Progress Over Perfection: The Encircled Team goes Zero Waste for 24 Hours

October 25, 2017

“Zero waste” is a buzz term that gets thrown around a lot - it’s also been a recurring topic of discussion around our office. Some of us have tried it, some of us are working towards it, and some of us had no idea what it meant! So, in an attempt to shed some light on what it really means to go zero waste, we decided to try our hand at it. Below is four accounts, from four different women, who went zero waste for 24hrs.

"I learned when I inevitably forgot my travel mug and was forced to sit down and stay at the cafe was just that; how nice it is to sit down, stay, and appreciate a moment with a good friend."

Name: Kendra
Day you went zero waste: Saturday, October 21st

What does “zero waste” mean to you?
I used to think it meant that I had to literally create absolutely no waste, or at the very least an extremely infinitesimal amount. I’ve decided that zero waste, to me, means to strive to reduce the amount of recycling and trash I make down to as little as possible (keyword: strive. It’s a definite work in progress).

What do you think you’ll have the most difficulty with?
Remembering. I’m a pretty on-the-go person and I can see myself forgetting my produce bags and my travel mug constantly (because I already do both of those things). So, just remembering those and being really conscious of what I’m doing I think may be a little difficult for me.

In which areas do you think you create the most waste?
When I really think about it, I think it would be in my bathroom. Razors, toothpaste, shampoo bottles, q-tips… yeah, definitely the bathroom.

Schedule 
Morning: I woke up and remembered that my toothbrush was plastic. After promptly making a mental note to look into some better bamboo alternatives, I was out the door. I walked to meet my friend for brunch at a cute little neighbourhood spot (Luna Cafe) - I had eggs and coffee and asked them to hold back the napkin. Everything else was served in dishware.

Noon: My brunch was quite late so I didn’t actually eat any lunch this day. Instead, we strolled around our neighbourhood exploring a bit before stopping for coffee #2. Naturally, I forgot my travel mug at work on Friday so I opted to have my cortado “for here” and we sat down in Crafted’s back patio.

Night: At night, I made a simple dish I like making in the fall: spaghetti squash with some marinara sauce from a glass jar. My spaghetti squash was delivered to me by Mama Earth Organics, which is a pretty great alternative if you’re unable to get to the grocery store every week like myself. They deliver your groceries in reusable containers that they pick up the next week when they deliver your next batch of organic goods!

Major Take-Aways
Leading up to this day I was getting pretty overwhelmed when I thought about how many things in my life are single use and really not reusable. I decided though to approach it with a certain level of pragmatism. This is mostly so that I can continue to use a lot of the things I still currently have left to use, and then just make better decisions going forward. It would be equally as ineffective and wasteful if I just did away with the things I still had that weren’t done being used in the name of going zero waste, right?

Another thing I learned when I inevitably forgot my travel mug and was forced to sit down and stay at the cafe was just that; how nice it is to sit down, stay, and appreciate a moment with a good friend.

"I realized how much waste all these products will eventually leave behind."

Name: Angela
Day you went zero waste: Tuesday, October 16th

What does “zero waste” mean to you?
The definition of “zero waste” means exactly that, living a life creating “zero” waste! The thought of how I could even begin is daunting.

What do you think you’ll have the most difficulty with?
I think I’ll start doing something that’s in my habit or is so familiar to me that I won’t realize (until it’s too late) that I’ve created waste.

In which areas do you think you create the most waste?
Much of my waste likely comes from food. I notice how much waste that’s created even from produce that I buy from the grocery store (when there really shouldn’t be…?) But the pile of clear plastic bags that’s collected on my kitchen counter says otherwise.

Schedule:
Morning: My morning went on as usual. I skipped my morning shower, thought it was a good start until I got to the skincare and makeup part of my routine. I realized how much waste all these products will eventually leave behind.

As a designer, I’ve previously worked in beauty and skincare packaging so I get very excited when I come across unique or beautiful packaging. I have a box full of inspiration that I’ve collected over the years (although to some, may be considered as waste).

My collection of products have shrunk considerably, down to about 10 makeup products that I love. I own a pro palette by MAC Cosmetics that I’ve custom built with eyeshadow and blush “refills” that comes without the plastic packaging. These refills are minimally packaged in small paper sleeves and snap into the palette’s magnetic base. It’s perfect for travel and everyday because it’s so compact with all the products I need in one place. They also has a program called “Back to MAC” that takes back lipstick and gel eyeliner pots, etc. which are recycled and reused.

