Back in spring of 2017, I released a blog entitled, "Don't Get Overwhelmed. Buying Sustainable/Ethical". You can read it here. https://bit.ly/2qKRJBX In it, I shared some of my favorite ways to shop sustainably and a bit of the journey that led me to feel passionate about living with longevity in mind.
I am still on this sustainable path and enjoying watching its popularity bloom. Major brands are hosting clothing buybacks, beautiful and creative patchwork for repairing clothes is emerging, vintage shopping is enjoying renewed acclaim, clothing swaps are on the rise, education is everywhere, and many in the fashion industry are turning to less damaging practices. Society as a whole is seeming to recognize we have a major trash issue and not as much time as we had hoped to address proper solutions. Our daily choices can help or hinder and we feel good when we find those decisions that serve both our needs and are responsible.
The trick to not feeling overwhelmed in reaching any goal is to put good systems in place and seek progress, not perfection. Picking the options that fit into your lifestyle and beliefs are key. For example, my assistant has young children who, as you know, grow like weeds and burn through clothes faster than you can keep up with. To combat the cost and waste, she and her neighbor host a clothing swap with friends twice and year to refresh the littles' closets in a responsible and fun way. In between swaps, she has boxes set aside to take swap items as she comes across them making it low effort and practical. She also encourages family to skip the toys and contribute to memorable experiences for the children whether it be classes they want to take, surf gear, or some special outing. Nothing earth shattering but some small contributions that fit into their lifestyle and she can feel good about.
Another helpful way is to choose brands that are committed to sustainable and responsible practices. Factory45 - an "accelerator program that takes sustainable apparel companies from ideas to launch" - is now making it easier than ever to find and support eco fashion. Join us as we celebrate the launch of Market45! An ethical fashion marketplace hand-curated with small businesses that are purposeful and thoughtful in their designs and production. Market45's founder Shannon has done the footwork for you and put together 20 ethical businesses in one easy to use space. Market45 can be found here https://market45.co and is yet another painless way to make responsible decisions that are good for your closet and this wild blue earth of ours.