Spring is here, and with it come weddings, outdoor events and the need for a few new outfits.
However, buying the season's trendiest looks takes a toll on the planet with the manufacturing, shipping and storing. And, it takes a toll on our pocketbooks. Want to be eco-friendly and fashionable at the same time? Here are five ways to get a designer outfit that will help you save some green.
1. Swap parties
Clothing swap parties are taking place everywhere these days.
A simple emailed invite gets guests on board. Then, people bring a minimum number of gently used clothes they no longer wear to a meeting spot. The clothes are sorted by type -- accessories, dresses, jeans, etc. No money is exchanged so people can easily "shop" and socialize at the same time.
Leftover clothes can be taken to an organization to help people in need, such as a battered women's shelter.
2. Rent them!
Why buy when you can rent? Instead of shelling out big bucks for an expensive dress, jacket or even purse you'll use only occasionally, consider renting them. There are many online sites that feature everything a fashionista could want at a fraction of the cost. Check out DoYourPart.com/columns.
3. Consignment & eBay
Consignment shops are a win-win for everyone involved. People can take their good clothes to consignment shops and make a little money. It's also a perfect destination for people looking to get a designer piece of clothing for a much more manageable price.
EBay works in a similar way. You can browse through thousands of articles of clothing and only bid what you feel comfortable spending. It's also an easy way to get your hands on prized vintage finds.
4. Go to Goodwill
You've done it and so have others! Just think how many times you've donated an article of new clothing to Goodwill. Many Goodwill stores now are set up to look and operate like a department store but without the steep prices. You can find name-brand clothing and accessories for just a few bucks each. And some still have the original price tag.
5. Repair, repurpose
Could the designer outfit you desire actually be in your closet right now? Whether it's a pair of pumps with a wobbly heel or a piece of clothing with an unfortunate rip, you might be better off repairing than buying something new. Fixing something you already love will help you give your wardrobe a second life, and it's always the more economical way to go.
See? There's no reason you can't look good while doing good. It's another way you can do your part to show off your sense of style without paying a high price for it.
Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, syndicated columnist and host of DoYour Part.com where you can find everyday green living ideas that are better for you and the planet. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.