Tips for Planet-Friendly Shopping!

Back in time Photo by @BeccaMcHaffie

Back in time Photo by @BeccaMcHaffie

If you’re as environmentally savvy as you are fashion-obsessed, then you probably know that environmental groups across the globe are getting ready for an important day. September 16 is officially the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, proclaimed such by the UN General Assembly in 1994. These and other environmental days throughout the year remind us of the importance of making environmentally friendly choices in everything from the food we eat to the clothes we wear. In this post, we delve into a few ways you can give back to Mother Nature while expressing your sartorial flair in the way only you know how to.

Opting for Eco Friendly Brands

Instead of impulse shopping, why not indulge in strategic shopping, opting for brands that are doing their best improve the state of the environment? CNN recently published an interesting post to commemorate World Earth Day, suggesting specific brands that use sustainable materials like recycled plastic, metal, and bamboo for everything from trendy gadgets to jewellery. Some brands feature specific vegan designs, made without any animal byproducts whatsoever; others use vegetable-based products for processes like tanning, thus creating a much smaller carbon footprint. Still others upcycle materials, or use materials such as Tencel – a fiber made from renewable plant materials. Are these brands expensive? Actually, no; jewellery brands such as Soko, for instance, sell stunning pieces at around $40 that won’t be quite like anything your friends are wearing. All items are made by artisan entrepreneurs to build their respective businesses. Even if you have eyed an item that is more expensive than you have budgeted for, you can knock the price down by using discount cards or shopping during sales; all it takes is more detailed planning of your fashion budget.

Supporting Companies that Aid Others

There are a plethora of companies that donate money or products to needy organizations every time a product is sold. The wide list of companies includes Feed (started by Lauren Bush and providing nutritious meals to those in hunger); Lemlem (featuring hand spun clothing that preserves the art of traditional weaving in Ethiopia and donating a percentage of sales to maternity care); or Roma Boots (which donates a new pair of boots for every pari sols, and donates 10% of proceeds to educational groups). You can discover many more sustainable items online, so do your research and see what other buyers are saying about the items you are interested in.

Shopping Vintage

Thrift shops are veritable treasure troves for vintage items and boho chic fashion, which is all the rage at the moment. Look for items such as kaftans, paisley prints, vintage Indian jewellery pieces and the like. You would be surprised at the stunning items you can find secondhand. Those who donate these items can have great taste; sometimes, something as simple as having too many clothing items lead to donations of designer and other valuable items.

Focusing on Wearability

When you are thinking of buying an item ask yourself, realistically, if it is a piece you will get a lot of wear out off. Invest in items that will actually be worth the carbon footprint they cost to make, and opt for trans-seasonal clothing you can wear as is in the summer or layer in the winter. Think short dresses that can double up as blouses, or mid-season boots you can wear in the Spring, Summer, and Autumn.

Being a fashion eco warrior essentially involves buying your clothing and jewellery mindfully, making selections based on wearability and sustainability, rather than aesthetics alone. Think of ways to upcycle clothing you already have, consider buying in vintage shops, and support brands that are as concerned about the environment as you are. It is amazing how style and eco-friendliness go hand in hand; all it takes is a little research and commitment.

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This is great advice. I always try to focus on purchasing classic trends to cut down on buying stuff that I won't wear in the future. Here's a great article on choosing classic jewellery that never goes out of style: