Toward a more sustainable wardrobe

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Eco boutiques are a way of bringing ethically and sustainably made goods to the consumer public. At Shift Eco Boutique we require that the products in the store are crafted from recycled, upcycled, repurposed and sustainably grown materials, using fair trade and fair labor practices. Shift carries clothing, accessories, gifts, home goods, furniture and products for baby made from eco-friendly materials, such as organic cotton, hemp, modal, tencel, bamboo, recycled polyester, and organic wool, using eco-friendly processes where water, land and energy conserved and preserved. When Shift was opened in 2009 as a conscious clothing shop, the concept of an “eco boutique” was new to many places around the world and practically unheard of on Cape Cod. Although it is a niche market that has become more common, it is also a concept that is ever-evolving as the fashion and home décor industry develops new ways of dealing with their negative human and environmental impact. At Shift we believe that you can buy fashionable wardrobe staples and stylish home essentials without doing harm to people or the environment.

Wanting to adorn ourselves and our homes with beautiful things is an ancient human practice. And let’s face it – shopping for and purchasing things is a way of life for most people. But there are ways to participate in this cultural norm in a more ethical manner:

  •   Reduce Reuse Recycle.
    Reduce the amount of things you buy by investing in quality pieces that are made to last; reuse (or repair) what you already own by taking clothing to a tailor or shoes to a cobbler; you can recycle or donate pretty much anything and everything, including clothing and shoes.
     
  •  Check it.
    Check the label, check the source, check the price. What is the garment made of, where is it made, and does it have a story? Do you trust the store where you are shopping and the brand you are buying? If the price is too good to be true, then somebody or somewhere is probably getting screwed.
     
  • Take good care of your stuff.
    Wash your clothing in cold water with minimal detergent and line dry as much as you can to make your clothes last longer.
     
  • Do the best you can!
    Setting the intention to make your purchases more ethical and sustainable is the first step, then continue to educate yourself, so you can make the best decisions you can for yourself and your lifestyle.

Shift is owned by co-editor Amanda Converse, and is located at 535 South Street, Hyannis