Originally I wanted to put together this post just for fun. A sort of, "Hey, look what I did this year!"
But researching my top posts has turned out to be an incredibly useful exercise. Because as I dug through the analytics, I realized that four out of the ten top posts were ideas that you, the reader, gave me. And that feels so good.
On most sites, what readers say they want (intelligent, useful information that improves their lives and makes the world a better place) is at odds with what they click on (stories about the Kardashians, cute kitties, inflammatory fake news).
Not so on EcoCult. You all are interested in patronizing sustainable and ethical companies, in getting your questions answered about nuanced issues related to sustainable fashion, and being challenged with thought provoking pieces that don't adhere to "commonly accepted knowledge" about living the eco-friendly life. And I am so, so grateful to have such an intelligent, compassionate readership.
Also, you guys love sustainable fashion. Eight out of my top ten posts are on that topic.
So I want to know: What would you like me to write about this year? What questions do you have? What are you confused about? What guides do you need? What are you pissed or excited about? Let me know in the comments. I'm listening.
And without further ado, EcoCult's 10 most popular in 2016:
You might have noticed something popping up in the sustainable or eco-friendly fashion world: clothing made from recycled PET bottles.
Why you loved it: It answered a burning question in the minds of many conscious consumers, including some of my own sustainable blogger friends.
It turns out that while it’s gotten way easier to find beautiful sustainable and ethical fashion, it has not gotten easier to find it in larger sizes. And that seems unfair. Weight does not negatively correlate with caring about the planet.
Why you loved it: I was getting this question from all sides, so I went to the source and asked designers why they weren't designing for the big and beautiful crowd. Plus, I threw in some ethical and sustainable brands that provide XL and up sizes.
This might have been the first trip in which I arrived home, pulled everything out of my suitcase, and smiled. I had packed just right. I had achieved a French Capsule Wardrobe.
Why you loved it: I smooshed together three beloved topics – packing lists, French style, and the Capsule Wardrobe – and dipped it all in a vat of sustainability.
So, you're ready to overhaul your skincare regimen, but don't know where to buy non-toxic beauty. I'm going to make it easy for you. Instead of going to the drugstore and trying to decipher the labels of beauty products to decide if they're good for you, why don't you just shop at beauty stores that do the curating and research for you?
Why you loved it: A friend asked me for advice on where to start when she wanted to overhaul her beauty routine. I figured, if she needed a basics post, so do a lot of other people!
How many electronics do you have with you right now? Maybe a laptop, cell phone and a fitness tracker? Add to that the ones you have at home, which probably include another laptop, gaming station, tablet and maybe a smart TV — no matter what, you’re likely pretty well surrounded. Despite having all those devices you use on a daily basis, though, most people know surprisingly little about them. Read on to learn more about the sustainability of electronics involved in your daily existence, and how to pick out the most eco-friendly electronics and accessories.
Why you loved it: This came from a reader email! It's a huge topic that a contributor tackles with enthusiasm. And as a reward for slogging through that information, we threw in some sleek sustainable cases.
I ignored Olivia Wilde and went straight for a tall, handsome Swede: Henrik Lampa, H&M’s Development Sustainability Manager. I wanted to get to the bottom of the big question about H&M: Is it an evil fast fashion corporation using greenwashing tactics to increase its revenue and avoid culpability? Or is it genuinely concerned about its role in environmental and labor tragedies, and trying its best to fix that?
Why you loved it: H&M has been a lightning rod for controversy for the past few years. Each new sustainability initiative they roll out is met with skepticism or outright derision from the sustainable fashion community. I think everyone was curious to hear what they had to say for themselves.
You might think that because large corporations have so much money and power, there is no excuse for them not to pull out all the stops in their pursuit of sustainability. They should just make the decision to stop manufacturing items that pollute, or pull disportionately on resources. They should put the planet over profit. Greed, you think, is at the bottom of all of this.
Why you loved it: My opinion in this issue is not in line with the sustainable blogger party line, which makes for more interesting reading.
Achieving a sustainable wardrobe doesn’t require emptying your entire closet and starting over. It doesn’t require a huge budget. It doesn’t even require that you change your fundamental style to that of a Bali yoga teacher or elderly Japanese lady (you know what I’m talking about – all those linen pants and slippers.) It just requires picking up some new habits. Let’s start today, as we head into spring, a time of renewal.
Why you loved it: Well, People Tree posted a link to my article on their Facebook page, which drove a lot of traffic. But even without that spike, this still would have been number 6 on the list. Sustainable fashion can be overwhelming! Women are looking for a way to make the transition and this lays it out in a digestible list.
In the past decade, the drumbeat of “vote with your dollar!” from advocates has grown steadily louder. We’re told as consumers that we have power. If we don’t like the way a company is acting, then just don’t give them money, and they’ll be forced to change!
But I’ve come to see this view as naive and simplistic.
Why you loved it: A cry for help, this post really nailed it for many in the sustainability scene. And it's even more true since November 9th.
Though for several years, sustainable and ethical apparel labels like Zady and Everlane have been taking the fashion world by storm, lingerie lines that are ethical or eco-friendly remained few and far between. Fortunately, designers are recognizing the importance of creating comfortable, beautiful underwear that is good for wearers, makers, and the environment alike.
Why you loved it: Hey, sustainable girls want to feel sexy, too!