Small Life, Big Change: A Few Moments with Shantides

shantides eco sustanable living

This is the fourth in a mini series chatting to an inspiring bunch of people making a difference in sustainable fashion and conscious living and getting their top tips for shopping ethically and living more responsibly - that we can also adopt one step at a time.

Shanti has been writing her blog Shantides from her home base in Byron Bay, Australia for a while now and she brings to us a gentle look into the world of eco fashion as well as snippets of her life in the fashionable hippy town of Byron Bay and it's beautifully bucolic bushland and ocean surrounds. 

In a nutshell what do you stand up for?

Oh, all of it. I’m passionate about human rights and about social justice, about environmental protection and conservation, and about community, creativity and cultural expression. I just think we can all do better.  I believe in our resilience and our spirit - I believe when it comes right down to it we all just want to raise each other up. So I just try to do that.


What was it that made you conscious of eco/ethical fashion?

I’m actually not sure when my interest started, but I can tell you what motivated me to get a little more involved and start actually blogging. I was doing a bit of work for Helen O’Carroll, the founder of BAY Active, while she was working to get her sustainable business up and running. Through my time with her I learned so much about what was wrong with the traditional garment industry, mainly over cups of chai and long talks on her verandah here in Byron Bay. Watching her relentlessly work towards creating something better I became inspired and motivated to do my part too. My first social media post about eco/ethical fashion was actually just me praising her!

eco sustainable poncho

Your top 3 tips to shopping ethically.

Buy Less.

Buy Second Hand when you can.

And look for GOTS and Fairtrade certification.

Your favourite eco fabric to wear…

Oh, that’s an interesting one. I recently tried out some beautiful underwear from Woron Store, they use a sustainably sourced fabric called Lenzing Modal, which is a fine, smooth fibre made from beech wood. It is incredibly soft.

ethical eco handmade poncho

Suggested reading…

Oh, not an easy question. I read constantly and very widely, comes with being an introvert I think. In an afternoon I’ll seamlessly swing from breezing through trashy romance to struggling over heavy philosophy... I just finished Blindness by Jose Saramago, I enjoyed it so much I just went right back to the first page and started it again the moment I finished. Granted, I was stuck in transit - but still!


Suggested viewing…

Status Anxiety by Alain De Botton, he’s a bit of a hero of mine…


In the shower I keep… Not much, my shower is outdoors. I have a jar of coconut oil out there, it serves most purposes.


On my bedside table…

I have a huge stack of half read, unread and reread books. Huge. It’s a liability.


Current obsession…

My sister just bought a mandolin, It’s totally addictive.

eco ethical handmade poncho

Once a month I spend an entire day basking in sun in my garden reading and pampering and doing nothing at all. I actually roster it in as a scheduled day off from absolutely everything.


In fashion, are you a minimalist or maximist and why?

Oh I’m just a disorganised disaster. A maximist by accident and a minimalist in my dreams and in principle. I would love to be one of those women with a beautifully curated wardrobe, but I’m not sure if it’ll ever happen. I’ve definitely become more conscious and careful in my choices. Trying to find pieces that will last, and will be wearable in all sorts of contexts. But, the number of vintage ball-gowns I somehow own that I’ll never wear is really quite ridiculous. Especially considering I’ve worn the same black jeans at least 350 days in the last year…


Top tip to go plastic free/latest habit you've made/changed to go plastic free...

I have a big collection of tiffins for leftovers and work lunches, they are great! Get into it.

Follow @shantides and read her blog xx