Slow Fashion: The Greenest Way to Shop

A look at a few of our favourite local brands and boutiques that are doing style the right way!

As someone who is a reformed shopping addict, I have definitely fallen into the trap of following trends and approaching my closet with a fast fashion mindset. The term fast fashion essentially refers to retailers, clothing companies and brands that try to make trendy clothing that is quickly and cheaply available to consumers. These pieces are not built to last multiple seasons, they are expected to be replaced once the next trend hits the shelves. The problem with this method is the sheer amount of waste that it creates. According to a 2017 Forbes article, 12.8 million tons of clothing are sent to landfills in the US every year. That’s not to mention the water pollution and use of toxic chemicals that goes into creating a lot of the cheap, trendy pieces out there. These pieces end up in landfills due partly to this fast fashion mentality, and because these articles of clothing often fall apart before they can even make it to thrift stores and consignment boutiques. Thankfully, there is a very low waste solution to this problem: simply start your shopping trips at the second hand source. Today I’m sharing just a few of my favourite local brands and boutiques that are changing the fashion industry status quo in our community.

Frock and Fellow

441 Bernard Ave, Kelowna, BC V1Y 6N8

Frock has been a staple consignment boutique in Kelowna for several years now, and since the move to their new Bernard Ave location they have transformed into Frock and Fellow – a consignment boutique for men and women! In a city where high quality and stylish men’s wear can be difficult to find, it’s so great to see a boutique that is providing exactly that, as well as championing second hand goods and leaving a lighter environmental footprint. Owner Chantelle and manager Arden both have such a great eye for pre-owned and vintage pieces, you can really feel the love that goes into their shop. The style ranges from casual to formal, and it’s easy to find pieces to suit just about everyone’s personal style. My absolute favourite thing about Frock is their incredible shoe selection; shoes are one of those things that can be really tricky to find second hand, especially if you’re someone who appreciates a beautiful pair of shoes. Frock and Fellow’s selection is always well kept, high quality and so fun!

Georgie Girl Vintage

1331 Ellis St, Kelowna, BC V1Y 1Z9

Shopping for vintage and second hand apparel has been a lifelong habit for Angie Bricker, owner of Georgie Girl. This was born out of the love of a great thrift fashion find and the creativity it ignites inside her! Having also been committed to environmental issues all her life, she is thrilled to be able to offer gorgeous clothing to people who could adore and appreciate the everlasting beauty of many of the garments from past era’s.

Angie and her team at Georgie Girl are committed to not only offering great quality vintage apparel, they also offer a wide selection of new organic slow fashion clothing lines including Earth and Elle from Pemberton, BC. The Georgie Girls are on board with the plastic-free movement and offer their customers paper bags that can be reused and recycled. More efforts are in the works to reduce their garbage output this year as they ramp up their awareness about waste. Angie states that many of her customers refuse packaging all together, which is music to their ears!

Lightly Goods

https://www.etsy.com/shop/lightlygoods

 

Lightly Goods is a curated shop featuring neutral, easy, luxe vintage wear. From just a quick scroll through their Instagram page, it’s easy to see that each of these pieces is hand selected with a focus on quality, style and a great fit. Lightly Goods was created with the belief that new doesn’t always mean better and luxury quality vintage shouldn’t be expensive or difficult to find. Owner and curator Nicole Gerber says:

“In our current state of consumerism, we buy fast and we buy cheap. This works well for our busy lifestyles, but not so much for the longevity of the earth. When it comes to thinking on a planetary scale, we have to slow down and be mindful of our choices. By slowing down the process of purchasing clothing, we re-focus our energies on a tactile re-engagement with what we own. The choices we make become more meaningful and long-lasting.”

Whether you’re hoping to choose one mindful and ethical piece per season, or you just want a few basics that don’t cost your wallet or the planet, Lightly Goods aims to be a one-stop shop for the conscious consumer. You can find all available pieces in the Lightly Goods Etsy shop. If you are an Okanagan Local, Nicole is happy to arrange a meeting / pick-up time for customers to receive their items directly – simply use code LOCAL on Etsy for free “shipping.”

Lost Together

301 Highway 33 #42 Kelowna, BC V1X 1X8

Lost Together is one of the newest additions to Kelowna’s pre-loved boutiques! Owner Shannon’s love for vintage was discovered at a young age while scouring the bins of her local second hand shop and making an impact with her style. Today the feeling of elation that comes from finding beautiful and unique pieces has not diminished and she strives to build connections through clothing. 

