Thrifting Tips for Sustainable Style & Saying No to Fast Fashion

Thrifting Tips for Sustainable Style & Saying No to Fast Fashion

Thumbing through the Target racks, for a third time in a month, I’m passing through the same repetitive floral and ruffled crop tops with slightly different styles. T-shirts with Blondie on them and the words “coffee addict” in bold letters. One after the other. Huffing a little, I leave. Frustrated, disappointed, and feeling a little dejected.

Sitting in my car, I’m dissecting my emotions and I come to the realization that no matter how hard I’ll try, I hate consumerism. Or I should say – unnecessary consumerism and fast-fashion brands. Materialism. The cultural trait that sweeps our US nation. When I was younger, I began talking out about environmental issues, about materialism, quoting Fight Club at every turn, getting my clothes secondhand. I believed in intentional living then and I believe in it now.

For a while, I got swept into the Target craze. Part of the mainstream mother identity (like wine-drinking) and I’ve finally shedded it. I don’t want to buy their woven wall decor or their $5 embroidery hoops. I want to support ethical + local crafters. I don’t want $20 crop tops that I’ll realize I hate in a couple months. I want thoughtful, I want intentional, I want to sift through pieces people no longer wanted.

I thought I wanted to be an influencer like some of the top IGers but it always felt unnatural for me. I want to be an encourager. I want to market natural + intentional living. Both as a mother and as an individual. It’s part of the reason I’m drawn to psychology. Advocating for self-sufficiency, financial freedom, self-growth, mental + physical wellness, sustainability, intentional + ethical living, poetry – that’s who I am. That’s what I work on with myself everyday and that’s what I want to share with others.

2019 is the year I step into my skin fully, poetically, with resilience. Which brings me to a lovely little guide for thrifting and to help you feel more confident in second-hand shopping.

Reasons to Thrift

beneficial for the environment

The average American throws out 81 pounds of clothing each year. Out of 95% of textiles that can be recycled, 85% won’t be. Landfills received 10.5 million tons in the US and EU alone generates 2 million tons. 42 countries in Africa, Asia, and South America has had to restrict or ban the import of second-hand clothing. We need to continue pressuring fast fashion corporations to be more thoughtful in their production but choosing second-hand gives these clothes a new life while making a small little dent into your own carbon footprint. Watch the documentary True Cost.

fashion creativity

Thrift stores have a wide variety of clothing styles so you aren’t stuck in one box. You get to find tons of different pieces and style them in fresh, new ways.

show-off fabulous finds

I found those Free People bell-bottom denims at Goodwill for $15 when they’re usually 100-something. I was raving about them for weeks and I get such great compliments on them. It’s a great ego-booster on days I may be feeling down.

Thrifting Tips

Know Thyself

Understand your style. I personally want a capsule wardrobe that will be versatile and timeless with some vintage pieces thrown in. Along with a specific color palette (blacks, whites, creams, mustard yellows, browns, etc).

Create a Wardrobe Vision Board

Think of pieces that can be versatile and will mix well with other pieces you have in your closet. Keep track of what you need and what you’re looking for. If you don’t have something in mind, chances are you’ll be overwhelmed or just buy pieces you don’t completely love.

Online Research

If you are big into hiking, do some research on brands and fabrics that will withstand various weather. If you like vintage pieces, look up vintage brands and styles that you may like. If you want recycled fabric, look up brands that have used recycled fabrics. Whatever it is, have an idea of what you want in your clothes.

Keep a budget

Budgets help keep us in line. It keeps us mindful. Stick to the budget you set and you’ll ensure you only buy what you truly love.

Take a Friend

Shopping is always fun when you’re with someone. Bringing someone with you can help generate second opinions and solidify your buying decisions.

Go on the Weekday

Stores are filled on the weekends with people perusing racks. To feel less overwhelmed, utilize any weekday time you can so you won’t feel rushed.

Try Again

Never feel an obligation to go to the same thrift store over and over again if it’s not working for you. Don’t waste your time, find one you love. I do recommend trying a couple times at least. Thrifting is a lot of hit and miss, even in your favorite stores. So sometimes we have to give it a couple chances before we completely say no to a place.

