Top from Elizabeth Suzann,
shoes from Olive Thomas shoes (etsy),
Jeans from Madewell
I was curious how to waste less, support local/small designers, and save money.
I've come up with a few answers that I've enjoyed living into that I wanted to share.
Tank top from Thred Up
Pants from TopoDesigns
1. I sell or give away my clothing, using the stuff you really can't salvage as rags. I sell to local consignment shops and Thred Up or I drop off bags of clothes at Goodwill.
2. I've been trying to buy clothes of better quality. Real materials- wool, cotton, silk that are made with good construction. This allows my clothes to last longer so I don't have to keep replacing clothes that the wash destroys or that aren't scrubbable, I spill a lot. These pieces are usually more expensive so I don't get things like this often and I have mostly just been replacing basic pieces as my poorly made ones give out. Items include coats, jeans, trousers, sweaters, cardigans, basic staple dresses, and shoes.
Leather jacket -local thrift store
Wool sweater - Thred up
Hat- Lack of color
3. My favorite find was companies like Thred Up and Tradesy. They are like online thrift stores. The thrift stores in Seattle are heavily picked over but online they are hugeI love the idea of something someone else is done with being exactly what I'm looking for. I especially love that it means the items come a steep discount. Need a dress for a wedding- they have tons, for cheap, and for brands I couldn't afford otherwise. I also like these websites for trends. I don't want to spend a lot of money on a pattern I may not like in a year but I can spend $15 on a top that is gently used.
dress I got on Thred up for $23, original price $107.
(Also love that Thred Up tells you how much
money you saved, I blame my mom.
I love a good deal)
4. I've also been compiling a list of USA made designers that I like, designers that support ethical causes and groups, make clothing out of industry scrapes, or small handmade international shops. For about the last year I have been trying to only buy from and ask for clothes as gifts from these designers. I know it can seem like these are always expensive but I have found a wide range of designers and subscribe to their newsletters so I know when they have their change of season sales. Some of the brands below are a bit pricier, albeit stunning, but most have some really reasonably priced items!
skirt from Style Saint
cardigan from Everlane
Matterprints Krotchet Kids
Make it Good
Up Down Across
5. Maybe most importantly, I've also tried to shop less and not impulse buy at all. I don't go perusing stores at my lunch hour anymore and I don't subscribe to newsletters of stores I like but aren't ethical or sustainable. A really amazing tool I use to keep this in check is the Stylebook app.
It lets you put in all your clothing you own, make outfits out of them, follow how often you wear something, how much money per wear an item is, use a calendar to plan out your outfits for the month, pack for trips. I'm honestly a little obsessed! I also never have to wonder what I'm going to wear in the morning, I just look at my calendar. I can plan the whole month so that I know when I have important meetings and need to wear my power skirt.
Besides how much fun it is- I put items in the remove category if I see I haven't worn it in 6 months. I see if I need to just rework outfits to like the item again or if it's really not me anymore. Then I grab all the items in the remove folder and sell or donate them. I've been trying to do this regularly as I define my style etc. I have a goal of # of clothes I'd like to get down to so I am seeing what I truly don't wear. I don't want to wear anything because I feel like I have to or because I didn't know what else to wear. I've loved knowing I feel like me and look the way I want in every outfit because I only save the outfits in the app that I like.
The other thing I do is bring in clothing items I think I want to purchase. I can see if I already have something like it. Does it go with my other clothes? Can I make multiple outfits with it? If I'm replacing something I look at the cost per wear. If it's really low it means I wear it a lot so it may make sense to spend more money and get a really good quality piece of that item.
tunic by Temperate Co
Necklace by local jewlry co
That is currently my strategy/take on ethical fashion. It seems to be constantly evolving. If you want to chat about it or the app I'd be 100% down to talk!