It was while working as a stylist that Shannon saw the impact that fast fashion has on the environment. She combined her passions for vintage and sustainable fashion and brought them to life in her store. It is apparent upon first entering that you should discard any preconceived notions you may have about shopping second hand, this store is thoughtfully organized and Shannon has created a vibe to celebrate clothing. The integrity of what she is putting on her racks is just as important to Shannon as carrying pieces that will suit every woman’s personal style and size. She thrives on finding clothes that create confidence and individuality in each woman rather than catering to a specific demographic of woman for her clothing. Shannon believes that it’s easy to build an ethical and sustainable wardrobe by simply buying and wearing vintage and previously loved clothing. Thinking sustainably and buying from local thrift shops can also lead to spending less on clothing and finding unique pieces and the stories that come with them.

Love It Again

http://www.loveitagain.ca

 

I discovered Love It Again at the Kelowna Farmers Market a few years ago and was immediately enthralled by the unique designs and beautiful fabric choices made by owner and designer Stephanie Walker. Stephanie’s process is simple – she takes old clothing and fabrics and makes them new again by re-designing & re-conditioning the clothing so that you can “Love It Again.” Each piece is unique and designed with the love and care that should be necessary of all the garments we purchase. Her clothes are simple, easy to wear, comfortable and beautiful. I particularly love her collection of maxi dresses, they make the perfect addition to a spring/summer wardrobe. You can find Love It Again at the Kelowna Farmer’s Market from April to October, and online at http://www.loveitagain.ca.

Is there someone we’ve missed? Shoot us an email to hello@wasteconsciousliving.ca so we can include them in future posts.

 

 

 

5 Ways to Keep It Green on Laundry Day

Laundry Day…it’s often a love/hate day in most households, but we think by simplifying and greening up your routine, you’ll soon learn to love laundry! OK, maybe “love” is a strong word. But we’re here to help make it feel easier, at least! Check out our tips for keeping it green while getting things clean. 😉

  1. Wear or use it more than once – This doesn’t apply to everything (unmentionables and socks come to mind), but the simplest way to cut back on your laundry’s impact is to just do less of it. Towels and bedding can usually be used for a week or two before washing.
  2. Use natural washing detergent – Look for a good quality natural washing detergent, or pop into Unless Market (if you’re Kelowna-based) with your resealable container and pick up either powdered or liquid detergent. The Bulk Barn also has soap nuts (read up on those here). Fabric softener can be replaced with a cup of white vinegar. Or try out a DIY recipe (like these!).
  3. Maximize your washer for energy efficiency – Wash in cold water and try to only do full loads! It might seem counter-intuitive, but these days washing machines and detergents are formulated to clean in cold water. Did you know about 90% of the energy used to wash clothes goes to heating the water?! If you can’t fill it up, use the load selector on your machine to choose a different option that will use the least amount of water.
  4. Hang to dry – Because dryers use so much energy, skipping it altogether can make a real difference. Clothes also last longer and stay more vibrant when you line dry because there’s less wear and tear. In the warmer months consider drying outside. There is nothing quite like the smell of line-dried clothes in the summer!
  5. Maximize your dryer – Let’s face it…sometimes it’s tricky to line-dry everything, especially in the winter. So the most important tip? Full loads and a clean lint filter. Cleaning the lint filter frequently will increase efficiency and shorten drying time. If your dryer has a moisture sensor, use it. This will automatically reduce the amount of drying time or shut off the machine when it senses that clothes are dry, which reduces wear and tear on your threads and saves lots of energy. Ditch the dryer sheets and opt for wool dryer balls! These balls can cut your dryer time down by about 30%! If you’re looking for a sweet scent, add a couple drop of essential oil to your dryer balls.

Have you discovered any tricks for reducing your waste when it comes to laundry? Let us know in the comments!

6 Steps to Rock the Bulk Shopping Experience

Let’s face it: the bulk store is the holy grail of waste-conscious shopping. No longer are you forced to choose between the lesser of two packaged products…at bulk stores, you are free to take as much as you need, in the packaging you choose! It is a dream. We’re here today to outline a few simple steps that will get you on your way to rockin’ the bulk experience. By using this guide, not only will you gain confidence in efficiently shopping in bulk, but you’ll also produce less waste, and you’ll save money too! And, if we’re being totally honest here…you’ll also have a newfound excuse for justifying those sweet treats you’re reluctant to buy because of the packaging ;))
 
