These days, we can’t open up a single online periodical or turn on the news without hearing about the environment. It’s not good either: global warming, rising waste, and a neverending abyss of sales for things we supposedly need. The latter is something I’ve struggled with for years as a blogger. Sure, consistent sale roundups make money, but what’s it really doing? As a consumer myself, I’ve learned the hard way: tons of money spent, and half of those things ended up going unused or tossed. Sound familiar? It’s no secret the most wasteful industry in the world is fashion. It’s something that’s bothered me for years, and why I post so little on sales. We’re heading full speed into the biggest culprit of this mess: Black Friday sales. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shop, it just means that you need to be more meaningful about your choices. Let this post be your guide to make Black Friday and sustainability coexist peacefully.
The Most Important Fact: YOU.
Sustainability starts with each of us, and it more specifically our own FOMO. What was the real reason behind your last fast fashion shopping spree? More often than not, it’s an emotional tug to grasp something we think we need to be relatable. This doesn’t mean you need to boycott buying altogether. I challenge each of you to take 5 minutes and take account of what really matters to you as a consumer. Is it getting better at taking care of your body/skin? A special piece you’ve been mulling about? Hone in on a few key players. Learn to love what really matters to YOU, and filter out YOUR noises. The pieces you ultimately choose thereafter will stay with you longer and you’ll be doing good for the environment too.
Fact #2: Make Small Changes
Do you need to overhaul your life with clean and sustainable methods of living? No. Jumping headfirst into anything isn’t sustainable mentally, and it will generate more waste as a result. Instead, get behind a few easy things that will help you make better choices for your life and the environment. Ask friends and family to gift you things that integrate seamlessly into your current day to day life.
Fact #3: Sustainability is a reality, not a buzzword.
Believe it: the reality of our environment is a lot worse than we think it is. We are consuming at a rate that’s impossible to sustain. This is not meant to scare you, simply teach you that it’s a conscious effort on all of our parts to adapt and be more aware of how our buying decisions affect the world around us now, and in the future. Take errand shopping for example: consolidating some online purchases into a single shipment cuts down on waste surrounding shipping. I prefer to time my Amazon purchases by the month, so I’m not running out buying a few things here and there and adding more boxes to recycling bins. I do the same for Sephora sales: not only do I save money by having a plan, but I also cut down on weekly impulse purchases (many which go to waste later). When you mentally connect Black Friday and sustainability as an opportunity to make a change, it’s wildly powerful.
Fact #4: If it’s not on your list before Black Friday, don’t get sucked in.
I loved making my yearly Christmas list as a child. It allowed me to slow down, think about what really mattered to me long term. Things I owned back then carried meaning in my daily life. I had much less “stuff” growing up, and it wasn’t until I was left to my own devices shopping as an adult that I knew something had to give. At age 28, I had a jam-packed closet of things I bought on a whim and couldn’t get rid of on consignment. Having to throw it out was the painful realization I needed to make my own changes moving forward. Make a list this week of everything you have your eye on. Think on it for a day, then narrow it down to 50%. Think of the hard questions: why it means something to you, not to those around you. Wild secret: narrowing it down alters your subconscious and boosts your own self-confidence. It’s sustainability for the environment as well as your peace of mind. Not sure where to start? Consider some of my tried and true purchases below.
My Black Friday and Sustainability Picks
What’s your priority for the upcoming year? Is it better control of your fashion purchases? Building a sustainable and actually doable way of living? Cutting down on beauty products you don’t need? Pick what’s most important to you, and start working toward it with the purchases you DO make:
Rent The Runway
Yes, renting clothes has an odd stigma these days. I personally don’t give AF, and it won’t last forever either. Why? It makes sense for our wallets, closet space, and the environment. Bottom line. Whether you’re rich enough to buy quality clothing outright or on a budget but still want variety, there’s a strategy for you. Use the Unlimited subscription to fill in YOUR personal closet gaps. Are higher-end casual options drawing you in? Want a new bag but don’t want to commit to a 3 or 4 figure purchase? Sick of buying formalwear you end up using once then take a loss on with consignment? Solve it on your own terms. The $159 you spend a month will go much farther than the $1,900 you’ll spend throughout the year on filler or impulse purchases. These pieces pictured here are both from my subscription, I change bags weekly. Sustainability in fashion a long game strategy. Get ahead of the holiday attire expenses by leveraging a subscription for the next two months:
Take $100 off your first two months of Rent The Runway Unlimited with the code RTRMANDYG.
I fell in love with this brand almost immediately because of their mission. It’s all about sustainably created products that are also long term additions to your daily life. How many water bottles do you own right now? Do they actually get used on a daily basis? How many are cool looking but not practical? Have you spent over $200 replacing bulky bougie bottles you forget everywhere because they’re annoying to carry? I’m willing you’ve said yes to one or more. Furthermore, I’ve also fallen victim to melted lipsticks and other spoiled products while on vacation/commuting. Livana brings the idea of smart beauty to life with beautiful, luxe designs that solve these exact problems. Completely. The Silk Sip Hydration Bottle is the first bottle I’ve successfully carried for a month straight on my person because it works and is easy to fit into my commuter bag. I find I drink more water as a result because it never tastes stale and is easier to drink from. I also knocked it over in yoga without disrupting the entire room (*cough* Swell bottles that be you). It’s stood the test of time: not even my clumsiness or forgetfulness have stopped it.
I know it’s an initial investment, and was able to get you 20% off all season so you can take your time deciding, with the code UNOFFICIAL.
Sustainable Life Additions
I’ve wasted money on countless kitchen additions, lunch gear, and bags over the years. Nothing actually holds up like the pieces below. They don’t take up bulk, I now use a blender regularly, and can pack more in small spaces than I ever could before. Take Black Friday as an opportunity to invest in new pieces that will help you live a more sustainable life.