Going Green(er)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The state of the world these days has had me brutally examining my buying patterns and consumer choices lately. It's a scrutiny that's long overdue: I've been slowly (and rather unsuccessfully) trying to cut back on my over-consumption and make more eco-conscious choices when it comes to beauty and fashion buys. I could wax on and on about how I think this recession we're in will usher in major, but hopefully positive, changes to the fashion industry — and the pastime of shopping — as we know it, but I think that's another post for another day. Instead, I'll reference a quote from author Tatiana Boncompagni from the May issue of W that really resonated with me: "I don’t think this will be remembered as another Great Depression. I think it will be remembered as the Great Correction.”

But I digress! One big change I've made recently is to stop shopping at "disposable fashion" stores like H&M and Forever 21. Too often, I come home with a bunch of $10 pieces that fall apart after a few wears and can't even be resold in thrift stores. With discount codes and sales so rampant, I'd rather spend that $50 on one well-made item from, say, Theory, which might not be so bright and trendy, but will last much, much longer.

Not that these ideas are anything new — fash experts have been touting "quality over quantity" for years. But putting it into practice, well, that's another story.

But I digress again! I've also been trying to add more eco-conscious websites to my regular roster of shopping destinations. One of my new favorites is, created by my friend Maggie, which champions small, artisan-focused designers and stylish, eco-savvy lines. I'm dyyyyying over the Risto Bimbiloski Intergalactic Dress ($750) above — it's just so unusual, I imagine it's an instant compliment-getter — and Kerry Cassill's inventive printed shirtdresses ($145) below.

Also, every time I see these fab Beyond Skin pumps, I cannot believe they were made out of recycled bottle caps. Genius!


sandra said...

Really genius! I <3 recycle!

Adventures in Newlywed said...

That floral shirtdress has my vote for sure :)

B is me said...

Love the floral shirtdress! I have been on the quality versus quantity for awhile now. And I have switched to buying things handmade in order to support local talent rather than the big box chains. Some of my favorites, as I love to spread the love on independant ladies:

beauty - best smelling and feeling soaps

bags - oh so beautiful

jewelry - amazing pieces by two ladies in Canada, so the prices are even cheaper in US dollars

B :)

Carol said...

hey betsy. thanks for bringing up the topic of quality over quantity. it's definitely tempting to spend your money on things that are fun but if they can't last more than a few wears then it is a waste of resources and funds. I stand w/ you on skipping out on trendy stores like H&M and Forever 21, it is more worthwhile to add pieces that will last and have a resale value.

amy b.s. said...

i completely agree with you. and while i don't have the funds to buy the high-end items i lust after, i think it's worth it to spend the big bucks to buy those signature pieces you will always wear and won't go out of style. the quality is worth it and it will always look amazing.

dekaN dc said...

Summer Rayne Oaks just did an eco friendly line for Payless. She spoke at the Corcoran last month and was AMAZING. I checked out the shoes and was pretty impressed, especially for the cost!

Julia said...

I have never been in an H&M store and I feel like I missing out on seeing something like the Lincoln Memorial.

kimvee said...

Those shoes are awesome! I can't believe it's made out of recycled bottle caps! :)

Jo said...

pity eco fashion is usually expensive! interesting article here:

Ana said...

Wow..that intergalactic dress is mind-blowing. Love it! And I love the tomato-red pumps!

Ziling said...

Made out of bottle caps?! Are you serious!! The floral shirtdress must got to be my favourite in this post too :)

Lara Natascha said...

love your blog. so amazing ...
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Christina Layn said...

O man do I love those shirt dresses!!
just wanted to let you guys know of a giveaway I am doing over @ my blog!

have great day!


Kathleen said...

Wow - these are all terrific finds! I especially love the flowered dress and the pumps.

glam.spoon said...

bottle caps? surely you gest. I must get to the bottom of this.

Stacey said...

I can not believe those pumps are made of bottle caps! That is crazy! They are so cute, I need a pair!!

Love your blog!

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ana said...

i agree with everything that has been said in this blog. This economy is making us reflect and think more about ways to make our money last longer or be invested in better ways. In the past few months, i have seen forever 21 specially busy, more than usual, and it is that girls think that they are saving some money, when in the long run they are really spending much more, because chances are that garment is more going to resist a couple of washes and then be ruined. On the other hand some people are already aware of what this blog is about, more people are buying just one piece but of good quality, and its also true that people are not too trendy anymore, secondhand stores have raised their sales and got many new customers that would never think that they would buy something thats been used. Cheap does not necessarily means better for a person that wants to save money. I am also impressed how stores keep having big sales and making down everything to keep their customers and even with all of that, people are learning to just buy what they need and when they need it. i think it is really useful how now even when you google secondhand stores, there is a list with many of the good ones around ones neighborhood. The economy is teaching us how to be smart about our money and how to make good use of it, to be able to still spoil ourselves a little and at the same time to save and have priorities. The US is a country full of big consumers that now are learning when to say stop if they are not already being stopped. Going green is the new statement, is using what is already there, or buying garments that would last for a long time.

Kandace said...

I say tell em' sister. I've been trying to revamp my shopping style as well, i've been leaning more towards thrift stores these days. Better for your wallet and the environment. Keep up the good work. And on another note, I really want shoes made from recycled bottle caps.

Danielle said...

I definitely agree with everything you have said! I need to stop going to stores like Forever 21 because I end up buying a piece just because its cheap! 'Its only 10 bucks, why not?' This leads to me spending $80 on clothes that I kind of like which will most likely end up in the back of my closet. Spending that money on one piece that I am in love and that will last a long time is definitely better!

Righteous (re)Style said...

I think more and more people are reviewing their buying choices. One of my tactics is to be a bit more creative with the items I already have in my closet. I pore over old Lucky and Elle mags and street fashion website looking for ideas of how to wear the things that I have differently. Its so cool to discover new ways to mix and match!! As for getting the lust for "newness" out of system, I usually hit the thrift, vintage or consignment stores. NEW TO ME, is really what I am after!

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Joanne said...

I love those heels!! That's so cool how it's made out of recycled bottle caps! The intergalactic dress is so pretty! The galaxy is awesome! :)

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