  1. Collect resealable containers – Rather than go out and buy a bunch of new jars, we recommend upcycling items you already have! After all, we’re simplifying here, right? 😉 We stocked up quite a collection of nut butter jars, salsa jars, pickle jars, and numerous other random jars, before switching to bulk buying and homemaking items. So, clean them up and breathe new life into those old jars! Alternatively, before buying new, check out local thrift stores! They often have a gargantuan selection of jars for cheap (we’re talking pennies on the dollar!) and all you might need to purchase new is lids if they were missing. Bulk cotton bags are also super cool and can easily be stashed in your other reusable bags so you’re never without. We love Credo Bags!
  2. Clean and dry your containers at home – This is important! Your container must meet the minimum standards for the bulk store which means: clean and dry, no debris, no rust, no stains, and it must be resealable with a lid, drawstring or clip-closure
  3. Tare jars in store before filling – Check in with the cashier before you fill, to get the weights of your containers written on the top with a wax pen. They remove this weight later to ensure you’re only charged for the product
  4. Scoop in store – Use the store’s scoops to scoop the product into your container. Go bananas! Bulk stores often have huge selections of everything from dry goods to snacks, to grind-your-own peanut butter! During a recent trip to Bulk Barn, we picked up hemp hearts, walnuts, flour, oats, dried fruit, ground flax, protein powder, spices, loose leaf tea, and a small treat of double sour gummies that didn’t make it to the pic (haha)… We encourage you to scope out the shop and make a note of items they have to offer for future trips.
  5. Keep track of the item names and their SKU numbers – In the notes section on your phone jot down the item names and their SKU numbers for a seamless checkout – believe us, it will make your cashier’s day!
  6. Pay up! – Pack everything up in your reusable tote or bags, and feel good about the waste-conscious choice you’ve made
Shout out to The Bulk Barn and Trash Is For Tossers, the inspirations behind this post, and to Lucas, the superstar at the Bulk Barn in Kelowna who was so helpful and efficient during our recent shop!
 
Thanks for reading and as always, if you have questions, tips to share, know of a local Okanagan business kicking butt when it comes to sustainable practices let us know in the comments below!

Ditch the Tetrapak Soup & DIY!

Part of the journey towards a more waste-conscious lifestyle is learning how to DIY. Why? It’s the easiest way to take control of your waste, learn a new skill, and know for absolute certain that the ingredients you’re using are beneficial for you and the planet. We call that a triple win! Today we’ll be exploring how to make a pot of vegetable stock using your own veggie scraps!
 
Before we dive in, we should talk about conventional soup stock, to give you an idea of why we even bother. The next time you venture down the aisles of your local supermarket, check out the stock options (no, we’re not talking about finances!). What you’ll find might be a bit disheartening: almost all stock comes packaged in Tetrapak containers. These containers greatly extend the shelf-life of certain products (nut milks, soups, etc) but at the cost of our planet, as they are not easily recyclable. Composed of layers of paper, plastic, and aluminum, they are a nightmare for recycling facilities…for us, it is less of a headache to make our own nut milks, soups, and stocks than deal with the logistics of properly disposing such a complicated piece of packaging!
 
But we understand the convenience factor offered in a box of pre-made stock…so let us try to sway you towards the DIY side! We promise, it’s also convenient and dare we say…infinitely more fun??
 
  1. Find a freezer-safe container and each time you prep veggies for eating, keep the ends, peels, and withered bits and put them in your container.  We often use an upcycled coconut oil jar! Pop the whole thing in the freezer and keep adding to it until it’s fill.
  2. Once the jar is full, drop the vegetable scraps into a crock-pot, insta-pot, or large stock pot, cover with water and let the whole shebang simmer until it reaches the flavour you’re after! We usually let it go in the crockpot for about a day. Sometimes we toss in fresh herbs if we’re concerned they’ll go off before we can finish them.
  3. When it’s finished cooking, strain the stock, add salt to taste, and let cool. We recommend composting the vegetable scraps if that is available to you.
  4. Transfer the stock into ice cube trays and pop in the freezer. Any extra liquid put in a resealable jar and store in the fridge. Use the fresh stuff within a week or so! 
  5. Once the stock is frozen pop the cubes out and put them in a resealable container and store in the freezer until you need them. Congratulations, you’ve officially bested the Tetrapak beast!
We love that each batch of stock comes out a little different every time, with rich, complex flavour, and of course that it’s turning what would otherwise be waste into a delicious useful product! Can a store-bought box of liquid ever hold a candle to homemade? We think not… 🙂
 
Hope this has inspired you to get creative in the kitchen! Any questions, or tips to share please leave us a comment! 
 
