Article by Anna Cohen, Vancouver mom and green style maven.
When we think about caring for our earth we often think about reducing levels of pollution, recycling our trash or eating organic food. Sometimes we forget that being green can mean making changes to the way we shop, dress and care for our clothing. It’s so important to not be ignorant about the fabrics that we wear, where and how they’re made but to read their labels and to want to know how sustainable our clothing is and to be more thoughtful about our style purchases. Having a ‘green’ closet is really important to me so I thought I’d share some easy tips how to make green the new black in your wardrobe.
Educate yourself about fabrics. Get introduced to organic cottons, hemp and bamboo. Find out who sells clothing made of these products and support them. Research manufacturers of the products you buy and look into their labour practices – you’ll be surprised about how ethical some companies are (and sadly, how little others are)! Websites like The Eco Market are helpful as they point you in the direction of sustainable Canadian fashion brands.
2. Shop for Style with a Green Mindset
Once you’ve done your research, visit local boutiques and buy eco-conscious brands. Consider purchasing clothes at vintage and thrift stores. Many second hand clothing stores in Vancouver have wonderful selection and most certainly clean clothes in excellent condition. This is a great way to re-use clothing. Do the same for your children! I purchase most of my kids clothing at local consignment stores, charity stores or swap meets. This way you are not only being eco-friendly, but you are saving money also! When purchasing brand new clothing for your children consider purchasing items that will be re-used by your younger children and when you’re done with them, donate them! Attend local events such Eco-fashion week, Re-fashion Vancouver and Portobello West to support local eco-friendly designers and to purchase recycled style items.
3. Have a Green Home
Spend some time sorting your wardrobe (get a friend or me to help!). Make a pile of any impulse purchases, clothes that don’t fit you or items you don’t wear any more. Donate such clothes to your local thrift store or charity. Organize a clothes swap party amongst your friends and raise money to donate to charities that reuse clothing. Consider volunteering with such organizations. Purchase environmentally friendly laundry products and avoid over-washing and drying your clothes. Make sure you care for your clothes responsibly. If you follow the label’s care instructions properly your style items will last longer, which will save you money and time!
Being an eco-fashionista doesn’t mean wearing scratchy hemp t-shirts nor spending a lot of money, it’s just about making a bit more of an effort and using some common sense!
Simply Stylish Mom’s Green Style Picks
Looking for green style in Vancouver? Check out these local businesses:
- For vintage clothing – Community Thrift and Vintage.
- Charity clothing stores: My Sister’s Closet, Salvation Army Thrift Stores.
- For eco-fashion Adhesif Clothing, Nicole Bridger, Second Denim Clothing and Bueno Style Jewellery.
- Kids consignment Classy Kids and Bean Sprouts.
Anna Cohen is editor of www.simplystylishmom.com, a style blog about maternity and mommy fashion with snippets of parenting woes and adventures thrown in. Originally from Australia, Anna now calls Vancouver home, and has raised two boys here in this wonderful city. She loves finding local sales, deals and steals and enjoys yoga, “proper” coffee and will never say no to a new pair of shoes.
Amber Strocel is a writer, aspiring math teacher, suburbanite, wife and mom of two. She believes in the power of the Internet to connect people, and she believes that numbers are the poetry of the universe. You can often find her knitting, sewing, volunteering, working in her garden, and sneaking chocolate when no one's looking. She blogs at Strocel.com and shares her photos on Instagram as @AmberStrocel.