Creating a More Socially and Environmentally Conscious / All around Fabulous Wardrobe on a Budget October 19, 2018 12:00

Feeling intimidated by the trend of socially aware dressing? Maybe feeling like fair-trade, organic, all natural products may be a bit out of your price range? There is an ever present and growing push to revamp your entire closet into something that not only looks good, but acts good too. If purchasing a new set of potentially high-end goods from responsible retailers is out of the budget right now, but you want to revamp the wardrobe, then let’s talk about some other options.


Go thrifting (just like Macklemore)

Sifting through the mass amounts of clothing and items at thrift shops can be well worth your time. People donate their lightly used clothes, and you get to reap the benefits! Designer items can be found at extremely reasonable prices, and so can shoes that have never been worn, and jeans with the tags still on. A warning though: try not to go in with a specific goal in mind. These shops are filled with finds, but it can be hard to track down the exact thing you want in your size.

By thrifting, you’re supporting a culture of donating clothing and other items and not simply throwing away what you don’t want. People in less fortunate situations and foundations such as The Gathering Place appreciate the donations.


Have a clothing swap with friends

If you’ve never tried this, it’s time. Host a party, buy some wine or beer, and tell your friends to bring all the clothes they don’t wear anymore. Make a giant pile on the couch, and tell everyone to go nuts! Objects that they no longer appreciate, can become your new favorite thing! Are your friends all different sizes? Tell them to invite their friends too! The more people, the more choices. It’s free, and supports reusing all of our old favorites in new and creative ways.


Go through your grandma’s costume jewelry (with her permission)

Accessorizing your new found wardrobe is key, and it just so happens that vintage jewelry is very much in style right now. Chances are, your grandma had quite the costume jewelry collection in the day, and if she doesn’t wear it anymore, maybe ask if you can “barrow” some. Get the snazziest statement declaring jewelry in town for no cost, and your Grandma will be thrilled that you came to see her.


Get that vintage style right out of your parents' closet

Shoulder pads, retro prints, and mom jeans can become some of the biggest statement items in your closet. With mom or dad’s permission (of course), try on some of their vintage items. Heck, have a fashion show! Go crazy! If you’re ever going to a 70s or 80s theme night, this can also be a great place to find a costume without perpetuating large companies that maybe don’t have the most environmentally or socially friendly practices.


Do a combination of this for Halloween

Speaking of costumes… it’s almost Halloween! You can combine all of these methods to create a spooky or stunning costume that will certainly turn some heads. Have fun, pumpkin!


If you do have the budget, or want to splurge on a few foundational items, visit here to see a list of retailers that offer socially and ecologically friendly items.



P.S. Want to directly support a local, social cause with your wardrobe? Art Restart has scarves designed by women experiencing poverty at The Gathering Place, and every purchase equals a check going right back to the artist.