Teens and sustainable living: an interview with Katie Carr

We were lucky enough to catch up with Katie Carr from Tommy & Lottie for a Q&A session about putting sustainable and environmental values at the heart of everything she does and how teens today can help save the earth.

So lovely to chat with you, Katie! To get started, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your brand?

Thanks so much for having me. I am Katie Carr, mum of two (Tommy & Lottie) who inspired me to start the business.  I live in St Albans, Hertfordshire with my husband and our three children Tommy, Lottie, and Bevan our cheeky terrier!!

After a career in retail and marketing and having my children, I wanted to create something that worked around my lifestyle as a busy Mum. I have always had a passion for design and wildlife so brought them both together and created Tommy & Lottie – a unisex, ethical, and sustainable lifestyle brand specialising in capsule clothing for all the family, back packs and wall prints, all with a wildlife theme and helping to save species including bees and orangutans.

Tommy & Lottie

Has a focus on environmental issues always been there for you or is it a recent passion?

Always, as it stems from my childhood. I grew up in rural Sussex and both my parents were passionate about wildlife and the environment so that influenced me at a young age.  My Mum used to grow her own produce and was really into organic food and the impact single use plastic had on the environment and that was in the 70‘s and 80’s.

We think teens today are much more focused on saving the planet than previous generations. Do you think this is true? If so, why?

Yes I do and I think it’s for a number of reasons. Firstly, education – it’s taught in schools more, with more access to information about the environment online and through technology. Environmental challenges are more mainstream in the media and programmes such as Blue Planet have helped influence the awareness. They can see the physical effects more now than ever, more than older generations who may not have been exposed in the same way when they were teens.

Teenagers are our future. How has being a mum of teens influenced the way you run your business? And how you shop in general?

My business core values are about looking at the future, which is why the way we operate is more sustainable. We don’t hold loads of stock as that is wasteful and unsustainable. Making to order is far better for the planet and influences our customers in a more mindful purchasing decision than a quick disposable one.  I love to shop local and from small businesses, I also buy organic food and clothes. I avoid shopping on Amazon as much as possible and I dislike returns and they are not great on our carbon footprint.

organic sweatshirts for kids and adults

Organic sweatshirts for kids and adults from Tommy & Lottie

And your top tips for teens and sustainable living?

  1. Get involved in protecting wildlife, it’s everywhere and so important to our health, both physically and mentally. There are lots of charities around and some events are free. The Wildlife Trust and Woodland Trust are just a couple I recommend looking at.
  2. See how you could help bees in your garden or flat by planting wild native plants. You don’t need a garden, pots and planters will do.
  3. Grow your own fruit and veg. Start simple with one thing and build on it.
  4. Research the clothing companies you buy from and look for more ethical and sustainable brands.
  5. Be mindful about how you shop, do you really need it etc? Sometimes shopping makes us feel good, but it can also give us debt and stuff we don’t actually need!
  6. Eat more plant-based meals and less meat.
  7. Eat and buy organic food and clothing as much as possible.
  8. Shop local and from small businesses.

Save the bees collection

Tommy & Lottie’s Save the Bees collection 

A huge thank you to Katie for a glimpse into her environmentally friendly lifestyle and her tips on teens and sustainable living. If you’ve got a favourite eco-friendly brand, comment below and let us know. We love discovering new businesses to support!

Louise & Anna x




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