Presenter and sustainability activist Venetia Falconer shares her top tips on eco-friendly fashion, eating vegan and her favourite package-free shops
New isn’t always nicer
Two years ago, I stopped buying fast fashion. Before that, I constantly browsed in-store or online, and bought pieces that didn’t actually satisfy me. After watching the documentary The True Cost, I realised the impact the fashion industry has on the environment, so I started thrift shopping. I found the jacket and trousers of a silk Vivienne Westwood suit on two different visits to Mary’s Living & Giving (there are shops across the UK).
Make packaging a priority
On Saturdays, I go to the local farmer’s market to pick up fresh fruit and veg. I’m lucky to live in London, where we have access to a lot of package-free shops. So, when I need dry goods, I’ll go to Re:Store in Hackney, Hetu in Clapham or Liberté Chérie on Portobello Road. You can bring containers for foods like oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruits, or bottles for oils – and even refill household products such as washing-up liquid and laundry detergent.
As a vegan, I already eliminate a lot of foods, so I need to be careful about where I draw the line. Still, I’m conscious of where my food is sourced. I’ve started eating less avocados, as most are grown in Mexico, then shipped. Looking for a sustainable milk alternative? Try oat or hemp. For grains, it’s quite easy to find UK-sourced quinoa.
My goal is to stop flying, because it’s one of the worst things we can do for the planet. If I have to travel by plane, I bring my own reusable coffee cup, water bottle and cutlery to avoid extra waste. I prioritise trains when travelling in the UK, or opt for a car share. And when I need to get around London, I walk.
My boyfriend, Max, and I were looking into the amount of energy our mobiles use, and how they impact our mental health. We decided to go offline every weekend, turning off our phones every Friday night until Monday morning. And, using #offline48, we challenge our followers to do the same.