I remember the days where I’d have this intense craving every upcoming season to have the perfect wardrobe. I kept saying well if I just get this item, I’ll be good for Fall - and that went on for about 25 items until the next season. My clothes would fall apart after a month but I would get sick of the items probably one or two wears in because I wasn’t crazy about the cheap material on my body, and the “in season” pattern was no longer appeasing to my fashion sense. After all that, I would donate some but throw a lot of it away because of the holes, the stains, the stretch of the fabric etc….
Even typing that is making me have anxiety. The thought that sparked a lot of change for me was “What if everyone lived like me?”. The fact of the matter is that - essentially they do. Our society is just as ever thirsty as my cheap clothing addiction. To produce one pair of jeans, production uses 2,000 gallons of water - equivalent to the average amount that a human consumes water in 5 years. Not only does our planet earth take a huge hit, but so are millions of impoverished workers that face abuse EVERY DAY. Workers from H&M claim that they get beaten if they don’t produce a certain amount of garments and the conditions of factories are dangerous and pose as seriously threats to the lives of the beautiful workers.
Anyhow, instead of barreling you with a million more daunting facts, I wanted to show you guys just how fun vintage, borrowed, second hand, and quality clothes are! In this day and age we can find accessible options to lessen our clothing footprint and make sure we are not voting for unethical behavior through the companies we support. First I want to give you guys my GO TO’s for sustainable items, second hand shops, and inter web stores that I frequent. I usually only buy second hand but there are some things I buy as new.
-For plain staples such as tees, tank tops, long sleeves and turtlenecks that will last you long time and made of quality material not ending up in the landfill I shop:
THE REFORMATION (I only buy Reformations tencel materials as it is a close looped process and none of it goes to the landfill since it is biodegradable.)
-For gently work second hand clothes that are from a newer brand such as Madewell, Reformation etc.. there is:
-For shoes, unique vintage items such as high waisted jeans, skirts, coats etc.. I will go to:
ETSY (Also a cool place to purchase some amazing things such as jewelry, salves etc.. from sustainable creators)
EBAY (A great place to purchase pretty much second hand ANYTHING
-Some amazing vintage stores I love in NYC:
10 FOOT SINGLES
At Forever21 a while back they had these type of Mexican dresses. They were about $25 dollars and it was one of those things where I was like “OOOO I want”, But then realized from past experiences it would fall apart in 2 months and the workers are paid less than a dollar a day. One day traveling with my family we went to an antique store in Georgia and this one was $9.00. This is an authentic Mexican dress and although its started its life decades ago, it still has its amazing quality to it. No synthetic fibers, no toxic chemicals, and no new resources are being used up for me to own this piece.
One of my favorite ways to feel like I have new options without actually spending any money, wasting resources, or having to cram more items in my closet is to borrow items! This plaid dress I borrowed from my room mate and best friend Leslie Bish! Honestly I love it so much but if I had to keep it, I would barely wear it. My policy surrounding borrowed clothes is trusting each other with the items. If you don’t think a friend will treat them right or might lose it, I would politely say you would rather not give the particular item out and vice versa. Have fun, play dress up and keep it clean! The black turtleneck is a 100% cotton piece from Everlane!
I have really simple style, I am not a huge fan of patterns because I know I won’t wear them that much. With that being said, its so easy to find simple staples that will last long in your wardrobe. I bought this beanie from a vintage store about 6 years ago, the same Everlane turtleneck that I wear pretty much everyday, and some comfy cotton draw string pants I got second hand as well.
You guys, this photo does not do justice to how amazing this hat is, therefore I will do a post on it later on. It is a bug and amphibian hat I got at the Goodwill Outlet for .50 cents. The top is from the same Goodwill outlet also for .50 cents and its from the 70’s. The jeans was a huge expenditure for me but so worth it. They are Jesse Kamm pants and I sold 15 items of mine to get these pants and I can guarantee they will last me my entire life. Made of cotton canvas, I feel comfortable enough to hike, bike, walk, and chill in them. Class it up or class it down, these are my favorite things I own currently. She recommends sizing up so you can tailor it to a perfect fit if you need to!
These overalls are another favorite of mine. They are hand me downs from my beautiful friend Rachel. The top is from one of my favorite brands Doen where they create beautiful, simple pieces that seem costly but honestly will last me for years to come. I used to buy about 10 plain white tops in a year that were very cheap in price and fell apart within months. Doen makes their tops from organic cotton and is the perfect staple for a minimal wardrobe or if you are trying to become more minimal in your closet! The coat is borrowed from my friend Sophie!