Day 3 – Earth Week Challenge

In today's Earth Week discussion we will talk about fast fashion, consumerism, how our every day choices can make an impact on the world and women's lives.


Hi Love,

Thank you for being here with me on Day 3. You guys blew me away again yesterday with your inspired action and engagement in this challenge. I feel so blessed, I feel like I'm literally surrounded by the most amazing beings. (because I am!) If you haven't checked in on Day One or Two yet, please head over and introduce yourself to the group and let us know your takeaways!

Today's topic is all about consumerism. This is a big topic and a big problem.

Who all has been a shopaholic in the past?

I don't even think I identified as having a shopping problem because it was just so normalized. I would even spend money I didn't technically have when I first had things like OSAP and credit cards. I feel like society has done us a disservice in allowing essentially children access to these things without understanding the implications. Anywho... 

What is your takeaway from day three?

What have you been implementing or what are you excited to try? What on your favourite resources or conscious brands that you'd like to share? What are your thoughts on minimalism? I'd love to use this page a place that we can all come back to for a wealth of resources on all things conscious consumerism OR how to consume less/minimalism. 

Post your comments, reflections and resources in the comments below! 

Please use the wealth of knowledge that has been posted on Day One as a resource, as well as the amazing information in the comments on Day Two.  Look through the comments. Find all of the amazing things. 

There are also so many incredible ideas/brands being posted in our instagram community - even if you don't have instagram, you have to check it out: #earthweekchallenge2019

Reminder: For a chance to win one of our awesome prizes, post once a day on instagram or Facebook (using the hashtag #earthweekchallenge2019 so that we can all see what each other is sharing online!) 

If you post on instagram all 5 days, you could win a sweet prize pack from @rasa_ayurveda or @sweetfloweringyogaandwellness, as well as an awesome zero waste prize pack from @cntrycupboard in Fenelon Falls, a prize from Green Street Peterborough, a mala from @intentionaljoules and a FREE RETREAT from @sarovarayoga and a free month of unlimited yoga from @livingyogalove (Peterborough Living Yoga!) 

FAQ - can I still win a prize if I didn't post on social on day one?  YES! You just need to post all 5 topics for each day to qualify, it doesn't matter if you don't post on the exact day. Check out my Instagram to see our most recent prize (a beautiful Mala from Intentional Joules!!!)

When posting remember to use the hashtag #earthweekchallenge2019 

About the Author Ally

Ally Boothroyd is a yoga educator and meditation teacher with a passion for yoga nidra and the healing power of conscious rest. She is the founder of Sarovara Yoga, a yoga space and women's retreat centre in Ontario, Canada. A sanctuary on the water where she fosters local community and supports health, personal growth, emotional resiliency, authenticity, awareness, and awakening. Ally also leads Retreats and Yoga Teacher Trainings in Nosara, Costa Rica

  • Lyndele Gauci says:

    Would anyone have suggestions on where to find sustainable/Canadian made PLUS size clothes/yoga wear??? This is a struggle! Most companies I have found do not offer anything larger than an xl or size 16.

  • Angel says:

    I love shopping at thrift shops. I especially love unique vintage items. They are better than new. Saves the resources to make new items, the energy required to produce them, and transportation required to get the items all the way from the factory plus it keeps them out of landfills.
    I also donate to thrift shops as a way to support local charities and again, keep things out of landfills. It just makes sense to me.

    Also, I prefer to shop directly from locals or natives or artisans when I travel. I get so much more out of knowing who made it and who my $ is going to.

    When we buy excessively, we discard excessively. Such is the case with toys. So many things my son played with just once and then never again. Taking up space and creating clutter. So instead, I opted for “experiences'” instead of “things” for my son’s birthdays and holidays. And whenever possible, I ask for the giver to share the.experience with him. So instead of getting movie tickets for example, he gets a movie date. In years to come, he is far more likely to remember that movie night with his auntie than what she gave him. And in the process I have raised a kid who values quality time over “things” any day of the week. 💖

    • Ally says:

      I love this so much Angel…. I’m a huge fan of giving experiences over things as well… it’s such a great way to avoid more “stuff” (I get easily overwhelmed by stuff! Especially toys!)

