5 Ways to Stop Buying Fast Fashion Today

Vent. Okay, so originally this post was going to be about my weekend and how wonderful it was visiting Terrain with Juliette from Julietteful (which by the way was all kinds of wonderful). But before I sat down to write this blog post I watched The True Cost on Netflix and I couldn’t focus because I was so unbelievably frustrated and overwhelmed. For those who don’t know, The True Cost is a documentary that explains negative impact fast fashion has on the social, economic, political, and environmental structures of developing countries. That was a mouthful. In short: fast fashion is ruining everything around us. But what really resonated with me were the following statistics:

  1. The fashion industry is the world’s second-largestpolluter. (Oil is the first).
  2. The world now consumes a staggering 80 billionpieces of clothing. (And we throw clothes away just as quickly as we consume them).
  3. One-in-six people work in the global fashion industry. (The majority of them are women and are being paid less than $3 a day).
  4. Only 10% of the clothes people donate to charity or thrift stores get sold (When the clothes are not sold, they are shipped to various developing countries where they are bought by the box and kill the local textile industry).

After watching this film, I feel so overwhelmed. I have been so blind to what was happening right underneath my nose. More than half the products I own I don’t even know where they came from. I don’t even know how my clothes came to American or the processes in which they were cut, dyed, or sewn. I love shopping and the “rush” of finding a good deal but I’m quickly realizing how wrong that is. Do I really want a cheaply made garment that will unravel after a few washes? Do I really want a garment that people have made with their own blood, sweat, and tears? I think it’s time I drastically rethink the way I consume, which is why I plan on implementing these steps into my daily life.

Recycled Fashion - Thrift ShoppingIMG_9387Sell your clothes on eBay. 

I know it feels great giving your clothes to charity and thrift stores but the harsh reality is that only 10% of those clothes are actually being sold and the majority of those profits aren’t going back to charity. Some second-hand stores even have a 30-day cycle so that if they aren’t sold in the 30 days they are removed and either thrown away or shipped in a box to a developing country. Once the box arrives at the developing country, buyers pick random boxes without knowing what exactly is inside. Those clothes then flood the textile industry in that country and diminish work opportunities.

By selling clothes on eBay you not only make a profit, but you can potentially donate that money to a charity that you choose. You then can know how much of your proceeds are actually going to the charity. Or you can simply just keep the money and use it to purchase clothes that are sustainable. I’ve been selling clothes on eBay for about a year now and have made a decent amount of money. It is a great way to have a little extra cash and I often use that money to buy sustainable alternatives. Let’s face it, I own a good amount of fast fashion clothes but I’m not going to just throw them all away because that would just be adding to the problem. Instead, I can think of different ways to reuse these items and get the longest life out of them.

Shop on eBay or go thrift shopping. 

Now, I know this idea might deter a few people but hear me out. This adorable dress was actually found thrifting. Since the cut of the dress is way too rebellious for my taste, I just threw on a simple turtleneck and called it a day. When I go thrift shopping, I really need to be in the right mood or else I won’t find anything. You really need to be open-minded to different ways you can style something. If you are, you’ll find endless things.

This is a great way to find vintage clothes and clothes for DIY projects. Plus, you’re helping cut down the impact of clothes that would be going to landfills and adding to our pollution problem.

IMG_9496Research the products and companies you’re buying from. 

This is something I’m still trying to get used to. As an American and a blogger, I love consuming countless things I really don’t need. This is why I’m trying to refocus what I’ve been putting my money towards and seeing if it is really worth it. For example, instead of spending $50-70 bucks on a pair of cheap boots that I knew my awkward, pigeon-toed feet would ruin, I decided to buy a pair of high-quality boots from Thursday Boot Co. I did just as much research on these boots as I would on a camera. I looked up what type of leather they use, where they manufacture the boots, and what other consumers say about the boots. Since we live in such a technology-driven world, there is really no excuse to not researching a company before you buy from them. Plus, this really helps cut down on my impulse shopaholic habits.

Quality over quantity. 

