Author Archives for Jessica Bebenek

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Talking Trash: Fast Fashion & Secondhand Inspiration

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We live in a society that encourages us to express ourselves through our clothing with a focus on individualism. And it’s true: the way we dress defines us. What we often forget, though, is that the fashion choices we make can have a huge impact that reaches far beyond our own lives. These daily choices we make matter—for better or worse. The term ‘fast fashion’ refers to rapid turn-over and unethical production methods currently used by huge clothing manufacturers such as H&M, Forever XXI, Topshop, and Zara, just to name a tiny handful. Whereas the fashion industry used to release two seasons per year (Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter), large companies now produce 52 micro-seasons per year—Topshop alone releases 400 new items online per week. These companies... View Article


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Talking Trash: DIY Gifts for the Holidays

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Every year, I feel buried by the wastefulness of the holiday season. Between all of the travel, exchanging of cheaply-produced gift items, non-recyclable wrapping paper & packaging, and the endless feasting, the holidays often result in more bags of trash under the tree than we’d like to acknowledge. So many of the gifts that we give and receive are produced unsustainably in overseas factories with unlivable conditions for workers—the reality that you don’t see tied up with a bow on Christmas morning.   But spreading holiday cheer doesn’t have to come with a negative ecological or societal impact! There are so many options for giving meaningful gifts that both your loved ones and the environment will appreciate. Some of my favourites to give and receive... View Article


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Talking Trash: Small Changes & Big Impacts

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Hi, Floral Manifesto readers!   This is long-time reader, first-time poster, Jessica Bebenek. I’m a poet & essayist, visual artist, and intersectional feminist activist currently operating out of the graduate program in Creative Writing & English at Concordia University, Montreal. In addition, and maybe most importantly, I’ve been living a waste-free lifestyle for the past year and have been vegan for the last five years. Now, before you ask: No, I don’t sleep on a mat in an empty room. Yes, I still have a social life. No, I’m not a kook. Yes, I love trash.   Living ‘waste-free’ simply means that you do your best to reduce your consumption through actions like buying second-hand, buying food in bulk with reusable containers, recycling and composting, etc.... View Article