  • Thank you for making this a topic in the Earth Week Challenge Ally! As a female, I have always felt really targeted by the fashion industry. I can feel inadequate in what I am wearing and compare myself to other women, I sometimes feel out of touch, or like I would feel a bit happier if only I had a trendy new outfit. I do my best to see this for the marketing tactic that is and not a reflection of my self worth. Its really hard sometimes though. And now that I have a little girl, its wild to see the how early I have had to be on guard for the pressure of these “societal norms.” I have to patrol her shows, clothes, messaging from family, etc, diligently and constantly. I was really shocked to see some of the infant outfits given to my daughter at our baby shower. Things like “Mommy loves me as much as she loves shoes,” and “Mommy’s little shopaholic,” were written on several. Ironically, these outfits went right to the thrift store donation bin.

    I am proud to say that I have been thrift store shopping for my clothes since I was a child. When I was young, it was mostly due to the fact that my family didn’t have much money. Now, its always the first place I go when my little one or I “need” clothes, and I would say that about 75% of my wardrobe is second hand (including some of my favourite, bras, purses and scarves!).

    If I know there is something that I would like to get myself (like a new coat this past winter), I think about it for a while, keep my eyes peeled and try my best to be patient. I ended up snagging a winter coat for $13 at Talize this year!

    It is worth mentioning that I am a big rep for slooooow fashion. Maybe too slow if thats possible…I have been wearing one of my spring jackets since I was 16. I feel like my tendency to hang on to things for so long, makes me the opposite of a minimalist. Can anyone relate? I struggle to part with things even if I don’t wear them that much, to avoid getting new things…

    • Ally says:

      Those onesies are insane right?!

      I also have several things that need to be let go of….. I may start watching Marie Kondo on Netflix to help me with this process. I literally wear 2 of my 8-9 jackets ONLY. The rest of them are taking up space in my life for no reason…. I also have guilt about letting go of shoes that I no longer wear and will never wear again…. it’s time. I’m going to do it this spring!!!

  • Sacha says: is an organization that keeps the public informed regarding many of these issues. They often have petitions you can sign to help have your voice be heard.

  • Ontario Clothing Companies I like to support and share:

    – Creative Chaos (Bobcaygeon, Ontario)

    Olivia presses her art on Canadian made, organic cotton, tshirts, sweaters and other items

    – willowfern (Muskoka, Ontario)

    Natural dyed & organic materials

    – Muskoka Tye Dye (Ontario)

    Follow them on instagram, they’re awesome!!!

  • Sacha says:

    I loved today’s topic and your focus on the clothing industry. I always declined going on shopping trips to the states with my friends and you described all the reasons so eloquently.
    You mentioned ebooks and audio books…my recommendation would also be to use the library. A great resource and it’s free!

  • Lyndele Gauci says:

    Ugh…. this is a tough one. I definitely was influenced by my mum (who actually got into some serious debt in recent years, being a shopaholic) when it came to shopping. When she became a single mother, she would often take us downtown and go “window shopping” because we just couldn’t spend money all the time. Buuuuuut I feel this habitual “want” and desire fueled the spending fire. When the was money, it was gone within a day. And I continued this when I was at Uni and would spend half my OSAP on a new wardrobe every term. I would literally drop 2k in the store I was working in (and I got 50% off!!!) This isn’t really been corrected entirely, however, I do shop 2nd hand a lot more, and I have been going to/hosting clothing swaps for years. This subject came at the perfect time too, because I’ve been planning a swap for weeks and finally got the invites out today 😄 The buy & sell, and freecycle online groups are fantastic: I have acquired more in my home than I have actually purchased new, from a store.

    • Ally says:

      Thanks for your super honest reflection Lyndele. I too had an OSAP spending problem 😐 I would go to the mall…. When I was young I also spent my whole paycheques in whatever store I happened to be working at…. it was a disaster!!! I feel so much less anxiety now that I have my spending and my finances on point! 🙂

  • Laura says:

    Shopping! This one hit home as I’ve really thinking about how much I do shop and why? Thanks for some thought provoking ideas!

