I know the year isn't quite over yet, but the reflection has already begun! I thought it might be a nice idea to do a bit of a summary of what I have been up to over the year.
This time last year I was a stay at home mum. I had ambitious zero waste goals and slowly, but surely, put them into place in our home. By the time I started writing my blog, I had a huge backlog of ideas. My main project was the map of second hand stores in Christchurch. I started this after frustration in trying to track down my old favourite stores that fell off the radar after the earthquake. The map took off and now has an accompanying Facebook Group and plans for a mobile app in the works.
In January I decided instead of going back to my retail job that I found challenged my environmental morals, I would just get in touch with people that I would like to work for. I emailed Our Daily Waste and asked if they had any work. I had a response straight away from the owner, Sharon, saying she did and would meet me for a casual interview/beer at Smash Palace. Over a drink we realised that her needs (photography, design, admin, social media marketing) were exactly my wants (work from home in my own time for a business that has the exact same sustainability goals as I do).
The only other place I emailed wanting to work for was The Good Shop. They had just set up in New Brighton and I did a bit of design and marketing stuff then wound up running the market stall for them for a few weeks! Such an amazing project - a brick and mortar store to buy all your zero waste items. Flourish Inc., a social enterprise, only ran it as a trial but I am sure there will be more to come - follow their work here.
Through the year I took on more work with The Rubbish Whisperer. This started with sewing fabric produce bags and making sales phone calls and has since extended to social media marketing, advertising design, product photos and more! In the 6 months I have worked for them, the produce bags and paper straws have taken off - with more demand than ever! The number of sewers went from 2 people up to 12!
Through my second hand mapping adventures, I met Rebecca Parnham. She runs Krama & Co., a social enterprise that partners with weavers from rural villages in Cambodia to create stunning hand loomed krama (Cambodian scarves). The profits support education for girls and opportunities for women in New Zealand and Cambodia. Rebecca introduced me to the lovely ladies at Home and Family who were putting together a second hand clothing fashion show (Re:Purpose Runway). I consulted with them through the planning process and it went off without a hitch!!!
While not a second hand store as such, the Saikuru clothing swaps were on my mapping travels. At my first one I met the always lovely, Alice Ridley. From that meeting I started attending Boomerang Bags sewing bees that she co-coordinates with Amy Hewgill. The sewing bees take place every couple of weeks at various locations around town. Join the Facebook group if you want to stay in the know. Alice also offered me the opportunity to chat with her on Saikuru Radio on RDu about my sustainable ways. Alice's show covers a range of community projects that are working towards making the world a better place! Check out the backlog of podcasts here.
My busy year has come to a busy end! We have recently arrived home from a 3 week holiday in Vanuatu visiting family and contemplating plastic in the environment. I am still digesting the extent of the plastic pollution and have yet to write a summary but it will come soon.
So 2017 has been full of amazing opportunities and wonderful people... bring on 2018!