Just like my boots, you really want to make sure the products you’re buying are worth it. Are your boots going to last walking around three airports at top speed? Will that white shirt still look white after the 20th wash? Will that seam stay pull or unravel after the third wear? These are all questions I am starting to ask myself as I shop. I admit, I still shop and Marshalls and Nordstrom Rack. The only difference is that when I buy products from there I really want to make sure they’re really good quality. I no longer buy a $5 cotton shirt that is thinner than a piece of paper because I know that I might only get a few uses out of it. Plus, if the shirt is $5 think of how much the person making that shirt is getting paid. I’m hoping that as I start this journey I can start developing a sense of what is good quality and what isn’t. IMG_9401Lastly, just be aware.

Since fast fashion is so ingrained in our lives, it is so hard to quit cold turkey. I totally get that and I’m right there with you. But now that I’ve opened Pandora’s box for you, you’re going to start hearing a little nagging voice in the back of your head every time you want to buy a cheaply made shirt. Sorry! But, hopefully, your bank account will thank you.

If you want to know more about fast and slow fashion I highly recommend watching The True Cost on Netflix, listening or reading the book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Fast Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline,  listening to the podcast Conscious Chatter by Kestrel Jenkins, and downloading the app Good on You. The following blogs are also great resources for finding more information on companies: Ecocult, Sustainably Chic, The Good Trade, and Ethical Unicorn.

IMG_9382Recycled Fashion - Thrift Shopping

Now I know conscious shopping isn’t for everyone, but I hope this makes you just a little bit more aware of where you’re getting your clothes. What do you think about fast fashion/slow fashion? Have you seen The True Cost? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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10 New England Date Ideas for the Cold, Winter Months

As some of you may know, my boyfriend and I have a long distance relationship… if you can even call it “long distance.” We live about two hours away from each other depending on if he is spending time in Long Island or New Jersey. It really isn’t that far in comparison to when we dated while I studied abroad in Italy. Over the years, we’ve come up with some interesting things to do. For example, this past weekend when we randomly decided to go to the Norwalk Aquarium and eat ice cream at Milkcraft (something I’ve always wanted to try). If you’re an avid Pinterest lover like me, you come up with some fun date ideas for when you do see each other. Here are some of the ones we’ve come up with for the cold, winter months.

New England Date Ideas During in the Winter

 

Dress (Urban Outfitters, Sold out) | Necklace (Similar) | Boots (I’m obsessed)

Visit an aquarium or zoo.

The Norwalk Aquarium Robert and I visited this past weekend was a confusing mix of aquarium meets wildlife… and it was ahh-maz-ing. There were lizards, meerkats, otters, seals, sharks, sea turtles, and everything that makes the small child in my soul happy. If you want to see your date oooo and ahh over amazing creatures this is definitely a great date idea for you. Plus, some of the aquariums have giant Imax theaters so you get to see a movie and little critters all in one.

Try a cuisine you’ve never had before. 

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to travel far away without really traveling that far… welcome to study abroad via el’ stomach. Look up authentic restaurants near you and look up the menus online. If you don’t know what some of the food is on one of the menus, pick that restaurant. You’ll have fun trying out different things. If you want to try a bunch of items at once try a tapas restaurant. For example, Barcelona Wine Bar in New Haven is a great pick.

Take a hike after a light snowfall.

For New Year’s Eve, Robert and I visited Skytop Lodge in Pennsylvania (okay, not New England but same idea). For someone who doesn’t go outside in the snow very often, it was one of my favorite trips I’ve been on. It snowed every night so we woke up to a winter wonderland. The trees were icy and we were bundled up like stuffed burritos. A date where you’re moving and grooving is always a great idea.

Visit a random town you both have never visited. 

Since Robert and I live two hours away from each other, we find towns that are half way in-between us to visit. For example, this summer we explored Mystic, CT because it is closer to the Long Island ferry and this past weekend we visited Norwalk because it is equal distance from the both of us. This actually allows us to meet up in different towns that we wouldn’t normally and explore like pesky tourists. Hey, you need to find the fun in the little things.

Go to a demolition derby. 

I find it hilarious that I included this while I wear this innocent, feminine dress. But every sweet dress has its tough side. Demolition derbies are very common in rural towns in New England. Most occur during the fall season but if you’re lucky some places have indoor performances. You might want to bring earplugs!

