Happy Earth Day! In honor of this important day, I wanted to share my thoughts on the impact our wardrobe choices has on the planet. What first drove me to start this blog was my love of fashion. I wanted to keep my passion while still being environmentally friendly. But I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t always this way. In my teens, I was very materialistic and ignorant of the impact my shopping addiction had on the planet. I was obsessed with Gossip Girl (so much so that I even had a blog devoted to the fashion of the show) and dreamed of having wardrobes as fabulous as that of Blair Waldorf. I wanted to be a stylist and hoped to dress characters in all the glamorous clothing I couldn’t afford on a TV show someday. I saved up the money I earned on that blog to buy designer jeans and handbags. I stayed this way until age 20 when I went vegan. I look back at this time as a fun start to my blogging journey but I am so glad I have since realized that designer brands aren’t everything.
After reading The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone, my whole perspective on the environment shifted. It was brought to my attention that the clothing I was wearing could be causing damage to the earth or even cost the life of an animal. I started to rethink everything. I looked at my wardrobe and realized I had so much clothing that I had no clue what it was made from, where it came from or how it was made. I set a goal of reselling of all non-vegan items right away and any items I wasn’t wearing. I found a restore sell that trades cash for clothes so I went there and sold all the trendier items and donated the rest. Then I set a goal for myself to slowly transition my wardrobe. To start, 10% would be eco-friendly the other 90% would be vegan but not necessarily eco-friendly. Then I told myself to increase that percentage every month or so by committing to purchasing eco-friendly items over those that weren’t. I saw this as a realistic goal for myself. I have been successful and am now proud that about 50% of wardrobe is eco-friendly! I actually wear my eco-friendly items more than I do anything else! I own a lot of comfy eco clothes which is probably why I wear them so much! They also happen to be affordable and versatile. Swapping your conventionally manufactured basics for sustainable ones is so easy because you can almost always find an identical match.
So while I’ve made these changes in my wardrobe, I’ve also made a change to the way that I view spending. While I still love fashion and always will, I don’t allocate as much of my budget to it anymore. Instead of saving up for a new handbag, I save up for travel. I really believe in spending on experiences rather than “things” because experiences will provide a lifetime of memories and more everlasting happiness than a new dress will. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy shopping though, I still do but I make sure I never overspend. When I do spend my money on something from an eco brand, I love knowing that I voted in a sense with my money. For that money spent, part of it is working towards bettering the way we treat the planet. I’ve worked really hard the past year to put a higher value on experiences over fashion and am really proud of the progress I made.
I know that since I was able to make this change, all within three years, everyone can! You don’t have to do an overnight change to help the planet. If you commit to buying at least one eco-friendly item per shopping trip, you can really make a difference! I really do believe that every little bit helps. Most of these items do need to be purchased online though so plan accordingly. Sometimes eco-friendly items can be a bit pricier but I’ve found a few favorites that are totally budget friendly! Trust me, I can’t afford $200 vegan sustainable handbags either! So I’m sharing a list of my go-to brands for sustainable shopping under $100! Let me know if there are any others you love that I’ve missed! I hope this guide helps you transition to a more earth friendly lifestyle or just add a bit of perspective on how we should treat the planet.
Affordable Eco Brands
The Tree Kisser; The cutest tanks and tees emblazoned with empowering and inspiring messages! Earth day 20% off code: KISSTREES
Threads for Thought; I own so many workout clothes from Threads for Thought! They also are my go-to for basics. Earth day 30% off code: EARTHWEEK30
TOMS; Many of TOMS slip-on shoes are vegan and made from hemp and organic cotton.
Alternative Apparel; The coziest hoodies and tees made from organic cotton!
CONSCIOUS by H&M; This line is so stylish, you would have no idea it’s eco-friendly!
Bruce Heart; A vegan brand with cute tees and dresses, all sustainably produced in Los Angeles!
HARVEYS; Stylish bags made from recycled seatbelts!
UPDATE: Threads for Thought and The Tree Kisser both have sales today! I’ve added the sale codes above!
How will you be honoring the planet today? Thomas and I are attending a vegan Earth Day dinner tonight!