How to Shop ThredUp

How to Shop ThredUp

First things first, what exactly is ThredUp?  ThredUp is marketed as the world’s largest online secondhand and consignment store. Thousands of new pieces are added to the site everyday, which on one hand is amazing, but on the other hand is super overwhelming. It is possible to score some amazing deals on ThredUp, but it’s equally as possible to spend hours aimlessly searching. I’ve been there, which is why I want to offer some simple time-saving tips and advice on how to shop ThredUp efficiently.

Note: there is no vintage on ThredUp–they only sell modern brands in good condition. I’m currently writing a blog about the best places to shop vintage online, so make sure you sign up for my newsletter so you know when that piece is live! Ok, back to ThredUp tips.

ThredUp Tip # 1 // Sign up for an Account 

The very first thing you should do is create an account. This is helpful for several reasons. Number one, when you have an account you can save your personal sizes and that filter will stay on every time you do a search. Without an account, you have to manually re-do your size filters with every search, which is such a pain and waste of time.

An account also allows you save your favorite pieces. If you see something you remotely like, hit that heart button. This allows you to come back to it later. Also, if the piece you liked sold you can then shop similar styles which is a really nice feature.

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Also when you sign up you usually get a discount code for your first order. Alternatively you can take $10 off your first order with this code:

http://www.thredup.com/r/RH97X5

ThredUp Tip #2 // Create My Sizes 

Above I mentioned creating your personal sizes. This is very simple to do but sooo crucial. Don’t waste your time searching for anything before your sizes are set. To do this choose any category in the top navigation, for example “Women” and then “Clothing.” Scroll down and on the left sidebar you should see “Sizes.” Choose your sizes . I would suggest being very picky if you can. If you sometimes wear a small but mostly wear a medium, just click medium. Next, at the top of the my sizes page, there is a little box that says “Always set filter to My Sizes”. Make sure to click this so every search automatically filters with your sizes.

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ThredUp Tip # 3 // Filter, Filter, Filter 

Now my size filter is on yet I’m still seeing 50,000+ results in women’s clothing. Next, I’m going to filter. Let’s say I really need a new dress. Go to the side navigation and hit dresses and then keep scrolling down and fill out as many filters as you can. For example, the first filter is “Occassion”. I’m going to choose “Cocktail & Party”. I’m now down to 7,000 options. Still too many, but better than 50,000.

The next filter I really like is the “More Ways to Shop”. I always check the “My Home Warehouse” option. This shows you the clothes that are in the warehouse closest to you. Your item comes faster and you sometimes can save on shipping. This filter is sticky, just like your sizes, meaning it will stay on until you de-select it. After selecting that filter my options went down from 7,0000 to just under 1,000.

The next filter I always set is the price. Decide what you’re willing to pay for a dress and then set this filter. I’m going to set it at $30 max. Make sure to press the blue “Set” button after you decide your price. My options are now 572. That’s still personally overwhelming to me, so I’m just going to continue to filter. I can filter by style, skirt length, brand, color, neckline, condition, material, pattern and accents.

If you know exactly what you want, filter away! I usually don’t, but I do know I want my dress to be knee length so I check that filter and now I have 106 items, a totally reasonable number! And if I actually did need to buy a cocktail dress I would buy this 100% silk J. Crew dress for $30.

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Note: If you want to search all clothes by a specific brand or fabric, do it in the sidebar! If you type in the search field at top, lots of random things will pop-up. So with every search, I stick to the sidebar filters.

# 4 // Search Premium & Designer  

Another way to shop is to search the “Premium” or “Designer” sections. I like this option because it naturally filters out all the brands that probably aren’t that well-made to begin with and it introduces me to new brands I might not know about. Starting with “My Size” and “My Home Warehouse” filters on, I still have about 8,000 results. So I start the filter process all over. Because you’re starting with less options, you probably won’t have to be as specific with your filters.

Another way I like to search premium and designer is to turn off the “My Home Warehouse” filter off and then click the “Under $25” price filter. Doing this has given me some greats steals in the past, for example one of the first things that pops-up are these linen Neiman Marcus pants for $25.

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ThredUp Tip #5 // Heart Away 

I mentioned this at the very beginning, but it’s a really simple tip that will save you loads of time. Heart everything that catches your eye. I don’t even click the piece to read the product description. I just heart and then keep scrolling. Then at the very end I go to my saved hearts and review everything. It’s like when you’re thrifting, you just throw everything in your cart and then sort at the end. It takes less time that way and it’s easier to make a decision when you see all your potential pieces collected together.

