couldn’t unsee the connections if you tried. That’s what living consciously is like. Only the book is a true story and the message is incredibly urgent.
We’re all passionate about different things, and when we love something, we want to share it. When we learn something, we want to teach it. Talk about it, write about it, literally wear it on our sleeves.
But here’s the thing. The role of the conscious living blogger isn’t to change everyone’s mind. We’re not writing for those not open to hearing it. Instead, the role of the conscious living blogger is to inspire people, that like us one, five, or ten years ago, care deeply but don’t have the resources to make their lifestyle match up to their values. The role of the conscious living blogger is to empower those who are already with them and educate those who are influenced by them. Sure, it’d be great if some big fast fashion blogger is moved by our posts and decides to ditch all the brands paying her a million bucks a year to promote their devastating product. But she is not our target audience.
For me, the goal is empowerment and hope. I feel anything but positive about where the world is right now, but it’s been proven that the doom-and-gloom approach doesn’t work. As much as we’re appalled by reality, many of our fellow citizens have their hands over their ears. That’s not to say I’m actively keeping my journey from people I know, but most of them just aren’t my focus. My focus is finding a likeminded community, and coming together to inspire solutions.
In Great Tide Rising, a must read on our moral obligation to the environment, Kathleen Dean Moore addresses our obsession with those who don’t care. We want so badly to change minds. She tells us about the hardest minds to change when it comes to sustainability: climate change deniers. And what of them? Well, she concludes, who cares? There’s enough of us here, right now, that do care. We need to focus on building a movement, on getting on the same page, on creating a plan, on taking action.
With every great social movement, there were arguments on both sides, and mountains of indifference. But has that stopped progress? Whatever cause you’re feeling the pull to get active in right now needs you. The deeper I dig, the more complicated each day gets, the more purpose I feel.
Conscious living bloggers, who’s your audience? Readers, why do you read conscious living blogs? What do they do for you?