Thrift and consignment store shopping is a treasure hunt. I score amazing finds — even when I'm not looking — like a Betsey Johnson skirt, Calvin Klein coat and a cashmere sweater, each for under 20 bucks!
Try these 12 tips on for size to "green" your wardrobe:
Alterations are your friends! Always try on items. Don't guess size or fit. Then hem, repair, resole, etc.
Avoid trends. Why look like everyone else or get sucked into a seasonal vortex of buying things you don't need?
Choose sweatshop-free. It's not a third-party certified claim...yet. Made in Canada is one way to ethically source.
Host a clothing swap. Any time works but people usually go through closets in spring and fall.
Kids don't care. Little ones don't know the difference between old and new. And the younger they are, the faster they go through things. One month in $50 shoes is not sustainable! Find a kids' consignment store and put the savings into an education fund! (Or host a kids' clothing swap with neighbourhood parents.)
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"Let the clothes find you!" says eco-stylist Myriam Laroche. Don't shop for a specific something. Visit local thrift and consignment stores regularly and keep an open mind.
Look for well-made garments. Used or new, check the seams, elastics, etc. High-end brands are often built to last decades and outlast trends.
Matching is overrated. Release your inner stylist! Things only need to "go". Does creating an outfit hurt your brain? Follow eco-style mavens (@myriamlaroche), copy magazine pictures and watch "green" runway videos!
Purge what you don't wear. Some have a rule that if an item goes a year unworn, it's time to consign, donate or give it away. How do you de-clutter?
Store clothes without mothballs. Protect your treasures!
Treat stains. Found a smudged something you can't pass up? Think you ruined a favourite piece? Try my homemade stain solutions. (I'd also love to hear your suggestions for eco-friendly stain removers! Please post a comment in this blog.)
Wash before you wear. It'll remove a percentage of chemical treatments (from new items) and synthetic fragrances.
What trick or tip are you willing to share?
Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green