Shopaholic? Take the Mommy Greenest’s 2014 “Shop Drop Challenge”!

by , 12/09/13   filed under: Featured

2014 Shop Drop Challenge, Mommy Greenest, EcoStiletto, Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, materialism, consumerism, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style

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Yes, I’ve shopped till I dropped. I’ve done the Black Friday sales and stood in line for designer collaborations at big box stores. I’ve wandered malls aimlessly, plastic bags in hand. But a few years ago, I started making the connection between what I consumed and the state of the planet. And it scared the hell out of me. I learned that cotton is arguably the world’s most polluted crop, and that it takes about a third of a pound of toxic chemical fertilizer (among other pesticides and insecticides) to make enough material for one cotton T-shirt—and promptly started seeking out organic cotton.

2014 Shop Drop Challenge, Mommy Greenest, EcoStiletto, Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, materialism, consumerism, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style

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SHOP DIFFERENT

I became obsessed with designers who crafted gorgeous pieces in an ethical way that didn’t compromise the planet. And I felt good about wearing these designers. I proudly showed my mall-shopping friends the upcycled television screen suede in my vegan Olsenhaus stilettos, hoping to shame them into sustainable shopping online.

I became obsessed with designers who crafted gorgeous pieces in an ethical way that didn’t compromise the planet.

But there’s nothing better than a caffeinated afternoon spent with a few good girlfriends and a great stretch of boutiques. And though it absolutely, positively, can be there overnight, online shopping doesn’t exactly deliver the warm-and-fuzzy shopping experience. And impulse buys while balancing a laptop and a glass of wine can get expensive. Seriously.

That’s when I returned to the thrift stores. You should probably know that I was a teenaged thrift-store aficionado. I knew where to score the perfect pair of broken-in Levi’s 501s, with the indent of a tin of chaw in the pocket. My retro-punk aesthetic was augmented with musty silk scarves and moth-eaten cashmere sweaters. But after years of buying new, I was hesitant to pore through racks of stinky polyester to find a fashion gem.

Ladies, let me tell you: Thrift stores are nothing like what I remember from high school. In cities from Los Angeles to Chicago, I’ve shopped art-directed stores full of curated, gently worn designer pieces that I could never afford new. I now belong to the Give Plus Take swap shop in Santa Monica where you pay a monthly fee, bring in your clothes and snag these kinds of pieces for free!

Need an example? At Out of the Closet, a thrift store in Santa Monica and Santa Barbara, Calif., a Vince black leather leather bomber is $188. At Bloomingdales, the exact same jacket is $537. ‘Nuff said.

2014 Shop Drop Challenge, Mommy Greenest, EcoStiletto, Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, materialism, consumerism, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style
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AHA MOMENT

After that kind of light bulb moment, I started thrifting and swapping pretty much exclusively. When I tell friends that I rarely buy any new clothes, they’re impressed, but they don’t think they can do it, too. And then I give them the numbers:

There are 160 million women in the United States.

Women spend about $60 each month on clothes.

We dump an average of 6 pounds of textiles into the landfill.

If we all stop buying new clothes for one month we could save nearly 1 billion pounds of textile waste and $10 billion.

If we all stop buying new clothes for one month we could save nearly 1 billion pounds of textile waste and $10 billion. Mind-boggling!

So this year, through the “Shop Drop Challenge,” I’m challenging friends and followers to stop buying any new clothing or accessories for the month of January 2014. It’s the perfect New Year’s resolution to save money and resources—we can buy used, thrift or swap, but we’re giving up the mall.

You can join the community at Mommy Greenest. Throughout the month of January, I’ll be posting updates, encouragement and swapping/thrifting videos, including a few featuring some very familiar faces. And I’ll be posting participants’ feedback, photos, and videos on the Mommy Greenest Facebook page, so we can keep the conversation going. I want to know where you favorite thrift stores are, what you swapped last week with your best friend, how you scored the perfect pair of boots for $20.

Let’s get this sustainable shopping party started!

+ 2014 Shop Drop Challenge

+ Mommy Greenest

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