  • Liz says:

    Thanks Ally! I am so glad you have included this topic. Our Western culture is a proud one of capitalism and consumption. With my own personal challenge early this year, I was forced to dramatically reflect and change my over consumption of retail products…and I’ve never been healthier with my finances and budget. I now control my money, money and retail does not control me. My previous over consumption of retail products, something outside of myself, was merely to fulfill something on the inside. We inherently give essence to objects so I constantly challenge myself on giving meaning to retail products now. I believe over consumption is emotionally driven for a lot of people. However, companies know this and are a large driving force behind making us believe we “need” or desire something. Being raised in a society that having more, or the bigger or better item, is a reflection of success or value or worth in the world. Look at any retail commercial and they tap into some sort of vicarious feeling. Feeling of happiness, success, health, beauty or enjoyment! It’s those subliminal emotional cues, that am learning to tap my own ego and tell it, no. By mindfully trying to practice more gratitude into my life and focusing on content with the abundance we already have, instead of dissatisfaction of what we don’t, I can now see this quote as truth for myself – “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude”. (unknown source unless someone else knows!)

    • Ally says:

      Yes!! I totally agree that over consumption is emotionally driven for a lot of people! And companies definitely know this. This is one of the reasons that I love yoga so much too… it can really help us remember what is important, what makes us whole Ox.

  • Candice Milroy says:

    Patagonia and Ten Tree are two companies that go the distance.

    So if I “need” retail therapy I spend a little more and get a quality product while supporting a company that makes sense to me in the bigger picture.

    Otherwise it is the Salvation Army in Fenelon Falls or thrift stores when I am visiting a different town.


    • Ally says:

      I love both of these companies Candice! Planting trees is such an important issue on the planet right now and I love any company that creates more tree planting. What a great concept. Plus sometimes we genuinely need new clothing so Ten Tree is such a perfect option 🙂 I love that they sell it right here in town at Surf and Snow!

  • Carly Reid says:

    I definitely am not perfect with this and am trying harder everyday. I found that I especially started noticing how much I was spending on ‘stuff’ when I was on mat leave and simply didn’t have the money to do so. Once you start not buying so much you really realize what is important and what is not…and like 90% or more goes under the category of not important.

    I definitely thrift when I can for sure…I also buy Oz second hand clothes as well because they do grow so fast. When I do buy new for him though, I always hand those clothes down to another mama & babe so that it doesn’t just get a few wears. I also realize how little clothing he or I, or anyone really, even needs! I mean let’s be honest you have to do a lot more laundry when you have littles so why have a bunch of clothes that doesn’t get worn!

    I also love doing clothing swaps with friends. This is great for when you feel like going shopping and have that ‘retail therapy’ itch but can’t afford to or are trying not to shop as much. Strongly recommend clothing swaps with friends!

    I too buy lots of plain clothes, I’ve always just preferred them and never really thought about it in the way that you explained it, but that’s so true that patterns are usually a trend or seasonal where as most of my clothes are things I’ve had for years because it’s plain and I can wear it for longer so that’s an interesting way to put it.

    I think the challenges like capsule wardrobes and those kind of things definitely would help someone get a kickstart into trying to be more mindful of stuff…also realizing that no one else notices if you wear the same thing over and over haha. Most days it probably looks like I am since it’s always jeans and a tee and the last few years I’ve realized that I don’t care if people even do think I am wearing the same thing haha.

    Also like you said…having more money for other things is a great feeling! Stuff doesn’t actually make you happy and the addiction of buying is very real (like all addictions) but it’s a pretty easy one to cut out when you start asking yourself questions like ‘Why am I buying this? How long will I be able to use this for? and Do I NEED this?’

