Dear DiaryDress Up

DSC_0324

Clothing waste has always been a big concern for me with a career in blogging. It can be hard not to get caught up in always wearing brand new items all the time, and I often struggle with looking fresh without over-consuming. Then I got pregnant, and things took on a whole new level of wasteful.

Instead of staying the same size and wearing my clothing until it was too worn out to wear anymore, suddenly nothing in my closet would even fit over my hips, and when I tried to buy some cheap, fast fashion items in bigger sizes, I grew out of them within a couple weeks. At a time when your body is constantly changing, how can you possibly keep up without needing a whole new wardrobe every week? And don’t even get me started on kid’s clothing with how quick they grow and change!

The new UN Climate Change Report that was released this past month was a huge wakeup call to me – without taking immediate action to treat the environment with more respect, our future is in danger, and as far as I can see every little bit in every area of our lives helps. I’ve been cutting back on using plastic straws and consuming cow-based animal products, but what about the very clothes I put on my back? Becoming pregnant and realizing a lot of the items I’ve barely worn in my closet may never fit me again made me realize I can do better.

Did you know North Americans send more than 12 million tons of textiles into the waste stream every year? Canadians on average buy 70 new articles of clothing annually (I think personally I might be closer to 80+), and I don’t even want to think about the hike in that number when pregnancy and growing kids are involved. So what’s the answer? As Autumn rolled around and I started to need more cozy pregnancy items in larger sizes, I decided to take stock of alternatives to buying new. Here’s what I came up with:

1 // Thrift it! I knew I wanted some looser dresses for blogger events this Fall, so instead of shopping online like I usually might I walked to my local Value Village and I was honestly shocked at how much I found. I ended up with three different options for under $50, and dropped off a bag of pieces that no longer fit me too. You can see my three finds in these photos!

DSC_0230

DSC_0241

DSC_0247

DSC_0280

DSC_0313

DSC_0299

DSC_0297

DSC_0329

DSC_0336

Did you know that one thrifted t-shirt can save up to 2,650 litres of water, and a secondhand pair of jeans saves up to 6,800 litres of water? Plus, bringing in donations is an amazing way to give back to the system without creating more trash.

Fun Fact: On October 16th, aka Waste Reduction Week’s Textiles Tuesday, Value Village set up an installation made of reused textiles in Toronto’s famous Graffiti Alley to bring awareness to just how much clothing waste humans produce. Needless to say, it was a LOT!

2 // Take good care of the items you love by washing them carefully. I use the cold cycle, hang to dry, and only buy all-natural detergent to help out with my environmental impact too!

3 // If you have to buy new, don’t spend on novelty pieces you’ll only wear once, instead save your pennies and invest in beautiful pieces made locally that are built to last a lifetime. Bonus points for organic/natural fabrics.

4 // Organize a clothing swap with your friends! Make a night of it with tea and cookies for good measure. It’s a great way to update your wardrobe without spending any cash, and any leftovers can be taken to your local thrift shop to be loved by others.

5 // Take damaged or too-loose items to be repaired or altered at your local tailor. I’ve struck up quite the friendship with mine and he always does a seriously amazing job making my older pieces look like new.

Which of my Value Village finds do you like best?

Dear DiaryDress Up

DSC_7693

I’ve been feeling a little bit worn down lately by how little people are able to see their impact on the world, and I figured National Thrift Shop Day might be a good time to speak up. The world we live in is so much about the new- new apartments with new fixtures, new cars, new gadgets… even new puppies instead of rescue dogs who desperately need a home! It gets overwhelming when I sit down and think about it but perhaps the most constantly noticeable result of this dangerous “new” cycle is the obsession with new, trendy clothing.

Don’t get me wrong- I love having fun with how I dress, and I’m constantly changing up my look. That said, I’m into style, not trends and fast fashion, which means I really believe in working with what you have, reinventing old favourites, investing in carefully made items that will last a long time and shopping for thrifted items whenever possible. That’s where National Thrift Shop Day and Value Village’s #IGiveAShirt campaign comes in.

DSC_7669

DSC_7663

DSC_7681

DSC_7664

DSC_7682

DSC_7700

Did you know it takes over 700 gallons of water to make just one new cotton t-shirt? That’s right, a single t-shirt. This back to school season Value Village is asking that instead of buying everything new all the time, people start to reflect on their clothing footprint and buy used items whenever possible. With our help they save roughly 650,000,000 pounds of clothing out of landfills every year, and maybe if we all stop and think about where our clothing is coming from we can make that number higher than ever in 2016.

Oh and where did I get my t-shirt? Glad you asked- I thrifted it!

This post was sponsored, but all opinions are my own. To inquire about sponsored posts, please email jess@shineinfluencers.com