IMG_8972New England Date Ideas During in the Winter

Go to a local museum you’ve never been to. 

Most states have tons and tons of museums and some of them are even free! Connecticut is such a small state so if there are tons of museums here there must be quadruple museums in your state! Museums are a fun way to open your mind to different perspectives and maybe even learn a thing or to. I recently went to one of the Yale Art Museums with one of my friends and it was a blast.

Go see a magic show, comedy show, or a concert you normally would go see. 

My boss is awesome and offered me two free tickets to see a Chriss’ Angel show. Robert and I watched Chriss’ in amazement as he made people vanish in midair, swallow razor blades, and even detangle himself from a straightjacket. My mind is still blown. Most casinos and large venues have fun, out of this world shows that you can see like that one.

Bundle up and go to a parade, Winterfest, or ice sculpting show. 

If you follow me on Instagram or saw this post from 2016, you know the Siena College community means business when it comes to Saratoga Springs’ Chowderfest. We all get bundled up in countless layers just so we can trench through chowder lines. This year, I proudly consumed seven chowders. Most towns have festivals like this during the cold winter months. I think it’s some weird attempt to get people outside of the house. Hey, it works for me.

Go to a random antique or thrift store. 

Wild Bill’s Nostalgia is a time capsule that is ready to be opened. This wild thrift store is stuffed to the max with collectible baseball cards, vintage clothes, retro signs, and so much more. You can spend hours just looking through things in this tiny store. Although this is an odd date idea, it’s definitely a great way to find some weird things together and create unique memories.

Scroll on Instagram through GEOtags and find a gem like Milkcraft. 

I’m an Instagram fanatic and have “boards” in my library just like I have “boards” on Pinterest. I follow accounts like “ctfoodlovers”, “cteatsout”, “getseenct”, and “ctbloggerbabes” to see if there are some new and fun things to do in Connecticut. Most states have many accounts that are dedicated to finding gems like Milkcraft, Mystic Seaport, and so much more. Search random tags and you’ll find a few gems in no time.

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What are some of your favorite dates for the winter? Are you doing anything special for Valentine’s day? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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P.S. A big shout out to my Instagram followers for convincing me to buy this dress. I’m in love with it.

5 Ways to Find New Things to do in Your Hometown

As some of you may already know, I’m currently living at home so that I can save money to eventually move out. There are a ton of upsides of living at home such as home cooked food, two loving puppies, no rent, and simply just going home to a loving atmosphere. I can’t complain… I have it good. The only downside I can really see is that nothing is really new to me. I grew up my whole life in the very small state of Connecticut where I’m half an hour to an hour from literally everything (unless you count Boston or New York City because then I’m two hours away). It’s the perfect location if you want to go and do something. I’ve made it my mission to look for new and exciting things to do while I’m spending the time home. Here are some of my tricks to making your hometown feel like a travel destination.

Yale Art Museum Outfit

Layered Top (On sale and 4 different colors) | Jeans (On Sale) | Shoes | Vest (Similar)

Look up your state on Pinterest and Yelp just as you would do if you were traveling somewhere new/special. You’d be surprised how much stuff you’ll find. 

One random Saturday, I wanted to do something but had no idea what. I started to look on Yelp, Only in Your State, and Pinterest for things to do in Connecticut. I came up with tons and tons of things to do that I never thought about doing. Thus, this ‘research’ was the exact reason why my friend and I visited Yale to see their incredible art museums. Sometimes you need to act like an unknowing tourist so that you get rid of your blinders.

Force yourself to go to a new town or city near your hometown. 

Growing up, I never ventured to New Haven because it just seemed so far away. In reality, it’s only thirty minutes away and I drive four times that in one day for work. Go a little further from your hometown so you feel like you’re “traveling” but in reality, you only have to cross a few bridges and highways. Even just walking down the street or “sightseeing” might be worth the little travel.

Yale Art Museum OutfitIMG_7133

Look up events near you on Yelp and Facebook.

I just recently found the tool on Facebook where you can search for events near you and let me tell you… it is pure genius. How else would I have known that there was a giant air balloon festival this past summer or a food truck event? My favorite part of this genius invention is that you can actually pick a date further in the week or last minute and it will tell you what events are going on based on categories. This is also perfect for finding something to do on a holiday. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner after all!