Also, say you like the idea of the item, but don’t love that particular piece you favorited, scroll to the bottom of the description page and you’ll see a “You May Also Like” section that shows you similar pieces all in your size.

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Ok, that’s it! I hope these tips will help you shop ThredUp like pro. Like any secondhand shopping, it still takes some patience and luck, but I’ve been able to find some amazing staples for my wardrobe using these guidelines!

Do you like shopping ThredUp? Or what’s your favorite online secondhand store?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview // Ethically Kate

Interview // Ethically Kate

Meet Kate Hall, the vibrant woman behind Ethically Kate. Over the last couple years, as I’ve dived into ethical fashion and living, I’ve started following a lot of ethical influencers and Kate is hands-down one of my favorites. In a social media world that is often defined by unrealistic standards, Kate keeps it real. She’s always striving to live a more conscious and eco-friendly lifestyle while inspiring others, but she’s never judgmental or preachy. Plus her New Zealand accent is simply irresistible. Below she’s sharing more about her personal journey and offering some no bullshit advice for anyone on this ethical lifestyle journey.

Hi Kate! Let’s start with your background. Can you share a little about your home?

I live just north of Auckland on a little peninsular called The Hibiscus Coast. I’ve lived here my whole life, with a few stints during my childhood (e.g. 2 years in England as a baby, and 2 years in Mongolia as a 10 year old). Up here, it’s like our own little paradise. You are never more than walking distance from the beach, and in the summer it’s alive with happy vibes, as it’s a popular holiday destination. My favourite part is that I don’t have to wear shoes most places, and I can hear the waves from my bed if the wind is blowing in the right direction.

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How did you first become interested in ethical living?

I think I’ve been raised in it, without knowing it until recently. My parents have always been very mindful of the environment and our global community. We are all super thrifty so I was always taught to mend things, respect our belongings, and give back more than you take. We’ve always composted and tried to reduce our waste.

It was about 3 years ago though that I watched The True Cost documentary and it made me boil inside. I’ve always adored fashion (when I was younger I’d change my outfit like 10 times a day and do fashion shows) and when I became aware of the issues, I decided I’d commit to it 100%. From fashion, it grew into being conscious of every part of my consumption, and it’s still snowballing!

How did your interest in ethical fashion and living manifest itself into Ethically Kate?

It was never intentional, it just began as I started to be vocal. I would email brands and ask them the hard questions and connect with awesome brands to thank them for their work. I’ve always been a good writer, and brands picked up on that, so they started to formally ask me for reviews, and guest blog posts, and then to officially collaborate.

People also know I love to chat, so they would email or message me for advice. Then I realized people wanted more. So basically I just said yes to a whole lot of things I LOVE.  I’m also not afraid of being on camera, or public speaking, so I like to use these skills to spread knowledge that I think is so important for everyone to hear.

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Ethical living is such a broad term, and it can mean different things to different people, so what does it mean to you?

To me, ethical living kind of describes an awakening. It means being conscious to your entire impact as a human being, on the planet and on other human beings.

Ethical living is literally opening your eyes and getting in touch with what it means to be existing on this earth, and how to exist in the best way possible.

Ethical living is also doing the best with what you have as well. For example, how could you be vegan in a country where vegetables don’t grow well in the soil? I witnessed this firsthand in Mongolia.

I love that phrase “doing the best with what you have” because I think it’s so easy to start experiencing guilt when you feel like you didn’t make the “right” choice. Do you ever feel like that?

Every day. Particularly now that I am publicly known and people watch my daily life on IG and recognize me in public, I always feel like I have to do more, and be careful about every action and aware if I’m doing things ‘right’. But screw that, to be honest.

Eco-fatigue sucks, and there’s no place for it. It’s not beneficial for ANYONE.

The fact is we still live in society, around plastic and mainstream fashion, and we can’t do it all. It’s not realistic. And that’s fine. If you’re even considering this question or feeling guilty, you’re already ahead of the game!! Being aware is awesome, and you are your own person, on your own journey.

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Can you offer some practice advice for those who are just starting this more conscious way of living?

Think before any monetary purchase is made. Even if it’s just grabbing chewing up when you top up with petrol. Think about that whole purchase. Don’t take anything for granted. Ask questions to everyone, no matter how ‘high up’ they are or if you think it’s a stupid question: ask it. Don’t jump into it 100% in one day. Take little steps, make them become your everyday habits. It’s not sustainable to change all at once–please don’t go plastic free overnight. It won’t work. Do things gradually. Talk about it with others, they may be on the same journey as you.