Check Clothes

There’s nothing worse than buying an article of clothing, bringing it home, and finding a stain on it or a rip in the armpit. Inspect it carefully while you’re there. If it’s an easy fix, buy it but if you don’t have the time and know you won’t be able to mend it, leave it at the store for someone who will.

In-Person

  1. Look for local thrift stores. Salvation Army & Goodwill are some choices but you can also find consignment shops.

  2. Look outside your area too and don’t mind a little travel to the next couple towns over. Going to a different area can provide different styles that are donated.

  3. In warmer weather, look for garage sales and estate sales. I don’t have a lot of luck with these but it may be different for what you’re in search of.

  4. Join your local Buy Nothing group or check out freecycle. There can be some great, unsuspecting finds when you’re least expecting it.

Online

There are some online secondhand shopping options.

  1. Ebay

  2. Poshmark (use my code: wolfmyths to save $5)

  3. Etsy

  4. Depop

  5. Slowre (purely natural + ethical second-hand!)

  6. ThredUp.

  7. Instagram has also become a great option for secondhand clothes, especially vintage pieces.

Happy thrifting!

Intentional & Minimal | The No Spend Challenge I Want To Take On This Year

If you worship money and things — if they are where you tap real meaning in life — then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough…On one level, we all know this stuff already…The trick is keeping the truth up-front in daily consciousness.
— David Foster Wallace

Intention. Mindfulness. Freedom. Gratitude. These are words that have been lingering softly against the inner corners of my mind since 2019 started. Words I want to embody as the beginning of this new year unravels. The world moves quickly. Always rushing, thinking less, going with whatever gets put in front of us, living the way we are taught. Living by advertisements and anecdotes and being slaves to money and things and objects.

Shopping isn’t on my list of hobbies. I think I want something until I get into a store, try something on, remind myself I have enough clothes at home, and then leave. Same goes with home decor and beauty products. Many people make jokes about not being able to enter Target empty-handed but one of my skills is being able to walk in and come out with nothing.

Fast fashion is fleeting. Popular trends come and go in waves. Home decor changes with the seasons. Marketing makes us think we need things we don’t. I keep on my toes so I don’t fall into that trap but it can be hard. Knowing psychology and how marketing works makes things easier and I’m grateful to understand where my desires stem from. It’s often misplaced and I want experience over things. My house is cozy, my closet is full, my bookshelves are stacked.

We don’t need more things.

When I vowed to working towards a minimalist lifestyle, buying less naturally came with it. My goal is to go 30 days without buying any new, non-essential items. For me, it’s achievable since I’ve been able to go long periods of time without buying new and try to always thrift first. Lately, I’ve been finding my closet dull and boring since I’m so used to everything. Instead of buying something new, I’m challenging myself to play around with the pieces I have and create completely new outfits. My closet is diverse and it’s time I start working with it rather than against it.

I’ve seen people set their goal to an entire year. However, I think it’s more achievable to start small and work towards a larger goal on a month-by-month basis. Starting with 30 days is a small and achievable beginning goal. It’s not too overwhelming and will give better insight into spending habits to decide if you want to continue the no-spend challenge.

Disciplining ourselves in our habits is how we create more mindful, grateful, and intentional lives and can replace them with better habits.

Reasons for a No Spend Challenge

  1. Minimalism

    Minimalism is about intention, improvement, purpose, and simplicity. It’s not only external, but internal as well. The no-spend challenge doesn’t bring anything unnecessary into our home and allows us to be more intentional in our mindset.

  2. Produce less waste

    The amount of waste that comes with what we buy is huge. By limiting what we buy, we also limit our waste in packaging.

  3. Budgeting & Finance

    If you’re in debt, looking to save for something, want to become better at budgeting, or have an understanding of your family’s spending habits, a no-spend challenge can bring you better responsibility with your money.

  4. Self-control & discipline

    Saying no to impulsive desires isn’t an easy task in our culture desperate for us to consume. This challenge is not only for physical purposes, but to improve our internal selves.

