My Big Green Resolution

closet_photoAt the start of 2010, I made a resolution that felt big for me. It started with my desire to make a stronger commitment to green living—making more choices that were better for the environment. But I am a collector. I have a lot of stuff. And I really like my stuff. I have a closet filled with clothing and accessories I love (yes, love) and my house is full of treasured possessions. Still, I felt the need to simplify. I felt overwhelmed by the drive to acquire. Stuff! More stuff! So I decided to give up shopping for new stuff for the year.

I would refrain from buying new things I wanted. For things I needed, such as food and toilet paper and soap, I would stick to my resolve of buying the eco-friendly choices. New jeans, a new handbag, or new silverware? No. For any non-necessities, I would buy only pre-owned items—after carefully considering whether the purchase was necessary. I would shop at thrift stores, consignment and vintage shops, yard sales, on eBay and Etsy. I would be spending money on items already produced and in circulation (and withdrawing my consumer support for new products), which would help to reduce my carbon footprint.

I expected this to be a challenge and ended up being surprised with how easy it was. (And fun—thrift shopping is like treasure-hunting.) I thought I would write about my temptations and possible slips, but exceptions I made were few and far between (new underwear, practical running shoes…) and felt permissible. Then there was the upside: saving money. When the year ended, I decided to keep going and it’s become my new normal. Just like that. And while I’m shy about suggesting how others should live their lives, I like to share my example and offer it as a challenge to anyone who might like to try. For today or a week or a month or a year….

Miss Stefanie Etsy Shirts Modeled

My sweet friend Madelyn modeled some of the upcycled shirts I made for my Miss Stefanie Etsy shop, to show how the shirts look layered over a long sleeve shirt. Shirts in a woman’s size small or extra-small are shown here to fit her frame (various sizes are in the shop); I get the shirts from thrift stores, so what I get is what I remake and they’re all one-of-a-kind. She’s also wearing the denim nautical-style bracelets for sale in the shop, made from denim scraps from rescues pairs of jeans. (The Mickey Mouse shirt is the one she kept.) Note: Holiday sale going on now! Save 15% through December 5 by entering HOHOHO as the coupon code. MissStefanie.etsy.com.

Earth Day Shop Launch: MissStefanie on Etsy

Earth Day was the official launch of my Etsy shop: Miss Stefanie’s House of Crafts and Collectibles (easy-to-remember web address: MissStefanie.etsy.com). Everything in the shop is eco-friendly: vintage clothing and accessories I find during my shopping adventures; thrift shop T-shirts I recover and remake into more flattering styles; and other accessories I make using fabric scraps. My lovely and amazing friend Kristine is pictured, modeling her purchase: a Wonder Woman tee I remade with a pair of scissors, needle, and thread (all my work is done by hand). Reuse, recycle, recreate–rock on. . . I’ll post more photos of happy customers as they come in.