February 10, 2011 (5:28 am)

Eco Fashion – Changing My Closet Over 1 Piece At A Time

topics: Fashion
by Kristen Suzanne

It’s been a long dream of mine to only wear clothes made from sustainable, fair trade materials whenever possible. That means that I would love for my closet to be filled with organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp clothes – wouldn’t that be just heavenly?! (I also wrote about how I’m slowly changing over other things beyond clothes to include bedding, towels, and such here. Be sure to check out that post, too!)

Image from organic-cotton.us

I would also like this to be the case for my whole family. Fortunately, for Kamea, it’s a reality. Her entire wardrobe is organic, hemp, and bamboo. I only want those fibers touching her delicate skin, and starting a closet from scratch for someone who only wears a few different things is easier than replacing a whole closet for an adult. (To help keep the cost down on Kamea’s clothes I’ve taken advantage of many awesome deals here.)

For me to entirely change over my closet, I knew it wasn’t going to happen overnight for two main reasons. 1) Cost. 2) Lack of choices. (Fortunately, both of these are improving as time goes by.)

The way I handle cost is by transitioning to eco-friendly fashion one piece of clothing at a time, mostly on an as-needed basis. A smart way to do that is by buying basic, staple pieces that can be worn in many ways. Enter: leggings. The leggings I’m wearing in the photos below are a great example of this. I can dress them up or down. They’re comfortable, sexy, and fun.

Another way I’m working on getting my closet filled with sustainable threads is taking advantage of holidays and gift time. Eco-friendly clothes are the main thing on my Christmas list and my family is really good about it. Check out what my husband got me in the pics below. He did his shopping both online (more about that in a moment) as well as shopping at Whole Foods Market.

I look forward to the day when eco-friendly fashion isn’t more expensive than conventional products. As demand increases, it’ll become more available and less expensive. According to the Organic Trade Association, organic cotton production grew 20% over the 2007/08 time period. I also grabbed this impressive information from their website…

According to the Organic Cotton Market Report 2009 released by Organic Exchange in May 2010, global sales of organic cotton apparel and home textile products reached an estimated $4.3 billion in 2009. This reflects a 35 percent increase from the $3.2 billion market recorded in 2008. Companies reported significant growth of their organic cotton programs, and increased adoption of standards addressing organic product traceability and sustainable textile processing.

Meanwhile, if I find myself uneasy about the cost at times, I remember buying organic is investing in my health, the earth, and the workers farming the cotton and materials for my clothes. Did you know cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops? It wreaks all kinds of havoc on the workers and the earth. I don’t want to be a part of that. I want to feel proud about what I’m buying and wearing and I’m willing to pay more for that, even if it means cutting back on something else.

Here is an outfit Greg bought for me during the holidays… he purchased the scarf, the necklace, and the top – all from Whole Foods Market. The necklace: Rainforest Native, the scarf: Global Girlfriend, and the shirt shown below: Threads 4 Thought, plus he bought me a great long sleeve green tshirt from Green Label that I love wearing with jeans.

The second issue — lack of choices for eco-friendly fashion — is improving very rapidly. Just a couple of years ago, it was hard to find organic clothes that I really liked without always looking like I was heading to a yoga class. Today, there are way more choices… very exciting. Unfortunately, for now, this still usually means buying online, which can be hard when looking for a pair of jeans (or anything else for that matter) – you just don’t know if it’ll fit right!? But so far, so good. I’ve been pretty lucky with my purchases and haven’t had to return many items.

Imagine my glee when I was approached by Melissa of Ecolissa (eco and vegan fashions) to pick out something to try out! I decided on a pair of organic black leggings. (I’m wearing them in the picture above as well as below.) I love the leggings so much that when Ecolissa had an amazing New Year’s sale, I bought an extra pair so I’d have a backup just in case. And as you can imagine, while at her site, I saw lots of other things I wanted. So, I put the blue top you see me wearing below on my xmas list and my husband bought it for me. This blue top — OMG — I love it as much as the leggings… maybe more. It’s soooo soft! I love how it drapes and flows. And, I LOOOVE the color! Mmmm… now I want it in the other reddish color they offer.

But one thing at a time. I need to pace myself as I gradually transition my closet.

So, guess what?! GREAT NEWS! Ecolissa is offering my readers a coupon for 20% off! Use coupon code “eco20″ when you check out. Sweet, huh?!

