You don’t have to a be celebrity, a fashion designer or the editor of an eco fashion magazine to be able to rock eco-chic fashions. Green and cutting edge is in your grasp even if you’re working with a less than rockstar budget. While there certainly are a lot of labels out there that are priced above what the average person can afford, have no fear, there are plenty of clever ways to get that chic green look you’re going for. Read on for 5 easy and supercheap ways to make your wardrobe more sustainable without throwing away all your green.
5. Double Duty Clothes
A lot of designers out there recognize the need to have multi-functional clothes or items that have different looks. Keep you eye out for clothes that serve double duty and are reversible. That way you get two outfits in one and only spend the money for one. Coats, bathing suits and dresses are infamous for having a different pattern on the inside and with a quick flip, you’re a whole new person. Dresses with cute patterns on both the inside and out are a great example of getting two dresses for the price of one!
4. Swap Meet!
What better way to spend an evening than with friends and trying on each others clothes? Swap meetups, clothing swaps, swishing or bitch ‘n switch, are an easy way to unload clothes that you’re tired of and also score new pieces without actually having to spend any money. Not only is this super cheap, but also super sustainable, since no new clothes were made. You can have your own party with friends or join a swap that’s already planned. If you’re looking for a swap meetup in your area, Meetup.com is a great place to find one (check out the highly recommended Five Borough Clothing Swap Meetup if you are in NYC), or you can always host your own swap party with your friends! Real Simple has a wonderful guide with everything from how to organize your swap party to what to serve. Inhabitat also has a good guide to a Swishing.
3. Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize!
The trick to making your wardrobe have more breadth is to accessorize. A bright scarf here, tights there, different jewelry, more layers – it all adds up to a completely new look. There are most likely tons of brilliant, beautiful clothes in your closet already, so wear them, but give them an update. Check out The Uniform Project, an inspiring and very clever website that follows the daily fashion adventures of one girl as she recycles the same little black dress into a new creation everyday for a whole year. If she can wear the same dress every day for a year, just think what you can do with one of your outfits.
2. Threadbangers Unite!
Sewing your own outfits is a super sustainable way to get the eco fashions you crave at a fraction of the cost and they’ll fit you just right. Even better is to take vintage clothes and remake them or use reclaimed fabrics for brand new creations. These one of a kind pieces will surely be the envy of all of your friends. You’ll be saving energy, reducing materials and avoiding unethical labor. We love Threadbanger for ideas about everything from making a stylish slouchy dress out of old t-shirts to crafting a Balenciaga jumper out of scrap fabric. Need patterns? SANS has some simple and elegant ones for as little as $6.
1. Ransack Your Closet
Before you go out shopping, really look through your closet and see what treasures are hidden in there. Don’t discard old clothes or accessories right away. Try thinking of other ways you may be able to use them. From transforming tank tops that no longer fit into handy grocery bags to repurposing padded bra inserts as shoe insoles, we’ll bet you’ll be surprised at what you can do with what you already have, and you won’t have spent a dime.