Literally Nataly: Why Positive Living Matters

Special Guest Post: Nataly Elbaz Bjorklund, Positive Influencer and Founder of sustainability blog Literally Nataly.

These days, the idea of positive living, or living sustainably, is not a natural notion for most. For me, it was something that had lingered at the back of my mind since writing my Masters thesis about sustainability in the fashion industry a few years ago. Having lived a life in which I didn’t consider questions of sustainability, it was quite tough to make that mental switch at first. The moment finally came after the realisation that I shopped almost every week, spending money on things that I didn’t really need or would use.

 

Re-thinking consumption habits

The journey to a sustainable lifestyle is not necessarily an easy one and requires dedication and patience: it essentially involves teaching oneself to live a life that goes against an economic system that tends to encourage profit-seeking and consumption over other considerations and values.  

Living sustainably is important for a very simple reason: our global future depends on it. We cannot maintain our life on Earth and our little planet’s ecosystems unless we actively embrace sustainability. All components of life on Earth will be harmed if we don’t make a change and the root of this change lies in understanding and practicing sustainability.

We need to stop seeing the world through the looking glass we have been given, and start seeing it for what it really is. We must stop taking things for granted and start appreciating every component that makes up our life. Nothing in our life is a given, and just as we work hard to live comfortably within our homes we need to work hard to protect our larger home, Earth.

 

Defining a positive lifestyle

To me, positive living is striving towards sustainability: a balanced and conscious way of living while still ensuring a good quality of life. I do this through increased awareness in every aspect of my life: whether it’s my personal and professional relationships, the food that I eat, or my consumption habits.

It’s all about being engaged in the present and being mindful of my surroundings. One part of positive living is about changing your mindset to the idea that you don’t need “stuff” to be happy. Growing up in a consumerist society, most people’s first impulse when they see a beautiful product is to desire it. Positive living is about being able to reach satisfaction, unhindered by constant hedonism that only answers to one’s momentary pleasure. It’s not about rejecting indulgence, but about living in the moment in a way that does not chafe against one’s ethics.

As you begin to practice a mindful way of living, there is suddenly an increased sensitivity to the world around you. You start to appreciate the simple things in life: how they can be simple but also wonderful. You start noticing the impact that you make on the world through your actions and realise that each human is not a single component but that we are all a part of a larger whole.

What positive luxury means

In order to change the way the world works, we need to learn the circular story behind the objects and services we purchase or use. It is therefore important to raise more awareness of these important alternatives. Positive Luxury plays such an important role in providing brands with a platform to showcase their social and environmental actions to the luxury consumer.

Some of my favourite #brandstotrust include: Umran Aysan, Flock By Nature, and Weleda. I admire their meaningful commitment towards sustainability whilst staying true to quality, craftsmanship, and beauty. Whether it is through their transparency, fair treatments of workers, using natural materials and eco-friendly methods, tackling issues of animal cruelty, or preserving artisanal skills.

 

Practical tips for positive living

There are many wonderful things one can do to lead a more positive life: 

  • Recycle, Recycle, Recycle. It is the easiest thing you can do.
  • Question your purchases. Whether it is the clothes that you put on your body or the food that you put in your mouth; where did your purchase come from? Who was it made by? How was it produced?
  • Buy less, buy better. It is easy to get caught up in a consumer culture; we often buy things that are just variations of things we already own. Make use of what’s in your closet and slowly build a capsule wardrobe. Spend more money on one timeless sustainable piece, rather than buying five (less durable) fast fashion finds.
  • Get involved. Despite our best individual efforts, it’s not enough to simply make a positive change by yourself without influencing others. Find a local cause or campaign that you can get involved in, however small-scale it may be, and spread the word. Only together can we embrace positive collaboration.

 

Shop Nataly’s ethical edit:

Flock by Nature
Kate Merino Cardigan

Shop Positive Living Flock by Nature

Flock by Nature
Eloise Merino Sweater

Shop Positive Living Flock By Nature

Flock by Nature
Phoebe Merino Raglan Tap

Shop Positive Living Weleda

Weleda
Oat Replenishing Shampoo

Shop Positive Living Weleda

Weleda
Lip Balm Rose

Shop Positive Living Weleda

Weleda
Birch Body Scrub

Shop Positive Living Umran Aysan

Umran Aysan*
Tencil Box Dress

Shop Positive Living Umran Aysan

Umran Aysan*
Tencil Box Dress with Blue Stripes

Shop Positive Living Umran Aysan

Umran Aysan*
Cotton Voile Kaftan

*Stay tuned for news and updates on the launch of Umran Aysan’s upcoming collection. 

If you’ve enjoyed reading this, you might also like reading Ethical Updates to your Gym Wardrobe, La Maison Couture: The Responsible Jewellery Edit, Natural Solutions to your Haircare Symptoms.

Rebecca Wallace