Eye on Green Fashion Friday: Don’t go with the Flow.
Pilot your own fashion destiny and unchain your heart from the vagaries of fashion trends. Oh we know you have that poncho from a few years ago stuffed somewhere in your closet for those frumpy days. . . right along with those gladiator sandals and designer knock-off bag. Be a trend setter instead of a follower and green at the same time!
Think vintage. Think indie. Think Viva la fashion revolution!
Ten Fashion Accessories Tips
- Pick a good vintage
The second of the three Rs, “reuse,” is there for a good reason–granting an existing item a second lease on life, instead of purchasing brand new, means no new manufacturing resources had to be tapped into. As a bonus, we’re spared from any additional pollution and carbon emissions.
- Make it a fair trade
Shelling out for fairly traded gear supports fair labor conditions and workers’ rights, especially in developing countries. Helping producers get a fair price for their labors and promoting self-reliance also empowers them to break the cycle of poverty they’re often caught in. Just keep in mind that trade, not aid, is the answer to improving livelihoods everywhere.
- Repurpose for a purpose
Because the mining of precious gems and metals from the earth is an environmentally ravaging process, some jewelry designers have been taking a different, more eco-friendly tack. Recycled metals have been making their rounds of late, including a form of silver that is reclaimed from used photographic film. For your green wedding: engagement and wedding rings made from recycled gold and set with repurposed or lab-grown gems.
- Suss out sustainable
Accessories made from sustainably produced or recycled materials are lovely to behold and kind to the planet. On the fabric front, choose textiles such as organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, and even soysilk.
- Beg or borrow
Plunder the contents of someone else’s closet—with permission, natch—instead of shopping for your own. One company, Bag Borrow or Steal, even lets you rent as many as five designer handbags, belts, or pieces of jewelry at a time for a flat monthly membership fee (plus an additional fee per borrowed item). You can sate your desire for straight-off-the-runway ensembles without overtaxing the planet’s resources.
- Buy conflict-free
Conflict or “blood” diamonds are sold, often illicitly, in war zones and used by rebel movements to fuel conflict and human-rights abuses in countries such as Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone. Make sure your diamond retailer can provide paperwork or otherwise prove that the diamonds are conflict-free.
- Take care of your wares
Repair a torn purse strap or restring a broken necklace instead of consigning slightly damaged goods to the rubbish heap. Treating your accessories with a little TLC will also go a long way to extending their longevity, which is kinder to the environment than running through a series of semi-disposable replacements.
- Brevity is the soul of wit
Accessories are meant to complement your outfit, not take it over. And, anyway, wouldn’t you rather be remembered for your sparkling wit rather than that blinding hunk of ice that was weighing your neck down? Jewelry that is simple and classic will stand you in good stead, regardless of the occasion—or decade, for that matter. Which brings us to our next point.
- Don’t go with the flow
Pilot your own fashion destiny and unchain your heart from the vagaries of fashion trends. Being a follower instead of a leader will only bring you to a dark place filled with tears and the gnashing of teeth, plus a closet and dresser full of dated gewgaws and doodads that have long fallen out of favor with the fashion gods. One word: poncho.
- Buy indie
Think of “mall” as a four-letter word. Instead of shopping at a big-box retailer, which is likely to cut corners by purchasing from sweat shops, under-compensating employees, and cheapening quality, check out the offerings of one of the thousands of indie crafters bringing their creative talents to market. Because craft businesses tend to be small one- or two-person operations, their carbon footprints are infinitely smaller to those of multinational retailers such as Wal-mart or Kmart. By supporting independent artisans, you’re also taking a stand against the onslaught of crass commercialization and unmindful consumerism. Viva la revolution!
Have any other green fashion suggestions? Leave a comment below!
And to find out more on living the green life. . . maybe win a few cool prizes, visit cbsradiobaltimore.com/eyeongreen