Last spring you did a month-long minimalist challenge, where you gave away a corresponding number of things for every day of the month, (e.g. 1 thing on April 1, 20 things on April 20th). Can you talk about that experience?

So the main part of my week is writing content for other brands and I was asked to write one about minimalism. I got really into the topic, read the book Stuffocation, and did a lot more research around it than I usually would for a wee blog post. I even read the article to my husband, Tim. One day, he said “grab your phone, get out your Instagram stories, and film me”. He then said “Kate, I challenge you to the minimalist challenge”. He wanted to know if I could talk the talk, could I walk the walk?

We both did the challenge and started documenting it on Instagram, and everyone got REALLY into it. I never thought it would become such a big thing! There are probably around 50 people who have even done it themselves because they heard us doing it. Then the media picked it up, and it went big!

It was probably the best thing I’ve done for my life habits. Now, we think even harder about each purchase, and nothing comes into the house unless we’ve dwelled over it. I feel so FREE and uncluttered! It helps your mental state, and reduces franticness. Plus I now so adore our home, wardrobe, and space so much more: because it’s all our favourite things.

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Another challenge that was so inspiring to me was the Ration Challenge where you eat for a week like a Syrian refugee to raise awareness and funds for the ongoing refugee crisis. Can you talk about that experience as well?

I took on the challenge because my flatmate works for the organization who was running it and wanted a buddy. I thought it could be fun to do together and I love a good challenge! I didn’t realize how mind opening it would be. There were lots of tears, and I won’t ever look at food the same way. Knowing I could eat food after the week was over, but thousands couldn’t, killed me on the inside. It made me appreciate my life SO much, and appreciate flavours, variety, and having utensils and things to cook on–the little things we just always expect will be there. It was also amazing to raise over 1K to support Syrian refugees. Such a cool team effort!

Whether your doing a challenge, of sharing about a product, or cleaning up trash on the beach, your positivity is so apparent. How do you keep that attitude, especially when you see the state of the world and encounter people’s apathy?

Let’s get super real right now: I’m sick of seeing all the martyrs who sacrifice things to be activists, and only share about the shit that is happening. There’s definitely a time and place for this and I completely respect it, but it often makes the everyday person turn away from the issues. Why would you want to listen to a message if the underlying theme was “you’re the issue”?

There are some awesome things happening in the world too, and perhaps highlighting and motivating those awesome things will help the darkness of the world phase out.

As cheesy as it sounds, life is literally too short to be all gloom and doom about everything. PLUS, I’m generally just a cup half full kinda person.

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Lastly, why do you think these topics are so important?  

Our world is too beautiful to waste, and we’re running out of time. Our habits have become too much for the environment to handle and bounce back. The human race has created the mess, and we need to get out of it. Existing is awesome, I love being alive (and I want my children’s children to love that too), but it will mean nothing if we don’t step up to the plate.

Make sure to follow along with Kate on IG @ethicallykate. And check out her blog, Ethically Kate, for thought-provoking articles (plus some amazing discount codes for some her favorite ethical brands). Thanks again for sharing Kate!

 

5 Ethical Fashion Brands to Liven Up Your Wardrobe

5 Ethical Fashion Brands to Liven Up Your Wardrobe

What kind of clothes do you picture when you hear the words ethical fashion? For me, I often think neutral colors in classic or oversized silhouettes. Let’s be clear, I love neutrals (half of my closet is black) and I also appreciate classic and forgiving styles, however sometimes I just want something different — a unique print, an interesting silhouette, a colorful dress–a piece that reflects my personality. That’s where these ethical fashion brands come in.

These five brands are doing things a bit different, even in the ethical fashion world, and that’s extra exciting to me. It reminds me that ethical fashion has come a long way in recent years, becoming more inclusive and therefore giving consumers even more choices. If you’re looking for a unique piece to revitalize your wardrobe, start here.

 

 

// Kirren Finch // 

Bright Ethical Brands (5)

Made with sustainable fabrics and practices, Kirren Finch makes beautiful menswear inspired clothes for women. 100% of their clothing is produced in  New York which means they can keep a close eye on quality and ensure  workers are being paid fairly and working in safe conditions. At Kirren Finch, giving back to the LGBTQ community and empowering women is central to the core of their company.


