Who doesn’t love a treasure hunt? Everything you need may have already been created! Curb consumption: Shop thrift and consignment stores.
You can always alter!
- Don’t guess size or fit. Always try on items. Then hem, repair, resole, etc.
Choose natural, sustainable fibres
- Avoid synthetics. Prioritize items made from wool, organic cotton and bamboo, silk, hemp, linen, etc.
Look for well-made garments
- Used or new, check seams, elastics, etc. Choose brands built to last decades and outlive trends.
- “Made in Canada” (or nearby) is one way to ethically source.
- New items arrive all the time.
Shop end of season
- Already affordable items will be discounted, e.g., buy winter mitts for next year in the spring.
Go for kids, too!
- Find a kids’ consignment store and put the money you save into an education fund. Buy for next year when you see a good deal, then store it (silica gel packs can help).
- Found a smudged something you can’t pass up? Think you ruined a favourite piece? Try an eco-friendly stain remover. Or consider dyeing the piece, or covering the spot/tear with a patch, button or embroidery. Maybe a good washing will help (don’t dry clean — wet clean)!
Wash before you wear
- Many thrift and consignment stores have new items with tags still on! Always wash new clothes to reduce your exposure to formaldehyde. Wash used items to remove synthetic fragrances and some chemical treatments (you may need to air them outdoors or soak in baking soda and water, too).
Search for special occasions
- Check out consignment stores specializing in formal wear (e.g., bridal) and look for eco-friendly fabrics like organic cotton, linen, vintage lace or “peace silk.” Wet clean pieces in good condition and find a tailor to update/alter! Look for silks that are less-processed (rougher in texture) and other unbleached fabrics.
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