Eco-Friendly Lifestyle Changes That Make You More Fashionable
At bobobark, we love fashion and the planet, and believe you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. From reusable mugs to vintage goods, we want to share our top tips for incorporating more eco-fashion into your life. The good news is, it’s totally possible and easy to do. Here’s how to get started.
#1. Replace disposable plastic with stylish, eco-friendly products instead
While plastic has many benefits—it’s cheap, lightweight, and versatile—too much of a good thing has now become a serious liability for the planet and oceans.
Consider the following statistics:
- Over 300 million tons of plastic are produced globally every year.
- The world uses 500 billion single-use plastic bags annually.
- On average, plastic bags are used for only 15 minutes, but can last for 1000 years.
- Over 90% of all the plastic that exists has not been recycled.
- Plastic in the ocean will outnumber fish by 2050.
Clearly, reducing our use of disposable plastic is one of the most important steps we can take towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Luckily, there are many reusable and stylish alternatives to common plastic products we use everyday.
Stylish suggestions: Reusable mugs, water bottles, and bags
Eliminating plastic isn’t difficult—it just requires a different mindset. Instead of letting convenience dictate our choices, we can buy products that eliminate the need for ongoing purchases of plastic cups and lids, water bottles, and disposable storage bags.
Here are some smart and environmentally friendly alternatives to these common items:
- Plastic-free travel mugs. Say good-bye to disposable cups and lids with your own travel mug or tumbler. Made from glass, stainless steel, or BPA-free materials, there are heaps of functional, attractive mugs to choose from, making them a stylish accompaniment to your favorite beverage.
- Plastic-free water bottles. Nothing says eco-chic faster than a sleek, reusable water bottle. Nowadays, there’s no shortage of eco-friendly bottles that will meet a range of tastes: from wide-mouth to vacuum-insulated to bottles with built-in straws, you can finally ditch plastic bottles for good.
- Reusable storage bags. Thanks to a new generation of reusable bags, food storage has never been more chic. Instead of using flimsy plastic, you can use sturdy, reusable silicone and cloth storage bags instead. Use them for food, leftovers, your kid’s lunches, snacks, outings, and much more.
#2. Say no to excessive paper towel use
Paper towels are bad for the earth on many levels. For starters, producing paper is extremely resource intensive, consuming a staggering 110 million trees per year, and 130 billion gallons of water. If that wasn’t bad enough, 3000 tons of used paper towels end up in landfills every year, where they emit methane into the atmosphere. Fortunately, there are better alternatives.
Stylish suggestions: Colorful dish cloths, reusable sponges, and recycled microfiber
Despite their convenience, it’s possible to live without paper towels or drastically reduce our daily use of them. For example, instead of mopping up spills or cleaning with paper towels, you can use these eco-friendly products instead:
- Colorful, reusable kitchen cloths. Spruce up your kitchen with a set of colorful, absorbent dish cloths and kitchen towels. For some ideas, you can check out these popular paper towel replacements on Etsy.
- Microfiber cloths. Known for being super absorbent and quick drying, microfiber cloths are a great way to reduce waste from paper towels. Microfiber is extremely soft, and can be used for everything from wiping up spills to waxing your car.
- Reusable sponge cloths. A single sponge cloth can replace up to 17 rolls of paper towels, absorbing 15 times its own weight in liquid. They’re a stylish alternative to paper towels and can be used on a variety of surfaces, including granite, glass, and stainless steel.
#3. Stop taking bags from the grocery store
Each free bag from the grocery store represents an unnecessary waste of valuable resources, including electricity, water, and trees. Not to mention the carbon dioxide that’s emitted when bags are transported to the store. Instead of taking bags from the grocery store, why not bring your own fashionable tote instead?
By opting to use your own reusable shopping bag:
- You use less paper. A whopping 80% percent of all paper bags end their lives in landfills. Because of a lack of oxygen, they may sit there for years or even decades, unable to break down and decompose.
- You use less plastic. Since they’re not biodegradable, disposable plastic bags can take thousands of years to break down. Buying reusable totes will minimise the number of plastic bags that make their way to landfills.
- You’re making a positive statement. Totes are not only fashionable and cool, they send a positive message to other shoppers, who may be encouraged to purchase their own reusable bags, too.
Stylish suggestion: Invest in fashionable, reusable tote bags instead
Instead of using bags from the store, investing in a fashionable, reusable tote bag (or a few) is a both a smart and stylish choice. And choices you have! With bags made with everything from tough, recycled nylon to sturdy canvas to lightweight materials that fold into a small square—you’re sure to find one you fancy.
Here are some other benefits of using eco-friendly totes:
- You’ll save money. With many stores now charging five cents or more per bag, using your own bag can save you money, while showing off your good eco-fashion sense.
