Saturday, April 25, 2009

Like my latest cute top? Oh, thank you. It was $4.

If there's anything good that's come out of this terrible economy, it's the new American thriftiness, and alas, the return of the word "budget" into our lexicon. What an idea...not buying something unless you can afford it?

American women have been marketed to death in the clothing department. While I loved the writing and acting on Sex & the City, what I did not love was its shallow worship of the $500 a pair Manolo Blahniks and Jimmy Choos. The founders of those companies are undoubtedly laughing all the way to the bank. What's more frightening is the legions of young women they've influenced. Isn't it a bit unnerving to see all these young teen girls with designer handbags? These companies have conned women to obsess over some over-priced, fleeting fashion, and worst of all, fashion that causes needless suffering to innocent animals if it's made of leather, wool, silk, or some other animal-derived product. Learn more at Farm Sanctuary's Veg for Life site.

While there's a lot of talk about "green" clothing (i.e., organic cotton), I'm an avid advocate of the recycling method of thrift store and consignment store shopping. Find one near you through or At my my favorite shop, the C.A.T.S. resale shop in Westwood, NJ, I recently scored a $4 peasant top, $8 GAP pencil skirt, and $4 Nine West summer dress. I've also had luck at Fabulous Finds, also in Westwood, where I found almost new grey Chinese Laundry flats for $14 and a black Max Studio dress for $39 that I wear constantly. Best of all, it's all vegan.

The key to successful shopping: frequency. Don't be discouraged if you go in a shop once and don't find anything. Treasures await. But don't be greedy...put things you once loved, but no longer use, back into the universe.

The Green Life, the blog of the Sierra Club, also gave some great tips for buying used.

Of course, then there's always the idea of, gulp, using what you already have in the closet and not consuming so much.

While we're all packing up those winter clothes and bringing out the spring/summer clothes, now is a perfect time to reassess your wardrobe. How about organizing a clothing swap? I've always wanted to do one, and in about two weeks, several of my coworkers and I will be exchanging clothes, handbags and jewelry. I can't wait.

So vow to be to the honorary, unwritten, fifth Sex & the City character, and look stylish, green, vegan and thrifty...all at once.

Mark your calendars:

The C.A.T.S. store will be hosting a green fashion show on Sunday, May 3rd at the RV Community Center in River Vale, NJ, as part of the the Pascack Sustainability Group's GreenFest.

Also at the fair:
*Weigh the benefits of adding solar panels to your home
*Find ways to get green healthy lawns without chemicals
*Run your house more efficiently with less energy
*Save money on home heating
Learn more.

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