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How To Green & Glam Your Wardrobe For 2014

As the iconic style maven Coco Chanel once said, “fashion fades, only style remains.” For today’s modern shopper, this translates to sustainable style. Our eco-style guide offers updates for anyone with sustainability and saving money on their minds in the New Year ahead.

1. Go for style longevity by adding statement accessories for a fresh update. Before you shop, assess your current wardrobe. Find your clothes that can act as continual “blank canvases” to mix and match and add accessories to. Adding statement accessories to your best fitting garments not only adds incentive to stay in shape, but will save you money that will outlast shopping trends for years to come.

Photo by Stacie Stacie Stacie via Flickr

When you add accessories, look for items that won’t tarnish or that are made from long-lasting durable materials such as leather. Click here to see our favorite all-weather fashion boots, leather handbags that can act as briefcases or day bags and infinity scarves that can dress it up or down depending on the occassion.

2. DIY upcycled fashions with your current clothes. Once you’ve separated your best fitting clothing you’ll have leftovers to either donate or keep. You might be surprised at how many items can be upcycled into new, unique fashions such as:

  • making braided scarves out of old, but colorful t-shirts
  • Fashioning leg warmers out of sweater sleeves and a new vest with the remaining sweater material
  • Snipping and tying loose dresses into cropped shirts or mini-dresses

Pinterest is fashion DIY-resource heaven for discovering more inspiration before you toss or donate your old duds.

Photo by Stacie Stacie Stacie via Flickr

3. Host a reuse & recycle wardrobe swap before you donate. You’ve no doubt hung out with friends whose closets you’d love to raid. Host a New Year’s wardrobe swap and get your hands on friend’s fashions. A fun way to get together over champagne and a way for everyone to look fresh while saving money and being green!

Photo by The S.W.A.P. Team via Wikimedia Commons

4. Clean your clothes the green way. Greening your wardrobe isn’t simply about how you wear it or where you scored the best finds, but how you care for your clothes as well. If clothes call for dry cleaning, skip the EPA’s known carcinogenic products generally used and opt for “wet cleaning” which uses CO2 liquid materials instead. Silk, wool and linen that often call for dry cleaning can be hand washed in many cases as well. You can find a green dry cleaning service in your area by entering your zip code into No Dry Cleaning’s database.

Photo by Voyou Desoeuvre via Flickr

5. Wash well and dry little at home. Washing and drying adds a majority of wear and tear to our clothes and can decrease their lifespan. While the sloshing and spinning can degrade fibers, so do harmful phosphates found in common laundry detergents. Consider choosing more gentle fabric cleaners that will not only treat your clothes right, but also easy on the environment. Look at Seventh Generation cleaning products as a resource for finding an eco-friendly laundry cleaners and dryer sheets when drying is a must.

Photo by Joybot via Flickr

Brooke Martins, the author of this post, knows where to find all the best deals on stylish clothing, awesome home gadgets and baby gear.

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