Keeping up with the latest trends and shopping in a way that’s environmentally friendly doesn’t seem like it goes hand in hand. Not only that, but many of us believe the misconception that living green is an elitist concept, available only to those with deep pockets. We associate it with shopping at Whole Foods, exclusive solar-powered apartments, and driving Teslas through sustainably-farmed vineyards. Not to worry: eco-chic is within reach for everyone. Promise.
- Buy vintage and thrift
Do you remember that girl in high school who everyone envied because she had the most unique pieces in her wardrobe? She was a woman among girls—Audrey Hepburn among Hollister-wearing drones. You’d scour the mall, endlessly, never being able to quite nail her eclectic style. Hint, hint: she thrifted. Her parents’ tight spending budget actually worked to her advantage, resulting in a one-of-kind look made up of vintage pieces no longer in rotation. It may take a couple hours to find buried treasure amidst the piles of crap, but trust us, it’s worth it. Not only that, but it also stops you for spending money on brand new clothes that will end up in landfills. Reusing and repurposing clothing until it’s no longer wearable is the key to an environmentally-friendly wardrobe—and it’s cheaper!
- Host a yard sale
This is a way of helping others repurpose clothing you no longer love. In the process, you not only save money, but make it! That weekend trip you wanted to take, but thought you can’t afford? It can be funded entirely by cleaning out your closet. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so before you contribute your unrecyclable fabrics to overfilled landfills, open up your closet to your friends and neighbors. They may fall head over heels for a piece you haven’t worn in years! If that doesn’t work, try websites like Craigslist or eBay. There are endless mobile apps built for buying used clothes from strangers, as well.
- Not ready to say goodbye? Swap clothes with your friends—temporarily
Some people believe they simply must purchase a new outfit for nights out or special occasions. Little tip: it doesn’t have to be new, to be new to you. Hosting clothes-swapping nights with your friends can surprise you—you’ll find out how many items you’re bored of that your friends are secretly envying. And vice versa! This is an especially great option if you’re feeling an emotional bond to your clothes and have a hard time letting go. That blouse your friend borrows will be just a phone call away.
- Opt for DIY beauty products
I’ll never forget when a friend of mine insisted on making me an avocado facial—or how unbelievably soft my skin felt afterwards! The skincare benefits of things that already exist in your kitchen can be life-changing—no joke. Instead of buying endless amounts of expensive beauty products in plastic containers, opt for environmentally friendly beauty: the kind that’s made in your own kitchen. It’s so fun to discover new food items that make you look radiant—you’d be shocked at what a little honey scrub can do after a stressful week that has dulled your skin. Give it a shot! If you do have a couple store-bought coveted items, make sure their packaging is recyclable—or better yet, made of recycled materials. For example, most of Josie Maran’s are made from post-consumer-waste paper!