We live in a consumerist society. It’s who we are. Everything is so readily available at a low cost that once worn or used a few times, we can easily justify trashing it. Sounds great – but it’s becoming a huge problem for Mother Earth. From the factories to the trash heaps – we have a problem.
However the green fashionista has a few tricks up her sleeve to make sure she doesn’t become part of the problem.
1. Purchase from second hand shops. 2nd hand shops are the best place to purchase last season’s high end items. Each store & neighborhood is different – it takes some time to find your store, but once you do, it’s great! I usually hit the Crossroads in San Francisco’s Pac Heights neighborhood & the Santa Monica Wasteland because I can always find something I love. We’re talking Coach, Kate Spade, Theory, Frye, and Prada. You’ll find these items at a fraction of the price & in great condition. But I also find awesome every-day pieces like a super cute denim jacket for $10, A beautiful deep purple Guess coat for $35, and 3 pairs of Joe’s jeans, each $50 or less. Like new! (Sometimes the tags are still on!)
2. Donate/Sell. The 2nd hand shops I love are pretty picky about what they take, but you can always try to sell to them. They’ll give you cash or credit. But, consider donating. You know how you get that confidence strut when you slip into a slim power suit & and pumps? Pay it forward by donating your old, yet still stylish suits to Dress for Success. You’re old power suit will give a woman the confidence she needs to land a job. And for your non-suits, there’s always one of these awesome charities
3. Rent your clothes. Using a service like Le Tote allows me to stay up on the latest fashions, without having to constantly buy new pieces. It’s the sharing economy at its most fashionable.
4. Know your designers. If you want to buy a brand new shirt, guilt free – consider how your clothes are being produced. Is the factory it comes from making so much pollution that the nearby residents have lung cancer? Or, are they finding ways to use less resoures? Even big brands like Levi’s are jumping on the green wagon. They realize that our resources are limited. Here’s the “waterless” denim that they unveiled a few years ago. Do some research. You may have to pay a little more, but when you vote with your dollar, companies will listen.
5. Upcycle. Search “up cycle clothing” on Pinterest for hundreds of ideas. My fave? Taking a sweater that has a hole in the middle front – then cut right straight through the hole from bottom to top. so now it’s an open-front sweater, sew up the side and it’s like a brand new piece. If it’s not repairable – you can always find a completely new use for it. Turn a soft shirt into a pillowcase or a rag for cleaning. Get crafty. Consider all the packaging. I receive a Le Tote box about once a week. And I’ve been a member for 6 months – that’s over 25 boxes. Now we use them for storage bins and compost bins (more durable than paper bags).
Be green, gorgeous, and fashionable!