How To Shop Eco-Friendly On A Budget
The #1 reason I became vegan was to reduce my impact on the environment. Don’t get me wrong! Saving animals and improving my health were also factors, but the reality is, the biggest way we can individually make an impact is by going plant-based. Natural resources are not renewable and with overpopulation surpassing Earth's threshold for sustainability, it's only a matter of time before burgers are a thing of the past. For instance, a single pound of beef takes, on average, 1,800 gallons of water, and that's not including the other resources needed to manufacture and transport it to the consumer. You know the movie, Interstellar? That's Earth in 40-80 years.
I know, it can seem overwhelming! That’s why I love the simplicity of veganism, but it’s more than just eating plant-based. You also have to live plant-based, which means cutting out all furniture, clothing and accessories derived from animal products. Shopping from eco-conscious brands, buying vintage, or up-cycling clothing are some of the ways you can live sustainably chic. Doing so, decreases the amount of natural resources used, reducing your impact on the environment.
I've partnered with BohemianChicNYC to raise awareness around living sustainably through eco-chic fashion. They're an eco-friendly, sustainable fashion brand with curated vintage and up-cycled pieces, like my vintage suede skirt from the 1970's! Here are some of the reasons why shopping sustainably is so important, and if you'd like a list of sustainable brands, click here!
Why is sustainable fashion important, and how does it affect ME?
Well, imagine you’re on your dream vacation. You’re in a beautiful tropical area taking a stroll through the jungle. You encounter monkeys, exotic birds, beautiful plants, and all the beauty nature has to offer. You feel one with nature. So much so that you haven’t looked at your cell phone for one whole minute (of course AFTER you took a selfie in front of a palm tree)! Suddenly, you stumble upon an open area. It looks as if hundreds of trees have been removed. And there it is. A heaping landfill of garbage. Most of which seems to be plastic and random debris. As you try to walk as far around it as you can, you notice tattered clothing and various fabrics stuffed within the piles.
Unfortunately, a site like the one described is typical. This is because only 20% of clothing is collected for reuse or recycling. The majority goes to landfills or incineration, and the fashion industry produces approximately 57 million tons of waste annually. Even organizations that are built on clothing donations, dispose of garments after they don’t sell for a while. Issues such as climate change, sustainability or accidents in garment factories, like the one in Bangladesh that caused the deaths of 1,110 people, get mass coverage in mainstream news media, but this lasts only for a short time. In today’s attention deficit world, people are briefly horrified about these issues but then quickly forget and go back to Snapchat. However, for individuals who do continue to care and show concern, there are solutions and actions you can take!
Change MUST come from the consumer, not the industry. This is because just like any other industry, the fashion industry looks to supply a demand. Unless people start making eco-friendly choices and boycott brands that don’t offer these options, harmful factories, exploitation of labor, and wasteful production practices will continue. The key solutions mitigate the effects of climate change, resource depletion, wildlife survival, and wide-scale global pollution. This will require many people, particularly Americans, to take a quality over quantity approach to fashion and not buy garments that are mass produced because they’re lower in price or on sale. The items that are lower in price always mean that someone, somewhere else had to pay the price. 😕
Currently, there are numerous clothing designers that take an environmentally-friendly and ethical approach to their work, without sacrificing style. And there are countless high-fashion alternatives to much of today’s environmentally harmful clothing. Of course, environmental issues aren’t a concern to everyone. The only problem is, we ALL need the Earth and currently all live on it. When it comes to issues that impact the environment we’re all affected together, whether we like it or not.
More about BOHEMIANCHICNYC
BohemianChicNYC is an eco-friendly, sustainable fashion brand by Kristen Walsh. They strive to eliminate waste while producing unique, one of a kind, upscale clothing. Their company accomplishes this by using vintage and eco-produced fabrics, as well as up-cycled materials as often as possible. Each one of a kind design is produced in house with the upmost quality and care. By choosing to avoid working from cookie cutter patterns and completing the majority of garment construction by hand, this enables BohemianChicNYC to augment our designs and show optimal creativity and quality. Through this process, they design and create bohemian fashion with a touch of sophisticated flare. The designs they construct are inspired by elements of the Earth and natural beauty. In addition, they also feature a variety of vintage pieces from the 1960’s through the early 1990’s. While wearing a design by BohemianChicNYC, a woman’s body language and movements are accented and allow her to express her individuality to an entire room before speaking a single word.
How do you keep your wardrobe sustainable? Drop your tips in the comments below!