Noon: I thought lunch would be a breeze. I like to pack hot lunches in glass Tupperware which was no different from a typical day. And then it happened. I grabbed a snack from the fridge and realized halfway through eating it that I’m left with it’s plastic wrapper.

Night: I’m typically out for dinner. Sometimes at restaurants and other times with fast food where I’ve notice the amount of waste (napkins, cups, containers, etc) that’s created. Tonight I was home to cook a simple stir fry with zucchini and garlic. Thoughts: I imagine it might be difficult to explain or bring attention to servers this idea of “no waste”. What’s my alternative, will I have to bring reusable plates for my Mcnuggets to be served on or is Mcdonalds something I’m ready to give up?

Major Take-Aways
I don’t see Zero Waste as something that I can commit my 100% to for the lifestyle I live. Perfection is not my goal, and I don’t think it’s attainable. I think to go zero waste overnight as a typical consumer is impossible, but making more conscious everyday decisions for sustainable improvement is key.

I found going “Zero Waste” for a day was fairly easy for me, as I am vegan and already eat loads of fresh produce. 

Name: Ashley
Day you went zero waste: Saturday, October 14th

What does “zero waste” mean to you?
To me, Zero Waste means not using anything that is harmful to the earth-that you have to throw out. It also means, not wasting any food. Leftovers should be composted, eaten later or given away. Eating utensils should be able to be washed and reused. By going “Zero Waste”, you help the environment, yourself, and other humans/animals.

What do you think you’ll have the most difficulty with?
In my household, we tend to throw out a lot of food. There is only 2 of us, so we often make too much food and then don’t eat it all. We also have a tendency to buy too many groceries and have to throw out produce that goes bad. Eating take out is something else that we do a lot. This obviously causes extra waste. So making sure to eat at home, instead of ordering food or going out could also be a challenge.

In which areas do you think you create the most waste?
Eating takeout or fast food creates a lot of unnecessary waste because of the extra containers, napkins, utensils. So the restaurant/food industry definitely wastes a lot.

The fashion industry is another big one. Especially in fast-fashion there is a lot of fabric waste, chemical waste etc. in the making of garments. When it comes to consumers, we tend to over buy and fill our wardrobe with low quality items that on average we don’t get a lot of wear from. Then we donate pieces we no longer want, or maybe even throw them out. These items often end up in waste sites, or are shipped off to 3rd world countries to sit and pollute their lands.

Schedule
Morning: 
My morning routine didn’t change that much. I tend to just have fruit in the morning, so there wasn’t much waste, except for orange peels and the apple core. We have a small compost at my house, so the peels went in there. The apple core was given to my dogs, after I removed the seeds and composted them as well. The only thing that really changed was my morning coffee. I usually have a cup of coffee every morning, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to make that zero waste. The beans come from a package, as does the almond milk. In the future I’d like to make my own almond milk, so that could care of the waste created from the milk box. For this particular morning, I skipped my coffee, and opted for water and fresh squeezed orange juice (thanks to my partner).

Noon: This is where things became a little more tricky. On weekends we are usually out wondering around Toronto, so we eat out. Instead we packed fruit and veggies in some portable, glass containers, and had them throughout the afternoon as a snack. I also made a huge vegetable soup we brought along and enjoyed when we became hungry for something more. I think thinking ahead and packing your own food is important when going “Zero Waste”.

Night: This evening we made a potato pizza. I used all produce, and disposed of peels etc. in our compost. The crust was made from potatoes, I made the tomato sauce from tomatoes from my mother's garden, and we piled on mushrooms, zucchini, more tomatoes, and onions.

Major Take-Aways
I found going “Zero Waste” for a day was fairly easy for me, as I am vegan and already eat loads of fresh produce. However, I think it would be quite difficult for those who aren’t used to a vegan lifestyle. There is so much waste everywhere, it’s really hard to get away from. Doing this one day challenge really opened my eyes to the amount of waste each person contributes on a daily basis. It’s alarming to think about.

"I’ve also realized that it does take a bit of time to get into the rhythm of things, and not to give up just because I won’t be able to be perfectly zero waste."

Name: Claire
Day you went zero waste: Tuesday, October 10th

What does “zero waste” mean to you?
My understanding of zero waste is something I learned from Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot (compost). I went zero-waste for a month last year and in doing so I learned that even if you’re recycling wherever possible, there is still a lot of waste being created in the recycling process and new, non-recycled plastic being used when recycling plastic. So if you reduce your consumption of throw-away and even recyclable goods like take-out containers, you can save more energy and reduce your waste even more significantly!

