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This post is part of the Ethical Fashion Bloggers monthly challenge. This month, ethical fashion bloggers the world over celebrate style with sustainable and ethical fashion. You can see more HERE.

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So that big Christmas party is coming up, and you need something festive to wear. You're thinking "pops of color," "sparkle," and affordable. I'm thinking sustainable. The best way to combine both is to SHOP SECONDHAND FIRST

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Take a leap into sustainable style by taking the SHOP SECONDHAND FIRST pledge

Before you hit the mall for a brand new ensemble, take a second and try these sustainably savvy style tips first:

SHOP YOUR CLOSET

SHARE

SHOP SECONDHAND

SUPPORT LOCAL 

And, a bonus tip:


(warning: soapbox!)
SWAP THE SWEATSHOP FOR SUSTAINABLE

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100% Thrifted. 100% Christmas.


Now, for the savvy break down: 

SHOP YOUR CLOSET: The first and best place to create your holiday outfit is no further than your own closet. By cultivating a wardrobe full of quality and classic pieces, you'll be sure to have on hand a great piece to kick-start your Christmas outfit. New, doesn't necessarily mean better. Sometimes the best thing is the tried and true.

SHARE: Are you missing an element to tie together your look? Borrow from a friend. (Just be sure to take care of your borrowed item and return it promptly.)AND of course be willing to do the same: Sharing is sustainable.

SHOP SECONDHAND: Consignment, charity and thrift shops often offer a wide array of selection and prices- many items are brand new, never worn with price tags still attached. Another boon of shopping secondhand first, is the savings- you often can get a great score much cheaper than regular retail!

SUPPORT LOCAL: Eschew the chain store, and support small businesses. I find that the small boutiques owned by local business people often times offer more original selections than the mass-produced deluge of stuffs flooding the mall. Many times you can discover new local designers from locally owned shops in your neighborhood. This is a great way to procure a unique piece, and keep the economy strong in your own community.

Bonus Tip:

SWAP THE SWEATSHOP FOR SUSTAINABLE: There is a high price to cheap clothes that isn't instantly seen on the price tag. The currency maybe theworking conditions, payinga living wage, safe working conditions, the environment,  even life quality. That brand new $5 silk dress made in China on the rack, at that fast fashion store is likely produced in a sweatshop, and that does NOT make me feel jolly.  Instead of buying mass produced, cheaply made goods, consider looking beyond the price tag and into the label. Labels like FAIR TRADE CERTIFIED, and UNION MADE, are more likely be attached to garments thataresustainably produced. The ethical fashion industry is booming, thanks to consumers LIKE YOU + ME choosing to purchase sustainably minded and ethically manufactured goods.  Which is all wordy gobbledy-gook for this: BUY clothes that make you look AND feel good! So, swap the sweatshop for sustainability by committing to buy ethically produced clothing. 

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For my Christmas party outfit, the first place I went to, was my closet. This 1950's red wool coat was purchased nearly a year ago from the Goodwill in West Sacramento. It was pricey at the time, but still cheaper than a new wool coat, and quite frankly, better made. (It also happens to be a Union label, made in the U.S.A). An ethically produced coat in a bright cardinal red is a grand start to a stylish Christmas party outfit.

And what better color to pair with Christmas red, than Christmas green? Even better when it's the Pantone flavor of the moment: Emerald green. This gem of a dress was found on the racks, looking good as new  at my neighborhood Value Village. I paid a whopping $20 bucks. The brand, Maggie London, can be found in upscale retail shops with price tags ranging from $79-$160. By visiting a thrift shop, before I even thought of entering a mall, I saved  a tidy sum of money!

The accessories are kept simple: a sparkly brooch, a faux fur hat, and a clutch. The vintage faux fur hat was probably found at a yard sale. The classic mid-century modern rhinestone brooch I bought over a decade ago from a local junk shop in Sacramento. It had been marked down from $60 to $20. This sparkly bauble was probably one of my best costume jewelry investments, and gets pinned on nearly every Christmas. The cute emerald silk clutch goes perfectly with the dress, and was a part of a gift package from blogger pal, Jean, of the style blog Dross Into Gold, as part of the Faith Hope and Charity Shopping Xmas Swap. The shoes, a Spanish curvy heeled heartbreak in a high heel, is yet another score from a local thrift store. At the time, their $8 price tag seemed pricey, but they were in mint condition, and are beautifully made. Combining style, quality, and savings: shopping secondhand first is the best way to shop!

So in total, what was the cost of my sustainably styled Christmas party outfit?
How does under $90 dollars sound to you? Since most of the items were shopped from my own closet, even that number that can break down into pennies per wearing. And how does that make me feel?

Like celebrating.



Take the Shop Secondhand Pledge for 2013 HERE.


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Something to (Holiday) Cheer About: Shopping Secondhand First is Style Made Economical AND Sustainable.
Now Wearing: 
  • vintage faux fur hat
  • vintage rhinestone snowflake brooch
  • Maggie London emerald silk dress, Value Village
  • vintage 1950s red wool coat, available HERE
  • Asian silk clutch, gifted
  • Renetti vintage red leather pumps

Take the Shop Secondhand Pledge for 2013 HERE.
Part of the #Lucky Community