Intentional Living

Hi, I’m Rosanna. Born in Milton Keynes, I later moved to this small, old town called Bedford when I was 18 and have made it home since then. I love my husband, warm weather, hot drinks, making yummy food and binge watching documentaries.

I’m very intentional about the way I live my life. From where I work, what I eat, where I go on holiday, usually has much thought and consideration behind it. Buying clothes was an anomaly. It was one of the areas, I would spontaneously spend money and not put much research into. I didn’t need too. The media was telling me what to wear and how much to spend.

In 2016 I hit a point of utter frustration with this process. I hated the feeling I got when walking around the high street, feeling stressed about what I didn’t have, and disappointed with what I did. I couldn’t bare the feeling of constantly needing to ‘keep up’ with fashion.

At this point my husband, Tom, and I watched the Netflix documentary on Minimalism and this was exactly what I needed to hear. I needed to bring my wardrobe inline with rest of my values and stop falling for cheap and fast fashion. 

Change #1 - Minimise your wardrobe

The first change was to say goodbye to all the clothes that weren’t our favourites, and items that we only kept for ‘just in case’ moments. This took out about 60% of our wardrobe and it was really hard. I made a plan to create a more capsule wardrobe, consisting of 30-40 different items that all worked together. I began adding new items one-by-one over the next two years, items that were made to last, made timelessly and made ethically. 

Change #2 - Minimise your home

This was easier in some senses for us as we were in the early stages of planning to move to America. Over the next 6 months we used the Marie Kondo method of giving away items that didn’t spark joy or serve a purpose. This included candle holders, frames, kitchen gadgets, bathroom items, makeup, hair accessories and furniture. We whittled down our home to what we thought were our essentials. Spending 6 months then living with friends before we moved to the states, plus the year we spent away, gave us a huge realisation of how little we really needed. Spending 2 years living out of 4 suitcases and a guitar, we borrowed, bought well, bought second hand and enjoyed life with less anxiety.

Change #3 - Buy Less, Buy Better 

This has become my life mantra. If I’m going to buy something, make it a good something. It’s not convenient to buy better but it is to buy less. Spending my money on items made well and responsibly, has been much more efficient and fulfilling than fast fashion purchases. 

Clothes: I ask myself what’s important to me in what I need. Durability, fit, design, how it’s been made, timeless factor, second-hand etc.. 

I now have a wardrobe I am so content and proud of. I genuinely haven’t had a moment of feeling like I don’t know what to wear in over a year. For the clothes I buy new, I am spending much more than I used to on single items, but I believe I am now paying what I should be. Contributing to fair wages and sustainable practices makes buying better clothes much easier. Everything else comes second hand. There’s already so much in existence, we don’t need more. Try the Vinted app for great second hand finds or borrow from friends for special occasions.  

Change #4 - Zero Waste Living

In Feb’18 I began following a lady called Bea Johnson who leads a Zero Waste lifestyle. In many ways minimal living and zero waste go hand in hand. Living with only what you need and borrowing what you want, it was very much a concept close to my heart. I read a book a friend bought me about the Environmental Philosophy for Patagonia company, and it opened my eyes to some serious facts about the state of our planet, and what mass consumption is doing. I began reading more and more about the dangers of chemical manufacturing processes, water and air pollution, and finally the problem with single-use plastics. The more I understood, the more I changed. I have always been concerned for the environment, but now I was convicted and knew I needed to be part of a solution. 

In a few months time, I plan on opening a bricks and mortar shop in Bedford, selling groceries without single-use plastic, and items to help you switch to waste free living to help us all be part of the solution. 

Some of my top switches that I’d recommend: 

  • Stainless steel razor: One razor should last me the next 5-7+ years if I look after it. I switch the blade monthly and recycle the old one. 

  • Menstrual Cup: Initially it took me some time to switch to, but now I’m hooked and won’t go back. Saving mountains of waste in tampons, and saving me about £5 a month. 

  • Travel Mug: Tom bought me this Yeti travel mug for Christmas, which now lives in my bag and since Jan 2019 has replaced 48 takeaway cups from going to landfill. (I know it’s sad but I like to keep count.