  5. Awareness & Understanding

    Focusing on our life habits and understanding where we spend our money and why gives us the opportunity to change and reset our habits into new ones.

  6. Immunity to marketing

    Saying no to marketing brings the power back to us. Not many people are aware of how marketing affects us and in how many different ways it affects us. Life has become an abundance of advertisements and it can be tricky to navigate it.

  7. Freedom

    Self-control, self-discipline, letting go of impulsive habits, being aware of our habits, being immune to advertising is all freedom from the modern world which is busy, impulsive, manipulative, and constantly yelling at us to buy things. No spend reminds us to be aware, intentional, and free.

Rules

These are my rules and they may vary slightly for yourself.

  • No shopping for clothes or accessories. I have a full closet, enough shoes, and enough accessories.

  • No buying new make-up products, hair products, or skincare products until I’ve used something up entirely. I have everything I need and then some.

  • No buying unnecessary media. I have books I need to read in my home already + I can borrow from a friend or from the library.

  • Create a weekly budget and meal plan for groceries. Use what’s in the pantry.

  • Personal grooming will be limited to dying my hair only.

  • Limit one coffee date outside the home

  • My exceptions are: school supplies I don’t already have (i.e. textbooks & a new notebook), travel fares (i.e. gas for trips), activities for my son, bills & groceries (these obviously need to be paid, however, I am considering giving up my amazon prime & adobe monthly subscriptions), and gifts for people.

examples of non-essentials

  1. Clothes

  2. Coffee outside the home

  3. Take-out/going out to eat

  4. Beauty products

  5. New technology

& many more!

A no-spend challenge helps reorganize our lifestyle habits into better ones. Living with intention welcomes more wholesome experiences into our lives. Most purchases I’ve wanted to buy and have chosen not to buy has left my memory very quick. I hope you’ll join me in a little self-discipline, intention, and mindfulness.

Do you think you could do a no-spend challenge? Have you done one before?

Bralettes You Need to Buy

Bralettes You Need to Buy

Women are encouraged to wear bras daily. For most of us, we have a difficult time finding bras that are actually comfortable to wear throughout the day while also being cute. I personally vouch for women going braless but I know that can be even more uncomfortable for some and is found to be easier for the smaller-chested women than the larger ones. Instead, bralettes find a good middle ground. They're an elegant form of lingerie that can be on the cheekier side or sportier side depending on what you're looking for. The perk is they stay lightweight and breathable while remaining supportive. Below, I added a variety of bralettes. Click around to l find your perfect one. 

Although I'm small-chested, I wanted to add a few bralettes for the bigger chested ladies. I've never worn any of these so I can't vouch for them but I did check to see if they were recommended by other women before adding them to the list. By ear, I've heard a lot of larger cupped ladies in the F/H/G have a hard time finding bralettes that aren't only for DD/DDD. Hopefully, this helps slightly. 

For Smaller Breasts

Lace is always a perfect choice for bralettes.

A sunflower mesh bralette is perfect for the increasingly warm weather. 

Chasing rainbows bralette from Nasty Gal

This all-day mesh trim bralette looks incredibly comfy. 

Aerie's boho racerback

Give yourself an extra push with this lace bralette.

For Larger Breasts

This beautiful black lace racerback bralette from Torrid.

Have an open back shirt? This seamless strappy bralette would be perfect. 

Arianna hi-neck lace and mesh bralette.

This comfortable underlined bralette.

No-wire bras can be just as good as a bralette.

A bralette perfect for the Fourth of July

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Shayna Shattelroe

25 years old. Mama to Maddox. Word weaver. Lover of love. Coffee addict. Psychological science student. 

A woman of curious nature, my name is Shayna. I am wild & reserved. Humbled & proud. Quiet & clamorous. Strange & familiar. I live in the trees of New England typing away as lifestyle blogger. You can always find me with a coffee cup in one hand and a book in the other.

Blogging since 2005, I’ve had an innumerable amount of blogs on a vast number of platforms. Finally, I’ve found one to call home: The Lovely Cicada. This blog is a piece of myself I extend to you.