Reducing plastic through Sustainable Fashion choices

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Fashion and clothing have always been a big interest in my life. My first real work experience was an internship DURING college doing Public relations for a luxury fashion house in NYC for brands like Alberta Ferretti and Moschino. I LOVE TO PLAN outfits for big events weeks, sometimes months, before the occasion, it is just something I really enjoy. Clothes are obviously a functional part of our lives, but they also serve as outlets to express ourselves and provide self-confidence. When it comes to making sustainable choices for our clothing, WE DON’T need to abandon fashion but instead start considering better options when it comes to how we purchase. FASHION IS AN AREA WHERE WE CAN MAKE A HUGE IMPACT, AND STILL LOOK AND FEEL GOOD DOING IT. Read more about THE HOW AND why...


I started this website with the hope to inspire others to reduce their plastic intake, and I want to begin addressing the number one contributor to ocean micro-plastic pollution: our clothing. Polyester, nylon, acrylic, and other synthetic fibers, all of which are forms of plastic, are about 60 percent of the material that makes up our clothes worldwide (IUCN). Synthetic plastic fibers are cheap, extremely versatile, and in most of the clothes we buy. Each year, more than a half-million metric tons of microfibers—the equivalent of 50 billion plastic water bottles—enter the ocean from washing these synthetic textiles (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources).

Another aspect of the problem that exacerbates the amount of micro-plastics going into the ocean from clothing is the rate at which we are buying clothes. Compared to 2000, we are buying 60% more clothing per year (McKinsey & Company). A lot of times we are wearing these items only seven or eight times before discarding them. This “fast fashion” style of making clothes typically requires using a lot of water and chemicals and emitting significant amounts of greenhouse gases. Not only that but clothing-factory workers are often underpaid and exposed to unsafe workplace conditions. A lot of these clothes are also mostly made of cheap, synthetic-plastic fibers contributing to the rapid ocean-plastic pollution.

More than 22 million metric tons of microfibers are estimated to enter the ocean between 2015 and 2050 (Ellen MacArthur Foundation). While it might seem hopeless, one thing is certain, we can demand changes of the industry by using our dollars to vote for change by considering other options when purchasing clothes.

Reselling Clothes

Nearly three-fifths of all clothing produced ends up in incinerators or landfills within a year of being made. Ensuring our clothes have a second life by giving them away to someone we know will use them, or by selling them online will make an impact (and make some money!). I have started using Poshmark, Facebook groups, and local children’s consignment shops to sell or purchase clothing for my kids since they grow out of them so quickly…hand-me-downs are great too (definitely not above my little girl wearing some blue shortalls sometimes!).

Pictured here with my husband, David at a luncheon in 2014. This dress was my great-grandmother’s and is one of my all-time favorite pieces.

Pictured here with my husband, David at a luncheon in 2014. This dress was my great-grandmother’s and is one of my all-time favorite pieces.

Shop Vintage & Consignment Stores

Vintage clothes are beautiful and unique. Find a great vintage store in town or online and shop there before buying new. Some of my favorite dresses have been vintages ones that I’ve either found myself or had passed down to me from my mother (see below), grandmother and even great-grandmother (see right). Since all trends are based upon styles from the past, we can really get any fashion we need from a great vintage or consignment boutique.

 
Bathroom selfie circa 2014! My mom wore this Oscar de la Renta dress to her rehearsal dinner and its now another one of my favorite dresses.

Bathroom selfie circa 2014! My mom wore this Oscar de la Renta dress to her rehearsal dinner and its now another one of my favorite dresses.

Buy less, buy quality

If we shop mostly high-quality clothes, we are more inclined to take great care of them and keep them for our kids and grandkids. I try to consider that now when I’m shopping and ask myself, “ Is this piece worth passing down to my daughter?” and if the answer is no, then I stop myself from the purchase! I’ve loved this dress of my mother’s and am so thankful she invested in some amazing pieces to pass down to me. I used to buy a good amount of new clothes each season, but now I try and save and just buy one really quality piece. It’s also very therapeutic to just HAVE LESS.

I wore this dress from Beaulah London to a wedding in May. Beulah strives to have a positive impact on society by providing an alternative, sustainable livelihood to victims of human trafficking and educating people of their plight. Their clothes are mostly made of high-quality, natural materials.

