Many people come to me and ask for advice on adopting a sustainable lifestyle with their fashion shopping habits. My advice is always simple, start small. I want to challenge everyone to continue shopping consciously in 2023. Starting small, building with each season, is good, and encouraging others to do the same is terrific. One person cannot change everything, but our collaborative efforts may help highlight reforms needed in the fashion industry. All of this comes down to us simply starting.

Tips for Starting

1. My first recommendation is to download the app Good on You. The coolest thing about this app is it rates each brand based on their sustainable efforts on a scale from 1 to 5. It also reviews what the brand is trying to implement for sustainability in its company goals. 

2. Research, research, research! Look into buying from brands that give back to the community. Although they are not 100% sustainable, at least your purchase will help in some way. For example, Uniqlo is considered fast-fashion, but they have a recycling initiative to give used clothes to the homeless. We support that! 

3. Give love to all the pieces you have. A new outfit is unnecessary for every occasion. Mix it up, restyle, and re-layer all your classic essentials.  

4. Check the care label and follow instructions to be mindful of every piece. Take care of your current wardrobe staples to increase their longevity. The longer they last, the less you will need to replace them.

5. Shop local! By shopping locally, you are creating an exponential effect on the community. Most local boutiques are conscious of who their vendors are.

Frou Frou carries Pura Vida Bracelets, a company working to offset 100% of its carbon emission by 2025.

These pieces are more than just simple friendship bracelets. They came out of a movement that celebrated the simple things in life—or “Pura Vida,” as Costa Ricans would call it. Translating to “pure life” in Spanish, “pura vida” is more than just a saying. It’s a lifestyle of sorts. One that’s all about enjoying life’s little pleasures, slowing things down, and living life to the fullest. Pura Vida’s Maui Set (above) is available at Frou Frou.

At Aida’s, you’ll find Sokura, a brand upcycling leather scraps into artisan one-of-a-kind purses, as shown in the photograph at the top.

Starting is scary. It takes a lot to get us out of our comfort zone, whether starting anew or over, but it is not impossible. I hope this article can ignite a sense of wonder, so you can begin shopping intentionally. 

—By Thy X. Phan (Your Daily Cup of Thy)