Shopping responsibly and consciously

A photo posted by Eli Perez (@thrifteye) on

A larger and more in depth Made in the USA post is overdue – the great thing is that I’ve found SO many insightful articles that I thought I could share with you all that are highly relevant in learning more about shopping responsibly and sustainably.


Model Kyleigh Kühn decided on the eve of her birthday she would mostly only wear vintage clothing (or clothes she already owned) for 87 days for several good reasons. She restates how our fast fashion appetites aren’t sustainable and hurting mother earth. But she also makes a great poing that in dressing vintage, she cultivated a unique look in which you don’t worry about wearing the same things as everyone else (which happens when everyone is shopping at the same places and buying the same things!) I like how she says “After all, Mama Earth suffers whether our new tags say Prada or H&M.”


Many people think that when they donate clothes to a thrift shop, it goes directly to a selling floor where someone else can buy it. But with so much disposable clothes, that’s rarely a case now. And thrift stores have developed a secondary (or sometimes even third) markets reselling your donations in various ways – by finding quality items and vintage to resell at better prices, by finding bottom of the barrel items that can quickly be turned into rags, or even dumping them in other countries. As an avid thrifter myself, this quote struck a chord ‘“Nobody is stupid enough to buy Forever 21 second-hand,” notes Zweig. No one in the developed world, anyway.’”


Have you ever considered the environmental footprint your clothing creates? Now multiply those effects in current times when clothing has become disposable – this is an older article from a scientific journal, but not much has changed (it has probably gotten worse!) The article has some great insights even about how much energy is being consumed when you wash & dry your clothing, taking into consideration what type of materials your clothes are made out of!(natural vs synthetic materials.) “How does a T-shirt originally sold in a U.S. shopping mall to promote an American sports team end up being worn by an African teen? Globalization, consumerism, and recycling all converge to connect these scenes.”


Person sets out to see how easy or difficult it is to buy new Made in the USA clothes at regular, non-fancy everyday stores! Spoiler Alert: it’s difficult. And they capture the irony of it all that I’ve personally always found confusing – “it’s really strange seeing patriotic shirts with flags all over them and finding that they’re made in another country.”



The lost dress

I’m happy for this post (and the serendipity of this whole blog) – where my present and past collide! Back in my first full year of blogging I snapped this fitting room picture really wanting this dress.…but it was too expensive! It just became one of those things that stayed in the back of my mind, and fate would be that I’d encounter the dress again of course! Eight years later! It’s still just as pretty, just as fashionable, and just my style :)

Item From Made in… BUY
Lithe dress thrifted China HERE
Marc by Marc Jacobs mouse flats China HERE

Thrift Eye, lithe kings road dress, how to wear a yellow dress, style blogger

Thrift Eye, lithe kings road dress, how to wear a yellow dress, style blogger

Thrift Eye, lithe kings road dress, how to wear a yellow dress, style blogger

Spotlight on: American Apparel

You’ll be able to follow all of these spotlight posts here, but also keep up with my Made in the USA series here.

I might be throwing myself into the sharks here – but as much as controversy loves to swarm around American Apparel like the sky is blue, there is no denying that they do a great good bringing jobs to the US and being so vocal about manufacturing here. In fact, because of their woes – I think it might be a good idea for the company to be sold off to a bigger one that could absorb the larger issues. Wouldn’t it be great if a large retailer like Target carried American Apparel in stores instead? That way a brand/company like Target could diversify their assets (I don’t think any of their Apparel is currently made in the US) and bring in a company with established brand recognition? Imagine the possibilities! But I’m dreaming over here of course.

Their About page states-

Our Garment Workers Are Paid Up To 50 Times More Than The Competition
A garment worker in Bangladesh earns an average of $600 a year. An experienced American Apparel garment worker can earn $30,000+ and receive benefits such as comprehensive health care. American Apparel garments are created by motivated and fairly-paid employees who don’t just have jobs – they have careers. Our culture recognizes outstanding performance and promotes from within. Most importantly, our workers have a voice and influence the direction of the company. At American Apparel we call it Sweatshop-Free, a term we coined in 2002.
Unlike Our Competitors, We Make Our Own Product
The American Apparel factory is the largest sewing facility in North America. We believe that integrating our manufacturing, distribution and creative processes keeps our company more efficient than those who rely on offshore or onshore sub-contracting. By leveraging art, design, and technology at our Downtown LA campus, we are able to pay garment workers fairly AND sell garments profitably so we can sustain our business and grow. Everyone benefits – customers, workers, and shareholders alike.
In spite of the former CEO troubles, troublesome and questionable ads, poorly managed stores sometimes even suspicions of sweatshoplike conditions in the US! – American Apparel is bringing Made in USA clothing back to the forefront of fashion and manufacturing. They’re making it commonplace, we’ve just gotten so used to seeing the labels with Made in ANOTHER COUNTRY. Being a large company gives them the same type issues other large companies face, they’re unfortunately not immune to it (but hey, so do places like Zara and H&M!). Absolutely things could be better. So here’s to hoping their management makes huge strides towards being a better overall company – they’re sitting on potential.

American Apparel

American Apparel

American Apparel

American Apparel

American Apparel

American Apparel

American Apparel

Disposable fashion

Just watched this very inspiring documentary streaming on Netflix (& a few other places online) called The True Cost. The consumerism of having a fashion blog and living in a time of non-stop consumption is something I have struggled with. I try to consume as little as possible, reuse & restyle my wardrobe, and be conscious of what I buy. It’s not easy when bloggers who buy, buy, buy are soaring to to the top! But I’m happy staying behind if it means I’m setting a responsible model to be mindful of what you put on. I might just be at a stage of my career where I don’t need to shop second hand – but I’m using it as a means to not shop the high street and replace my old cheapy wardrobe with better quality things!

Watching this documentary is eye opening to a global impact that we can make if we change the way we shop.

It’s not something we can fix immediately – but you can choose to tell brands to not pay the bottom line, to pledge better wages and work environments, pledge sustainability and mindfulness over profits in their pockets. This goes beyond shopping Made in USA – but also promoting ecofashion and true fair trade. Our wardrobes don’t have to be disposable – don’t let the high street brainwash you into thinking so!

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