How fast fashion impacted my decision to live a plant-based lifestyle.

My name is Lany-Jade and I’ve been blogging for the last two years mainly about the environment and everything that comes with it, such as plant-based food. I used to work in the fashion industry and I am now more aware of the impact that our choices make on the environment and I like to inspire people to be more aware of our planet. I am a mother of three young children, a communications student, the owner of Friperie.LJ and I am part of Earth’s Own Canada’s “Plant Posse” because I love their environmental values and their mission, which is very similar to mine namely- the desire to educate people in a non-judgmental way towards a healthy lifestyle for both us and the Earth.

For almost two years now, I have been publishing photos of beautiful vegetarian and even vegan recipes on both my website and Instagram account, but I suspect that you don’t know my story or the purpose behind my pastel-colored image.
Above all, you should know that I was not born into a family of pro-environmental activists and I don’t just eat plant-based products. I am a completely ordinary person, who takes her values from her personal experiences and who sees her destiny whilst learning every day. My new self has a past and I don’t regret it. It has allowed me to have a moment of self-discovery and I remember it like yesterday. In fact, I will always remember it, just like a photograph in my mind.

I used to be a manager in large fast fashion retail stores. Since the age of 16, I was fascinated by fashion and teamwork andthis job was my passion. I was very ambitious and quickly climbed the ladder and grew as a person very quickly. My career path allowed me to see some of the little-known aspects behind this fashion world (mass production, export of materials from China, overpackaging, shipping by sea, daily deliveries, faulty goods easily thrown away, overconsumption over and over again!) It was stunning and I started to become a little more aware of it, but told myself that there was nothing I could do about it. My passion always overruled the awareness that came into my mind from time to time. But sometimes, decisive moments come just like that, without warning. That’s what happened to me one fine morning, and it changed my way of living forever.

It was on December 20th, in the frenzy of the holiday season. The most dizzying time of year in this industry. That week I was overworked, exhausted, and I had to go back to my roots to get through it. So I took a break from the sales floor, handed over my responsibilities to my management team and went to the back-of the store to unpack new merchandise. Pressure-free, isolated and alone with dozens of boxes, I tried to put aside my exhaustion. However, I started to get anxious. Why did each piece of fabric made in China need to be wrapped in a plastic bag, and then wrapped again depending on the style? Why was there a stench of fish or insecticide permeating every single little piece of textile made in China? I had been aware of this before, but that week of hell and exhaustion probably supressed my ambition, which used to always take over. Enough was enough! At that moment, I wanted to be absolutely nowhere. And you know what I did?

I left, just like that! I made an appointment with my doctor and in his office, I expressed my repressed feelings. I was diagnosed with burn-out and given 8 months off work! What did I do during those 8 months? Research. Tons of environmental research, and the more I did, the more passionate I became about this troubling information. In fact, I really believe that it is in fact by making our own observations that we become more concerned. In all my research, I quickly became aware that disrespect for the environment did not only include over-consumption and plastic use. To my great sadness, I learned that the consumption of animal proteins was one of the greatest sources of pollution on Earth. I became interested in all possible alternatives to do my part. It went without saying that I had to change my eating habits. This was not at all easy at first, because I must admit that I particularly like the taste of meat. But, realizing that the problems lie in mass consumption, makes me think of all the abuse, waste, speed of production and cruelty towards these poor animals that the meat production industry entails. With that in mind, it became easier to make this journey. I still sometimes eat animal protein, especially in restaurants for instance, but not with the same attitude as before and when I can choose an alternative, I do.

Since then, I have turned my life around and went back to studying communications. My values did a 180 turn and I no longer had a place in this world of mass-consumption. I am still an ordinary person, but more conscious and that is why I was able to make so many changes in my life, however small they may be. I now use reusable bags, I eat local food as much as possible and I try to reduce my plastic consumption considerably, I compost and I eat far less animal protein.

I like to find inspiration and ideas to help people like me who would like to change their habits for the sake of the environment. I do not prioritize perfection, but rather changes that last over time and I wish to inspire other people to do the same. For this reason, you can find all my vegan and vegetarian recipes under des recettes saines sans viande. (in French only). Removing animal protein from my favourite recipes and finding a way to make them tasty has become a new hobby for me and I am delighted to share them with you.

Recently, Earth’s Own asked me to collaborate with them and I must admit that I was immediately thrilled. I had the opportunity to meet a company with similar values to mine. A compassionate, non-judgmental company which ensures that everyone finds their balance. A company that loves the Earth and wants to help people see the importance of maintaining a healthy environment. Besides, I already use their delicious oat milk every morning in my breakfast smoothie and my café au lait.

This is the story behind who I am today, and I would like to know yours. I invite you to share your awareness stories with me. Visit my Instagram @Fit_sans_viande.

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