Monthly Archives: September 2011

Go Green/Save Green

When we as consumers think of being sustainable, we think of buying products from companies who use green practices. Little do we know, there are a number of ways to be sustainable on our very own. Eco-fashion considers the long-term environmental and social impacts of what we wear each day. For most us, this means recycling. Instead of throwing away that t-shirt that was ruined in the washing machine, think of ways you could turn it into something else, for example cleaning rags or maybe a tote. Supporting the sustainable fashion movement is easy, and here are seven simple ways to get you started without even spending money!

  1. Wash your clothing in cold water: It takes more energy to heat the water you use to wash in hot water than in cold water.
  2. Line dry whenever possible: Line drying your clothes saves energy.
  3. Swap clothes with your friends: You already have most of each other’s clothing anyway, so why not? Organize a clothes swapping party with your friends allowing each other to browse through wardrobes to reinvent the clothing as well as yourselves.
  4. Shop your own wardrobe: Instead of buying brand new stuff each season, dig into your closet and find something you probably haven’t worn in a while. Spruce up an outfit with accessories or piece together something new.
  5. Donate to a thrift store: By donating clothing to a thrift store, you are contributing to the “closed loop” apparel cycle. The life of the clothing is extended because it will eventually be reused by someone else instead of ending up in a landfill.
  6. Experiment: There are millions of combinations within your wardrobe. Don’t limit yourself, use your favorite pieces to create a new look.
  7. Do it yourself: Learning to sew could be an intimidating task, but it is a skill that can be very beneficial. Being able to tailor your own clothing saves you money, extends the life of the clothing, as well as allows you to add your own personal touch to your wardrobe.

 

I hope these simple tips helps in getting you more interested in the sustainable fashion movement. If you have tips and ideas of your own we would definitely love to hear them!

Enjoy!

 

Dana

Your (Re)Cyclist

Wear The Trend…Without The Price Tag!

As a Stylist one of the issues that I come across a lot with friends is how to dress like you just stepped off the runway but without the runway price. For many people it can be a challenge but if you think of Fashion as a circle that continuously loops and it does, you will come to find that it is not as hard as you think. Take for instance two of the many trends for Fall 2011, lace and plaid.

 

Courtesy of gossipygirlz.com

Meet Stacy Ike, a Junior Journalism student attending the University of Missouri. I spotted Stacy in Starbucks and immediately fell in love with her cream colored lace dress.

Lace Dress

I thought for sure the dress must have cost over $40! Actually I thought the entire outfit must have cost at least $80 or more. How wrong was I, my thrifting card should probably be taken away for this.  The total price of Stacy’s outfit was $36.98. I looked in amazement as she started listing her finds and the prices.

“80 bucks?! No way! I bought this dress at the Goodwill here in town (Columbia,Mo) for only $7.99, my brown bangles were only a $1.00 from H&M, my necklace (silver) was only $8.00 also from H&M. The most expensive item are my shoes.” A pair of brown Oxfords from Target, only $19.99. Completing the look were a pair of pearl earrings, a family heirloom given to her. “I like to stay trendy but at a price that fits my budget and the Goodwill offers some pretty good finds” says Stacy.

However, for some thrifting may not be your thing which is perfectly fine. You can still stay fashionable by learning to recycle and restylize what you already have in your closet. DaMonica Boone, a Senior Magazine Journalism student, attending the University of Missouri has this down to a T.

I ran into DaMonica at a Resource Fair on campus, the item that caught my eye? Her lace covered hat. “I’ve had this hat for a year, I bought it from ASOS and my shirt I bought two years ago at Urban Outfitters. My pants are from TopShop and my blazer is from H&M and I’ve had both for six months. As for my Burberry rain-boots, I’ve had these for three years now. ” So as you can see it is not as hard as you may think it is to wear what is in season.

While speaking as a guest speaker for the Textile and Apparel Management department, Laura Schuffman, stylist for ABC’s Pretty Little Liar’s, said that “A good stylist knows how to think outside of the clothes.” I would agree as this is key for recreating items you already have but a trendy girl also knows how to think ahead. If you can think outside of your clothes and are somewhat psychic, you will be able to dress in champaign style but on an up and coming fashionista budget!

