Sustainability

4 min read

Team Daye Shares How We Live, Shop, and Eat Sustainably

When You're Short on Time and Big on Values

Eco-friendly and ethical practices have definitely become a trending topic, but maintaining a sustainable lifestyle isn’t as straightforward and accessible as it’s made out to be. For every plastic straw we give up, we discover yet another way our lives are harming the planet. Everything, from the clothes we wear to the food we eat, could potentially be costing the earth — that’s a whole lot of pressure. It’s good news that sustainability is finally on the mainstream agenda, but systemic change isn’t as easy as carrying around a reusable water bottle. Although we all do our best to live responsibly, being 100% sustainable is, let’s face it, almost impossible.

For every plastic straw we give up, we discover yet another way our lives are harming the planet.

— Liv Cassano, Editor at Daye

That being said, small daily habits can make a massive difference, and there are a lot of ways we can live greener lives without drastically changing our lifestyles. Not everything will work the same for everyone, and aspects like time, money and disability often mean a lot of big-picture sustainable practices aren’t an option for many people. Learning to be more sustainable, whether that means cycling to work instead of driving, reducing your meat consumption, or switching to cruelty-free beauty products, also means considering how sustainability fits in your life.

Because it's cool to be kind (especially to the environment), team Daye shares what they do to reduce their carbon footprint, what sustainability means to them, and—in the spirit of transparency—what unsustainable habits they’re still trying to improve on.

I never think the onus of behaviour change should be solely on the consumer, brands should play their role

— Valentina Milanova, Founder & CEO of Daye

Valentina Milanova, Founder and CEO

What does sustainability mean to you?

The ability to put yourself in the shoes of those who haven't been born yet.

What changes or habits have you implemented to be more sustainable?

Over the past 7 years, I've completely taken out meat from my diet, and have significantly reduced my consumption of dairy. A number of studies show that the meat and dairy industries are the biggest global polluters. Cutting out meat and dairy was really easy for me, I never looked back or missed it. I know that's not the case with most people, who find it challenging to not eat bacon or not have cow milk in their latte, so I consider myself lucky in being able to play my role in reducing the impact of our food choice on the planet. That being said, I am careful in not shoving my nutritional choices down other people's throats—I realise my privilege in not craving meat or dairy.

In a perfect world, with no financial or logistical restraints, what would you do to live sustainably?

I would start a second business commercialising the material science innovation we collected at Daye to ensure all of our packaging is sustainable. I hate plastic packaging and it's disturbingly prevalent. I never think the onus of behaviour change should be solely on the consumer, brands should play their role in making it easy for consumers to be environmentally sustainable. I'm currently 100% obsessed with Daye, but if I had an extra 6 hours a day, I would start a sustainable packaging business with products that don't force consumers to radically alter their existing behaviour.

What unsustainable vices are you trying to work on?

Smoking! It's awful — it's my dirty, shameful habit and I seriously hope my mother never reads this. I've had 4-7 cigarettes per day since the age of 13 and I have a real nicotine habit I seriously need to kick. Smoking has become my only quiet, check-in time during the day and I crave the ritual as much as I do the tobacco.

What do you think is missing from the conversation around sustainability?

More empathy towards consumers. I genuinely believe we all want to be sustainable, but often lead lives that prevent us from doing so. I am always happy to see brands that take on the responsibility of bringing products to market that have sustainable supply and distribution chains.

Low cost flights are sooooo tempting but I'm trying to explore more locally.

— Hannah Drew, Director of Operations

Hannah Drew, Director of Operations

What does sustainability mean to you?

Living in a way that means things can continue - whether that's the earth or myself!

What changes or habits have you implemented to be more sustainable?

Recently moved back from the West Coast of the US, so far fewer long haul flights to visit family. But in all seriousness, I'm trying to be  way more conscious with the way I engage with fashion. Buying far less clothes and only buying high quality, long-lasting clothing when I do buy.

In a perfect world, with no financial or logistical restraints, what would you do to live sustainably?

I would live on a barge, forcing myself to live in a small space to reduce the amount of unnecessary 'stuff' I own.

What unsustainable vices are you trying to work on?

Travel. Low cost flights are sooooo tempting but I'm trying to explore more locally.

What do you think is missing from the conversation around sustainability?

Pragmatism. We all live busy lives and as much as we want to do what's best for Mother Nature, it’s difficult with the resources we have! I would love to see tips and tricks on how to make a difference with the resources you have available and for the conversation to be less judgemental.

I also think of sustainability as it relates to my lifestyle—work ethic, health, relationships—and future generations.