Oh, and the groovy sneakers I’m wearing? Love those. They’re eco-friendly, made from hemp and organic cotton, the soles are recycled car tire, and the laces are made from recycled PET (PET is made from recycled soda bottles). Bitchin’! (I bought them on Amazon.)

Have you attempted the organic threads transition? How is it going? Share your experiences in the comments box, below. We’d all love to hear!

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  • http://veggiegirlvegan.blogspot.com VeggieGirl

    You are so gorgeous!

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Thank you so much!!! :) ))

  • http://gingeristhenewpink.blogspot.com/ Lauren519

    Love those outfits! I try to buy Audriana organic clothes too, but she gets a lot of outfits as gifts and unfortunately they aren't organic. I wash them a few times before she wear them, if that helps..

    You are one gorgeous lady! You've inspired me to grow my hair out. You look like an earth mama goddess! :)

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Awww Thanks Lauren. What a great way to start my day with a great

    compliment like that. :)

  • Sara

    After going back to grad school this year after a few years off from college, I'm back on a student's budget, so I can't buy as many organic thread items as I could when I had a steady paycheck. However, when I moved to my new place, I bought a Queen size bed (I had a full size before), and have only been buying organic sheets for my new bed. They're so soft, and I love them!

  • http://girlonraw.com/ GirlonRaw

    You're such a funky mama. I love that outfit with the animal print shoes and pregnant or not, I live in leggings, thank goodness they made a return to fashion a couple of years back – I do hope they stay :)

  • http://girlonraw.com/ GirlonRaw

    PS you are a great role model for new mums too :) Look how effortlessly cute you look!

  • Sofia

    love your style (especially the bright blue shirt and necklace and shoes)! i am getting a new wardrobe for my 40's and you gave me something to think about! thank you, Kristen!

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Excellent! Thank you for commenting.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    That is smart seeing as we spend so much time on our beds. My big dream is an organic mattress someday.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Lol. Leggings rock!

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Thank you. Ya know, I just put her on tummy time in the bathroom while I get ready. So far it's easy. When she's crawling it might be a different story though. ;)

  • Teresa

    Kristen you are so beautiful ! That blue is definitely YOUR color ! It looks awesome on you !
    That is so great how baby Kamea's clothes are so natural ! I truly admire your passion in every thing you do from eating healthy and living healthy !! Organic cotton is so much softer and I try to buy my girls organic clothing as well.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Gosh, Teresa, thank you so much. You put a big ol' smile on my face. :)

  • http://bittsblog.blogspot.com bitt

    I have that same blue shirt as you from ecolissa! Great company. I wish ecofriendly clothes were cheaper though.

  • http://themcnabbclan.blogspot.com Kristen

    Wow, that blue on you is AWESOME!!! Great post and I love the pics. Your style comes through fabulously!!

  • Annaama

    The best way to be eco-friend is to head the thrift store for some gently used items.

  • Kelli

    If you are concerned about the price of organics and will shop at Wal-mart, they have a large selection of organic cotton baby clothes, and a decent selection of women's clothes too, and they are very affordable, especially the baby items.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    That's great!

  • Bryant

    Beautiful pictures! Have you looked at http://www.vickerey.com? They have some nice sustainable pieces, some of which are really reasonably priced. All of their products are vegetarian, and most are vegan. Also, many of She Bible's items are on sale right now on the She Bible website. I love that they are made in San Francisco, and if you call, you talk directly to the owner/creator of the clothes. I'm planning to get an organic cotton sundress to wear all summer long (which means for the next 6 months in AZ!)!

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Haven't been there. Thanks for the tip!

  • Katherine Randall

    Love your article! I made the same resolution a few years ago – eco friendly and fairly produced, but also had trouble finding non-yoga clothes until I found kikaPaprika. They sell through consultants so that you can try the clothes on and then they custom dye to order so you can get the color that you want in the piece that you want…great for capsule wardrobing and getting tons of outfits from a few pieces. By selling through consultants they are also providing a business opportunity to women too! Check out http://kikapaprika.com where you can find a local consultant. P.s. everything is made in the USA!

  • Bryant Avery

    Hi again! Just found out about lovingeco.com and though you might want to know. They feature sales each week on sustainable items.  Here is a link to their “About” page:


  • Bryant Avery

    Hi again! Just found out about lovingeco.com and though you might want to know. They feature sales each week on sustainable items.  Here is a link to their “About” page:


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Kristen Suzanne is a Raw food chef and author who blogs about all things green and mommy-related! More...

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