Artist Advocacy Story No.1 Eco Collective Seattle
I’d like to live green.
But I have taken for granted the many resources I have access to and consumed and discarded without much regard for the consequence. A detrimental case of out of sight, out of mind. Despite my challenges I’m seeing the “green lifestyle” become increasingly prevalent, paying the much due regard toward how we affect the planet by our choices.
It can feel quite overwhelming though to switch out of the convenience of plastic and other non recyclable materials, to toss what could be reused, to pay the often higher expense for the organic and BPA free. I have tried to make a greater effort to purchase products that are environmentally friendly, but if I want to be really mindful of what I'm using and how I'm using it, it requires research and knowing where to look.
Eco Collective Seattle is the place to create ease and accessibility to the green lifestyle. My good friend Genevieve is the creator and founder. Currently selling at the Fremont Market, Eco Collective's goal is to be a source for knowledge on "zero impact" living and provide healthier alternatives to the many products we use on a daily basis. Products like aluminum free deodorant, fluoride free toothpaste, and glass water bottles, each serve our needs, but also the earth's. The same benefits, but far less impact.
She has researched and sourced these products from companies that speak that same message, and by creating that bridge, it brings attention and support to those vendors within Eco Collective's community. It's more than just selling products to make a profit. It is about creating relationships, founded on mindful principles, that builds community and awareness. And not in an assuming, "holier than thou", guilt trip you sort of way, but a genuine desire for inclusive lasting health.
Gen kindly let me ask her questions on this journey she's begun, the inspiration and message that carries such great weight for her, and what all is happening with Eco Collective.
What first inspired you to start Eco Collective?
Enjoying the outdoors and keeping them beautiful has been ingrained in me ever since the first time I saw plastic floating in our beautiful bay in Rhode Island, where I grew up. A few years ago, I decided to take a more thorough approach to low impact living. Every time I ran out of a beauty product or something in my pantry, I'd replace it with something more sustainable - natural ingredients, without plastic packaging, that were better for my health. But these things were hard to find. Some were only available online, many didn't work as well as their everyday supermarket alternatives, and others were totally "greenwashed." In other words, not as sustainable as their manufacturers would like you to believe. When I talked to my friends, they had all come across the same roadblocks. They cared about the environment, but didn't have a way to find the right tools. That's why I started Eco Collective.
What have been the challenges you've faced in living a more zero impact life?
Finding a replacement for certain items has been a real challenge; for example, it took me a long time to find a deodorant that actually worked for my active lifestyle. Finding eco-friendly solutions is still a challenge, but now it's one that I love and continues to motivate me. Finding things like laundry detergent or cleaning supplies in bulk has been its own Everest. Bringing hard-to-find bulk options to a local storefront is going to make even my own life easier.
how about challenges of starting your own business?
Bringing this project to life on my own has been the hardest and most rewarding thing I've ever done. It has consisted of a lot of research and asking the right questions. Wading through product reviews, company histories, and tax codes has made for a lot of hours at my desk. But at the end of the day, I am doing something important by making sustainability more accessible and doable for my fellow Seattleites, and I know I'd do it all over again.
do you see a community here in Seattle that supports this way of life? If not, what do you think is needed to change that?
A lot of locals are already pursuing this lifestyle - and have been for decades. And interestingly, the Zero Waste movement has really gained momentum over the last few years. More and more people are catching on. I believe that this store will create a collective of people who love this way of life, and spread awareness to those who want an in.
What zero impact product are you most excited about?
I have these wonderful food storage wraps made by dipping linen fabric in beeswax. It's a natural antibacterial finish. They keep your produce, cheese and leftovers fresh for longer, by allowing the food to breathe. They've been the biggest hit so far.
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I'm so excited for Genevieve! I like to think of Eco as the platform to bring those principles to light in a way everyone can relate to and be excited about. I no longer have to stare at the plethora of organic options, uncertain what to choose, and cringe at the cost. Further, I know and trust the source I'm buying from, I'm supporting local companies, and in my small way, contributing to the ever growing community. If we all were to adjust our lifestyle just a little, a glass water bottle here, compost our food there, collectively we can make an immense impact. I mean, why not? We are all members on this earth, respecting it is a reflection of respect for ourselves.
I look forward to seeing where Eco Collective goes. The opportunities for connection and collaboration here are endless and the accessibility is encouraging, an invitation to a life of lasting and powerful simplicity.
Definitely check out the amazing line of products on their recently revealed website! I have the social places to find Eco Collective listed below. I plan to get one of these and a couple of these. Oh and this for my teeth! They also have some great tid-bits and info on their blog so you can explore the zero waste world more and get involved in this amazing community in Seattle and beyond.
To your fulfilled and green life,