Swap, Gift, or Sell before you Toss
A great way to keep your clothes away from the landfill is to go to, or start, your own clothing swap. You have access to a great group right here in San Diego too- it’s called Thread Bumpin’. Make sure to get connected and invite your friends for an even better experience! Who wouldn’t feel good about shopping with some girlfriends for free?!
You could also ask your friends or relatives if they’re in need of any of your items. My nieces in college and even my teenage daughter have taken a few things off my hands.
Another option is to sell your clothes for cash, especially if you’ll be needing a few new pieces to tie your updated wardrobe together. You can have a good old fashioned yard sale and maybe even gather some of your neighbors together to attract more buyers.
If you have some higher-end pieces or maybe items that are brand new, you could sell them to resale shops (mentioned later in this post) or post them for sale yourself to sites like Ebay Fashion and Poshmark.
Once you’ve got some spending money together, make a plan and define your shopping list. First, look at what you already have and note the color scheme. Do you have a lot of one color maybe? Bring in more neutrals that will easily mix and match with what you have. You can add in prints and patterns through things like scarves. Maybe investing in a good tailored blazer or denim jacket will help pull your looks together.
Pinterest is a great way to start cataloging what you have and what you need. Start a board exclusively for your wardrobe. If you already have one then clean house and keep only the pins that reflect your actual style. After that, you can build on it with some inspiration like from a simple search of capsule wardrobes.
Do remember to ask yourself often if the things you’re adding to your board truly fit your lifestyle so that you can create a versatile wardrobe that fits you. I, for example, don’t really need a trench coat when I live in San Diego and I’m at home with my kids 75% of the time! A couple good leggings and some neutral tees are much more appropriate. Catch my drift? Ok, good!
Shop Quality ReSale Stores & Apps
When it comes time to shop, jot down your shopping list and keep that Pinterest board on hand to make sure you don’t fall back into old shopping habits. Then start your shopping at some good resale stores. Here’s a few local spots for you to check out:
- My Sister’s Closet (UTC & Encinitas) – This place is well organized and carries great brands. I spent just $58 on three pairs of jeans by Free People, Citizens of Humanity, and Madewell that new would have cost me well over that for just one pair. The service was fantastic and I will definitely be going back. Note: they also have designer bags and shoes.
- Hunt and Gather (North Park)– I’ve found some great jewelry here in the past and a girlfriend of mine bought a killer leather jacket at a steal. I know I’ll be popping in here to see what new stuff they have, plus the staff here is super nice!
Also on my radar is a few well-reviewed places like Down On the Corner (Clairemont), Fashion Exchange (La Mesa), as well as the couple Buffalo Exchange stores in town and the many Goodwill stores there are to look through.
Another great option is searching some good ReSale Apps like Poshmark and ThredUp. Ebay is also another option to find great deals on brands you love, and they’re great to shop for the whole family! The big plus with shopping online resale shops is you can filter your searches to find exactly what you need. If it’s a leather jacket or, if you’re like me and need petite sizing, just set it into your filter and you’re good to go- saving time and money! Bam!
My Tip: Know your measurements beforehand so that you can make sure you’re getting the right fit. Some of the refund and exchange policies are strict so don’t skip the fine print and pick only what you love AND need.
If you’ve gone through some resale places and haven’t found what you’re looking for, no problem. Here’s where you can look next:
Shop Local & Fair-Trade Retailers
There are businesses that care just as much as you about this issue. We even have some local places we can shop and feel good about supporting. Here’s a few places you can shop with confidence:
- La Loupe Vintage (University Heights)- This super cute shop has it all! They have carefully curated vintage pieces, beautiful locally made accessories, and also carry new items from socially responsible brands.
- The Golden Rule Boutique (La Jolla; online, fairs, and pop-ups)- This shop is dedicated to help you make your next purchase an act of good offering fair-trade items that you’re sure to love and feel good about.
Of all the online shops I researched these were my favorites based on their ethics and their selection:
- Good & Fair Clothing Co. (Women + Men, Socks & Scarves)
- Fair Indigo (Women + Men & Baby, Gifts & Home)
- True Ethic (Women + Jewelry, Purses and Bath & Body)
- Aeon Row (Women)
- ModerNation (Women)
- EcoVibe Apparel (Women + Accessories)
- Pact (Women + Men’s & Kids)
- Stormie Dreams (Women + Accessories)
- LA Relaxed (Women)
- Prana (Women + Men & Active Wear)
Stay Informed & Get Involved
Now I’m not saying it’s impossible to find a single ethically-made item at your normal retailer but it will take some research and mindfulness on your part to know what to look for and learn what brands are truly environmentally and socially responsible. To better educate yourself you can start by going to the websites of your favorite brands and research if they have sustainable policies in place. Pay attention to whether it’s efforts are strictly environmental, or also include fair working conditions.
If you appreciate a place you can go to with a reliable database and great resources, you should check out Project Just. It’s an awesome user-friendly place that gives you the power to shop consciously knowing the how, where, and who of where your clothes come from and they help you discover more ethical brands through their JUST Approved Lists and City Guides.
You can also get involved locally with our city’s very own Fair Trade community at Fair Trade San Diego where you can get updates on things happening here and around the globe that concern the processes of how our goods are made.
TIME FOR ACTION
I hope you’ve come to realize one way you can help save the planet and now that you have some tools to make positive changes you’ll use your influence with your family, friends, and neighbors to spread the word in your community.
Share in the comments how learning about fast fashion has affected you, and stay tuned for Part II of the next series of 3 Ways You can Save The Planet In Your Own Home.