Secondhand Style: Back to School Fashion that Moves Forward

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San Diego summer style might orbit around bikinis and board shorts, but back to school fashion requires a little more coverage. And although Forever 21 and H&M lure costumer loyalty by offering low-priced, trendy apparel, there are eco-friendly options kind to both Mother Nature and starving wallets.

For example, by organizing “Swap” parties with friends, you can save money and valuable natural resources. Through Swap parties, neglected clothes are once more courted. While a friend coos at moss-green boots you long ago confined to a dust-smeared garage corner, you can lovingly stroke the faux fur of her once adored jacket. At this moment, the possibility presents itself, ripe like the ripest summer peach: a “Swap” takes place–without any money exchanged.

The other alternative to purchasing new garments at the nearest mall begins with placing faith in consignment stores. Lucky for San Diegans, there is a Buffalo Exchange in both Hillcrest and Pacific Beach.  Buffalo Exchange boasts a richly diverse collection of clothing. From faded Levis to vintage pea coats to Bloomingdales blouses, the options are plenty. Buffalo Exchange also offers store credit for the clothing of yours it chooses to sell. This way, while holding onto a few extra dollars, you will also keep from purchasing piles of cheaply-made, resource-depleting clothes. By considering recycled fashion choices, you can shrink the disposal-fashion mentality polluting American malls.

If wearing secondhand garments is an idea you would rather not entertain, always ask yourself how much you need a certain clothing piece before you finalize your purchase. By nurturing this habit, you will buy less of what you simply want and more of what you seriously need.  Over time, carving a distinguishable line between fashion “wants” and “needs” will save money, time and closet space. And with less clothes crammed into your closet, you can acknowledge and appreciate the clothing you do own.

Photo from Brett L via flickr

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