I’m going to let you in on a little secret: my spring cleaning strategy this year has been a total game changer. It’s not a “keep, toss, sell” formula either. How many times have you stared into your overflowing closet, feeling like you still have nothing to wear? I’m willing to bet it’s a pretty common thing. I’ll be the first to admit, I was right there with you a year ago. With a closet full of old museum pieces mixed with a growing fast fashion graveyard, I was overwhelmed both physically and mentally. Buying new stuff only added to the chaos, and the old stuff stuck around longer than wanted due to the slow process of consignment, and the hard choice of tossing stuff I thought I might need later. Sound familiar? If you’re searching for an end to the spring cleaning madness, keep reading.
Did you know that women throw away over 82 pounds of clothing a year? I believe it: I tossed a ton this year as a result of sizing down to a one bedroom apartment in New York. While I donated most of it, it was still a reality check: I needed to be more strategic about my purchases. Cue sustainable fashion: rented clothing, hybrid technical pieces. I’ve used Rent The Runway in the past for formal events or to try out certain styles before buying, but it wasn’t until I moved that I decided to give the full Unlimited subscription a go. With only my bare essentials in my closet, I found a new and surprisingly easy way to feel my best without the clutter.
I also saw a spike in my Nerd Wallet stats: I was spending FAR less money, yet was able to add more quality pieces to my wardrobe, and still have money left over in my budget. When you take out a few trendy purchases and trade them for trendy rentals, you actually get the trend for half the price. I rent 4 to sometimes 6 new pieces per week, all for $159 per month. I wear them about as many times as I would the ones I purchased. What’s even cooler, is the fact that those pieces are all designer, and the cost per wear is lower. How’s that for a bargain?
Renting things often has a negative connotation: we often feel the need to own it instead. While that is smart for larger investments like homes, it makes more financial sense to rent a few things strategically that lose value quickly, like clothing or costume jewelry. If you tally up your expenses, you’ll actually find that you spend more money on cheaper things. When the season ends, you’re left with a ton of bulk, and not much to show or get back from it. Did you know that by renting a few items here and there, you help cut down on the waste of water and electricity too? It really comes full circle, and it’s pretty cool to realize.
My Sustainable Faves
I love these companies that are changing the way we think about consuming: from renting, selling, to repurposing, we can all feel a little bit more proactive in our fashion habits!
RocksBox: Calling all my jewelry junkies! This site lets you rent your favorite trendy pieces from brands like House of Harlow, Kate Spade, Gorjana, and more.
Rent The Runway: I edit in and out my trendy pieces for the season, and even rent killer outerwear during the winter months for a nice change of coat scenery! Use this link for $30 off your first rental, or head here to check out Unlimited.
The Real Real: This is luxury consignment at it’s finest. You can safely buy/sell gently used premium designer pieces at a fraction of the original cost, and ensure their authenticity! I buy many of my luxury handbags and shoes here.
Vestiaire Collective: This is another amazing option for luxury items, you can buy and sell here too. They have a killer selection!
H&M Garment Collecting: I dropped off a good amount of my fast fashion pieces here for recycling. H&M recycles these pieces you drop off into new fabric, which cuts down on waste. You also get a discount card for your next purchase too.
Top: Red Flutter Pullover, DVF via Rent The Runway
Pants: Floral Snap Pants, MSGM
Bag: PVC Small Boy Bag, Chanel
Shoes: Cracked Leather Creepers, Fenty x Puma
Primer: Foundation Primer Radiant, Laura Mercier
Foundation: Your Skin But Better CC+ Illumination Cream, IT Cosmetics
Highlighter: Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter, Fenty Beauty in Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal
Blush: Air Blush Soft Glow Duo, Marc Jacobs Beauty in Lines & Last Night
Eyes: NARSississt Wanted Palette, NARS
Lashes: Ardell Wispies, Target
Lips: Vice Lipstick, Urban Decay in Wonderland (ON SALE for less than $9!)
Photos by Lydia Hudgens, makeup by me