Once it’s warm again, go on a hike to see your town from a different perspective.

One of my favorite things this past summer was visiting Talcott Mountain State Park because I was able to see Connecticut from a completely different perspective. Once you hike up the mountain, there is a huge 360° viewing tower. These random gems are in almost every state you just need to look around for them. Plus, hiking gets you moving and grooving which is always a good thing.

Don’t forget about exploring new restaurants! 

If you read my last post you probably can tell that I’m a little bit of a foodie. So when you’re looking for new places in your state don’t leave out the food! There are always so many new and upcoming places you can visit to spice things up. Try a different cuisine or order something you never thought you would. It’s the perfect way to spice things up in your hometown.

Yale Art Museum Outfit

How do you make your hometown feel like a destination place? What is the best attraction near your home? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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24 Hours in Mystic, Connecticut

Hello lovely reader! This past weekend I spent the day with my boyfriend in Mystic, Connecticut. As many of you know, he lives in Long Island so I frequently visit the ferry in New London. Mystic is about 15 minutes north of the ferry and I’ve only been once when I was very, very little. So, I had the brilliant idea go to exploring this past weekend. It’s always nice to get out and explore even if it is only an hour away.

Mystic, Connecticut

Shopping 

Our first stop was in Olde Mistick Village located right off the exit. Yes, it’s really spelt like that I checked like 15 times, I swear. The adorable little village is definitely a tourist trap, but I couldn’t help but google my eyes when I saw adorable little Christmas shops and gimmicky stores that handed out tie dye sweatshirts with “Mystic” labeled in large letters. The tourist trap got me and I have no apologies for it!

If you’ve never been to Connecticut make sure you stop in the Munson’s Chocolate store. The chocolate is native to Connecticut and is so good that you’ll asking for seconds… and thirds. It’s a gift we always get my sweet-tooth mother for Christmas. The first store was located in Manchester, Connecticut in 1946. Ben and Josephine Munson started the store making batches from the sugar rations they received following WWII. My family loves the sea salt dark chocolate caramels and the milk chocolate caramels.

As for the popcorn pictured above, Pop on the Block, I was blown away. I purchased two bags on Sunday and the bags are already empty. They have insane flavors like Sour Patch and Bubble Gum and they also have incredible flavors like Peanut Butter Crunch and Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel. I’m already itching to go back for more… is that sad? Also, I didn’t have a chance to try the oreo cheesecake so it looks like I might have too… whoops!

Eating

The main reason why you travel… right? Okay, maybe not but it is definitely high on that list! Rob and I ended up eating dinner at the Engine Room and it was only slightly legendary. No, but for real, it was plate-licking-good. The building was actually a restored Lathrop Marine Engine building, hence how it received the name Engine room. The decor is decked out in dark wood, low lighting, and an occasional deer skull planted on the wall. The Engine Room serves comfort food that features mostly burgers and breakfast food (menu here). They also pride themselves on having a wide section of craft beer and bourbon… drink on!

Rob and I both ordered a buttermilk fired chicken sandwich with chipotle hot sauce, house made smoked ranch, romaine lettuce and dill pickles. I got a side of fries and Rob got a side of potato salad. My suggestion… get the potato salad if you go.

If you don’t end up going here you might be mildly insane, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Other options in downtown Mystic include Bravo Bravo, S&P Oyster Co, and famous Mystic pizza (Julia Roberts ate there in a movie). You can also get an instagramable picture with ice cream from Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream located right by the iconic, you guessed it, drawbridge.

Mystic, Connecticut

Mystic, Connecticut

Exploring 

Now the real reason you go to a new place! After visiting Olde Mistick Village, Rob and I ventured to Mystic Seaport. Located all throughout the seaport were these old ships that have gone wild distances and ended up in good ole’ Connecticut. The world’s largest viking ship was also there. Sine we ended up going to the the seaport Sunday evening, none of the exhibits were open. Luckily for us, we were able to walk the grounds for free. There was even a small band playing at a nearby restaurant, so we were able to putts around while listening to tunes. Plus, most off the ships had signs explaining the history of the ships. If you find old ships interesting and love history this is definitely a place you should visit. I mean even if you don’t you might want to go to see this view! If you want to go while the exhibits are open check the dates and times here.