// La Vie en Orange // 

Bright Ethical Brands (7)

Founded by Kori Jock, La Vie en Orange makes fun (and custom made!) underwear from recycled t-shirts and unbleached elastic. Kori studied fashion design in college but couldn’t reconcile her love of the art with the consumerism wrapped up in it all. After working in the non-profit world, she decided to marry her two passions — enter La Vie en Orange.


// Mayamiko // 

Ethical Fashion Brands

Mayamiko is an ethical and sustainable woman’s wear and lifestyle brand, producing clothes, accessories and homeware, lovingly made in Malawi by a team of tailors, pattern cutters and seamstresses. their collections are cross-seasonal and are inspired by African artisanal traditions and prints, with ethical trading and sustainability at the core. 


// Samantha Pleet // 

Samantha Pleet was founded in 2007 in Brooklyn NY after graduating from Pratt Institute. Samantha makes the patterns and designs each collections out of her solar powered townhouse in Brooklyn.  The garments are produced at a women owned factory in NYC as well as fair trade factories in India and China. Their new line of shoes are produced at a small fair trade women owned factory in China and the leathers are sustainably sourced in Italy. Their pieces are meant to be treasured and handed down with love to friends and family in the years to come.


 // Tamga Designs // 

Bright Ethical Brands (6)

TAMGA Designs is a sustainable lifestyle movement, born out of the need for a positive example in fashion. They believe in a bright future for style, people and the planet, so we create clothing that respects all three. TAMGA is endlessly inspired by travel, textiles and most of all – color. They design every garment to be a free-flowing statement of art, creativity and the inner free spirit.

Did I miss your favorite brand? Let me know in the comments below! I’m always on the hunt for more ethical fashion companies!

Top Photo: Samantha Pleet

 

Ethical Children’s Clothing // Shop Small with these 10 Boutique Brands

Ethical Children’s Clothing // Shop Small with these 10 Boutique Brands

My toddler wears 90% secondhand clothes, but when I do buy new, I aim to buy from ethical children’s clothing brands. These 10 boutique brands are some of my favorites, for heirloom pieces made from natural fabrics or simple basics made from 100% organic cotton. Continue reading “Ethical Children’s Clothing // Shop Small with these 10 Boutique Brands”

GUIDE // 10 places to buy an ethical & artisan made rug

GUIDE // 10 places to buy an ethical & artisan made rug

Let’s start with why you should buy an artisan made rug. First and foremost, like most industries, the modern rug industry runs on cheap labor, including child labor, often forced child labor. Modern rugs are cheaply made with synthetic materials and harmful chemicals and so, like fast fashion, are not made to withstand generations. These modern rug making practices are threatening to eliminate the traditional art form of hand looming rugs by skilled (adult) artisans. Purchasing an ethically made rug ensures that this traditional art form lives, provides fair living wages to artisans and gives you a high-quality rug that is made to last. Win win win. Here are 10 companies where you can buy an artisan made rug online.

 

 

1 // Armadillo Co.

ethical rugs artisan made rug rugs that give back

ETHICS // Artisan made rug. Fair trade practices. Made with natural & sustainable fibers. Gives back.

BEST FOR // Oversized heirloom rugs.

NOTE // Check out their We Made Too Many section for some good deals.


2 // Berber Wares

ethical rug artisan made rug rugs that give back

ETHICS // Artisan made rug from Morocco. Gives back.

BEST FOR // One-of-a kind Moroccan wool rugs.

NOTE // Free US Shipping.


3 // The Citizenry

ethical rugs artisan made rugs

ETHICS // Artisan made rug. Sustainable materials. Fair Wages. Gives back.

BEST FOR // Flat-weave accent rugs.

NOTE // Free US shipping & returns.


4 // Lorena Canals

artisan made rug ethical rug machine washable rug

ETHICS / Artisan made rug using natural materials & dye. Gives back

BEST FOR // Colorful rugs for kid’s rooms & high-traffic areas.

NOTES// Machine Washable! Free shipping over $75.


5 // Minna

ethical rug artisan made rug

ETHICS // Artisan made rug. Natural materials & dyes. Fair trade wages.

BEST FOR // Cozy & contemporary shag rugs.

NOTES //  Free Shipping over $250


6 // Oh Happy Home

ethical rug artisan made rug rugs that give back

ETHICS // Artisan made rug. Fair trade principles. Gives back.

BEST FOR // Oversized modern cotton rugs.

NOTES // Based in Australia. Heavy rugs cannot be shipped internationally.


7 // Pampa

ethical rug, artisan made rug

ETHICS // Artisan made rug. Fair trade principles. Natural materials.

