STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Charitable is the New Chic

Most college students have felt the desire to give back to the community through volunteer work or service at some point, but most don’t know they have the ability to do so not only through their actions, but also in their shopping decisions. You don’t have to consider never shopping at a “fast fashion” store again, but there are some easy ways to incorporate clothing into your daily look that are not only fashionable, but also more sustainable or charitable than others.

This Fashionista is rocking a layered, grunge look perfect for a day in class or a weekend with friends. The flannel and denim jacket are warm but versatile and can easily be shed if the weather calls for it, or buttoned up if it gets colder. The outfit is accessorized with classic white sneakers, layered bracelets and wayfarer sunglasses.

What might not be noticeable, however, is the incorporation of sustainable clothes this Fashionista is wearing. There are multiple ways to dress mindfully, and one is in choice of brands. Her graphic tank top is from El Cambio Trading Company, a brand that donates part of every purchase to a different non-profit organization while her bracelet is from Bird and Stone, a company that stands for socially conscious fashion.

Dozens of companies exist that donate part of their profits or products to those in need, such as Toms and Ivory Ella, or that work with recycled materials, such as Mona B handbags. Buying from certain stores, however, is not the only way to shop with care.

This Fashionista is wearing a vintage Tommy Hilfiger denim jacket, which used to be her mom’s. Getting as long a life as possible out of clothing items (in this case more than 30 years!) keeps clothing out of landfills and also prevents buying new or excessive items. Shopping at local thrift stores and secondhand stores is also better than buying clothes new, because it keeps the same items in circulation instead of producing more and more. If your local selection does not have sufficient options, you can find many Etsy and Ebay shops for secondhand clothing with a little bit of research.

It is easy to incorporate some ethical clothing into your wardrobe for very little time or money. While its impractical for most college students to have a 100 percent ethical closet, some mindful decisions along the way can really add up—and look great!

What is your STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK? “I like to think about how my clothing represents my beliefs and values about the world, so that plays into how the clothing was made but also what mood I’m in that day and how I feel.”