Member Stories: Introducing Rachel
Meet Rachel, one of our UpChoose moms from New York. She's the mom of Oliver, an adorable little boy who turned 2 in July. She registered for UpChoose before Oliver was born. You can find her on Instagram @rachelnazhand
What’s your name? Any nickname?
Live in? Grew up in?
NYC, grew up in a small town in Virginia
You’re the mom of...
Oliver, just turned two (today!) on July 5
What made you want to be more careful and sustainability-conscious about the things you buy for yourself or your family? Was there an “aha” moment or a specific event?
Between jobs and marriage and now a toddler, I've moved apartments 9 times in the past 10 years and have been fortunate to travel to as many countries in that same time. Being on the move really makes you get honest about the amount of stuff you can accumulate, and I started becoming more in tune with ways to limit how much I owned and, more importantly, how to reduce how much I was contributing to our landfills.
How did you get started? What were the first few eco-friendly changes you made?
I focused on shifting my behaviors to rent, borrow, and reuse as much as possible. I've furnished multiple homes with high-quality items via Craigslist and marketplaces, and have been renting my own upscale wardrobe since 2015. When I do buy, I focus on a "cost per use" so that I'm not cycling through fast fashion or things that break and need to be replaced often. It requires extra creativity at times but in the end, by focusing on quality over quantity we find more joy in the things we surround ourselves with while also being able to focus on sustainability.
Oliver with mom at the museum
What are some benefits you have seen over time, are there things that worked well for you?
Less can truly be more! Rather than owning countless white shirts and not loving any of them, I invested in two that I've owned for years that go with everything. For items that are more seasonal or temporary (hello, infant onesies!), I've found ways to borrow items or make plans to pass things on for someone else to enjoy. We're able to focus on the people in our life over the stuff.
❝ I love being part of a community of people who are prioritizing sustainability in their approach to parenting! Continue helping me dress my kid in cute stuff that I can feel great about :)❞
Any tips you'd like to share with other expecting parents who just heard about these issues and trying to figure out their first steps?
You need WAY less than you think you do! Every baby is different and just when you figure out one preference, it may shift! From diapers to swaddles to clothing, try sampling or borrowing to see what works for your family before stocking up on a million things that you're tripping over in the middle of the night. When you bring that baby home, they simply need a safe place to sleep and a way to be fed and kept warm. The rest is for YOUR sanity.
Can you tell us a bit about the set(s) you received from UpChoose? What did you pick and how have you used the platform so far?
We registered for UpChoose before our little guy was born and I loved having a set of neutral staples ready when he came home from the hospital. We had a few wrap onesies for those first weeks and easy, organic sleepers for snuggling. He was a 9lb newborn so we flew through our first set and kept going with the neutral earth tones all the way through to now his toddler years. It felt like every time I a set was starting to get snug I'd get the note the new one was on it's way!
Do you already have a favorite outfit or item from your UpChoose set?
We had a bunch of favorites but there was this grey jumpsuit that we got a few times in different sizes that was SO cute - it wasn't PJs but had all the convenience of an all-in-one. That and we loved the snap PJs which I know is controversial but they just seem much more flexible for our guy.
Oliver in his favorite Colored Organics jumpsuit from his UpChoose set!
What’s most exciting to you about being part of the UpChoose community and what are the most important things we can help you achieve?
I love being part of a community of people who are prioritizing sustainability in their approach to parenting! Continue helping me dress my kid in cute stuff that I can feel great about :)
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
Pause time! I could get so much done.
Favorite activities or games you play with the kid(s)?
Dance parties! We just got Oliver a ukulele for his birthday which is taking our dance/jam parties to a new level.
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