In my coming post’s, I will show you how to revamp your closet and learn what to keep and what to toss.  As always come back next week for more information on Sustainable Fashion and dressing on the dime.

-Monica

Your (Re)Stylist

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So, you wanna be a Thrifter?

Thrifting is a sport! It requires physical ability to run from store to store. You have to be trained on how to spot a good deal. Most important, if you don’t know how to make your thrift work for you and your wardrobe, you can’t win.

Tomorrow, Resident Thrifting Expert, Monica Cook, will give you some key points on how to thrift with style and walk out with some pieces that will turn heads and make people envious of your impeccable style.

 

Also, check back in a few days to learn about how you can buy ethical fashion locally and save the globe internationally.

The Dark Side of American Fashion

One of the fastest growing "fast fashion" retailers in the world. With a dark shadow.

If you still shop at Forever 21, take a moment to read this. It might change your mind. 

In a crowded, stuffy warehouse, hundreds of women scramble to seam together hems of pants and attach sleeves to shirts. The room is smelly, and there are carriers filled with crying, tiny babies on the floor. The supervisor comes in and yells at the women to hurry or else they may not leave. Scared workers now rush to attach embellishments and details until they are finally sent home with little pay, no dignity and withered anticipation of change.

This description reflects many unfair labor practices around the world and more specifically, highlights the horrible working conditions and underpayment of garment workers in an industry that makes so much money. What some do not know, however, is that this description mimics what goes on right here on our own soil.

Retail Fashion has forever been a competition between price and quality. Big retailers stores like Target and H&M have begun offering popular name brands with looks inspired by the runway at fairly cheaper prices—commonly referred to by industry leaders as “fast fashion”.

And with the economy struggling to find stability, more designers are recreating their brands for the middle class sector and launching in-house “generic” lines. One company in particular has continued to climb the ranks of discount retailers over the last 10 years and is now a powerhouse in the ever expanding and contracting retail market — that company is Forever 21. South Korean immigrant Dong-Won Chang and his wife started the store in a small, 900-square-foot storefront in Los Angeles. It has now grown into a well-established national brand and operates in more than 450 stores worldwide.

As wonderful as it is to know such a success story exists in modern America, it is hard to stomach how the company grew to such a magnitude. Using unfair labor practices, underpaid workers and no sympathy for the human condition, Forever 21 executives relied on sweatshops housed in the historic fashion district of Los Angeles to make its clothing, accessories and money for the last decade.

The documentary “Made in L.A.” follows the journey of a group of women who, with the help of LA’s Garment Worker Center, change the labor laws and embark on a journey to change the world. All are undocumented immigrants who are told they have no rights, no voice and no hope. But as they learn more about the labor laws and themselves, they evolve into confident, strong women who are activists for a universal cause. Through several ups and downs, “Made in L.A.” shows what it really means to be an American.

On the other side of the spectrum, Los Angeles-based company American Apparel has worked diligently to change unfair labor practices across the country. Its campaign, Legalize L.A., specifically focuses on the rights of all Americans — legal and illegal.

In their Legalize LA information packet, CEO and Founder Dov Charney explains how media outlets, politicians and business play in restricting immigrants’ rights.

“Businesses are afraid are generally afraid to speak out because they’re frightened of reprisals by government agencies…”

The company continues to strive for immigrants’ rights and workers’ rights by lobbying, rallying and educating the American public.

“Our dream for Los Angeles is that the over 1 million undocumented migrant workers who live here, and contribute to the city economically, culturally, and socially will have the opportunity to become legal residents of the city, and the United States.”

American-made products strengthen our economy, but at the cost of civil rights and responsibility, we lose so much more. Legalize L.A. pamphlets are available at all American Apparel retailers, and its entire platform can be found on the company’s website.

In recent years, Forever 21 has made slight changes to their labor practices, mainly due to media pressure, however, their ethics and legal practices are still questionable.

As a consumer in a fast paced society like ours, remember that while you will NEVER pay $60 for anything at Forever 21, you sacrifice much more and the stakes are much higher than money.

To find out more about ethical fashion practices, visit http://www.ecofashionworld.com/ and the next time you buy “American-made,” consider the source.

Your Ethisit

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