    • Ally says:

      Yes!!!! So many good points!!! It’s so true and I love clothing swaps too! They are the greatest idea ever. Plain clothes are the best. I used to wear the craziest things ever and have pink hair and buy things that went with whatever weird fashion trend was happening… but now that everything is “plain” I find that I wear the exact same thing pretty much every day too. I’m either in a comfy, cotton dress. A tank and comfy pants or jeans. All about comfort and not having to make an effort to decide what to wear lol…. I don’t like decision exhaustion. Hahaha…. I like to think that I’m not lazy, I’m just saving my brain power for more important decisions lol

  • Mona says:

    I buy so much clothing at consignment. I love this because first, it is recycling. It is amazing how much second hand clothing there is out there! What would happen to it otherwise? Some to charity I suppose, but most would end up in the trash then landfill or incinerated. Second, so many of these stores contribute the profits to a charitable organization, and lastly I save a ton of money! I love being a yogini & am so proud & pleased with the industry surrounding this lifestyle. Sooo many companies are human & earth conscious. Off the top of my head I can say Niyama Sol & Ajna

    • Ally says:

      Much of it does end up in the landfill Mona… very sad. And yes! Being a yogini takes us down a path of questioning everything and how we are treating the earth doesn’t it? It’s a journey for sure 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    Yes! I’ve definitely been
    more reflective about this the last few years. As someone who grew up poor, when I got OSAP, started making money, met friends who HAD money and were shoppers..It definitely opened up the POSSIBILITY of buying things, which I never had before. So I went for it, and shopped, ate out a lot, etc! The last few years I’ve been more intentional of WHAT I’m buying (esp around clothes) buying quality, ethical fabrics (I love linen!!!) and asking myself “do I really need this?”. But yep, clothes are my thing and I love them. It’s always a work in progress but I am proud where I am!
    I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe and over the last year I’ve been letting go of A LOT of clothes and it feels really good. Jessica Rose William has great blog spots on minimalism, capsule wardrobes etc!

  • Angie says:

    I’m so interested in hearing how everyone weighs in here, I feel like I have a lot to learn about minalism. At this point in my journey I’m doing really well with shopping locally whenever possible and I very seldom go into big box stores– less than a handful of times a year anyways, but I know I can do better so I’m ready to be inspired by this incredible community. Have a great day everyone!

    • Ally says:

      Yes! This is a big one because I feel like most of us are getting messages all day, every day that we need more. And consumerism is such a huge part of the culture! Minimalism is a beautiful rebellion to that I think… It’s my goal to one day be a true minimalist! Ox

  • Jodie Mulder says:

    I’ve really worked on my consumerism recently

    I buy all my clothes and my family clothes from talize or vinnys
    My 16 year old son has taken it one step further… he only buys Canadian/US ethically sourced clothing. He’s a wonder… lovely to learn from… also never uses one time plastics

    I digress… I do without buying most items
    But… my 8 year old is a buyer
    He gets pure joy from buying and I keep trying to teach him to enjoy what he has but he insists…

    I have started buying locally and not buying things online ever… if I can’t source things second hand or locally I don’t buy it

    It’s been a hard but wonderful transition

    • Ally says:

      Your 16 year old son sounds amazing Jodie! It is a hard transition for sure!!! I find it especially hard as I mentioned when people give us really lovely gifts, especially for Audrey. It is a tricky road I find. And my social compliance and “manners” kick in hard when we are gifted things that we don’t need.

  • Kelly says:

    I love that you are bringing awareness to the clothing industry and the way they take advantage of women in bad situations to make their clothing for cheap. I don’t like to buy clothes or shop in general. I bought clothes because I lost so much weight, I didn’t have a choice. I haven’t bought clothes or anything for myself in many years! I don’t like to buy things for myself especially don’t like buying new. My son gets clothes from his cousins and friends and we give them to other people who need them. If we need anything now we go to the second hand stores to get clothes. We don’t have a throw away mentality that we can just go buy whatever the latest trend is. We take anything we don’t need to the Sally Ann or give them to friends who need them.
    There are so many people with closets full of clothes with patterns to wear during certain seasons or occasions and then they sit in their closets, never to be worn again.
    I would love better options to buy clothing.
    I don’t like the options they have for women’s clothing in the stores in our area. Low cut necks and no sleeves, they don’t work for a lot of women and we need better options for real women! Thank you for bringing attention to this issue!

  • Lisa says:

    I could write about this forever but I’m just going to recommend the book “clear your clutter” by Mary Kingston.

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