3 Sustainable Lifestyle Trends to Love

The “reduce, reuse, recycle” slogan is rather 2000s, isn’t it? Instead, check out three awesome trends in sustainability that will add some fresh color (green?!) to your lifestyle.

Shopping at zero-waste stores

Scoop Wholefoods was my first encounter with zero-waste stores. It was like stepping into a cozy cottage barn. Nothing was packed in plastic. There were glass jars filled with nuts and spices, large refill containers for people to tap a range of baking and cooking oils. Not to mention the fresh scents of unpackaged soap drifting through the air. You feel right at home if you’re used to bringing your own bags and containers (which all “zero-waste” shoppers do).

Recently, I even discovered an online-based zero- waste shop in my city. During the state’s partial lockdown, they brought their refill stations to customers by making rounds in the city’s neighborhoods.

Google “zero waste stores” to discover small businesses in your local area. These owners often use Facebook or Instagram to communicate with customers. Now is the best time to support them.

The Capsule Wardrobe

Built with intention, a “capsule wardrobe” is one filled with just your favorite clothes. Think quality, texture, shapes, and color schemes. Project 333 and Pinterest are good places to start learning about capsule wardrobes and how to build your own. I was also greatly inspired by capsule wardrobe boutiques like Vetta Capsule.

Now, don’t treat the ideas as the absolute rule. Adapt according to your needs. The goal is to have every piece come together to create a timeless collection that’s customized by you, for you.

Although some initial effort is needed, your everyday outfit will ultimately have more flexibility. It will inject greater confidence in how you carry yourself in the world. Whatever you once bought due to spontaneous inspiration from window displays or sales banners can’t beat that.

Upcycling at Home

The “circular economy” concept is where everything in existence can be made into something else. We have enough resources for what we need. The question is how to make use of something already made?

Let’s take clothes for instance. “Fast fashion” has caused tremendous textile waste. People buy a lot. They also give away a lot. Unfortunately, many relatively-new, “donated” clothes aren’t given to the underprivileged. A recent National Geographic piece mentions how large corporations actually buy them off and resell to other countries at low prices.

Since there are no mega-international companies upcycling clothes just yet, we’ll need to take things into our own hands. For unflattering clothes, focus on color, patterns, and size. My various t-shirts have become inner linings for fabric masks and yarn for cat rugs. The leftover odds and ends are pieced together to make patchwork hair scrunchies.

It doesn’t have to stop at clothes, either. This week, I’m turning my old pastel bedsheet into miniature, pillow-matching sets for – who else? – the cats.

When you choose to live more sustainably, you can still enjoy style, creativity, class, and have great fun. Which trend are you into?

-Denise Lim




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