Guest Blog by Alison Jane Reid
Founder of Ethical Hedonist Magazine.
Leading Journalist for the The Times, The Lady, You, The Mirror and Country Life, to name but a few.
Human beings are perverse. There is a very vocal element of the green movement, that still thinks that saving the planet has to be a ghastly, hair shirt experience, involving endless opportunities for self deprivation, flagellation of the soul and generally going without. They should meet my consort. He thinks the only way to get rid of his tummy (and mine) is to thoroughly torture himself at the gym. Me, I would rather dance or skip my way to a pert bottom and supermodel pins! Why can’t getting what we need and want be fun?
So, I have applied the same philosophy to saving the planet, minus the lecturing and guilt trip. I have come up with an alternative, and all-together more pleasing solution. It’s called Ethical Hedonism. I’ve even founded a magazine – www-ethcial-hedonist.com – the idea is gloriously simple. Let’s make sustainable ideas seriously sexy. What’s left of the counter culture hippie green movement needs a makeover for mass appeal. Let’s make green ideas groovy, and even a bit decadent, in a guilt free way. It is time to bring seeming opposites together, to make a delicious new idea. Genius right! The idea being that we can have fun, make planet friendly choices and do good at the same time. Why does environmentalism have to be so damned boring and unsexy?
In their weekly tirades on social media, the greenocracy decree that we must not buy anymore clothes, that basking in the shower like a water baby for more than a minute, after a ten hour commute, is a sin, and they would like force us all to become vegans, insisting that any kind of animal husbandry is evil.
This is just patently untrue. Try telling that to my friend who keeps rescued chicken and gives them all daily cuddles. Eggs from happy chickens taste extraordinary. Imagine not being able to eat a delicious, sybaritic Camembert or smother yourself in artisan, organic Greek yogurt if you really, really want to? I hate to break it to you, but it doesn’t matter what you do to vegan cream, it just doesn’t taste so damned delicious as organic double cream. Or the clotted stuff, with the golden crust, which is so good, why isn’t it illegal? And don’t get me started on non-dairy milk! They all taste and look like grey, thin water with artificially added vitamins. And what do they think would happen to all the organic and biodynamic farmers who are the custodians of what’s left our green and pleasant organic lands if we stopped buying all diary products? Please target the factory farms, and leave our organic and biodynamic farmers alone- they are doing a great job.
The most exciting ideas and effective innovations for reducing our negative influence on the planet are coming from not from a culture of doing without, but rather a pragmatic, re-purposed model of luxury thrift, reinvention, philanthropy, big data and physics. How about aeroplanes powered by liquid hydrogen; sassy, look at me day dresses made from haute couture fashion waste and new roads engineered from recycled plastic bottles? Now that really has the wow factor for me.
Preaching, shouting and lecturing to people who are overworked and mostly underpaid, doesn’t encourage anyone to make their recycling habits a work of art or entice us to buy Fair-trade shoes from single parent mothers in Peru. Talking about an artisan beer or wine that is utterly sublime to drink, and creates local jobs does. And ditto the fabulous, look at me jacket or shoes, with added social impact. We love to be seduced, we love to feel pampered, and we love to feel inspired. So, tell us we can buy a ravishing slow date dress that will become our best friend for life or a super food youth elixir, which just happens to be hand-harvested by a ladies co-operative in Kenya, and we will roll over like a kitten and lap it all up. Why, because we humans are fundamentally superficial. We don’t want to be told how hopeless everything is. We want to feel we can buy lovely, glamorous organic and artisan fripperies and help others through our own selfish desires for self- improvement and have fun whilst doing just that.
Now do hop over to the magazine and read about the inventor who is disrupting the fishing industry, with his twinkling light system, which is set to make the fishing industry super sustainable, with a bit of help from Sir Richard Branson. Then, marvel and loose your heart to the darling, leading lady, monochrome cape made from fashion off cuts – perfect for the aspiring modern Hepburn.
ALLEN & YORK are excited to be partnering with The Ethnical Hedonist and it will be our great pleasure to introduce you to more ways in which you can sparkle more brightly, in your new glamorous, emerald green, sustainable lifestyle, and encourage you to support their @crowdfunder campaign to ensure more people join the sustainable revolution!
Find out more about The Ethical Hedonist