Masks, scrubs, and hair treatments are great ways to de-stress and restore the natural glow of your hair and skin. But in addition to being expensive, commercial beauty products are a real drag on the environment with all their plastic tubes and foil packets—to say nothing of the potentially harmful chemicals inside. As part of our month-long focus on green living, we delved into proven tips and tricks for transforming everyday items into all-natural beauty boosters. Bonus: many of them may already be in your kitchen and medicine cabinet.
Guest post by Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff of MommyGreenest.com.
It used to be that shopping was simple. You went to the mall, found something you liked, figured out if it was worth the price, and bought it—or didn’t.
But it’s a lot more complicated now. We hear about fast fashion and fair trade, organic and GMO, water conserving and air polluting. When you think about the bigger picture, it’s difficult to justify buying anything.
Let me make it simple for you: Shop preloved by thrifting, swapping and buying on consignment.
Shopping preloved doesn’t just get you gorgeous clothes at a great price. It also can make a huge difference to the environment. According to the Global Fashion Exchange, a full 95% of the clothes that we toss into the landfill are recyclable, and each year 1.7 billion clothing items go unused in closets across the globe. The average American throws six pounds of textile waste away every month!
Buying and selling preloved clothes keeps them out of the waste stream. But better yet, it disrupts the $3 trillion fashion industry, which depends on cheap and often toxic production so that we can have new clothes.
Today, a basic t-shirt requires 1/3 of a pound of toxic fertilizer to produce—the cotton crop it’s made from uses 17% of the world’s insecticides and is 94% genetically modified. And it takes more than 2,000 gallons of water to produce one pair of jeans—that’s equal to nearly 300 showers. The textile industry is the world’s second largest water polluter, after agriculture.
But buying preloved is the antidote. It’s guilt-free shopping at its best. So go ahead: Find something you like, assess the price, and buy it. It’s not complicated!
Featured on “TODAY” and “CNN Headline News,” among others, Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff is a journalist, consultant and sustainability advocate. The former CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World, Rachel was the co-founder of the online magazine EcoStiletto and authored a spinoff book, The Big List of Things That Suck. Today, she publishes MommyGreenest.com where annually she challenges women to the Shop Drop Challenge—give up shopping new for 30 days—in an effort to raise awareness of the environmental impact of fashion, and the eco-friendly options that thrifting, swapping and consignment provide. Previously a partner at the world’s first swap boutique, Rachel has exclusively shopped preloved for more than four years.
What does it mean? And how can we get it?
Living the good life used to mean a closet full of designer clothes, a different handbag for every day of the week, and justifying $120 white T-shirts (Kanye, that’s so 2010).
Now people are talking about wanting simplicity, doing more with less, and consuming experiences rather than things.
That’s the new definition of living large. Living small.
We’re so in.
Since it’s Earth Month, we thought it would be a good time to share what we’re doing over here at thredUP, and to start a conversation about how we can make a bigger impact in the future—for the earth, for our homes, for each other.
What we’re doing together
By shopping and selling secondhand clothes, we’re saving natural resources necessary for new garment creation and keeping millions of pounds of textiles out of landfill.
Pretty awesome, right?!
In 2014 alone, customers saved $62 million shopping secondhand at thredUP, and earned $4.5 million selling clothes from their closets. We made an even larger societal impact when you include company and customer donations to charities and local school programs.
What else can we do
Once we shift our mindset to that of a conscious consumer, everything changes. We’re shopping secondhand, using local ingredients, preparing portable meals in mason jars, buying our kids less stuff, owning fewer products. Our closets are clean and organized. Our lives are full.
Okay, so let’s celebrate Earth Day every day and bring the good into all of our lives. Deal?
Share your ideas in the space below!
The kitchen is the true heart of most homes, which ends up being a mixed blessing—great when you’re gathering everyone around the table, not-so-great when you’re digging through drawers trying to find that missing measuring spoon. With spring (and the subsequent impulse to clean and organize) hitting after a long winter, we put together some quick and easy tips that can help you corral your kitchen clutter and make cooking easier, without spending an arm and a leg.
