The Clean Up Job

I haven’t cleaned my bathroom in 3 weeks, and now I’m paying for it.

I’m usually pretty good about using the weekend to clean up. At least a little. I don’t always do the laundry, but I manage to clean my bathroom.  However, as life would have it, I’ve gotten consumed with stuff for the fashion line and haven’t cleaned in 3 weeks. Big mistake. BIIIGGG Mistake. Huuuuge!

When I went to tackle it, nothing was coming clean. Usually, I can spray a little water, spray and little Seventh Generation, wipe and be happy. This time not so much. Nothing came off. And, when I say nothing. I mean NOTHING. So I did it again and again and again.  I sprayed, let it sit, and then tried again. I scrubbed and scrubbed getting more of an arm work out than I would have put in with time at the gym. So I switched up methods. Analyzed the problems and tackled them one by one. I even used some less than ideal methods (the dirty toxic cleaning stuff). Little by little it started coming clean. I cleaned my bathroom everyday for a week to get to some real semblance of clean, but it got there.

All this got me thinking about fashion and all the methods we’re using to fix the problems created by it. It got me thinking about how so many methods are deemed “useless” because of one thing or another, but just like all the things I used to clean the bathroom, every little bit helps.

H&M recycling program

Every little bit helps. H&M has already made collections from recycled clothes – many of which came via their own Garment Collecting service.

There is no “one size fits all” solution to cleaning up the environment or ensuring that workers are paid fair wages. It’s going to take multiple solutions, aimed at the multiple problems that exist. Some solutions will be quick work and others will produce long term results. It’s going to take grass root organizations like Fashion Revolution and Trusted Clothes. It’s going to take lobbyists and legislation.  It’s going to take blogs and it’s going to take mainstream magazines. It’s going to take emerging brands making conscious choices. It’s going to take fast fashion companies like H&M and Zara changing small things in their supply chain. It’s going to take consumers being more mindful about their purchases. It’s going to take us donating and recycling our clothing instead of throwing them in the garbage. It’s going to take more radical organizations like PETA to draw awareness, and documentaries like Cowspiracy, scaring us straight.

No one person is alike and each person responds to different things. Each of those people are going to need a different approach to reach them and each will make an effort in their own way. Every little bit counts. Everything makes a difference. Even the smallest rock makes a ripple. If you don’t like the solution then you don’t have to participate, but chances are it’s doing some good.

Zara environmental efforts

Every little bit helps. Zara has launched a conscious collection and now focuses on environmental efforts

People may not agree with my decision not to clean my bathroom with only baking soda and vinegar, but those solutions weren’t working for me, and the other “nasty” stuff did the job. And yes, perhaps I’m poisoning myself with the chemicals, but I have so much more time to put into that now that the bathroom is clean. Not to mention, I now know, I will never go more than a week without cleaning my bathroom again. Lesson learned. Progress made. Ultimately, that’s what it’s all about. Progress, not perfection.

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About the Author

When she’s not lazying around, making up words, or consuming NadaMoo in epic portions, Sharmon is writing for her blog The Road to Ethical and running the ethical and sustainable clothing brand Blessed Designs.

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