BEST FOR // Earth-toned mini rugs.

NOTES  // Based in Australia with international shipping available.


8 // Revival Rugs

vintage rug, vintage turkish rug, ethical rug

ETHICS // Vintage artisan made rugs. Re-dyed with natural dye.

BEST FOR // One of a kind vintage Turkish rug.

NOTES // Free Shipping over $50


9 // Under the Nile

ethical rug zero waste rug artisan made rug

ETHICS //  Non-toxic. Fair trade certified. Made with organic cotton.

BEST FOR // Rag rugs for play mats, kitchen & laundry room.

NOTES //  Machine washable & hand-loomed with leftover scraps from their clothing production.


10 // West Elm

fair trade rug artisan made rug ethical rug

ETHICS // Artisan made rug. Fair Trade Certified.

BEST FOR // Modern rugs for every room.

NOTES // Search “Fair trade” to find all West Elm’s fair trade certified products.

Top Photo: Armadillo Daisy woven rug. You know what goes great with rugs? Blankets.

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Toddler Books + Daily Reading Rhythms

Favorite Toddler Books + Daily Reading Rhythms

Reading to your children seems like such a simple thing, and truly it is, but like most worthwhile things, it doesn’t happen unless you make it happen. Especially when children are young and unable to read to themselves, a time for reading has to be created and then fostered. I think every parent wants their child to grow up with a love of books and reading, especially in this age of technology, so I’m sharing a few tips on how I’m encouraging and prioritizing reading in my house.

TIP 1 // SURROUND YOURSELF WITH BOOKS

At home I like to be a (semi) minimalist about everything, with the exception of children’s books. Lewie has books in every room of the house. A basket in the living room. Books tucked in our nightstand for bedtime. Books in his bedroom. I even put books in his toy box. I want him to grow up surrounded by books.

Books don’t have to be an expense, most of the books we have I bought at thrift stores or were my own books as a child. You can also buy used books online. Obviously Amazon has millions and I also really like Discover Books and Thrift Books.

TIP 2 // CREATE A TIME & SPACE FOR READING

Every night before bed we read to Lewie. This is natural time for most parents to read with their children and it’s such a simple and beautiful rhythm to close the day.  I also like reading in the morning and before nap time. Reading is also a great way to help Lewie calm down when he’s upset.

To me, just as important as time to read, is a space to read. We often read in my bed, but  I also have an oversized bear by his bookcase and a floor pillow in the living room. You don’t need much space, any tiny nook will work as a reading corner.

TIP 3 // PRACTICE WHAT YOUR PREACH

I spend a lot of time trying to encourage a love of books for Lewie, but it recently occurred to me that Lewie rarely sees me read. I actually love reading, but I typically read at night after Lewie is in bed. But just like any skill or lesson I’m trying to instill in my child (gratitude, patience, politeness) it has to start with me. So whenever you can, create some time for yourself to read, even if it’s just a few minutes here and there. Children watch and do.

TIP 4 // READ BOOKS YOU ENJOY

Yes of course letting your child pick their own books is a great way to encourage kids to read. Take a trip to the library and let them choose away. And while you’re there, pick out some children’s books you find interesting as well. The truth is I’m much more likely to read to Lewie if I enjoy the books I’m reading. And if i’m enthusiastic about the book, chances are he will be too. If I let my toddler pick out all his own books, we would only read about trains. But just like food, it’s important to introduce your child to new topics they probably wouldn’t choose on their own.

Right now, we’re reading a lot about Summer. I’ve been intentionally picking books that will help us notice and celebrate the season. In addition to our summer reading, here are some favorites we’ve been loving lately. All these books are very picture-centric, but have an actual story, so they’ve been really great transition toddler books, from baby board books to longer-style children’s books.

Anything by Richard Scarry. Our favorite is Cars and Trucks and Things that Go.
Tuesday I grew up on this book. It’s so strange and imaginative. Lewie loves the frogs.
Where the Wild Things Are  A classic for all ages. This one never fails to entertain.
The Little Engine that Could If you have a child that loves trains, this one is a must!

And, alphabet books. Lewie is really into learning the alphabet. There are an abundance of amazing alphabet books including, Touch Think Learn (this one would make a beautiful baby gift) Animalia (so imaginative for all ages) Quentin Blake’s ABC’s (super whimsical with rhyming text) and Winnie-the-Pooh’s ABC (simple and beautiful intro in the World of Winnie the Pooh).

What about you? What children’s books is your family reading right now? I’m always on the lookout for new favorites!