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Fun fact: Rob and I are always too awkward to flag down a person to take our picture. As a result oft his, I usually set a timer on my camera. This photo was taken by a stone pit. Haha! More pictures of this outfit here.

Have you ever been to Mystic or even just been to the state of Connecticut? It’s a small state, but it sure does have it’s beauty. Let me know in the comments down below what you thinking about Connecticut.

As always,

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5 Fantastic Places to Eat in Connecticut

I’m always talking about delicious food at places I visit, but why not rave about the delicious food I grew up with? Don’t worry, I’m about to change that. If you’re ever in Connecticut here are 5 places you must eat at.

Mondos. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Mondos has some of the best BBQ chicken pizza I’ve ever had… and I’ve been in Italy for the past 4 months (BBQ pizza isn’t a thing in Italy if you’re actually wondering). I don’t care if you get the panini or the pizza, but you can’t get a salad if you go to Mondos. It’s just unheard of. Pictured below is their chicken pesto panini and BBQ chicken pizza. I rave more about it here. I recommend maybe even getting both and bringing pizza home for tomorrow? Both valuable options. If you like thin crusted pizza and delicious BBQ chicken go here.

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Eli Cannons. This one is actually kind of new to me. My brother raves about their beers (if you’re unaware one of my brothers is a brewer). My brother, Rob, and I went to Eli Cannons for the first time this past summer. I got this delicious chicken sandwich with normal fries. Rob got the cajun fries and I ate most of his (nice boy for letting me). They’re a little hot, but beyond awesome. The place is really quirky because they have a bunch of these weird collectable signs. Warning: if you’re with an under age kid they won’t serve the table beer. If you really want to try their beer maybe split up tables. It’s some crazy rule we learned the hard way (my brother ended up not being able to get this beer he waited two years for… it was a tough day).

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Lyman Orchards. That picture really doesn’t do their donuts justice. No matter what season you come to Connecticut they have something for you. Personally, I think fall is the best time to go to Lymans. They have an annual corn maze that is always pictured different (by pictured I mean if you went in an airplane and looked down you would see the picture). The last year I did it was Red Soxs vs Yankees. It was really cool getting lost in that. After you’re a little chilly from getting lost in the corn maze, you can go inside and grab their mouthwatering Apple Glazed Donuts and some Apple Cider. If that doesn’t scream fall I don’t know what does. If you happen to come in the spring or summer they have all types of fruit you can pick. After you work up an appetite go get a donut you deserve it.

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Bill’s Seafood. Scroll down to that picture and then come back here. Did you see how much delicious lobster is in that roll? I wasn’t a huge lobster fan until the summer of 2013. I don’t know what changed but it turned me into this crazy monster who loves a good warm lobster roll. Looking at that picture makes me wish it was summer again just so I can eat that. They have this awesome outdoor sitting where you can see little boats in the water. If you have room left over for more food they also have an ice cream store.

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Froyoworld. I’m biased and I’m proud! Froyoworld was my first job and it was by far the best job I ever had. Every single person who came into the store was happy to be there. I can’t even think of one bad day I had at Froyoworld. We used to have this old man come in ever single day around one. He had a brand new suit every time and had a glass monocle. Plus the owners are awesome. Super friendly and actually love their job. Okay, so you’re probably wondering why it’s better than any other froyo place. It’s really a mix between how friendly everyone who works there is and how delicious the yogurt is. The owners and managers are always thinking of different toppings. Froyoworld tried nutella crunch for a long time and it was the best thing since ice cubes. They also have awesome flavors like Salted Carmel Pretzel (my Dad’s favorite), Toasted Marshmallow, Strawberry Shortcake, the list goes on and on. Their flavors are always listed on their Facebook page. If you end up going make sure you get the snow caps because they make any flavor taste better.

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I’m so curious to hear your favorite hometown recommendations! Maybe if I ever visit your part of the country/world I’ll try it out. Let me know in the comments your favorite(s).

As always,

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