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!

Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing.
— Annie Dillard

I’ve always written loosely in a Moleskine for over 10 years now. No expectations or organization. It works great for writing, my morning pages, and doodles but makes organization difficult.

For January, I vowed to try out my bullet journal I bought last year. Rather than buying a planner, I wanted something that would last longer and be a worthy investment and allow me creativity. I’ll admit, these blank, bulleted pages were slightly intimidating. I’ve followed accounts on Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube that simply get it. Their designs, the way they organize everything, how they use it seem flawless. I don’t expect perfection out of my journals but I was worried I would mess up my pages before I even began.

Let me tell you - I started this around January 1st and I’m obsessed and slightly mortified I haven’t done this sooner. I love that I can make each month unique and design it how I want to. There’s so much more freedom and what I once found intimidating, I love using.

Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

The first thing I created in the index page was a key. It’s unfinished in case I create more symbols. This is my first time bullet journaling so I’m not 100% sure what I’ll use and what I wont’t use.

Not pictured: the cover page says “no eternal reward will forgive us for wasting the dawn.” I’ve written this down in my journal since I got my first Moleskine 11 years ago. It has always served as a reminder that wasting time is truly a waste.

Minimal Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

I created a yearly overview page. As you can see, the color scheme changes from here on out. The browns and pinks were pretty but I felt like too much for me. I decided to go with gray and black for the following pages and I’m so happy I did. I thrive in simplicity and being organized also means being minimal and colors can, on occasion, feel too busy. I may experiment in later months but I’m loving the freshness for a new year and new journal.

A monthly overview then goes into a weekly overview. Both are roughly blank right now because I wanted to take pictures before filling it up with personal information.

Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

Again, I have more to write for these but I created a spread where I can look back on 2018 and plan for 2019. I’m excited to see the growth year to year and see what changed from 2018-2019.

Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

I pulled a yearly Tarot card to see what my year will represent. I find myself always pulling the Fool card during times of new beginnings (i.e. summer solstice, easter, etc). I really love the free-spirited nature of the Fool and hope to embody that this year.

Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar
Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

This is absolutely one of my favorite spreads and I’m so happy I did it. The moon means the world to me and creating this spread gave me a sense of peace. Tedious to design having to figure out what the moon phases were going to be, write it in pencil, then go over it in black ink, drawn the moons, and write it out in such small numbers but being able to glance at this rather than my phone to keep up with the upcoming lunar phases makes it so much more meaningful.

Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

A habit tracker! Ironically, I need to make checking these off daily a habit but I chose reading, learning French, writing, blogging, yoga, using social media less, and I have a bad habit of picking skin around my nails.

Minimal January Bullet Journal Spreads & Yearly Lunar Calendar
Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

A little cleaning spread to organize my days better. I also started a series tracker for television shows I want to watch. I can highlight whenever I finish an episode and cross it out when I finished the season. I want to make sure I’m not being repetitive with what I watch (i.e. Star Trek & The Office). I’m working on a more comprehensive book & film list I can check off when I finish them.

So that’s it! I’m looking forward to my experience with bullet journaling. It’s very different from what I’m accustomed to and I’ll definitely be keeping another one for when I just want to chicken scratch out ideas. However, this is perfect for organization.

Do you like seeing my bullet journal spreads? Let me know if you want to see more spreads and bullet journal ideas.

Do you have one yourself?

An Apology To My Body

An Apology To My Body | A Body Positivity Poem

An apology to my body

I’m sorry for endless empty 
stomachs filled with nothing 
but coffee grounds and ash. 
For burning your insides 
with bottles of liquor 
and broken glass.

I’m sorry for trying 
to claw out of you 
as if I were buried alive. 
Fingernails into your flesh 
trying to rid myself of you.

I’m sorry for carving train tracks
from razor blades and pooling 
blood beneath, hoping 
they would take me somewhere 
far from you. I’m sorry for 
the twelve inch gash on your thigh 
I splayed open like a butcher 
to a cows stomach.

I’m sorry for all the times 
I screamed at you and called 
you names like an abusive lover, 
white-knuckled in rage.

I’m sorry for all the people 
who roughed up your soft skin. 
They never deserved to know you 
the way I do.

I’m sorry for taking so long
in learning how to love you. 
I’m sorry I will forget 
how once again, always in
learning of how to love 
you stronger.

We began as one,
an archaic bond. 
You knew me before 
I knew my first breath.
Let me press yarrow 
to our wounds
and begin 
to mend.