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The Perfect World: Staying Chic Without The Waste

What if, somewhere far, far away, a world existed where constantly buying clothes didn’t contribute to pollution?

What if, somewhere far, far away, a world existed where constantly buying clothes didn’t contribute to pollution? If dressing up for the day meant swapping outfits through digital technology that somehow materialized onto your body without any material remnants (think Disney’s movie, ‘Xenon’). Though this world has yet to be proven real, perhaps we can partake in practices that allow us to come close to cultivating a sustainable fashion culture that rests at a close second.

The following are a few tips on staying chic while making sure that you are minimizing your carbon footprint.

Timeless Thinking

Trends are, well, temporary. When a neon coat from a recent Fall/Winter 2019 collection is taunting you to release it from a hanger with a swipe of a credit card, it’s hard to remember this obvious truth. But always be mindful that trendy objects are more often than not, short-lived.

What do fashion labels The Row and Jil Sander have in common? They’re all about minimalism and their pieces tend to be free of trend timelines.

I’m not saying that you need to necessarily spend a thousand dollars on a plain cashmere sweater, but these two brands are a great aesthetic reference. As a shopper, consider the longevity of an item. Staple pieces such as a well-made coat or trousers are always good to consider investing in as they’re long-lasting and versatile.

Recycle Your Plastic, Upcycle Your Clothes:

This is a good tip to get creative with because the possibilities are literally endless. Old pair of jeans? New shorts for the summer. Old denim jacket? Turn it into a vest. The list goes on with outcomes and this method proves that sustainability can be quite fun.

And you might wonder, what about the scraps? Get a whole bunch together and turn it into a quilt, or add patchwork to your new pair of jeans to add more personality to them. Nothing a good needle and thread can’t handle.

Buy Vintage

This is a more obvious solution: shop second-hand. Nothing says sustainable than reusing clothes. I know there’s some sort of negative stigma against shopping second-hand for some people (I’m talking to you, designer-only shoppers), but big cities such as New York are essentially jewel-boxes of second-hand designer clothes.

From thrift-stores in Brooklyn to consignment on the Upper East Side, finding unique second-hand pieces is almost an easy task. The best truth about this method, aside from being sustainable (of course), is that the odds of finding a piece of clothing that someone already has are very slim. So long are the days of running into someone on the street wearing that same Zara top as you.

Do Your Research On Brands That Are Sustainable:

Millennials and Gen Z-ers continue to demand sustainable practices by fashion labels. Because of this, both old and new designers have catered to the wants of consumers. Whether if it’s using recycled materials or donating unsold pieces, a number of brands have made eco-friendly guidelines the base of their brand.

Although Google is readily available, here is a short list of a few brands and designers that have proven to be sustainable and equally as chic: Everlane, Stella McCartney, Eileen Fisher, Reformation, Patagonia, etc.

Isiah S. Magsino

Isiah Magsino ventured from the West Coast to NYC to study and pursue a career in journalism. He began his career during his senior year at Fordham University, covering fashion parties for Vogue, and has since ventured into other realms such as luxury travel and wellness. Isiah believes in curating one’s life properly and strives to cultivate a life filled with beauty, patience, and mindfulness.

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