I wore this dress from Beaulah London to a wedding in May. Beulah strives to have a positive impact on society by providing an alternative, sustainable livelihood to victims of human trafficking and educating people of their plight. Their clothes are mostly made of high-quality, natural materials.

Shop Sustainable Brands

There are many great brands out there that put sustainability and fair labor practices at the forefront of their businesses. I have found a lot of new brands recently that I shop instead of the go-to fast fashion brands when I want something casual (or even fancy). Some sustainable brands focus on reusing recycled materials while others prioritize natural, non-synthetic materials. Many also support important causes.

I am excited to start highlighting sustainable, eco-conscious, and mission-inspired brands as well as vintage and consignment boutique finds on Sustain Local. There isn’t just one way to make a difference and refiguring how you shop is an easy, and fun way to vote for positive change.

x,

Amy


Other Ways to prevent Micro-Plastic Pollution

  • wash cold

  • use liquid instead of powder detergent

  • air dry if possible

  • use this washing bag to reduce fiber shedding.








Protect Your Skin & the Earth

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It is definitely beginning to feel like summer. Wil is getting out of his school in North Carolina this week and Joseph finished two weeks ago. We just joined a community pool to get us through these hot months before we move back to Houston in August!

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After a whole school year of routine, it can be a little bit of a challenge to reorganize ourselves for the summer months. There are summer camps, outdoor activities, and BBQ nights that are not part of our normal everyday lives otherwise. All of these activities require sunscreen and bug spray!

There is already a lot to think about when it comes to sunscreen but it is worthwhile to consider what these products are doing to the environment.

An estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen wash into the oceans each year and contribute to damaging the ocean’s reefs. If a sunscreen is free of oxybenzone and octinoxate and has mostly zinc-oxide or titanium dioxide as an active ingredient, it is considered “reef-safe”. Also, a lot of sunscreen comes in plastic bottles that get used and then quickly discarded but there are sunscreens on the market in more sustainable packaging. Most importantly, to ensure we are recommending only the most effective sunscreens, we have chosen to highlight only sunscreens that are on the EWG’s “2019 Guide to Sunscreens”. We have found and tested some very effective, “reef-safe” and sustainably packaged sunscreens for you and the kids from brands that align with our sustainability qualifications.

 

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SPF 50 Sunscreen Butter

EWG approved quality, B-Corp certified, and reef-safe sunscreen in sustainable container. The size makes it very easy to always have in your bag for you or the kids.

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SPF 30 Sheer Sunscreen

If you have kids similar to mine then spraying them down is way easier than trying to manually apply cream. This sunscreen is EWG certified, reef safe and in an aluminum bottle that can be recycled once completely emptied.

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Tinted Sunscren

This has great, beautiful coverage for my skin tone. Perfect for tennis & outdoor exercise or trips to the park & zoo. The same EWG certification as their regular sunscreen.

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Anti-Bug Spray

This bug spray has been around for years for a reason. It is safe, effective and encased in an aluminum can that can be recycled.




Avoiding Single-Use-Plastic Cups for the Kids

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Most of us are pretty good about not using single-use plastic cups at home. We have our own drinking glasses and the kids have their favorite kids cups, so it’s no problem.

However, dining out at restaurants is when single-use drinking cups can be a challenge, especially with kids. Have you ever sat down at a kid-friendly restaurant and before everyone is even settled the waiter arrives with waters for all the kids in plastic cups? They are just trying to provide good service, but I haven’t even had a chance to tell them that we don’t use single-use plastic cups, or that we brought our own water or really anything at all, its an example of the culture we live in I am hoping to impact and change. I hate to complain because they are trying to make our lives easier, but it is wasteful, especially if you weren’t even going to need them.

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When going out to restaurants, we either bring our own cups for milk and water, or we request that they bring milk in whatever glass they would for adults, and use these awesome Silikids silicone covers and metal straws. Doing this for at least one of the beverages (milk or water) saves so much room in your bag and works even better than a plastic cup and lid because the silicone stretched over the glass isn’t ever going to fall off, ask me how I know (Jojo). Has anyone else had the top fall off of their kids’ cup and the drink ends up all over the child, or all over THE PARENT!?

The Silikids covers are also very inexpensive. You can put any straw in them, but we got these metal ones that can also be used for cocktails when out and about so you are prepared for anything.

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Silikids Cup Covers

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Short Stainless Steel Straws

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Klean Kanteen 8 Piece Straw Set