Tax season is once again around the corner, and with a big chunk of change coming out of your bank account, your thoughts have likely turned to how to save some extra money in the weeks and months ahead. Considering that the cost of raising a child has gone up 40% in just the past decade, you’re definitely not alone. And while you deserve a pat on the back for buying and selling clothes with thredUP (money saved + money earned + environmentally friendly = score!), we’re not the only solution for the budget-conscious. Here are a few of our favorite tips for how to save some extra cash in this tight time of year, and stick with it all year long.
GASP! It’s true. We’re so excited to finally let you know that thredUP is now offering Free Returns across the board – from your computer to your tablet to your phone to whatever device you use, you can now qualify for Free Returns on any eligible item.
To get your free return, you have to just take your refund in store credit, and send the items you don’t want to keep in their original condition within the first 30 days after you received the order.
If you would prefer a cash refund, you can conveniently print your return label at home and easily return your items paying only a flat rate fee of $6.
If you choose to simply take the money as store credit, returns will always be free. We will continue to be making improvements to this service over time so stay tuned for more updates.
One last thing…we know we’ve been making a lot of changes lately. And we thank you for your patience. We’re trying to dial in the right experience to ensure that not only do you have a great time shopping on thredUP but that we’re building a viable business that can serve you for many years to come. We appreciate your patience as we continue to evolve to do what’s best as we seek to inspire a new generation of consumers to think secondhand first.
As always, we’re here to help! Check out our Order Returns FAQs, and if you have any other questions about our new return policy, please let us know in the comments or drop our support team an email at [email protected]
Living in our demanding digital world can become a bit of a drag when you’re a new parent, as precious bonding (and sleeping) time gets sapped in favor of answering work emails, setting up endless Skype sessions with Grandma and Grandpa, and trying to keep track of a spiraling pile of expenses and medical bills. The good news: you can also make the electronic age work for you. Here are seven of our favorite apps and services that have recently debuted on the parenting scene, all of them designed to help you and your baby thrive in that tough first year.
1. MealTrain: Everyone has good intentions about making and freezing a bunch of advance meals for themselves before the big birth, but sometimes the best-laid plans go awry. The good news: you’ll never have a larger group of eager-to-help people in your life than when you have a new baby, and this free site allows you to organize them into an ad-hoc food army, complete with customized delivery times, dietary preferences, and other important info. Let yourself be taken care of for the time being, and make it up to them once your baby is sleeping through the night.
2. Baby Connect: This app serves as a full-on baby command center, perfect for working parents who are entrusting their little one to daycare or a sitter. In the app, you can track feedings, diaper changes, sleep, mood, nursing sessions, and other key activities, not to mention send private messages between everyone in a baby’s circle of care. It works on nearly every platform, and the mobile version only runs $5.
3. Sit or Squat: You may be able to hold it, but you now come with a little person who needs a diaper change or a feeding, like, yesterday. Save yourself from stress when you leave the house with this free app that maps public bathrooms, with tens of thousands listed across the country (and rated on cleanliness, to boot).
4. Citrus Lane: Like a Birchbox for new parents, this service sends a monthly compilation of fun goods tailored to the age of your baby. The assortment might include soft books, tub toys, diaper creams, puzzles, infant toothpaste, and other items designed to make the baby’s life more fun, and yours easier. Subscriptions run $29/month, which gets knocked down to $24 when you buy six months’ worth in advance.
5. Lalaalu: If you’d rather not leave your box delivery to chance, Lalaalu allows you to purchase customized boxes ($50-60 each) where you know exactly what you’re getting. They’re curated by fellow parents, who have the intel on matters both practical (like this pack of parent-approved sippy cups, feeders, and bibs) and fun (like this combo of art supplies, complete with a smock and clean-up products).
6. Baby Sign and Learn: Ever admired those crazy parents who’ve taught their babies how to communicate their needs with sign language? You, too, can make a communication connection before your little one learns to speak, thanks to this animated app that will teach you all of the most important signs (like “eat,” “sleep,” “more,” and “milk”), and give you advice on how to teach them to your baby.
7. Diaper Dabbler: There’s nothing worse than stocking up on packs and packs of diapers in anticipation of a baby’s arrival, only to find out that they don’t fit, or worse, leak. This $75 service allows you to sample the full gamut of what’s out there, with 18 different brands in both newborn and size 1 sizes to help you make your decision. It even comes with a chart to help you track which diapers are working and which aren’t.
And don’t forget, thredUP now buys and sells infant clothing. Whether you need more onesies or a special occasion outfit, we’ve got you covered.