Just a few thoughts on 'Eco Snobbery'......
Little man is well into his fourth year of life now. The development is every bit as amazing as every other parent claims. I too am amazed at photos just a mere year or two in the past and the ground he has covered.
We are in a fascinating phase that has passed sharing and is more into the social dynamics of inclusion, exclusion, discussion, caring actions and hurt feelings. We are complicated creatures, us humans. How do you explain someone wanting space vs including others in play? How do you help them honour their personal boundaries and also encourage them to include others? When are these actions mean or nice? A power play or respectful boundary? The other day I heard myself saying, “Let’s try to be inclusionary instead of exclusionary.” It was met with the confused expression many adults would likely give me.
As adults we are mostly the same. We just seem to internalise it a bit more. Even in the yoga and eco world the insecurity that drives us to be exclusionary runs rapid. Proving we are better than someone else and trying to piece together some sense of self worth.
In some ways we are wired for it. Community and belonging is part of how our species survived. So it’s no surprise we want to belong and status symbols today still translate to position and power. But does our inclusion and status have to be at the expense of others?
In a lot of ways I think it’s fantastic conscious choices, wooden dish brushes, natural fibres have been glamorised and by many considered aspirational. It means more people will be inspired to make healthier choices. You might have heard of the mom influencers of Byron Bay? Mom’s living a beachy life, wearing linen, beautiful lighting, children and toys colour coordinated, looking effortless and in love with life. It’s beautiful, but for most unachievable and when eco becomes a status symbol you quickly run into an eco-snobbery that means our organic shop choices makes us feel superior the mainstream choices of others.
“Are you organic, eco, whatever enough?” is not a question we should be asking and exclusionary behaviour is best left at the door.
Our values at LilyBee of community around kindness, authenticity and inclusion has meant we have never claimed to be zero waste or shamed people for using plastic and we certainly leave lots of space for our own mistakes and imperfection, as well as attempting to do better along the way. We also know our wraps are way too expensive for families worried about feeding their families each week. But we also know that small wins can make a big difference over time and if we invite people on the journey they will make the choices that are the best for their family and life circumstance. Essentially we want to offer a hand instead of pointing a finger.
Don’t get us wrong, we love, love, love our organic shops and the beautiful boutique shops that offer aspirational items and have stocked LilyBee from the beginning. We feel at home on their shelves and are proud to sit beside such beautiful products. It’s where we started because it’s where we shopped. With a child in tow and now a single mom our house is more of a mixed bag shopping experience. Picking up our Countdown basics and our farmers market produce. We even grow some of our own veggies and feel lucky to have found a balance that works for us most of the time.
We also know to make the impact for the environment and for future generations meaningful LilyBee and other sustainably minded products have to be available to the mainstream shopper who might not have an organic shop option.
We also know that as consumers demand more conscious shopping choices the grocery stores and other businesses will continue to make more conscious changes, which can make the biggest difference of all.
Which is why we couldn’t be any prouder to watch kiwi grocery chains like Countdown taking important steps for a more sustainable future and making BCorp brands like LilyBee, Hello Cup, Fix & Fogg and others on their shelves across the nation. We have an amazing strong woman as our category manager (thanks Hilda!) who gets our brand and has a vision for the future. Instead of 30 Countdowns you will find us in 160 sitting next to Chelsea Winter knives in the home goods area.
It’s one of those moments our hearts are filled with pride. This not only helps to make our NZ focused business sustainable on a financial level but also gets products that are good for our families and our future into the hands of more Kiwi’s. It’s a choice right in alignment with our values on being inclusionary and inviting more people to join us on the journey.
So the next time you see us and other BCorp businesses in an organic shop, local boutique business or Countdown be sure to take us off the shelf and into your carts. Use us at home or give us as gifts to include someone else and help spread the word near and far.
Be the kid on the playground that parents delight in because they showed a little kindness and included someone else in their world and play.