We are surrounded by shiny things: Influencers styling the newest sneakers which no one is sure they like, your favorite celebrity wearing bright plaid pants, and that woman on the 8am subway who always seems to be rocking an offbeat clash of patterns. The allure of wearing clothes with a new rhythm is understandable- it brings us joy and makes us feel fresh. However, we also know it is harmful to our planet. How can we be mindful of the planet while also appealing to our fashionable desires? In trying to answer this question, Of Mercer rounded up some ways that it is possible- because you and the planet deserve the best!
Go Thrifting in Cities- Secondhand stores in cities like Buffalo Exchange have the benefit of being surrounded by a dense population. The result is that the turnover rate for the clothes is extremely high. Thrift Stores are more inclined to buying used clothes that are also on-trend, so they can sell it faster. From lower profile brands and street wear, to designer labels and luxury wear, thrift stores have a wide array of styles that will keep you in the fashion loop while staying in your budget. While these stores usually operate under CDC guidelines for Covid-19, if you are uncomfortable going in person, there are many online second-hand options too. We love The RealReal for higher end clothing and Poshmark if you prefer a variety!
Shop Small Business- Many small businesses hand-make their clothing and are mindful of the fabrics and quantity they produce. It may be tempting to go for the cheaper, fast fashion option, but smaller businesses are often ahead of the trend and are much better for the planet. We are currently obsessed with a Los Angeles brand called Two Days Off. Dedicated to using deadstock and biodegradable fabrics, along with plastic-free shipping, this brand has both made-to-order clothes and a ready supply. We love the effortless and sporty-girl style that makes them so chic. If you are still racking your brain for other businesses, look no further than Of Mercer! We take pride in the quality of our fabrics ensuring it to be a staple in your closet for years to come!
Find Your Aesthetic- While staying on course with fashion trends can help your style maintain exuberance, finding your own aesthetic will help you strike a balance between classic and current. Whether you like clean-cut lines, simple fabrics, muted colors, or exciting pattern combinations, discovering your aesthetic can help you choose between the trends you actually like and the trends that you just follow on impulse. Further, finding out your style is easier than ever with Instagram giving us free access to different designers, brands, and fashion influencers, so you can decide what suits your desired look. We love the look of fashion influencer @slipintostyle who creates outfits encased with both trendiness and timelessness. Choosing your aesthetic can truly create an extra step of thoughtfulness in buying the latest shirt style and can shave numbers off your eco-budget!
Shop by Name Not Number- With the new shopping tab on Instagram and Facebook ads beckoning us to new clothing labels with cheap prices, we are constantly being persuaded to buy from brands we are not familiar with. While there is nothing wrong with trying something new, knowing a brand and its practices is an easier, more guilt-free way to shop. Find a brand that has reasonable prices and sustainable practices, and stick with them! If you are having trouble finding your aesthetic, this can even be one way to navigate your personal style.
Donate Old Clothes- Throwing away old clothes during spring cleaning is customary. Who doesn’t want more space in their bedroom? Well, this practice has its consequences. New York City alone spends $20.6 million dollars a year disposing of unwanted clothing. Worse, this clothing either goes into a landfill or is incinerated, which respectively results in either toxins leaching into ground water or into the air as greenhouse gas pollution. Thankfully for Mother Earth, times are changing. More people are donating clothes to local charities and thrift stores, which can help limit this pollution. If you want to have some fun with it, we love the idea of doing a Zoom auction with your friends or neighbors, and seeing if anyone you know would adopt some of your clothes! Once you made room in your closet for the new trend you’ve had your eye on, consider the steps above to stay on an earth-friendly path!