Trying to be ‘conscious consumer’ and leading a sustainable lifestyle can seem daunting. Over the next few weeks, we will showcase loyal customers of some of our favourite brands, who are making strides to lead a sustainable lifestyle. We hope you are encouraged & inspired by the actions each of these individuals have taken. You may not think so, but you can and probably are taking actions towards being more sustainable, you’re just not ‘conscious’ of it!
Noella Cresence – Pomogrenade enthusiast
As a writer, digital and creative consultant, Noella tries to live a minimal life. This might seem contradictory and counter-intuitive for someone who works in advertising and marketing. But Noella believes that as a consumer, it is about ‘need vs. want’. In fact, that is how she came to purchase her first few items from Pomogrenade. When she bought her first couple of items from them, she was looking for work-wear that was comfortable and fit her style.
Noella and co-founder of Pomogrenade Madhu Umapathy, have known each other through playing Ultimate Frisbee. When Pomogrenade were looking to shoot their first collection with ‘real women’, Madhu asked Noella if she’d be up for participating in the photo shoot! Upon trying the clothes, she fell in love with the look and feel of the items and ordered two tops. At the time, she didn’t know much about the brand but soon learned about the women they employ, their use of waste fabric and how even in their packaging, they use recycled paper.
While Pomogrenade is a slow fashion brand that aims to be affordable, supporting fair trade and ethical business principles makes their current pricing structure slightly more than some of the fast fashion brands. Noella’s experience with Pomegrenade and their approach made her step back and think about how growing up as a child, most of her clothes were tailored. Her mum would buy fabric and take it to a tailor to be made. And while she hated the fact that her clothes were tailored and not store bought growing up, in the last couple of years Noella has begun to visit the tailor once again. She came to the realization that she was paying almost the same amount to buy fabric and have a tailor make clothing to her size, as she was buying an item from a retail store. For many of us it is a combination of finding those multiple sources of brands and products that help us lead a sustainable lifestyle.
Other sustainable and ethical brands that Noella supports include: the Burlap People who re-purpose burlap into bags. She stumbled across them via social feeds and liked what they stood for; and Urban Monkey, who she discovered six years ago and has been an advocate for them ever since. Urban Monkey produces comfortable shoes made of out canvas and a percentage of what a consumer pays for the shoes, goes towards educating a child. Noella has gifted pairs of shoes to her brother, mum and friends.
Another aspect of her life where she is trying to make more informed choices, is buying vegetables and fruits from the local market as opposed to the supermarket. We all fall prey to spending more when we shop at a supermarket and Noella has been trying to convince her family to switch back to shopping at the local market instead. Though shopping at a supermarket can often be cheaper and more convenient, Noella often found that she ended up walking out with items that weren’t on her list to begin with and looked for ways to justify what she bought. It’s something she’s working on and trying to convince her mother of the same too!
For Noella, it always comes back to ‘want vs. need’. This is tension that she struggles with her herself and often has conversations about with close family and friends. “It’s about changing the way you approach certain purchases”, she explained. Most of the clothes she owns are at least six to seven years old. When she comes across a brand that has a limited collection, Noella recognizes that she doesn’t need to buy several items from their collection and can appreciate their designs with the one or two items she has purchased from them.
When it comes to addressing the mass market around purchasing with purpose, Noella believes that educating the market around issues around want vs. need is a step in the right direction. Not giving in to what you want but focusing on what you need, can make it affordable to buy from sustainable brands. She pointed out that when you visit a village or small town, they don’t really have many options and can’t afford to buy to new things on a regular basis. That enables a certain level of creativity and ingenuity. Noella is positive one can take small steps towards living a more conscious lifestyle, it starts by beginning to think of ‘want vs. need.’
For more information about Pomogrenade, click here.