Everyone has pet peeves, but one of mine is when people don’t recycle. I’ve been flatting for 5 years now, and everyone has their own habits. However, in one of my experiences the household would put all their empty wine, beer, shampoo, conditioner, soap bottles, paper, cardboard, fruit tins as well as milk and juice cartons straight into the rubbish bin. Growing up, both my parents recycled and still do, and it’s something I’ve always done. I find it’s a good habit, and it’s one of those things that really tick me if people don’t care about recycling, because we all contribute to the environment.
No one is perfect, but I really do think there are some simple tips that we can live by, in order to be a bit more eco-friendly. In the past, I worked at an organic beauty and skincare company, and I’m currently working for another organic company now. What I love about the company is that they aim to have products that use minimal packaging. It’s great to support brands that strive for a better world, are natural and ethical. I think it’s also good to make a decision to eat less meat. We live in a consumer society where we are constantly told to buy, but the best value is to buy things that are good quality and will last a long time.
1) Drink from your own reusable water bottle. Buying bottled water can really add up, and we are very blessed to walk a few steps to have water come straight out of the tap. If you have a flask for warm and hot beverages, as well as a drink bottle for cool water, you’ll never go back. They are very convenient and are easy to fill up and carry around.
2) Eat less meat and more vegetables. Eating less meat and consuming less dairy also means that you save money. It’s okay to have it from time to time, but meat is not the best for the environment. Meat production results in a significant amount of carbon emissions. It’s easy to replace dairy milk with soy, almond or coconut milk.
3) Recycle and carry your own canvas bag. I tend to bring a backpack and canvas bag, but I’m so guilty with plastic bags, because there are times I end up taking plastic bags to take home to line my rubbish bins. However, I hope someday New Zealand will ban them. Recycling is a habit that you won’t even have to think about it after you just do it.
4) Go second-hand shopping and support ethical brands. Make sure to watch out for green washing, which are brands that are disguised as ethical, but really aren’t. I like to use ecostore for my laundry because they don’t have that strong and unnatural deodorant smell. If you have sensitive skin, organic products tend to be more gentle on the skin.
5) Invest in good quality items that will last a long time. Treasure the things you have. Use your technology until they’re no longer usable. Buy things that are good quality and will last, because then you practice minimising consumption. If you need to throw things away regularly, then this only encourages the amount of rubbish we create in the world.
Photography by Katerina Plotnikova
In a strange but warm way, secondhand shopping makes me feel like I’m going to a shelter to adopt a cat and give it the love it deserves. It’s giving the piece of clothing another chance to be worn. It feels good to recycle and purchase something at a lower price in good quality. I was thrift shopping today and ended up purchasing a beautiful satin peach dress for $7. While I was browsing there was a pair of Gucci shoes for a tiny fraction of the original price. I remember finding a Stella McCartney dress for $30 in Sydney and it was in mint condition. Secondhand shopping is such a wonderful option for those on a budget or for anyone who wants to support less clothing ending up in landfills each year.
1. Recycle Boutique is a consignment based fashion company specialising in helping you buy and sell your secondhand designer clothing. They are a fast and easy platform to recycle your wardrobe. Whether you’re looking for that designer piece or a quirky vintage gem, they have one of the largest selections of recycled designer clothing in New Zealand. At present, a lot of our clothing is ending up in landfills throughout New Zealand. We need to recycle our secondhand clothing in order to reduce this textile waste in these landfills.
2. Tatty’s has a city outlet on High St, with a mixture of designer and vintage clothing. They also have a nice range of shoes, where I even spotted a pair of PAZZO boots! It was almost like a hidden little treasure on the street, as I must have walked past the store many times before I stepped inside. From the outside, it appears small, but as you walk in, there is a huge range of clothing inside for men and women. Everything is colour coordinated, similar to Recycle Boutique.
3. Paper Bag Princess was one of the first thrift shops I’d been to. They have affordable secondhand clothing, with branded seconded hand clothing and awesome 70s, 80s and 90s vintage clothing, theres something for everyone. Paper Bag Princess is always on the look out for cool new trends and endeavours to find the coolest items for the customers. Keep New Zealand beautiful and purchase second hand to limit textile waste and support a sustainable fashion industry. Paper Bag Princess loves to support charities around New Zealand and donates proceeds to a variety of charities.
4. Crushes is a vintage clothing and handcrafted goods stores. It all began in 2011 when Sarah and Rose decided to start their own business together. Then called The Bread and Butter Letter, it is inspired to design and manufacture affordable New Zealand made goods. They started their own in-house lifestyle label, Crushes in 2018. A place where ethical and sustainable is practised and promoted. Crushes is a concept store that celebrates conscious consumerism by selling quality wearable vintage clothing, alongside functional lifestyle goods from New Zealand makers and designers.
5. magichollow is a thrift store for your American Vintage Clothing offering a unique collection of clothing. Their team travels to the USA regularly to hand pick the coolest, most diverse vintage clothing available. magichollow is here for the growing community of people sick of the mundane and mass-produced. People who want to express their unique identity and feel really good about what they’re wearing. Last year they recycled 7,000 kg of vintage clothing. Most of that would have ended up in land fill. Their aim is to double that just as soon as we can. All of the clothing is expertly curated, cleaned and cared for.
I still remember the day I was in Sydney, and I saw a lovely blue Stella McCartney dress for $30 at the secondhand store. It was in mint condition, but was unfortunately a size bigger than mine. When I left home and started budgeting, I started going to more thrift stores, such as Recycle Boutique and Paper Bag Princess. They were the sort of places you can find something really wonderful, inexpensive and have a variety of clothes to browse through, that make it like a treasure find. It makes you forget about trends, but allows you to focus on your own personal style. The fashion industry has a huge impact, and it is also one of the highest causes of pollution in the world.
When we re-wear clothing, we realise that a lot of clothing can be worn for a long time. There’s an exception to certain clothing’s that wither away after wearing them just a few times though. Now I’m back in New Zealand, I miss the Glebe Markets in Sydney. It was on a rainy day, when one of the stands was selling everything for $1. I remember wearing a dress for years and years that I got for $2 from the red cross shop. There are more unique options, rather than the same similar styles you see in the fast fashion stores. There’s different fabrics, colours, shapes and sizes of clothing.
It has benefits for the environment, saves you money and makes you a more conscious consumer. Plus, it can be enjoyable to spend an afternoon slowly hunting through all the ocean of clothing, accessories and shoes. Now, more than ever, there is more awareness of what options we have. We can choose organic, fresh, eco-friendly and recyclable products that are better for the environment. You also notice what brands have materials that lasts well. It can also make you more aware of the importance of recycling in clothing and everything else. You’re also less conscious of what specific brands you prefer to shop for.
Thrift shopping can be rewarding, especially when you find what you’re looking for, or when you discover a gem. I love it when I go to Recycle Boutique and there are sections of clothing that are colour coordinated. Fashion causes a lot of landfill each year, and being aware of the environmental impact, we can be reminded that we don’t need an exceedingly huge amount of clothes. It’s those pieces that are worn year after year that are treasured. More and more consumers now want the latest technology or the latest trend, which is fine and all. But it’s always nice to think about what we would want to consume, if we didn’t have any external influences of what is popular.
Moonflower Sarong by Mirador