What do you think you’ll have the most difficulty with?
Sticking to it. I gave up going zero waste because it’s very challenging to do everything perfectly and like most people, moderation is not my strong suit. Since stopping going zero waste, I’ve continued doing little things (I never use plastic bags anymore) but I sometimes (shamefully) put recyclables and compost in the trash and I don’t pack my portable utensils and napkin anymore. 

In which areas do you think you create the most waste?
I definitely create the most trash when eating take-out or to-go lunches during the workweek. I’m a terrible cook and tend to buy lunch, which results in a ton of wrappers and styrofoam boxes going to waste.

Schedule 
Morning:  I woke up and left the house without eating breakfast (as per usual) no waste created there! I rode my bike to work, which I do nearly every day. I stopped by the cafe below our office, Hale, for a donut later that morning, which was served on a plate without any disposable utensils or napkins.
Noon: For lunch, I went downstairs to Hale and had their daily soup and bread. It did come with a disposable piece of wax paper that I wasn’t expecting, but now I know for next time what to expect and I’ll see if they can prepare it without the wax paper.
Night: For dinner, I made a very simple spaghetti using a glass jar of tomato-basil sauce (reusable!) and pasta that I had previously purchased in bulk from the health food store near my house. I also used spinach and mushrooms that I got from the regular grocery store using organic cotton produce bags that I purchased here.

Major Take-Aways
What I learned from going zero waste again (even if just for a day) is that there are so many little things that I can still be doing everyday to make a real difference. Just like I carry a reusable bag in my purse, I can easily carry my reusable utensils, napkins and a glass tupperware container with me to work so that I’m not unnecessary additional waste when I inevitably forget to pack a lunch. I’ve also realized that it does take a bit of time to get into the rhythm of things, and not to give up just because I won’t be able to be perfectly zero waste.

There you have it. We all felt a bit nervous, a bit unsure, but we all learned a lot about our habits and lifestyles that we may not have previously thought about had we not done this exercise. A recurring theme that appeared though was simple: progress over perfection. It’s important to not beat yourself up about not being able to be completely zero waste right now! It’s about educating yourself and making more conscious, earth-friendly decisions going forward. Rome wasn’t built in a day - so don’t expect to be completely zero-waste overnight.

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ZERO WASTE

 

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Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.





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Encircled Size Charts
Please scroll down to find the size chart for each design. If you have any questions on sizing, please try out our online size recommender or click here to contact us with questions prior to ordering. Size charts are in alphabetical order based on design name.
If you're on our product page viewing the size chart, click anywhere outside of the pop-up (or on the X in the top right corner) to close the size charts, or click here to surf back to our main collection page.

The Chrysalis Cardi

Size
Garment Length (Laid Flat) Garment Width (Laid Flat) Bust 
(inches)
Waist 
(inches)
Hip 
(inches)
Height 

Regular

(xs - xxl)

38" 39.5" 32"-41" 25"-34" 35"-44" 5'2"-6'0"

Petite

(xxs - m)

35" 34.5" 27"-35" 23"-28" 30"-38" <5'4"

Maxi

(xl - xxxl)

43" 41.5" 41"-52" 33"-45" 44"-56" <6'0"

Fit Advice: The Regular Chrysalis Cardi is a one size fits most garment ranging from sizes XS-XXL or 2-14. It can be easily belted in multiple ways, however the Regular is not recommended for petite or shorter woman due to the volume of fabric - See Petite Cardi. The Regular is also not recommended for curvier/taller women due to fabric pulling around the bust or bottom - See Maxi Cardi.

We recommend watching the how-to wear videos to see how much fabric drape and length you would like in your finished garment. If you are in between sizes, it is best to size up and the garment can always be tailored shorter to better suit your look - you cannot add more fabric, unfortunately!

The Petite is best suited for women 5'4" and under with a smaller frame, although it will also work on women above this height (depending on preferred length when styled). 

The Maxi is best suited for all women under 6’0” with a curvier shape to eliminate any uncomfortable fabric pulling, although it will also work on women who are a bit less curvy (depending on preferred length when styled).

*If you have any questions on sizing, please contact us - Remember it is best to provide us with your height and size range of garments that you already own! 

