Friday, January 30, 2015

Threadflip and Bea Arthur

“No.”
“No what?”
“No. I love you, but that is terrible.”

I huffed and puffed back into my room to see what my boyfriend was talking about. This new $4 vintage, itchy black/brown/orange/red baggy sweater is totally on point, what does he know?

Spoiler: it wasn't; and not in a “men don’t understand fashion” way, but in a poorly fitted, frumpy, cedar chest smelling way.

I have tried, oh how I have tried to be one of those women who look effortlessly stylish in thrift store finds, but it just doesn’t happen.

Alas, recycling clothing is VERY important when dressing consciously. Even if the second hand clothing you are buying is not made of natural fibers or from a conscious company, you are doing the planet a solid by relieving international transportation waste.

But, if you are like me and emerge from Goodwill frustrated and looking like Bea Arthur at her worst, there are other ways to buy second hand.


While some people have great luck with Ebay, my personal favorite is Threadflip. Threadflip is a user-friendly site and app that sells high quality second hand clothing for a very reasonable price.


The beauty of this site is you can search for those conscious brands that you can’t afford full price (looking at you Reformation and Armour Vert). Recycled, consciously made, and a cheaper cost? Yes please!






Conscious Pieces:

Shirt: Amour Vert
Necklace: Olive 

Other:

Jeans; Old Navy
Belt: Target
Hair tie: Goody (I promise I'll stop wearing them)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Ways to recycle: H&M (and awkward puppy dogs)

Get a trashbag. 

Go to your closet. 

Look at that pile that is on the floor. You know which one I am talking about. The pile with bleach stained sweaters, hole in the crotch pants, and those shirts that you have no idea how the tear in the the armpit happened. 

Put those clothes in said trash bag. 

TAKE THEM TO H&M!

H&M began a program where you can take your old, in any condition clothing, (no it does not need to be from H&M) and trade it in. They will recycle the fabric to make more garments. Seriously. For your donation you get 15% off of one H&M purchase.



"But Abbey!" you say, "Why are you encouraging us to buy clothing from H&M when I turn over my old clothes? Isn't that counter productive?"

As far as I am concerned you get 15% off of ONE item, when you are saving a bag full of old stuff from being thrown into your local land fill. It's a pretty solid trade. 

If you still feel dirty about buying from H&M, they have a solution for that: the H&M 'CONSCIOUS' line that features organic fabrics; which I totally invested in. Enjoy! 





Conscious Pieces

Top: Threadflip (more about that later)
Skirt: H&M Conscious Collection
Earrings: Raven + Lily
Sunglasses: ICU Eyewear

Other:

Shoes: Anthroplogie

For more about H&M please visit below:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Internet is a beautiful place!

I am and have always been in a very deep emotional, serious committed relationship with sites like piperlime, yoox and shopbob (yes, please send me an obscene amount of coupons). While breaking up with these very fulfilling relationships seemed to be eminent, a shining beacon of hope appeared.

Instead of spending longer than any human should sorting through sites to find eco-friendly goods, these three sites did the dirty work for us!

Yooxgen: The hippie sister of Yoox. It’s good y’all!


My pick:

People Tree Short Dress: $72

Modcloth: So this one you have to do a little work: simply type in ecofriendly into the tool bar. I feel like you can handle it!

My pick:


How Buffalo Can you Go? Sweatshirt: $39.99


ASOS Green Room: WHEW! Thank goodness! In addition to the eco-friendly brands they host, ASOS also sorts through the reclaimed goods that their boutiques carry. 

My pick:


ASOS Reclaimed Vintage Dark Red Spot V Back Playsuit $45.48


There are sites that specialize in JUST eco-friendly clothing and we will explore those later. But for me, it felt a little bit easier and more familiar to start here.

But oh dear reader, I found something even better. Hold tight for the next entry, and gather up those old clothes that even Goodwill says "ummm, no thanks" to. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Date Night

Close your eyes and picture a person who buys conscious clothing.

If the picture of someone who wears hemp in only earth tones, Birkenstocks, and for some reason seems perpetually dusty; you are not alone.

Truth be told, that was my biggest hesitation when starting this project. I work for Whole Foods, live in Austin, and do a lot of yoga; conscious clothing will be the nail on that locally processed, pesticide free, untreated coffin.

 To my delight, putting together a flattering date night outfit was very easy (no dusty earth tones required!)







Conscious pieces:

Shirt- Onzie Tank Top: Made in USA
(I love it so much I have it in white as well)
Skirt- Raven + Lily 
Earrings- Noon
Necklace- Raven + Lily


Other:

Belt- not a clue! had it for years
Shoes- Chelsea Crew

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ways to recycle: Madewell

Madewell is collecting old jeans to be re-purposed. Simply haul those old jeans to your closest Madewell store and they will help you out. 

