Aukje and her beautiful family!

Making a change in this world of ours sometimes seems tough and impossible. When I think I do something good, I read in the news something bad happened. Or when I thought to be an inspiration to others to make a change, somebody proudly presents me their new fast-fashion bargains. It makes me feel lonely. There is only one thing that can cheer me up at that point: like-minded people! I truly believe all the little things will eventually add up, and I love to hear about other people’s stories and get inspired by their little or big actions to make a change.

If you recognize this struggle, or you are now at a point that you want to make a change but it seems too far away – too big, this column is a must read. I will share the stories of others, how they take up their part and show you ‘’See? It is that simple! You can do it too’’

This month it is Aukje’s turn. As a first-time mom she faces the challenges of fast growing kids and how to act consciously upon that. I especially aspire her because I can image having a baby takes up a lot of time and energy. However that is not turning Aukje down from her believes!

Aukje and her daughter June.

Why do you want to make a change?

I want to make a change because it is my most embarrassing addiction to have a closet full of new clothes. So it is not only a change for the world as it is for myself and by changing me I believe I can change the people around me.

When was the moment for you to make a change in your (fashion) consuming behaviour?

I do like to dress nice but now that I became a mom I think more conscious about what kind of example I set for my daughter.

What do you do to make a change?

For my daughter I get a lot of second hand clothes from family or I buy them at flea markets. Sometimes I make her some leggings myself. I am not a great seamstress, but a legging is the easiest thing in world, anyone can do it! With a little one, we tend to do a lot of laundry. However, we do not use the dryer. This makes the clothes look better on the long run and it saves energy. A win-win situation I call it. When she is grown out of her clothes I give them to friends with younger children or I drop it of at the Consultatie Bureau where they give it to families that can not afford new clothes for their kids. During my pregnancy I tried to buy as little pregnancy clothes as possible or when I did I made sure that I could wear it after my pregnancy again (oversized sweaters and such). Trying to attend Clothing Swaps and also swap for the people around me is my fun and easy way of making small changes for me and my surroundings (found a great vest for my mom the other day at the swap, she loved it and I hope she will do the same with her friends in the future).

Aukje with her grandmother who is June’s great grandmother!

How do you keep up?

I work for myself and rent myself out as an inhouse creative and freelance photographer. This makes an unstable income but enough to come by. It helps me to tackle my shopping addiction because I never know what next month will bring. Swapping clothes or borrowing them from friends for occasions makes a fun and easy way to never get bored with my clothes.

How do you see the future?

Young people are more conscious about the world than before. It is a lot easier to search information than before, but this comes with great responsibility. What do you do with all this information if you can not afford to buy sustainable items all the time? I hope that making small changes will inspire people to do the same, like my mom and friends. Hopefully when my daughter is older she will have more conscious people around her to set an example about sustainable clothes. And hopefully making sustainable choices will be the standard!

After all the little good Aukje already does, she decided to not go shopping for a full year, and take a total shopping detox! That is truly admiring, wow! Luckily, she will update us in a vlog every month about all the experiences, set-backs and all she comes across during this year. Get inspired and follow her journey, starting with her first update here. 

Want more inspiration by other Changemakers? Check out Nadine’s story!

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