 

The Dressy Sweatpant

WHEN WORN AT NATURAL WAIST

Worn higher up to sit at your natural waist - straight leg tapers from the hip to ankle opening.

Size XS (0-2) S (2-4) M (6-8) L (10-12) XL (14-16) XXL (18-20)
Waist (inches)
23" - 25"
25" - 28"
28" - 32"
32" - 34"
34" - 37"
37-39"
Hip (inches)
32" - 34"
35" - 38"
38" - 41"
41" - 44"
44" - 47"
47-50"
Inseam (inches) 26.5"

Fit Advice: We recommend staying with your usual size if you are in-between sizes. The cut on The Dressy Sweatpants is more generous and the fit is meant to be drapey and slightly loose. 

 

The Essential Long Sleeve Top + The Essential Short Sleeve Top

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 12 - 14 (XL) 14-16 (XXL)
Bust 28 - 30" 30 - 33" 33 - 36" 36 - 39" 39 - 42"
42 - 45"
Waist 23 - 25" 25 - 27" 28 - 30" 30 - 33" 34 - 36"
36 - 38"
Hips 30 - 32" 33 - 36" 36 - 38" 38 - 41" 41 - 44"
44 - 47"
Front Length / Back Length 24 - 31"
24 - 31"
24 - 31"
24 - 31"
24 - 31"
24 - 31"

Fit Advice: The Essential Long Sleeve Top fits a bit larger than our usual tees. We suggest to order true to your normal size, however since the styling is more flowy than our other Encircled tees, it is suggested to size down if you prefer a tighter look. As the fabric has a natural stretch, it will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown around the chest and hips. 

 

The Evolve Top

Size
0 - 2 (XS)
4-6 (S)
8-10 (M)
12-14 (L)
16-18 (XL)
20 (XXL)
Bust
30.5-32.5"
33.5-35.5"
36.5-38.5"
39.5-41.5"
42.5-44"
45-47"
Waist
25-26"
27-29"
30-31"
32-34"
35-37"
38-40"
Hips
33-36"
37-39"
40-42"
43-45"
46-48"
49-52"
Fit Advice: The fit of The Evolve top is drapey but tapers towards the hip and tends to fit large. We recommend for you to size down from your normal size if you are unsure. The fabric on The Evolve top has a natural stretch that will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown. 

The Flipside Legging 

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 14 - 16 (XL)
Waist 20-24" 25-28" 28-32" 32-34" 34-37"
Hips 30-34" 35-38" 38-41" 41-44" 44-47"
Inseam 28" 28"
28"
28"
28"

Fit Advice: We recommend sizing up if you are in between sizes with your measurements. The modal fabric on The Flipside Leggings is not as 'taut' as synthetic fabrics like polyester, so if you prefer a snugger fit in the waist area for your leggings, size down. The Flipside Leggings are pre-shrunk. 

 

 The Minimalist Legging + The Minimalist Crop Legging

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 14 - 16 (XL)
Waist 20-24" 25-28" 28-32" 32-34" 34-37"
Hips 30-34" 35-38" 38-41" 41-44" 44-47"
Inseam

28"

(crop 20")

28"

(crop 20")

28"

(crop 20")

28"

(crop 20")

28"

(crop 20")

Fit Advice: We recommend sizing down if you are in between sizes with your measurements. The bamboo fabric on The Minimalist Leggings is tighter than the Flipside Leggings. The Minimalist Leggings are pre-shrunk.

 

The Nomadic V-Neck

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 12 - 14 (XL) 14 - 16 (XXL)
Bust 27.5 - 29.5 " 30.5 - 32.5 " 33.5 - 35.5 " 36.5 - 38.5" 39.5 - 41.5 "
42.5 - 44.5
Waist 23-24" 25-26" 28-29" 30-31" 32-34"
35-37"
Hips 30-32" 33-35" 36-38" 39-41" 42-44"
45-47"
Length 28" 28" 28" 28" 28"
28"

Fit Advice: The Nomadic V-Neck fits true to size. If you want a more relaxed fit, size up. The length can be hemmed by a tailor. As the fabric has a natural stretch, it will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown around the chest and hips. 

