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Published on May 28th, 2008 | by Stephanie Evans


5 Tricks from an Eco-Fashionista’s Handbag

More and more designers are turning to eco-friendly fabrics and manufacturing practices, but there are many ways you can keep your wardrobe fresh without consuming more resources.

As an abundance of vintage boutiques and cool new websites emerge, second-hand shopping continues to go way beyond the Salvation Army.


  • Hold a clothing swap. Summon all your fashion-forward friends for an afternoon of collective bartering. Everyone brings gently-used clothing they find they don’t wear so much, and let the trading begin! Clothing swaps are loads of fun and a great way to keep good clothing in close circulation.
  • Surf the net. The internet offers more than just retail catalogue shopping. Sites like e-bay, craigslist, and make fashionable second-hand clothing just a few mouse-clicks away. The extra conscientious will ask the vendors about their packaging methods as well.
  • Shop in thrift, vintage, and consignment stores. Better than buying clothes made from recycled materials, this is the easiest way to sidestep retail consumerism. Large thrift emporiums generally require more time searching the racks, but are easier on the wallet.
    • Higher-end vintage boutiques offer one-of-a-kind finds and well-made garments, especially for formal occasions.
    • Consignment boutiques are a convenient middle ground, where you can find current styles at reasonable prices.
    • If you’re purging your own closet, you can recycle your cast-offs by donating, selling, or trading at these establishments.
  • Hit the garage sales. It’s easy to develop a taste for curbside browsing once you’ve found one or two items you really enjoy. Not only are you helping to recycle retail goods, you’re supporting your neighbors!
  • Get handy with a needle. Learning a few easy skills will make it possible for you to keep your clothing fresh and fashionable. Mending is an easy way to prolong the life of your favorite garments, and modifying clothing is quite simple, i.e. by making a dress into a skirt and shirt combo, or part of a table-cloth into a halter. This is a wonderful way to have fun and hold onto fabrics and prints you enjoy, and the possibilities are endless.Being comfortable with a sewing machine will also expand your options when shopping in vintage and second-hand stores. Those interested in sewing from the ground up can purchase eco-friendly fabrics and bring their visions to life themselves.

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