Bob People: Jasmine Mayhead of Ethical Made Easy
As a business that is constantly evolving in our approach to living a more natural and sustainable life at work and at home, Jasmine Mayhead's sustainable fashion blog, Ethical Made Easy, is a popular one for our team and our clients.
With 80 billion pieces of clothing being consumed globally each year, Ethical Made Easy is a guide to help sustainable fashion enthusiasts consume less, by focusing on quality pieces designed to last; pieces where you will know the stories behind them, the founders' journeys in creating each label and ultimately, ensure that when you do purchase something you know it's made without the exploitation of others.
Here, Jasmine shares her Ethical Made Easy journey, letting us in on her little black book of sustainable and natural products along the way.
What made you start Ethical Made Easy? Did it have anything to do with your professional background, or just a love of living a natural and sustainable life?
I grew up on a flower farm in New Zealand so living a natural and sustainable life has always been something ingrained in who I am and what I value, but I never really thought fashion and sustainability was something that could be one and the same. Nor to be honest, was it something I was overly interested in.
Ethical Made Easy came from watching the documentary The True Cost whilst I was travelling in South East Asia for six weeks with my partner.
The week before I watched the documentary, I’d been hunting through the local markets looking for the cheapest price I could get on an embroidered bag that was in almost every second stall. The thought about who made it, where the fabric was grown and what it was dyed with never crossed my mind. All I focused on was how much it cost and making sure that I was getting myself a bargain.
Once I watched that documentary, I couldn’t get the idea of ‘who made my clothes?’ out of my head.
I’d always been one to buy things on sale, so purchasing something for more than $50 was a huge push for me but I wanted to educate myself more on the topic of fashion and ethics. When I googled ‘ethical fashion’, or ‘ethical brand directory’ I struggled to find clothing that still suited my style, told the story behind them and had interviews with the founders sharing their story.
So, instead of giving up and deciding that it’s all too hard, I created Ethical Made Easy as a way to keep myself personally accountable to purchasing ethical alternatives, and to be able to share the stories of ethical and sustainable fashion brands that were shaking up the industry and paving the way.
What do you hope to communicate through Ethical Made Easy?
It’s all in the name really, I hope to help make ethical fashion, easy.
One of the key things I struggled with was finding ethical brands all in one place, and to understand why they cost more than your fast fashion alternatives.
The world of ethical fashion and what follows - sustainability, traceability, living wage issues, conscious consumerism, natural products, natural fibres and dyes, organic vs synthetic, zero waste - is incredibly hard to navigate, and to be honest two years on I still feel like I’m only just scratching the surface.
Fashion, and sustainable and ethical fashion at that is definitely not black and white.
However, I truly believe as an individual you have so much power to change the world just by voting with your dollar. Where you spend your money tells businesses that there is demand for their products and therefore their supply will grow with demand. When you decide to spend your money with conscious businesses that mix doing business with doing good for the planet, and the people on it then this is when we start to see a change in the world.
The hard part often is being able to find these businesses, so that’s what I hope to be able to make a little easier with Ethical Made Easy.
What are your favourite natural products and sustainable practices that you use at home?
In terms of natural products I use at home, I love Dirt Laundry Detergent. I have been using Dirt since they first launched a little over a year ago and I’m a complete convert.
They have created a organic and plant based laundry detergent, that cuts 90% of plastic from the wash cycle, or 100% if you send back their refill packs which they wash out, refill and send back to you. They also donate 50% of their profits to The Ocean Cleanup, and are cheaper than your average supermarket liquid detergent.
In terms of other sustainable practices, I live in a studio apartment with my partner so we are very much about the less is more lifestyle and only bringing things into the house that we actually need (he’s a lot better at this than me).
We also go to the Queen Victoria Market to get our weekly groceries, and don’t own a car which forces us to bike everywhere which has become something I look forward to doing on a daily basis.
What do you love most about Bob?
I still cannot believe a place like Bob exists.
Sad truth, I have NEVER had a good hair experience before Bob.
Amanda will testify to my nervousness with first coming in, and my absolute fear of scissors.
In my first appointment in January, I had to get out my notebook midway through to start writing down the things Bob does.
A zero waste salon, that recycles foil and takes your split-end ridden hair and makes it into something that helps clean the ocean? I think being able to go to your hair salon and do yoga is pretty incredible that not only showcases how natural they are, but also that they are focused on building a community of like-minded people on top of creating beautiful hair.
What are you currently reading and listening to?
I’m a bit of a self-help obsessor to be honest, alongside continuing to learn more about ethical fashion and sustainability so with that, here’s some of my favourites.
Podcasts I love are Wardrobe Crisis by Clare Press, The Nick Broadhurst Show, and Green Dreamer.
Books wise, I’m currently reading Slow by Brooke McAlary. I think it’s a book everyone should read, it’s all about slowing down and working out what it is your really want in this life.
If you could give your readers just one tip on how to be more sustainable, what would it be?
Take it one step at a time, and don’t be hard on yourself for where you are.
For one tip or place to begin, it would be to switch from body wash to soap.
From there, continue to look at other areas where single use plastic comes into your life and find alternatives as you need them.
When it comes to finally needing to purchase new products, make an educated decision and purchase from businesses that are kind to you, the environment and the people who made them.
Favourite natural and sustainable products and labels?
For laundry, Dirt.
For swimwear, Baiia.
For reusable alternatives, Kappi.
For accessories, Ahimsa Collective.
For ethical fashion all in one place? Ecomono.
I could write a never ending list here, but these are the products I find myself using on a weekly, if not daily basis.