The best part....you get $20 off a brand spanking pair of new jeans.
Shop for solid staples that will have a nice long happy life on your booty! Happy Thursday.



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Break it down

Do-gooders have every intention of, ya know, doing good. But like everything, it is important to know your stuff and not fall victim to companies who prey on our poor altruistic nativity.

  Recycled- This is your 2nd hand clothing and vintage finds.

 Upcycled- Unlike recycling upcycled is clothing that has been deconstructed, reconstructed and made into a shiny new garment.

Locally processed- These items are “Made in the USA.” While “Made in the USA” doesn’t always mesh with favorable ethics, American made clothing helps relieve the amount of waste that comes from shipping garments from oversees.

Natural Fibers- I see your eyes rolling in the back of your head “Oh you hippie! Eating organic foods, now your clothes need to be natural? GIMME A BREAK!” But this is probably the most important thing to consider when looking to have a lower impact with your clothing.

Mixed synthetic fibers will outlive you. Seriously, that F21 polyester blend shirt that informs the world “I only date superheroes” will sit in a land fill far past the lifetime of everyone you will ever know.
“BUT I LOVE BLENDS!” I know sister, I do too. In a later project I will explore how to best dispose of our beloved synthetic fibers, because let’s get real; those blends are here to stay.

Socially Considerate- Brands that have designated money to a legit, real, conscious cause. This takes research to not be duped.

Sounds like a lot right? It’s important to recognize here that it is near impossible (especially on my budget) to hit all of these elements. As I move forward, all of my clothing purchases will have to have at least one of these characteristics.



I want to give a shout out to the book “Wear No Evil” by Great Eagan. This book was fantastic in laying out the foundation for me. She has an amazing blog, and I highly recommend the book. Check her out, it’s worth the time. (http://www.gretaeagan.com/fashion-me-green-blog/)


Monday, January 12, 2015

Alright you idealist, who cares?

Conscious clothing comes in many forms. It is not all about the organic this, or the handmade that. There are ways to be thoughtful about clothing without sacrificing looking good (isn't that what we all want?).

Before we delve into how to buy, what to buy and where to get it; let’s cover why we should care. It is no secret that we live in a culture of immediacy. I want people to respond to my Instagram/Facebook/Blog NOW, I want to be on trend as soon as possible, and I WANT IT ALL NOW! The marriage of this mindset and the desire to look good brought the “fast fashion” baby into the world!

Fast fashion is cheap, generally on trend, and disposable clothing. Stores a la Forever 21, Rue21, and Old Navy provide heaps of clothing with a short life span (meaning lower quality) that will end up in a landfill sooner rather than later (not to mention the social implications).

Minute MBA and tonlé, zero-waste fair fashion company based in Cambodia, provide a killer visualization of fast fashion.



video


Ok, so most of my closet is lined wall to wall with fast fashion.

What/where/how should I buy to turn over a new leaf? 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Panic, The Purge, and The Plan



I used to live a blissful life of buying cheap disposable clothing, eating whatever that came from wherever, and carelessly acquiring stuff.

One day, I looked around my home, and an overwhelming sense of panic completely washed over me. Where did all this crap come from?! How have I accumulated so much stuff I don’t need?

After manically tearing through my house, I stopped and actually reflected on what this crazy purge-a-thon was about. I decided I wanted to feel better about the way I behaved in a world where I can easily buy, throw away, and buy more.

Two revaluations helped me commit to this change:

The time I spent teaching in rural ChinaDuring my time in China I actually saw what poverty was. While some people can easily conceptualize that real poverty exists (without being slapped in the face with it); I could not. It took the feelings, the smells, and the sights of true poverty for me to actually get it. (If you are interested in more of this check out the blog I wrote about 1,000 years ago here. http://abbeygonzales.tumblr.com/page/10)

  Find what is important to me and nourish it-  Like many people, I feel victim to the post grad “ehhhh who am I?  What do I do? How to I move around this world without the constant validation I need every second of every day?!” Instead of handling that with grace and maturity I fell into a pretty dark place that eventually lead to a full blown breakdown (whoa, heavy right?). 

From that experience I decided that the best way to live my life was not giving a damn. And not just faking it, but actually making the decision to monitor the amount of energy I spent worrying about what my decisions, my passions, and my feelings looked like to other people; because when it comes down to the nitty gritty other people don’t live inside this body or this mind, so they don’t get a say in how this life operates. But with that realization I had to face the tough question: What is important to me?

What is important to me is being good to others; all others.

I began extending my new “being good to others” attitude to how I behaved as a consumer. I am an employee of Whole Foods Market and have fortunately been given the guidance on how to consume consciously with my food choices, my cleaning products, and my beauty routine. But there was on glaring area that I wasn't addressing: clothing.

How do I dress consciously?