An organic, eco-friendly wardrobe, for most, seems out of reach due to the often outrageous costs of organic clothing. In reality, you can buy 10 shirts at Target for the cost of some of these single items of organic clothing. This isn’t always true, of course, and there are definitely affordable eco-friendly companies out there, but what about those of us that tend to stick around the ‘broke’ side of life – especially college students. We want to be cute, and often trendy, but can we do it on a student budget? Yes, absolutely! And, here’s how:
1) Clothing Swaps – Get together with your girlfriends and have a clothing swap of clothes that you no longer wear. If you or someone you know is handy with a sewing machine, don’t rule out too-big clothing. I have several ‘make-it-fit’ tutorials coming up, and there are others available on the web, sometimes so easy that even a beginner can take in a skirt or a shirt to their size.
2) Thrift Stores, Yard Sales, and Etsy!- Rather than buying ‘new’ clothes that are eco-friendly, recycle old ones that aren’t, keeping them out of landfills! This goes right along with the clothing swap, only you’re driving to an actual store. Locally owned thrift stores often have better prices than Goodwill, and yard sales are often cheaper than thrift stores – this may depend on the area. Etsy will be the most expensive, but you can get specific about what you’re looking for without having to use gas driving all over town trying to find something specific.
3) Shop for Basics – For items you ‘have’ to buy new (though you can certainly find them at thrift stores or clothing swaps), stick with the basics – jeans, solid colors, camisoles, etc. Once you have a set of ‘basics’, you can dress them up with affordable accessories. Personally, my ‘basics’ are solid colored dresses – I can take a strapless, solid colored dress and change out the belt/shoes/accessories and turn it into a completely different outfit! If you really must have a pair of teal heels or a pink and grey striped cardigan, hit up Etsy’s search function.
4) Fix Old Clothes – Don’t Throw Them Out! – Sometimes, things just wear out to the point of no return. Cut those up, throw them in the cleaning rag bin, and call it done. Otherwise, see if it’s an issue you can fix! Take old t-shirts an cut out creative patches to cover up stains and holes in other clothing. If you or your kiddos grow a bit, add lace or cool fabric to the hem of the pants, thus making them ‘longer’. If the bottom of a long skirt starts to get a little ratty, hem it up (or just chop it and use hem tape), then pull it up into a strapless top instead of a skirt, and throw a belt around your waist (I have so, so many of these..). Buttons, torn hems, and holes are so easy to fix – it’s environmentally senseless to throw out easily repairable clothes!
5) Don’t Wash Every Wear – I know, some people just can’t do this one, and that’s find. But, for the most part, after you wear it once, hang it back up! Jeans can definitely be worn more than once. Dresses for special occasions can, as well. Undergarments? Not so much. For main articles of clothing, though, the less you wash them, the longer you have until they wear out and need replacing!
What other eco-friendly clothing tips do you have?
5 Easy Eco-Friendly Wardrobe Tips!
October 22, 2012 By 4 Comments