Today’s guest post is from our dear friend Marijoy of Free Girl Free World. She is an ongoing inspiration to us in her unabashed honesty and her work with things that truly matter (from parenting and marriage, to style and advocacy). She is always the one to bring up the thing everyone is thinking but scared to say. In other words, she’s brave! She is a great source of encouragement to us and we always leave her company feeling like together, real change is possible. Marijoy, we love you!
No matter where you are in your fashion revolution, taking your next ethical step will entail a dose of prudence.
Prudence is defined as, “the quality of being cautious.” It could also be described as wisdom, good judgment, common sense, sagacity (that’s fun to say) or shrewdness. Isn’t that just the perfect way to describe your decision to make conscientious clothing choices?
I thought so, too. That is why I decided to hashtag it after one Salty Sow Blanche and a brainstorm with my friend. (“Hashtag” might as well be a verb.) I should also inform you, the word “prudence” gives me the warm fuzzies since reading the book Prudence Wants a Pet with my daughter. Read it. It is darling!
What is #PracticePrudence about anyway?
It’s about being aware of production standards, intentional with our purchases, and not pretending our choices don’t affect other people. It’s about getting beyond the paralysis that can result when we do become aware of the magnitude of issues created by the consumerism mentality so prevalent in our society. It’s about bringing your own consumer attitude to the light and making steps toward investing in the wellbeing of our world alongside others who hope to do the same.
I don’t know about you, but I change best linked up with other people who are real and honest about their growth as well. In fact, if we are talking about being a part of an effective movement—a group of people working together to advance change—I think it’s important to refrain from judgment and polarization, and inspire and encourage instead. (That’s one reason I love #DWDG. Ellie and Beth are gentle giants when it comes to promoting paradigm shifts.) That’s why I started hashtagging my steps toward ethical shopping choices, to reveal that I am practicing prudence–not that I’ve completely arrived, and to invite others to share what day to day efforts they make as well. Then, we become connected. And that’s really what our world needs, don’t you think?
Last Fall I gathered my friends for a #PracticePrudence get together. I have some pretty amazing friends, so it was really fun to let them demonstrate their own ways of practicing prudence. The Green Ampersand had her textile wares, The Distillery Market brought a sampling of her procurements, my Thrifting Queen friend Rachel set out a rack of some expertly foraged finds, Swap Maven Melissa Massello came to impart her invaluable insights, and I displayed Noonday Collection (of course!). Also we served spiked cider and bacon wrapped butternut squash—we aim to please.
There was swapping, shopping, the trying on of various pieces and the oooo’s and ahhh’s that womenfolk do, and we discussed the ups and downs of getting back to slow fashion. We talked about how we want our kids to care more about what the maker of their clothes is paid rather than keeping up with the ever changing trends or the immediate and fleeting gratification of a bargain.
All I did was ask. I had only met Melissa one time previous to our event! People are mostly very kind, and when you create a space of creativity, empowerment, and yes, shopping, almost anyone will try to attend.
I cannot tell you how inspiring it is to get tagged in a post about a thrifted score. Or getting a text from a family member informing me they changed to purchasing only fair trade coffee. And recently over a glass of wine, my friend shared how she was brave at a retail event and kindly asked the saleswoman if she knew where the clothing was made and what the production standards were because she did not feel free to purchase unless she knew the supply chain. Doesn’t that make your heart swell?
I really believe micro choices spark macro change. Especially when we remember we are all in this together.
If you decide to ask a few people over for a Netflix viewing of The True Cost, do a spring clothing swap, or talk to your kids at breakfast about who made their clothes, feel free to hashtag #PracticePrudence, and let us fist bump emoji you. (Yes, I just verbed “emoji,” too.) But really, you don’t even have to be on social media. Just know, when you get that feeling of satisfaction making a good choice today, it’s because you got your prudence on.
Hi, I’m Marijoy. I am an everyday advocate for justice, an Ambassador with Noonday Collection, and I thrive on meaningful conversations. My husband and I have been married 18 years and we tag-team raise our 10-year-old son (who apparently takes arbitration classes on the side) and our 7-year-old daughter (whose dessert-negotiating skills rival even William Shatner). Every now and then I blog at Free Girl Free World. You can follow me on Instagram @FreeGirlFreeWorld.