— Genevieve Fish, Director of Brand and Community

Genevieve Fish, Director of Brand and Community

What does sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability means being friendly to the planet and myself. It means leaving the world better than I found it from an environmental perspective and also leaving a lasting impact that improves the lives of those who come after me.

What changes or habits have you implemented to be more sustainable?

In an effort to minimize my carbon footprint and waste generation I’ve been trying to cut down on my Deliveroo-ing and start meal prepping on Sundays. On a good week, I like to cook a big patch of organic staples, store them in glass tupperware, and take to work every day. The intention is there, I just need to be better about consistency.

I also think of sustainability as it relates to my lifestyle—work ethic, health, relationships—and future generations. I want the planet to be healthy for my future children and I want to be healthy for them as well. I’m trying to shift my energy from reactive to intentional so that I can move forward and achieve sustainable results.

In a perfect world, with no financial or logistical restraints, what would you do to live sustainably?

In a perfectly sustainable world, I’d be 100% plastic-free, grocery shop locally, share a communal garden with friends and family, update my wardrobe with vintage or planet-friendly labels only. To sustain my mental and physical health (and be a better version of myself to all who know me), I’d sleep eight hours a day, work out seven days a week (mostly hot yoga), and cook all of my meals. I’d also spend an enormous amount of time with my family and friends.  

What unsustainable vices are you trying to work on?

That Deliveroo thing. Food waste in general really bums me out. A lot of my purchasing decisions, like which tampons I buy, are determined by convenience. That’s why I can’t wait for Daye’s tampon subscription service—it makes buying sustainable, safe, ethically made products fit seamlessly into my life. I always cave and go for the unstainable option when I’m short on time and sleep.

What do you think is missing from the conversation around sustainability?

Convenience. We live in a 24/7 world but making an effort to live sustainably requires more time and, frankly, more money than most of us have. As much as I believe in being a conscious consumer, I think the onus is largely on brands to make products that are environmentally friendly and to be transparent about where they are with their sustainability efforts.

It would probably involve trying to work out how the human race can transition to being content with living with less.

— Alex Bygrave, Director of Manufacturing & Sustainability

Alex Bygrave, Director of Manufacturing & Sustainability

What does sustainability mean to you?

Living in equilibrium with the planet.

What changes or habits have you implemented to be more sustainable?

Cutting my meat consumption to a couple of times a week and cycling to most places I go whilst in London, not enough really…

In a perfect world, with no financial or logistical restraints, what would you do to live sustainably?

I'm really not sure, but it would probably involve trying to work out how the human race can transition to being content with living with less.

What unsustainable vices are you trying to work on?

Eating meat, and my passion for classic cars and motorcycles.

What do you think is missing from the conversation around sustainability?

A method of measuring the progress of our species which (unlike GDP) takes the environment into account.

It means enjoying life without f*cking it up for everyone and everything else.

— Liv Cassano, Editor of Vitals

Liv Cassano, Editor of Vitals

What does sustainability mean to you?

It means enjoying life without f*cking it up for everyone and everything else.

What changes or habits have you implemented to be more sustainable?

I’m distancing myself from fast fashion. I’m partial to a high street bargain, but everything about fast fashion — from manufacturing, to quality, to distribution — is so unethical. If something is that cheap, it means something is being compromised or someone is suffering. I’ve also become a lot more conscious of what beauty brands are cruelty-free and try to only buy from those. Oh, and I’ve switched to oat milk… that might not seem huge but out of all the milk options it has the lowest carbon footprint because oats require less water to grow (it takes six times as much water to grow almonds than it does oats!)

In a perfect world, with no financial or logistical restraints, what would you do to live sustainably?

I’d live in a solar-panel-powered house with a garden so I could compost, only wear sustainable fashion labels like Reformation, and shop exclusively at my neighbourhood market that sells locally sourced, plastic-packaging-free groceries.

What unsustainable vices are you trying to work on?

Food waste, hands down. I do (very well-intentioned) food shops full of fresh fruit and veg and then get tempted by take-outs. I end up throwing away so much produce because I was too lazy to cook for myself. And water bottles… I use way too many of them.

What do you think is missing from the conversation around sustainability?

I rarely see talk of how privilege facilitates sustainability. Many sustainable practices or products tend to be really expensive, making them inaccessible to people living under the poverty line or working class households. Sustainability is as much a right as it is a responsibility.

Illustrations by Erin Rommel. Erin is the founder of @second.marriage, a Brooklyn-based brand, illustration, and design studio.

Written by Liv Cassano. Liv is the Editor of Vitals, follow her at @liv_css.

Sustainable

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