How to Purchase Only Environmentally Friendly Textiles

September 10, 2019

How to Purchase Only Environmentally Friendly Textiles

Creating a company to sell environmentally friendly textiles, was not something I had been striving for my whole life. But there wasn’t a travel towel on the market that met my expectations for quality, eco friendliness and craftsmanship.
My background is actually in public health. No, Lava Linens is not a public health organization. However, many ideas and practices I learned over the past 16 years are integrated into our company’s values and decisions.
There’s one idea I refer to regularly as I continue to strive to be the person I want to be. I thought I’d share it with you. I think you’ll find it helpful as you pursue your goals. It is known as the Stages of Change Model (aka Transtheoretical Model). Ever heard of it? Don’t worry, most people haven’t.

What is the Stages of Change Model?

This model acknowledges that changing your behavior doesn’t happen in one step, but progressively, over multiple steps and over time. Expecting ourselves and others around us to make changes immediately and remain successful is a very high and unrealistic order.
 
So, don’t be too hard on yourself or others. Change takes time.
 

Stages of Change:

environmentally friendly textilesWhat might the stages look like in action?

As you know, environmentally friendly textiles are a big topic at Lava Linens. Our goal is to provide the most eco friendly option to consumers so you don’t have to opt for a towel made of microfiber, for example.
 
Microfibers shed microplastics when used and washed. These ultimately end up in our water, soil and even food.
 
So let’s run with that topic. Here’s what transitioning to solely purchasing environmentally friendly textiles might look like over time.
 

Here we go!

Precontemplation

I’m happy using whatever is available within my price range. I’m not familiar with the harm manmade fibers have on our planet. OR I recognize manmade fibers are not eco friendly, but using only natural, environmentally friendly textiles is not something I’m interested in doing right now.
 

Contemplation

I recognize manmade fibers are not as eco friendly as organically grown natural fibers. I would like to become more eco responsible. Aiming to purchase only environmentally friendly textiles is something I think I could and might do within the next six months.

Preparation

When available, I will only purchase products that are made of natural, environmentally friendly textiles. These textiles include: linen, cotton, hemp, wool and jute.
 
I have created a list of stores and brands that make natural fiber products. When I am in need of a new product, I’ll be able to quickly refer to my list and make my eco friendly purchase.
 
I am learning about natural fibers and what types are best for various uses. I am also learning about what it means to be organic and various industry standards for some materials.
 
For example, Masters of Linen is the highest certification for linen. It guarantees linen with this certification has gone beyond organic standards and has met strict traceability and labor standards too.

Action

Over the past month, I replaced my worn out products with natural fiber products that are environmentally friendly.

Relapse

I purchased a tech t-shirt because I needed one quickly and wasn’t able to find a better option in my size. *The key at this stage is recognizing you’re here and then moving as quickly as possible back to the Contemplation, Preparation or Action stage.

Maintenance

I continue to purchase only environmentally friendly textiles to replace my worn products.

Termination

I do not plan on purchasing products comprised of manmade fibers when an eco friendly option is available.
 

Bonus:

Some natural fibers like linen and hemp are very durable. While they may be more expensive upfront, they will likely last longer and save you money in the end.
 
Hopefully, the example above helps you understand how you could use the model for any behavior change you seek to implement as well as provide insight into why we do what we do at Lava Linens.

Tips to help you keep your new behavior going:

  • A clear goal is invaluable. Are you able to articulate what you would like to change? If not, take some time to clarify. Then make a plan in the Preparation stage.
  • Make a firm commitment to yourself.
  • Keep learning. New information will help you stay motivated.
  • Recognize how you feel when implementing the new behavior. Your positive emotions will help you continue to make positive decisions.
  • Acknowledge the impact you would have on your environment if you continued with the negative behavior.
  • Seek support from family and friends. Find others that are doing what you want to do.
  • Recognize that social norms are also shifting in the direction you are heading.
  • Start small and reward yourself.
 
Bottom line, if you know where you stand, it’s easier to forge ahead!
 
If you have any questions or thoughts about how you might use the Stages of Change in your life, or about our environmentally friendly textiles, feel free to comment below! We’ll be responding to comments regularly.


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