Updated: Jan 16
It has been a minute since I have shared anything with you all. OOF. Maybe you noticed, maybe you didn't, but either way, here we are again. Me typing furiously away to reveal some small opinion of mine about fashion, and you hanging on to every word. What a life we both live.
So on with the show we go....and my hot topic is sustainable shopping. What does this mean? Mostly I thought it was a cute alliteration type of title, but also I think in my shopping, I have grown to be much more conscious of what shopping does and how it affects not only me (and my wallet), but how it affects those around me and the world we live in.
Some unfortunate facts are that we as people are consuming so much more than we used to. We shop, we wear, we pitch and start over again. Companies have been trying to keep up with us as we try to keep up with the trends. There has been recent discoveries that show dying fish in the ocean with tummies full of micro plastics that come from clothing. There are people in the world that cannot afford store-bought items, and they look to places like Goodwill, ValueWorld, etc.
The question is what can we do to shop more consciously? How can we make what we have last?
The answers are many and many as the sky is the limit with what we can do, but today, I will share with you, my favorite ways to make the most out of my clothes.
First Weekend of the Month — if you know, you know. For real though, thrift shopping is so fun, so rewarding and giving clothes a second chance for life. The clothes that fill stores like Goodwill, ValueWorld, Fei Vintage, EcoThrift, Style for Less, Found by the Pound and more, are clothes that are in good shape. They would not be offering said merchandise if the merchandise is not worthy of another night out. That being said, because you are buying secondhand, you can also save some money while you are at it. Additionally, a lot of these stores are local and providing jobs for those in the community, so you know you're also supporting good places helping the community. At that same feel-good-note, I can't tell you how gratifying it is to find a one-of-a-kind piece in a pile of clothes that someone else decided they didn't want anymore. One man's outfit yesterday is my outfit tomorrow, that's the saying right? All in all, shopping at thrift stores will give you unique pieces that you might not find elsewhere (hello, limited edition band tees) and it also prolongs the life of that piece. From them to you and to everyone after that. Find your treasures.
Trade Away — Every season, I go through my clothes and try to remove the ones I genuinely do not wear anymore. This A) makes room for updated styles, B) makes my closet less cluttered, and C) gives me leverage. This is friendly leverage, fearnot, but when my friends also go through their clothes to clean up, we all have these clothes that no doubt at some point or another checked the other out in. My bff, Sun, had this super cute, simple top that she rocked, and I knew I'd love to rock. SO...when it was time for us to go through our clothes, I knew I could trade some clothes with her, so we're both not spending money and we're both getting some "new" items for our wardrobe. Some campuses even do campus clothing swaps, do it with a group for more variety even. Barter away, friends.
Super(hero) stores — crazy thing is that we aren't the only ones thinking about how clothing waste creates waste. It's amazing because stores like H&M are taking notice of the clothing toll. Some stores, like H&M, will offer 15% your purchase when you bring with you old clothes to donate. They then donate it to shelters, etc., and you're basically exchanging your old for your new. Another store I love is SOMA. It's a women's store for lingerie and loungewear. At any time, you can bring old bras (that are in wearable shape still), and SOMA will take those bras to donate to women' shelters for those that have suffered from domestic abuse. During certain months of the year, they will also give you a percentage off of your purchase for helping them donate to these shelters. Look deeper into the stores you love, and see what more they do to create a positive social impact.
Do It Yourself — Not only can you donate through third-parties, but you can donate on your own. There's bout a billion drop-off places you can take it to. So when you clean out your own closet, and check with the pals to see if they want anything and still have some lovable pieces left, check with your local Goodwills, the shelters in your city, (Indianapolis has a Dress for Success that provides affordable clothing for when you need business attire), and even local campuses. I know being a #CollegeStudent is #1 relatable content, but also the students are getting ready to start their lives, and with tuition as expensive as it is, clothes for interviews or work often fall off the list of priorities when competing with food and housing. I just graduated from IUPUI (Go Jags!), and they have an incredible program called, Paw's Closet that is always available for students and open for donations.
Crafty, crafty, crafty — There are 9.386 million videos on the web showing you how to upcycle your clothes, and that number is 100% real and factual and not a number I just made up, but also maybe I did. Who cares. The point is, you can take your old t-shirts and shred it to make your puppy a new chew toy. You can turn old towels into a really cute bath mat, that will likely already match your bathroom color scheme (if you're into that and have your life together). Old denim turns into new denim with a few snips and stitches there. There are so many ideas out there, here's my list of favorites here.
These are just a few ways to start shopping a little more sustainably. I'm putting together some of my favorite thrifted looks to share with you all soon. Until then, share with me your favorite ways to get themes life out of your cycles. I am always looking for tips. :)