How Sustainable Fashion Can Be For Everyone

How Sustainable Fashion Can Be For Everyone

Make the move towards eco-friendly clothing.
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Many people think that fair trade and organic clothes are too expensive for the average consumer. This is true for the most part; jeans made where workers are paid fair wages are going to be a lot more expensive than jeans made in sweat shops. People usually go for the cheaper price tag when given a choice. No one wants to drop several Benjamins on a pair of pants, but at the same time, no one wants to be supporting inhumane working conditions or poor environmental practices. It looks like shoppers are in a bit of a pickle.

But what if buying sustainable fashion was actually cheaper for the consumer in the long run?

Let’s use our favorite Hogwarts-student-turned-environmental-activist as a catalyst for discussion. Emma Watson made a huge statement at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) Gala by wearing a 100 percent sustainable and reusable gown. This interpretation of the theme – the fusion of fashion and technology – caught the attention of eco-fashion advocates everywhere. Watson shared with her fans how her gown had multiple pieces that can be worn separately or together for versatile looks. Although not everyone can afford a designer dress, the idea of being able to wear a nice outfit multiple times is very appealing to someone on a budget.

As it turns out, wearing your clothes out is great for the environment and for your wallet. Watson used the hashtag #30wears to emphasize how clothes should be worn again and again. The #30wears campaign challenges fast fashion – such as Forever 21 and H&M – by asking buyers to think about if everything they are buying can be worn at least 30 times. This makes the purchase worthwhile. No longer is sustainable fashion just for people who “can afford it," everyone can be a part of this movement by becoming more aware of how clothes affect the environment and the people who make it.

Now it’s time for the nitty-gritty.

Fast fashion allows the consumer to buy trendy clothes on demand for extremely cheap prices. Most people buy on impulse, especially when it comes to clothes. Items are bought because they are cute and cheap. At first glance, the fast fashion movement seems like a win for consumers. Unfortunately, although a $3 crop top is nice on your wallet, the cost of cheap apparel quickly adds up in more than one way. According to the Council for Textile Recycling, Americans generate 21 billion pounds of textile waste per year, throwing away 85 percent of the items they purchased. With an average annual shopping budget of $1,700, that amounts to $1,445 worth of clothing that needs to be replaced each year.

Advocates say that shopping ethically – even with a higher price tag – can actually be more budget friendly because well-made clothing has a lower cost per wear over time. Think about it this way: If a shirt at H&M cost $10 and is worn five times, the cost per wear is $2. But to the dismay of the consumer, the shirt wasn’t made very well, so after a few washes, it starts to fall apart. At this point, most people would throw the shirt away or donate it. Now, if a shirt cost $35 and is worn 30 times, the cost per wear is $1.17. This turns out to be a better deal because not only will you wear it more, but the shirt was probably made with better materials and in a safer working environment.

Most clothing is still made by hand, and the price is largely tied to the wages paid to produce it. Driven by pressure to resupply inventory for fast fashion brands, people working in apparel factories located overseas are often under a great deal of pressure. When factory workers are forced to churn out items quickly, it is reflected in the quality of the construction.

To maintain an environmentally and socially sustainable wardrobe, it is crucial to buy fewer items and focus on the quality. Products that are made with natural fabrics like cotton, wool or linen are better for the environment than synthetic material. Before you make a purchase, turn the product inside out and check to see if the seams are intact. This is a good way to tell how quickly the product was made. Bad seams usually mean it was made in a place with poor working conditions, so know where your clothes are coming from and try not to buy on impulse because of a low-price.

You don’t have to be Emma Watson or any other high-profile celebrity to afford a sustainable wardrobe. Being able to commit to making smarter and smaller purchases with your clothes will bring us one step closer to environmental and social harmony within the fashion world.


Cover Image Credit: http://janinejust.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Sustainable-Design-Classes-FIT.jpeg

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.
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It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semi-colon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.


2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.


4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."


5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."


6.Greek symbol of Inguz: where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."


8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya)


9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty and artistic creativity.


10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love and creativity or to put yourself in to whatever you do.


11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from the Hobbit. It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.


13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength & stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.


16. A glyphs means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."


18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe & the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can reminds us of the inconsistency of life. It is also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.


SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos


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10 Beauty Products That Will Never Let You Down

Ten beauty products to begin this year on a good note.

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I started wearing makeup in seventh grade, and I'm just getting to the point where I'm above average. I'm too scared to do anything adventurous because I know it'll end badly. Ever since then, I've found some items that help me look like I know what I'm doing.

1. Urban Decay-Eyeshadow Primer Potion - $13

This primer is the like the superwoman of all eyelid primers. I've been using it since my sophomore year of high school and it has never let me down once. I could probably run a marathon and my eyeshadow would still be in place, this primer is so good.

2. Thrive Mascara - $24

I have naturally long eyelashes and sometimes mascara can be a struggle. I was using a different mascara for several years that I loved it, but it was a pain to get off of my eyelashes. I took a chance and bought this mascara this summer and have never looked back. Not only does it give me the best volume but it comes off in tubes like fake eyelashes. I will probably never buy a different mascara again.

3. Mario Bedescu-Facial Spray with Aloe, Chamomile and Lavender - $12

There aren't enough words to describe how great this product is. Not only does it smell like lavender fairies are kissing me but it's also such a versatile product. I've it as a refresher after a long day and as a setting spray to make my makeup look more natural.

4. The Balm- Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter - $24

I was first introduced to this highlighter when I wore it for my senior prom. I loved the look of it so much that I texted the person who did my makeup because I had to get it for myself. It's a perfect combination of natural and KAPOW. It's subtle but noticeable at the same time.

5. Becca First Light Primer - $38

It smells just as amazing as it looks. I like this primer because it's not heavy on my skin and just feels like a second layer of lotion. I use this as a primer and as a tinted moisturizer when I am not feeling foundation and it gives my skin a healthy glow.

6. Aveeno Positively Nourishing Calming Body Lotion - $5.74

If I had to smell one thing for the rest of my life, it would be this. Its so calming and I think I would put it all over my body if I could. As my roommate said one time "it smells so nice."

7. Micro Beauty Blenders - $7

When I would use a big beauty blender for concealer it would get all over my face instead of where I wanted it to be. This beauty blender has been a God-send and has made applying concealer so much easier.

8. Colourpop Give To Me Straight Eyeshadow Palette - $16

This eyeshadow palette is not only the cheapest palette I've ever bought but it gives me so many options too. From innocent pinks to matte Rosie colors, I can always find a good combination in this palette.

9. Real Techniques Blend + Blur All Over Brush - $19

Blending is a real struggle with me and sometimes a beauty blender can miss a few mistakes. This brush is not only easy to use but it helps create an even and finished look when I need those last little touch ups.

10.  Wet Brush - $13.99

My hair can be extremely tangled at times and this brush makes it seem like I'm brushing through butter. I use it with wet or dry hair and I never feel like I'm damaging my hair and making the tangles worse.

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