Our Slow Home is an incredible blog dedicated to sharing tips, products, brands and guides to living a more conscious and sustainable life. Our Slow Home takes you on the journey of discovering sustainable brands and products from avocados to nappies to soap bars to contribute to a non-toxic home.
We caught up with Megan, the owner of Our Slow Home, and asked her a few questions.
Can you tell us a bit about you and your family?
Hi! I’m Megan, married to the man of my dreams, Joseph, and we have two babies-Hephzibah (3) and Moses (5 months). You can find us drinking good coffee, collecting worms in the garden, or snuggled inside somewhere reading stories and playing i-spy- that’s when one of us isn’t taking a photograph or brewing some kombucha for @holoslondon, a company we co-founded 3 years ago with friends!
How did Our Slow Home all begin?
It really began whilst I was expecting Heppy, nearly 4 years ago! I sat down nonchalantly to watch ‘The True Cost’, a documentary film exploring the impact of fashion on people and the planet and I was so deeply affected, tears streamed down my cheeks as I heard the stories of the people behind the clothes I had always purchased without a second thought. I vowed that night to break up with fast fashion, and I did.
This one revelation then began to expose the other areas in my life that needed to be taken a look at. I cut chemicals from our home that were entering mainly through cleaning products and toiletries, we began to address where we were bringing single-use plastic into our home and began to support local suppliers to a greater extent. I became more aware of what we were filling our minds with and the positive way we wanted to parent our children.
We’re definitely still learning, but essentially for me, a ‘slow’ life, or a ‘slow home’ the name of my Instagram handle and website, is simply to evoke the notion of living more thoughtfully in every area, not just becoming part of the consumer cycle, but really considering how our days are spent and our actions, how I live as a mother and wife, and how we look after this incredible planet we’ve been gifted and the people in it, whether afar on a sewing machine in Cambodia or the tiny hands that collect worms in my back garden.
Why do you do what you do?
I do it because I’m passionate about seeing change. Everyone has their thing, don’t they? The thing that makes their heartburn and comes alive with motivation!
I started working with girls who were trapped in the sex industry about 10 years ago, befriending them and offering them a way out into training and employment through the help of charities and ministries. No one grows up dreaming of being a slave, yet it is estimated that roughly 40.3 million individuals are currently caught in modern slavery, 71% being women - slavery can come in through the coffee we drink, the avocados we buy and the shoes we wear.
A friend and I dreamt up a business that could provide meaningful employment to survivors of trafficking and break the cycle of poverty, and that’s what we do today through our kombucha company. There is a long way to go, and I’m definitely on a journey but I hope that my research and insights can inspire others to make a change too.
What are the goals and dreams for Our Slow Home over the next few years?
I’d love to make it more accessible for people to shop fairly. That’s a question I get asked a lot: ‘where do I start’, ‘how do I know if a brand is ethical?’ There are some great databases already out there but it’s a dream to compile my own with a high emphasis on promoting those brands that pay a fair wage more than anything else. I’d also love my blog to grow and continue to work with awesome brands.
Are there any big events or exciting projects you're working on currently?
I’m currently gathering information for a new blog series I’m launching later this year which will showcase a large selection of ethical brands. The idea is to make it easier for people wanting to shop well but without knowing where to go. Each day will focus on a different area of clothing eg. Denim, footwear etc. and list a ton of places where you can find alternatives to high street brands, and more than that brands that really care about people and the planet. With two kids, it’s taking a lot longer than anticipated to compile!
As a smartass customer, you’re thinking about tree-free alternatives and limiting your plastic consumption dramatically. How do you approach sustainability as a whole at home?
80% of what we buy as a family is secondhand and the 20% we buy new is from places we have researched well and trust are looking after the planet and the people who made the item. We order our fresh fruit and vegetables through Abel and Cole an online box delivery here in the UK, and we order our dry goods online package free and in bulk through various suppliers.
We have cut down our meat consumption and buy high-quality meat that we have delivered monthly and compost at home. There are other things but our approach is to just make the changes that work, take things slowly, and do not compare to anyone else!
What other smartass products or sustainable brands do you use?
We’ve only tried Smartass toilet paper and we love it! Other sustainable brands we love are Abel and Cole, Arc Lore, Nkuku, Babipur (for kids), Ethical Superstore, The Source bulk foods, Goodclub among many others!
For someone who is new to sustainable living, what would your advice be?
I think it would be just to start! I recently wrote a blog post on this actually - It can be overwhelming to give it a shot for a number of reasons but also because on Instagram we get a picture of living a sustainable life being beautiful, easy and often NO plastic at all insight. The reality is we still buy plastic - but it’s A LOT less than we used to and that’s worth celebrating.
Celebrate the small switches. Find something you can switch today whether that’s to a reusable straw or to buying meat locally. What you can do will be different from what Jenny can do or Tina can do. Maybe something works for you and maybe it doesn’t! Give things a go and they will become less abnormal over time. The first time I used a bamboo toothbrush I was so confused - but now it’s so normal.
Can you give us the top three things that you’ve changed in your home to make it more sustainable?
Are you seeing a shift in focus from others within your community when it comes to making sustainable decisions?
100% and that feels awesome! I remember hunting and travelling miles to find a package-free shop when they first opened or using the one ethical clothing store I could find to buy a new jumper! Now I am so thankful buying well is so accessible thanks to some INCREDIBLE brands.
Shop Without Packaging is a Refillery based in Raglan, New Zealand. Their beautiful store focus's on sustainability in many ways including providing local products and encouraging their customers to bring in jars and containers to refill their products. Here at smartass, we think our values align with SWOP which leads us to want to reach out and chat!