- You don’t have to worry about rips. Good quality totes won’t rip under heavy loads. Instead, you can carry them confidently, knowing that your spaghetti sauce and bottles of wine will make it safely into your cupboard.
- You’ll look more stylish. With so many colorful and sleek styles to choose from, your tote bag can become your new favorite accessory. Some bags even have extra compartments for stashing your grocery list or wallet, making them convenient, too.
#4. Shop vintage and secondhand for a visually distinctive, eco-friendly lifestyle
With fast fashion on the rise, a lot of our clothes end up in landfills, forgotten and discarded. Every year, the average U.S. consumer throws away 70 pounds of clothing, adding to a global tally of 13 million tons of textile waste. With so many items that could be reused and repurposed instead, it pays to ask if we can buy something vintage or secondhand before we head to the shops.
Stylish suggestion: Buy secondhand and vintage clothing
Quality vintage items have a distinctive look and lasting beauty that fast fashion can never reproduce. The vintage items you find for resale are often the best pieces from their era, which means their design is both standout and unique.
Here are the key benefits of shopping vintage and secondhand:
- You can get brilliant looks for a fraction of the price. One benefit of buying vintage and secondhand is being able to buy stylish looks for lark. From Yves St. Laurent to Jimmy Choos, you can often swoop a designer deal that’s easy on your wallet.
- Get looks that you can’t find anywhere else. When you wear a special piece of clothing, it makes you stand out. And, it’s easy to mix vintage items with contemporary pieces to create a look that’s both unique and head turning.
- You can upcycle secondhand clothing. Find a timeless silk dress or pair of trousers that just needs a little tweak to be perfect? Depending on the piece, you can bring it to a tailor and have a like-brand-new item for less than buying new.
So, whether you’re looking for a pre-loved pair of jeans or a special dress for a wedding or party, shopping vintage can be a great way to save money while making your own eco-fashion statement.
#5. Buy vegan clothing, vegan purses, and other accessories
With the emphasis on sustainability and animal rights, vegan clothing has truly come of age. It’s a movement that some of the top designers in the world stand behind, including Stella McCartney, Calvin Klein, Eileen Fisher, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Versace, Giorgio Armani, and many more.
With the animal industry being one of the top polluters on the planet (animal agriculture contributes 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions), choosing vegan fashion alternatives to fur and leather means you’re supporting brands that care for animal welfare as well as the planet.
Stylish suggestion: Vegan shoes, faux fur, and eco-leather
Today’s vegan accessories are cool and chic. Instead of using leather and fur—manmade fibers, recycled plastic, organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, and wood pulp fibers are stylish options you can choose from instead. Not only are vegan products great looking and long lasting, they’re an animal-free alternative you can feel good about wearing.
With so many cruelty-free, fashion-forward alternatives available today, why not go vegan the next time you shop for shoes, coats, and accessories?
Here are even more benefits of vegan fashion:
- Vegan shoes. The materials used in vegan shoes, such as microfiber, are breathable and can help keep your feet dry. Unlike leather, this can help reduce bacteria in your shoes and keep skin problems at bay.
- Faux furs. When high quality, synthetic fibers are resilient and will look good even after years of use. And unlike real fur, the colors on faux fur won’t fade in the sun, no matter how often you wear it.
- Eco leather. Eco leather comes in a wide range of colors and textures, and is resistant to wear and tear. New materials are more breathable than regular leather, making it comfortable to wear.
Looking for a stylish and functional vegan purse? Check out of our line of vegan purses and accessories. Made with eco-friendly materials, they’re designed to be light, durable, and timelessly chic, making them the perfect companion to work, travel, and everyday life.
#6. Buy quality goods made to last a long time
With today’s emphasis on fast fashion, we tend to look at our clothing as expendable. But for every piece of clothing that’s thrown away or donated, there’s a real, measurable impact on the earth. Instead of buying the latest trend, it’s better to choose pieces you truly love—the kind of pieces that have the endurance and timeless style to last for years, if not decades.
Stylish suggestion: The bobobark 3-in-1 convertible bag!
The bobobark 3-in-1 convertible bag is a versatile, convertible backpack purse that embodies Parisian chic while being comfortable, practical, and easy to organize. The bobobark 3-in-1 convertible bag is a designer piece that can be worn as a shoulder bag tote, or as a backpack, or carried as a briefcase.
Made with soft and supple organic cork leather, all bobobark bags and purses are completely waterproof and three times lighter than traditional leather. So, no matter the weather or season, our bags won’t weigh you down or leave your shoulders aching. And, whenever you carry a bobobark bag, you can feel good knowing that no animals were harmed in the process of creation.