How Do You Buy Your Clothes?

I think a lot of people look at me and don’t assume that I’m an environmentalist. I’m not a fashionista but like to somewhat follow trends and look a little put together on days that I’m not in yoga pants! I’m also human and not impervious to a good sale, especially right now when everyone is doing a little bit more online retail therapy due to Covid. It would be lying to say that I haven’t bought myself something new, but I’m also trying to be better about my clothing sources. Fast fashion (cheaply made and then quickly discarded) is terrible for the environment. It takes a lot of natural resources to produce these garments and they often end in a landfill. (Yes, even if you donate them to Goodwill). If you are getting rid of old clothes, please see the helpful pyramid below, courtesy of @firemyselfby40. I also thought it would be fun to share some of my recent purchases and see where I got them.

Ask your community. As I’ve shared here, I am new to skiing and love it. It’s only my third winter and I’ve been accumulating gear as needed. When I first started, I wore a long coat and sunglasses, but then realized I needed more appropriate items. In this photo, you can see goggles and a ski coat that were literally given to me by local friends. I put out a call and they answered with items they had laying around their home. Happily, I took these items off their hands. Their closets are lighter and I have what I need without purchasing new. I usually bring something to swap, like flowers or baked goods, as a thank-you gift.

See a friend in there? My husband added him!

Kidizen/Thred-Up/Patagonia Worn-Wear. I’ve been using Kidizen for over five years now, as a way of clothing my children and making a few dollars on the side. It also allows me to buy nicer items for my girls (Boden, Hanna Andersson etc) without spending full price. For the holidays, I also purchased my husband a new-to-him coat via Patagonia Worn-Wear. He had no idea it was secondhand until I said something. Now, when I need something for our family, I usually check these sites first.

Local Consignment – Lilise, Chic Boutique Consignments. I haven’t gone into stores in a long time but still manage to support these businesses via their Instagram accounts. Lilise offers curbside and Chic has mailed my purchases to me. I shy away from getting things I can’t try on, but have still had fun treating myself to things like purses! Even if you don’t live locally, they will both ship anywhere. Or, search for local consignment stores in your area and start following them on social media. It’s a way to shop online while also supporting your community and the environment.

Swaps. This option isn’t available right now but I organized a kids-clothing swap at my daughers’ school and it was a huge success. People were able to find some much needed items for their kids (I walked away with snow pants and some other winter gear) and we donated a lot of good quality leftovers to a local children’s agency. It was a fun and easy way to build community, and I think we will hold it again once Covid is over. Really recommend!

Thrift. Our family has varied thoughts on thrifting. Personally, I love the thrill of a good find. My husband feels otherwise. He think that since we can afford to buy new clothes for ourselves (nothing super fancy but items from Old Navy etc), we should leave items for people who struggle more financially. I definitely see that point of view so don’t thrift very often. However it’s a second-hand source that I still think is preferable to fast fashion, so I do partake from time to time. What are your thoughts?

Anyway, hope this little peek into my recent “purchases” was fun. I personally love it when people offer glimpses into their lives. See any options missing on this list? Please share below! – Rachel

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