 

The Retrograde Kimono Dress

Size
XS (0-2) S (2-4) M (6-8) L (10-12) XL (14-16) 
Bust (Inches)
28 - 32.5"
33" - 35.5"
36 - 38.5"
39 - 41.5"
42 - 49"
Hip (Inches)
33" - 36"
37" - 39"
40" - 42"
43" - 45"
46" - 50"
Length (Inches)
At longest, 33"
At longest, 34"
At longest, 35"
At longest, 36"
At longest, 37"

Fit Advice: The Retrograde Kimono Dress is our most "oversized" piece in the collection. We suggest to order true to your normal size to get the intended look. If you prefer a slimmer or tighter look, we suggest choosing a size down than your usual Encircled size.

 

The Reversible Pencil Skirt

Size
XS (0-2)
S (2-4)
M (6-8)
L (10-12)
XL (14-16)

Waist (inches)

23" - 26"
26" - 29"
29" - 32"
32" - 34"
35" - 37"

Hip (inches)

32" - 34"
35" - 38"
38" - 41"
41" - 44"
45" - 47"

Length Total (inches)

20"
21"
22"
23"
24"

Fit Advice: The Reversible Pencil Skirt fits true to size, but it's suggested to size up if you fall between sizes. The pencil skirt offers a smooth silhouette that slightly tapers from waist to hips and down through to the hem, hitting just at knee length. A pencil skirt should smoothly skim your curves, so to get a perfect fit, first identify your largest measurement then choose the size offering that range while still allowing for some stretch. The fabric on The Reversible Pencil skirt has a natural stretch, that will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown. 

 

The Revolve Dress II + The Sleeveless Revolve Dress

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 4-6 (S) 8-10 (M) 12-14 (L) 16-18 (XL) 20 (XXL)
Bust (in inches)  30.5-32.5" 33.5-35.5" 36.5-38.5" 39.5-41.5" 42.5-44" 45-47"
Waist (in inches)  25-26" 28-29" 30-31" 32-34" 35-37" 38-40"
Hips (in inches)  33-36" 37-39" 40-42" 43-45" 46-48" 49-52"
Length (in inches) At longest, 34.5" adjustable At longest, 35.35" adjustable At longest, 36" adjustable  At longest, 36.75" adjustable At longest, 37.5" adjustable At longest, 38.25" adjustable

Fit Advice: The Revolve Dress is designed to fit drapey that tapers towards the hip. We recommend staying with your typical dress size. If your hip measurements are above the guide, size up. The length can be hemmed by a tailor. The fabric on The Revolve Dress has a natural stretch, that will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown.

 

The Wanderer Sleeveless T 

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 12 - 14 (XL) 14 - 16 (XXL)
Bust 27.5 - 29.5 " 30.5 - 32.5 " 33.5 - 35.5 " 36.5 - 38.5" 39.5 - 41.5 "
42.5 - 44.5"
Waist 23-24" 25-26" 28-29" 30-31" 32-34"
35-37"
Hips 30-32" 33-35" 36-38" 39-41" 42-44"
45-47"
Length 28" 28" 28" 28" 28"
28"

Fit Advice: The Wanderer Sleeveless T fits true to size. If you want a more relaxed fit, size up. The length can be hemmed by a tailor. As the fabric has a natural stretch, it will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown around the chest and hips. 

 

The Reversible Bandeau Bra  

Size
(XS/S) (M/L) (XL)
Bust 30 - 33" 34 - 37" 38-41"

Fit Advice: The Reversible Bandeau Bra fits true to size and the wide elastic band provides light to medium support. To ensure proper fit, measure your bust and check our size guide.

The Everyday Twist Top

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 4-6 (S) 8-10 (M) 12-14 (L) 16-18 (XL)
Bust (in inches)  30.5-32.5" 33.5-35.5" 36.5-38.5" 39.5-41.5" 42.5-44"
Waist (in inches)  25-26" 28-29" 30-31" 32-34" 35-37"
Hips (in inches)  33-36" 37-39" 40-42" 43-45" 46-48"
Back Length (in inches) 24.5" 25" 25.5" 26" 26.5"

Fit Advice: The Everyday Twist Top is designed to fit drapey. We recommend staying with your typical dress size. The fabric on The Everyday Twist Top has a natural stretch, that will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown.

 

The Men's Nomadic V-Neck  

Size
S M L XL XXL
Chest 36-38" 38-40" 40-42" 42-44" 44-46"
Back Length 27" 27.5" 28" 28.75" 29.5"
Fit Advice: The Men’s Nomadic V-Neck fits true to size. It features a straight fit, being more fitted in the shoulders and looser towards the waist. The fabric is 4-way stretch and it will fit within ~1-2" of the measurements. If you prefer a more relaxed fit, size up.