General ramblings

Making change together

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the purpose of this blog and what I’m trying to achieve.
I’ve spent the last year on a brilliant start up course with The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE). We had our official graduation last week, and as part of it we had to do a three and a half minute presentation about our enterprises.


My expectations at the start of the course were that I would finish the year with a fully fledged social enterprise and would have worked out a way to make this little blog into a sustainable business, in every sense of the word.
But that hasn’t happened, it’s still a work in progress, and if anything I am possibly farther away from making this into a business than I was when I started the course. But the brilliant thing about the SSE course is that it doesn’t just teach you how to run a business, it teaches you how to run a social enterprise. A business with a social or environmental mission.
So it teaches how to get clear on what your mission is, and what your values are, at the same time as teaching you cashflow and business plans.

Putting together the final presentation, without a real business to show for it, meant that instead of focussing on the nuts and bolts of the enterprise, I had to talk about why I’m doing this. I had to go back to the beginning, which for those of you who don’t know, was a year buying nothing new. So I talked about about what I learned from that year, and as I was writing and practising my speech, it really helped to crystallise why I am doing this. Why I carry on posting (however erratically), why I started up the Facebook group, and continue to try and spread the word by writing in other places.
I remembered the most important thing I learned during our year, which was that one person, one family, can make a difference.
Our year buying nothing new taught me that the choices I make everyday, matter.
And if my choices matter, then yours do too.
I read a quote somewhere and I can’t remember it exactly, but it’s something about how every time we spend money we are making a choice for the kind of world we want to live in. And I thought “Yes!”. We can choose to buy mass produced goods, made somewhere out of sight, that we will only use a couple of times before discarding, or we can choose to make more thoughtful and deliberate purchases. We can buy secondhand, we can buy ethical goods, or we can choose to make do with what we already have, or repair what is broken.

We can choose.
And I realised in writing that presentation that what I want to do, my mission if you like, is to remind us all that we have power. We have a choice.
I want to spread the word that we don’t have to go through our lives mindlessly buying what the advertisers and big brands tell us we need and must have, feeling like we have no power to change the big issues that our society is facing.
We do have the power.
Being more aware, more conscious, of what we buy, where we buy, or even not buying and choosing to fix something instead. That’s power.
I want to empower all of us to believe that our choices matter.
To believe that we all have the power to gently shake the world and disrupt the status quo.
We are all change makers.


Let’s go change the world 🙂

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  • Reply Elizabeth Worthington October 14, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    I like the suggestion that you teach/lecture on your subject (Catherine Timms above) – I’m sure it would help make a difference. However, have you considered writing a book, or more than one book – you have plenty to fill several books. I think if you were to put a course together in book form you would reach an even wider audience than you would lecturing at college. It’s just an idea!

    • Reply Jen October 24, 2016 at 5:00 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth! Yes, a book or books is definitely something I would love to do-thanks for the encouragement ????

    • Reply Jen October 31, 2016 at 8:35 am

      Great ideas Elizabeth, thankyou!

  • Reply Catherine Timms October 11, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    What you do is also about managing money and cooking healthy food. Have you ever thought about bringing it all together in a course/ day course in a local technical college?

  • Reply Júlia October 11, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    You have no idea how bad some work i see is…and still people pay good money for it…
    and you can spread the word showing your work

  • Reply Trudi October 11, 2016 at 9:59 am

    We all need to educate each other, lots of small individual actions become mass group actions by default. I have found link by link in fb, twitter, etc. That actually lots of people are doing little things. I find small victories in using less plastic, spending less money on crap and making my own items last longer.

  • Reply Tasha October 10, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    I totally agree with you! I think one of the saddest things about our over-consuming economy is that many of us have lost a sense of our own power and agency to shape our lives, instead relying on a catalogue of mass-produced choices. But I also think one of the most amazing things about learning to make and mend is that it gives us that power back! I just wrote a post on a related topic for Slow Fashion October, about how everyone can choose slower fashion, no matter your budget or skill set:
    Best wishes as you continue to explore what it means to spread this message!

  • Reply Júlia October 10, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    why dont you just put a sign out the window and start mending clothes?
    You can´t solve it all but can make a business by starting somewere, mending others peoples clothes, making the clothes fit better, restiling them… for some money.
    Here a lot off people live on that. And it pays rather well.

    • Reply Jen October 10, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      Hi Julia
      That’s a great idea, and while my skills are adequate for mending our own clothes, I don’t think they are really good enough for people to pay me! Whilst I’m passionate about mending and love to mend my own clothes, I think what I really want to focus is spreading the word, and empowering other people to make changes in their own lives and businesses 🙂

      • Reply Júlia October 11, 2016 at 3:40 pm

        ops i should have replyed here…

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