An Ode to Ending Eco-Snobbery
If you’ve recently embarked on your journey into sustainable living, we know the space can sometimes feel a little intimidating and overwhelming. Conversely, if you’re well on your way, you may occasionally find yourself doing some judging – silent or otherwise. In honor of Earth Day, we invite you to kindly check yourself – wherever you are – and remember we’re all in this together. Fixing the planet isn’t going to happen with a few people doing the most. It’s going to be the lot of us doing what we can. With that said…
If you’re an eco-warrior living your sustainable dream - welcome.
If you’re just beginning to think about your consumption, waste, and doing better by the planet – welcome.
If you bought one of our bags because it was cute, found yourself here, and are like, wait -- what? – a hearty welcome.
X // No Eco-Elitism
Here at Junes, we strive for inclusion and accessibility. We recognize that within the environmental movement there have to be equitable opportunities for all. Socioeconomic disparities already often dictate access to clean air and water, as well as a voice or choice in the matters that affect who is most impacted by pollution. So it’s not just an elitist attitude we have to dismantle here – it’s also the problem that many aspects and tools of conservation are only available and feasible to the financially elite.
We are, of course, hyper aware of the corporatization of the -isms and the growing skepticism when companies wade into these spaces. For us, this includes both feminism and environmentalism. It’s a fine line we work to establish between selling a product that contributes net good to the world and one that feels sneakily exploitative. And look, we fully acknowledge that our bags are a higher price point than many other mesh reusables and that they aren’t affordable for everyone. This is exactly why we see our products not as the ticket to a cleaner planet, but merely an option. Carrying ANY reusable bag, along with any attempt to reduce plastic consumption, is the real mission here. We dream of the day that biodegradable fabrics like BioKnit™ are more mainstream and don’t cost so much to source and produce, and that manufacturing and shipping processes that are better for the earth also are more affordable and accessible. Until we get there, we’re using Junes as an opportunity to lead and fund the effort.
Part of dismantling eco-elitism is picking your lane while also contributing to the flow of the larger highway. We’ve defined ours as innovating in materials and production to produce quality reusable bags that close the loop on plastic pollution (while supporting women in the process.) We then seek out the areas of environmental activism that others are doing more of or better, and we amplify the hell out of them. Competing for a spot helps no one and rarely furthers progress in any meaningful way. When we merge effectively, we get there much faster.
We hope you’ll carry our business ethos into daily life and how you approach environmentalism, as we have ourselves. What can you do with your abilities and resources? What can you recognize and support in others? How can you bring everyone else along with you?
After all, there’s really no place for judgement on who is doing the most or the least when the underlying issue can often be accessibility… fueled by inequities or otherwise.
X // No Eco-Shaming
Even when access isn’t the problem, the same rules apply. We’re all starting our efforts in sustainability at different times and places, so naturally some of us are further along than others. If you’ve found yourself feeling like others aren’t doing “enough,” ask yourself this: What value is there in creating a hierarchy of eco-consciousness?
As we mentioned, we too are wary of people and companies who suddenly adopt a small, environmentally friendly practice. And for good reason – greenwashing is a real thing. But this tendency becomes problematic when we develop a dismissive attitude to anyone who is seemingly doing less than we are. It’s good to remember that small efforts in better habits are often self-building – doing a little now creates the awareness and drive to do more later. Everything positive contributes to the larger positive – our scorn is usually better saved for those that are abjectly negative.
With that in mind, we like to keep our focus squarely on education and inspiration rather than judgement or competition. No act for the planet is too small! Individual actions can already feel meaningless in the big world filled with big problems, but in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. One of the biggest impacts you can have in your efforts for the planet is to bring others along with you – doubling, quadrupling, or whatever 100-timesing your efforts is called. More people making better choices is how we influence REAL change at a larger level – the level with power. When we collectively change how we consume, corporations are effectively forced to change how and what they produce. Their whole business is serving us, remember?
X // No Eco-Snobbery
Fortunately, gone are the days when caring about the planet is seen as granola, hippy stuff. We know too much and have gone too far in the wrong direction to collectively ignore it. Fixing generations upon generations of human error requires getting everyone on board as quickly as possible. It is for that reason, we’d argue that the real skepticism in the matter should be saved for anyone in the environmental movement who isn’t explicitly inclusionary. Seen this way, it’s impossible to view them as truly committed to the larger mission.
So hey! Let’s meet each other where we are on the eco-spectrum. Let’s bring others along with us and be inspired by other others to do more ourselves. We’ll all inevitably be better for it. Remember – sustainable is not a state of being. It’s a process.
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