Remember my sharpie'd shoes? Well, they kicked the bucket a while ago. I replaced them with a super comfy pair of Sanuk sandals. I don't consider them the most sustainable new pair of shoes, but I was on a tight schedule, and I hope they will last me for a very long time. The most important thing is that they are comfortable, which means that I will actually wear them, and that they aren't a waste of resources. There's only so much you can do to keep your shoes as long as possible. However, I did find more elegant ways to save two other pairs of shoes from an untimely demise.
Meet my black ballet flats. The insole was cushioned fabric, which got really nasty within the past four or so years. Originally, I wanted to buy a new pair of flats and toss these, but these have served me so well that I couldn't let go just yet. I decided to rip out the insole, and I bought a new insole. Ta-da! It fits perfectly, is ultra-comfy, and was an $8 fix. The easiest solution seems to be the best solution.
As for these guys, I bought them in Florence in 2013. Unfortunately, they are all leather (I no longer purchase leather). However, know that if you own a pair of high-quality, leather shoes, there's a high chance a cobbler will fix them up like new. And that's exactly what I did with these! Sixteen dollars later, and my shoes had restored heels and a nice polish that I had forgotten existed.
So give it a try! Take your old shoes to the cobbler, and if all seems lost, just start ripping things out. You'll learn something, one way or another. XD
This project has been in my head for years. Literally, years. Back in the day when I didn't realize that shopping at fast fashion stores was socially irresponsible, I bought this little black dress. Super cute and super tiny (i.e. riding up way too high).
Unfortunately, this is the only picture I can find of the dress in its former state. (Hellooooo bathroom selfie.) I decided to cut the top off so that I could have a simple pencil skirt. Clearly, I forgot about the whole "riding up" thing, so the pencil skirt idea has been temporarily put on hold. I got to work on the other half (more like third) of the dress.
Now it's a super comfy crop top! The best part? The elastic I have in my sewing kit was way too wide, so I stole the elastic band from an old, worn out swimsuit. I knew it already fit me perfectly. All I had to do was cut it, insert it into the casing I made under the bust of the top, and sew it all up. Voila!
I've been all about that DIY life recently. I'm a very practical DIY-er. I only spend time creating something for a specific purpose, BUT I am also the kind of DIY-er that doesn't know when to stop. Which can lead to problems... XD
I figured I can share my DIY successes and disasters with you. It'll be fun! And pretty much everything I do is with materials I already have laying around, so probably nothing too fancy.
Let's start with the shoes.
I have a pair of sandals that are really well-loved, let's say. Really, I should probably throw them away, but I'm one of those people who uses things until they absolutely fall apart. So, I sharpie-d them. Yup. I literally took a sharpie, and colored in the straps and the edges while binge-watching Reign.
While I can't hide the fact that these guys are at the end of their life, I think I did a pretty darn good job. I'll probably be able to wear them out for another month or so. And that gives me time to find new favorite sandals either at a resale shop, or from a sustainable company. Perfetto!
For your health:
For your wallet:
For the environment:
For the senses:
For your social life.
Do yourself and the environment a favor. Fish out your reusable water bottle. Find a friend who has an extra one. Purchase one from an eco-conscious company. And take it with you (proudly!) wherever you go.
HAPPY EARTH DAY!
If you don't already know, April 18th-24th is also Fashion Revolution Week (in memoriam of the people who lost their lives in the Rana Plaza Complex Collapse in 2013).
Some goals of Fashion Revolution Week are to stop feeding into fast fashion, ask who made your clothes, and make conscious fashion choices. Not only is this going to reduce the exploitation of workers in developing nations, but it's also good for the planet. Score!
There's an Internet trend of buying an excessive amount of stuff (usually from brands that are cheap and not eco-conscious) and showing it to the world. Kids these days call it a "haul." XD
Here's my haulternative of clothes from resale shops. I was inspired by the Youtuber, My Green Closet. Shopping secondhand did not come naturally to me at first, but now I absolutely love finding unique and high quality items.
Top left: Savers $8, bought last week for spring/summer
Top right: local secondhand shop for a fraction of the original price, bought last spring
Bottom left: Savers $3, bought in winter (the sleeves are actually long enough!)
Bottom right: Savers $8, bought last week for spring/summer
Go beyond the re-usable grocery bag.
Don't get me wrong, using cloth grocery bags is AWESOME and reduces SO much waste. But why stop there?
If you think about it, disposables are really weird. Why would you buy something just to use it and throw it away? How many thousands of years did humans use and re-use and re-use and re-use something before it was no longer usable?
I challenge you to
bring your cloth bag to the mall
store a few bags in your car
have an open mind
bring your own chopsticks to the restaurant
use the bulk section in your grocery store
ditch plastic straws
bring your own thermos for a coffee
fill up your glass/aluminum water bottle
pack your lunch in tupperware
say "I don't need a bag for that, thank you"
get out of your comfort zone
do your research
and, of course, stop buying things you don't need, use, or love
Let's give the landfills a break, shall we?
STOP BUYING STUFF THAT YOU DON'T NEED, USE, OR LOVE
Really, it's that simple. Here's why.
Let's consider the basic economic principle of supply and demand. As demand for a good decreases, the supplier will decrease the production of the good. With me?
Now let's consider how the Earth comes into play in this scenario.
NATURAL RESOURCE > PRODUCTION > DISTRIBUTION > CONSUMPTION > LANDFILL
If you want a more detailed description on what goes on during each process, check out The Story of Stuff.
Bottom line: Less useless stuff that is produced=less useless stuff that will be thrown into a dump. It's better for your peace of mind, your wallet, and the Earth.
If you want ideas on how to stop mindlessly consuming, check out The Minimalists.
(Also, they are screening their documentary Minimalism in May 2016, so find a theater near you to check it out.)