By Madeline Bennett
Summer break doesn’t mean a changing-the-world break!! This summer, sip some lemonade by the pool, tan to your heart’s content, and still be on that ethical fashion grind. By using these few tips, you can make this summer one to remember by the impact you make, in addition to your new tanning glow. As a college student, I know my limitations, and these suggestions don’t ask for much! They don’t involve a plane ticket to India or a seat at a major fashion conference (although those both sound terribly dreamy) rather, they just involve you, a friend or two, and some clothes!
1 | Host a Clothing Swap
Call your friends over and swap some clothes! We all live in and out of our friends’ closet anyways, so pick some clothes out of your closet, and see what your friends are dying to have! This way you save some money, find a super cute new look and find a new home for that top that sits on a dusty shelf in your closet seeing the light only once or twice a year.
2 | Shop Ethical Beachwear
Bikinis galore that can save the planet and promote ethical fashion? Sign me up! Companies such as Azura Bay are using eco-friendly fabrics while promoting fair trade through their artisan made swimsuits. As for a cute beach towel, look into Loom Towels, which promises ethically handmade beach towels from Turkey that are also 100% organic cotton!
3 | Sell Your Clothes to Consignment Shops
As a college student, I am always looking for little ways to make cash here and there – I have found that selling clothes to consignment shops is one of the best ways to keep my bank account full. Make sure to sell clothes that are in season and that have light wear and tear, or stores won’t usually buy them. Also, know who your audience is! If your clothes were from your teenage angst stage – go to consignment shops that are looking for that teenage look, and then take your Loft and White House Black Market blouses to shops that are searching for the older, more professional style.
4 | Shop Vintage – i.e. Your Parents
This morning I went into my mom’s closet and found the cutest vintage two-piece – from the 90’s! Vintage is back, and vintage can be free. Instead of going to the mall and buying a $5 t-shirt that was most likely not ethically made, shop around in your parents’ closet. You may find a cute t-shirt that you can DIY easily. Fringing and fabric paint may just become your new best friends. By recycling clothes in this way, you are helping the fashion industry by ironically not shopping in it. No longer can we settle for a $5 t-shirt; we can make fashion truly matter by reminding companies that those who make the clothing/accessories matter as well.
5 | Make Some Accessories for a Cause
Who said friendship bracelets had to stay in the 5th grade? Grab some friends, make some jewelry, and donate some of the profits to an ethical fashion organization of your choice. Buy your supplies, make some chic bracelets or necklaces, and then head to small boutiques in your area and see if they would be interested in selling your products. You could always sell on an etsy shop, or even make an instagram page and sell from there. There are thousands of ethical companies around the world that would love your support from the profits you’ll make.
Make this summer #hot with change. It’s so cool to think that changing the world doesn’t take a break, so do what you can with what you have. Do some good, and let us know about it! Follow our instagram and tag @THR3EFOLD in all of the ethical good you’re up to this summer.