 

This waste conscious living tip is just so simple, anyone can do it, make your our stock out of vegetable scraps! 🍆🥦🍠🥕🌽🌶 1. When cooking keep the ends, skins, and withered bits from veggies and herbs, place them in a freezer safe container, we use an upcycled coconut oil jar, and pop them in the freezer. 2. When the jar is full, drop the vegetable scraps into a crock-pot, insta-pot, or large stovetop pot, cover with water and let simmer until reaching your desired flavour, we usually let it go in the crockpot for about a day. Sometimes we toss in fresh herbs if we’re concerned they’ll go off before we can finish them. 3. When it’s finished cooking add a generous amount of salt to taste, strain the stock, and let cool. We recommend composting the vegetable scraps if that is available to you. 4. Transfer into ice cube trays and pop in the freezer. Any extra put in a resealable jar and store in the fridge use within about a week or 2. 5. Once the stock is frozen pop the cubes out and put them in a resealable container and store the container in the freezer until you need them, they can last a very long time in the freezer. We love that each batch is a little different with rich complex flavour, and of course that it’s turning what would otherwise be waste into a delicious useful product! Thanks for reading 🙏, hope this has inspired you to incorporate waste consciousness in your kitchen! Any questions, or tips to share please comment below 🤗

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8 Ways to Simplify Your Shower Routine!

Looking to “flush” the plastic packaging out of your bathroom routine? Look no further! Here are some waste-conscious tips for simplifying your shower routine. Remember – as with all good things, time is of the essence; don’t feel like you have to get all of this done in one day. In fact, that’s often how we burn out! Start with one thing…then move to the next. 🙂
 
  • Dry Brush – Ditch that plastic luffa, it isn’t doing you or the planet any favours! Replace it with a reusable dry brush and use it before you hop in the shower. Did you know dry brushing helps to remove dead skin cells and improves blood flow? Talk about glowing skin!
  • Bamboo Hair Brush – We’ve had one of these brushes for about 5+ years now – how’s that for longevity?! This brush gets bonus points for being gentle on hair and washable, which helps it last for years, rather than months! 
  • Solid Shampoo Bar – Such an easy swap, this little yellow gem provides the equivalent washes of 3 medium shampoo bottles, without the waste. Amazing, right? This one is from Lush, but we’re keen to discover a more local version…if you know of anyone in the Okanagan crafting solid shampoo bars, let us know!  
  • Coconut Oil – What can’t coconut oil do?? We love to use it as a conditioner for our hair, either before shampooing (if you have normal to oily hair [focusing on the ends]), or after (if you have very dry or damaged hair). It’s great as a shave oil too!
  • Natural Bar Soap – We l-o-v-e the variety of natural bars of soap that can be found at local farmers/crafters markets! Be sure to keep a lookout for deals: often vendors will offer a discount if you buy in bulk! We look for the ones that are package free of course, which lets the natural beauty of the soap shine!
  • Natural Raw Honey – Honey is the bee’s knees when it comes to waste conscious face cleansers, and easily found locally at markets or directly from the source! Work a quarter-sized dollop across your lightly wet face and lips, rinse with water for naturally glowing skin.  
  • DIY Head to Toe Whipped Body Butter – This recipe is courtesy of Trash Is For Tossers (check her out) and it is uh-mazing! Melt 1/4 cup each of coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, and almond oil, together over a double boiler until combined. Remove from heat and put in fridge to solidify. Once solid, whip content with an electric mixer, until it about doubles in size, put in a sealed container and slather over every inch of your face and bod! (Optional, you can add your fav essential oil for fragrance.) 
  • Lavender or other natural elements – Replace harmful air freshener in your bathroom with natural soothing smelling elements like dried lavender, which I picked in the fall from my garden.
Hope you’ve been inspired to evaluate your shower routine! If you have questions, tips to share, or local Okanagan businesses who we need to know about please leave us a comment!

Ordinary people working together to empower others.

There are a number of things that we can do to decrease the amount of waste we generate.  The simple act of taking your own mug to the local coffee shop means there is one less disposable coffee cup in the world.  However, when you are walking down the street and all you see are people with disposable coffee cups it can be discouraging.  We get it.

We are a group of people who know that using your own mug will make a difference.  We know that every little thing that we do will help and we all have to start somewhere.  We are building this website to encourage you to continue to make the small changes to reduce your waste and our dependence on single-use plastic.

Thanks for joining us.