Back in the early 2000s, my mom coined the term “the heap” to reference unwanted items I got rid of. Whenever we went shopping, she would say things like, “I can see that piece ending up in the heap in a few months.” LOL. Over the years, I grew tired of wasting money and now make it a point to ask myself if I will still love an item in six months. If the answer is “no,” then it stays at the store. I had to crack down to avoid having my hard-earned cash turn into disposal income.
Lace & Pearls – Wardrobe Tidying Up Post
I found this quote perfect for today’s post on sustainable fashion and shopping smarter. Sustainable fashion is becoming a popular buzzword in the fashion industry and is at the forefront for both retailers and consumers.
Why You Should Care About Sustainable Fashion
So what is sustainable fashion, and why is it important? There are many forms of sustainable fashion. Some people like to:
emphasize the importance of making clothes in a more environmentally friendly manner, while others advocate shopping secondhand/vintage. You may also consider the benefits of swapping, renting, or borrowing clothes from friends, as opposed to purchasing new. All efforts to promote environmentally, socially, and/or ethically-conscious production and consumption are critical steps toward a sustainable future.
I wanted to highlight this topic and learn more about it myself, as I feel it goes hand-in-hand with the capsule wardrobe concept and maintaining a small wardrobe. I’ve also begun seeing several fashion rental and subscription services pop up. I frequently buy from my local consignment shop and secondhand retailers like thredUp. I don’t forsee the topic of sustainable fashion going away anytime soon especially for younger consumers who are looking to reduce their carbon footprint and environmental impact.
Despte being a fashion blogger, I pride myself on not having a lot of clothes or spending too much money on them. I prefer to invest in select high-quality pieces instead of several lower-quality items that may only last a season or two. Purchasing high-quality fashion is another way to shop responsibly.
Here are six more tips on how to shop responbsily. Please note there are many ways to apply sustainable fashion, but I am going to focus on the benefits of thrift shopping. You can also check out my beginners guide to thrifting for additional ideas.
6 Tips for Sustainable Fashion
Shopping secondhand saves you money! I recently spent $100 on thredUp and literally bought a small wardrobe. I kid you not, I was able to purchase a pair of J.Crew Jeans, Gap blouse, J.Crew blouse, Madewell blouse, and an open-sweater vest from Talbots. That’s five items from several well-known brands! Had I gone to Goodwill or Value Village, I could have likely doubled the amount of amazing items I’d purchased. Check out my friend Hello Rigby’s post where she and Megan (another good friend of my mine) from Diary of this Girl both thrifted an entire outfit for $50.
Shopping secondhand is great for weight fluctuation. Whether you’ve recently lost or gained weight, or are newly pregnant, shopping at your local thrift or consignment shop is a great option! One of the major perks to thrifting is buying something you can wear and then recycle—you can re-donate your piece! I love that I can have a piece of clothing (or an accessory) and then give it additional life with the next owner. You can take this approach one step further and purchase your child’s clothes and toys, in addition to other household products, secondhand. When I was a baby, my mom purchased all my clothes secondhand. Kids grow fast—why spend a lot of money when they’ll ultimately ruin or grow out of their pieces?
Shop Trends and not feel bad about it
Thrifting or buying secondhand allows you to experiment and keep up with trends. You can find so many fun, unique items! Since fashion inevitably repeats itself, you can shop current trends that differ from those sold at your big “box store.” Once the trend has faded out, I enccourage you to donate the item back to the local thrift shop. It’s a win-win!
Repairing items is a great way to be sustainable. If you find something that doesn’t fit perfectly, have it altered! If something has a hole in the seam, you can easily stitch it or have your local cleaners do so. If something is missing a button, replace all the buttons, or if having one odd button is your thing, embrace that instead. Think outside the box and be creative with your findings!
Thrifting is fun! Something about the hunt is so exciting. Plus, you feel savvy and smart when you score something amazing for a fraction of the cost! When your friends swoon over your new find, it’s icing on the cake.
It creates jobs and helps the environment.
There are many benefits to thrifting, but one of the most important is that thrifting creates jobs (while also reducing our carbon footprint). Donating items keeps them out of landfills. Bigger organizations have recycling programs and fund charitable organizations through the donations that they receive.Lace & Pearls Blog – Thrift Store Fashion post
How do you shop sustainably? Do you enjoy thrifting? I invite you to share in the comments.
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*c/o: courtesy of or gifted
Photography: Nicholas Mercado