Sparkling Eco-Fashion Choices for the Holiday Party
Posted by Valerie McTavish on Dec 13, 2012 | Green Living
When it comes to fashion accessories we sometimes let the environment pay the price to be pretty. There’s no need to leave your little black dress naked this party season. Here’s how you can add a little sparkle without leaving a black mark on the planet (or its people).
Consider the Source
When shopping for a just the right bauble, consider the source. Unfortunately, much of the glitter and glitz we love to don here in North America comes from places with dubious human rights records. Luckily, Fair Trade isn’t just for coffee and sugar. There are plenty of retailers (like Me to We and Pristine Planet) who know that people want to buy cruelty free, fair trade and ethically sourced accessories. Plus, these small and online stores have a significantly lower carbon footprint. Don’t forget to think about the environmental-friendliness of the materials your accessories are made with too. Look for organic cotton or silk wraps and scarves, recycled glass beads, and ethically and sustainable mined precious metals and gems.
Going vegetarian helps the environment by taking the pressure off resources like water and grains while also reducing consumption of petroleum and pesticides. And, it isn’t just for the dinner table. Handbags and shoes are often made from leather. Carrying over the benefits of vegetarianism to the closet is easy with ample vegan options from designers like Matt & Nat and Mink Shoes.
Everything Old is New Again
When it comes to looking for a little something to make your tired LBD feel fresh once more, think old. Vintage stores are stocked with flashy trifles so old they’re back in style again. You could also ‘shop’ the jewelry boxes of friends and family members to see when might be borrowed or traded. New and inexpensive costume jewelry may be enticing but keep in mind that these are disposable items with a big carbon (and often social) footprint. If you’re still tempted, consider your health. In the past few years there have been several warnings about some costume jewelry containing toxic elements (including lead).
If the old stuff is just too unstylish, keep it out of the baubles bone yard by breaking it down and giving it a new life as an upcycled accessory. For example, old broaches, beads or chains can be refashioned into a trendy collar necklace. If you’re not particularly crafty, take your tired trinkets to a local jeweller who can melt down metal and reshape it or pluck gems out of an old piece to create something entirely new. If you don’t have past treasures to repurpose, peruse work of artisans on Etsy to take advantage of other people’s recycled gems.
Re-wearing your LBD to your next holiday party is already a great eco-fashion move but when your accessories are ethically sourced, sustainably made and eco-friendly; your conscience will be as sparkling as your bling.