Already Prettypoll: Earth-conscious Style

Today is Earth Day, and in honor of this global celebration of environmental consciousness, I’d love to hear about your own personal policies when it comes to earth conscious shopping and consumption. As I’ve said many times, I find most of the information and opinions about sustainable style to be overwhelming and contradictory, so I’m yet to settle on a core policy. But I thrift and I donate on a regular basis. I recycle old clothes into household rags and overdye garments that will get more use in a different shade. I limit my fast fashion purchases and support as many local vendors as I can, as well as buying from designers like Prairie Underground who make garments from organic fibers.

What steps do you take to be environmentally conscious when it comes to shopping and style? Do you thrift? Repurpose? Make your own garments? Buy local or items made from sustainably farmed fibers? Got any resources or articles to recommend to others who are looking to be more earth-friendly in their style-related practices?

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  • Renee Dittrich

    Hi Sally, First I love your blog and thank you for the Earth Day post.
    I am a jewelry designer and I believe that caring for our planet in the simplest of terms equates to the reusing and repurposing of existing elements. So my jewelry is made from at least 75% recycled product. I also recycle packaging materials when shipping my pieces.

    Check out my Etsy shop here:

    It’s Nostalgic Summer on Etsy.

    Thanks again for a great blog! Happy Earth Day!

  • Naomi

    Hi there Sally! My background of commune living in the early 80’s as a kid has left me with a strong desire to reduce, reuse, and recycle. As such, I tend to thrift or patronize local and/or handcrafted businesses. One thing I do is make underpants out of shirts that have passed their prime. Sometimes you can get 2 pairs out of a favorite shirt! I posted an ad on Craiglist to find a seamstress, but here’s a link to a DIY instructional site:

    Recycling, and getting to keep wearing a cute shirt that was looking a bit frowsy to boot! What’s not to love? :)

  • Pugington

    I am trying to thrift as much as possible. I actually just bought my first and only piece of new clothing this year – it filled a gap in my wardrobe that I’d tried to thrift for for months, to no avail. But I know I will be thrifting for the majority of my clothes for the foreseeable future.

  • marsha_calhoun

    I don’t buy much, and I try to buy responsibly made clothes. Yet I have heard the suggestion that supporting the clothing industry is more responsible than my strategy of “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” because it employs so many people usefully, who otherwise would not have work. What do you think, I wonder?

  • fashionforgiants

    I thrift a lot, but I need to be better about limiting my consumption in general. I also need to figure out more ways to repurpose items.

  • greendoc

    As the director of a non-profit devoted to educating the medical profession about climate change and health, I consider myself an environmentalist. But I am also a bit of an obsessive shopper. To compensate, we have a one-car family, and I generally walk, ride my bike, or take public transit to stores. Perhaps shopping a little less for new clothes could be my new Earth Day goal going forward.

  • Linda B

    I try to: buy clothes made of organic cotton; make my own handknits (as often as possible from organic yarns); buy stuff second hand; buy stuff on Etsy or at craft fairs, directly from the person who made it. I avoid fast fashion nearly always. I consign/ ecycle/donate clothes I no longer can/want to wear. I keep things in my closet a long time though, by and large!

  • Samantha Manzella

    I’ve really been thinking a lot about the whole “minimalism” movement that’s taken the fashion blogosphere by storm lately. I think minimalism and earth-conscious fashion can go hand-in-hand nicely. The both emphasize shopping for higher-quality and fewer goods, and earth-conscious shopping has the added bonus of being environmentally friendly. :) I’m trying to limit my purchases–and purchase clothing from small, local shops whenever possible. Mass-market retail stores drive me crazy these days. I also repurpose my old clothes in rags and donate clothes I don’t want / need anymore. It’s all about being intentional with my purchases for me!

  • Emma –

    I’m really glad you’re touching on this topic, Sally! It’s so true that the info on sustainable clothing can be contradictory and confusing.

    I try to keep my strategy simple so we don’t feel overwhelmed:
    1. Buying less, but buying with purpose (things we really love, need & use a lot)
    2. Choosing high quality things
    3. Buying from eco/ethical brands

    Even if sometimes I can only do the first of these steps (because of money / time constraints or because I can’t find something that ticks all the boxes) I feel like it’s worth doing and makes a real difference.
    Eco/ethical shopping really does start with buying less, which might not be a particularly ‘marketable’ strategy, but it is the truth.

  • Viv

    I refashion garments into other items… One yard wonders is a great book for ideas on what to do with small pieces of fabric. Here’s a recent project of mine… Turning a scrub top into a skirt for a child.