I'm, admittedly, a little bit of a nut when it comes to the environment. Enter: circular economics.
It's just something that I think and care about a LOT. There are a ton of changes that I have made to my lifestyle to accommodate this obsession that make me feel really good. Here are a few of many examples:
I could go on forever there. But one of the main areas of my life I felt needed improvement in my caring for the planet was apparel. I'm terrible when it comes to clothes. I only like to wear items once - maybe twice. And there are a lot of problems with this. The first is that my closet is filled with items that are never again going to see the light of day. The second is that I have been contributing to a LINEAR product lifecycle. What does that look like?
GO TO RETAILER > PURCHASE ITEM > WEAR ITEM > DISCARD ITEM
I think of the linear product lifecycle like using paper plates - WASTEFUL.
I've had some luck with a few of the nice consignment shops in Denver. I"d say 99% of the items I have boughten were never worn, with the tags still on them. I've also learned to really like resell apparel platforms like Poshmark and the RealReal. These items are brand new...just waiting to find a home. But I still find that I only wear/use those items a few times.
I had previously poo-poo'd the idea of clothing rental due to the excessive waste that is created from companies that ship 2x per clothing order. Gas, cardboard, paper, plastic wrap, etc. deterred me from even looking into the companies.
Enter Nuuly! I was served up an ad on Instagram a few weeks ago from Nuuly (owned by URBN - the parent company for Free People, Anthropologie, and Urban Outfitters). Those happen to be a few of my favorite brands and they own items that had already been sold out online for months. They also offer hundreds of other brands, including some really fun designers. It's a clothing rental company that adheres to what's called a CIRCULAR product lifecycle. Here's what that looks like:
RENT ITEM > WEAR ITEM > RETURN ITEM > RENT ITEM > WEAR ITEM > RETURN ITEM > ETC.
I think of the circular product lifecycle like using dish ware - REUSABLE.
The more I thought about it, the more I fell in love with the idea of essentially borrowing clothes for a store that I knew I could return after a short period of time. So, I signed up. And let me tell you...IT'S AWESOME.
I won't go into how it works - you can read more about that here. But I'll tell you what I love about it:
Here are a few of the items that came in my last shipment (loved them!):
I know there is a stigma about wearing "used" clothes. But honestly, you'd never know that these had been dry cleaned a time or two. Most of the items I receive actually have the tags on them. And most of them are really expensive.
Nuuly has really changed the way I feel about consumerism. I'm loving the circular vs. linear shopping experience. This is just another way I have made a small shift in my own behavior to better the planet and feel good at the same time. I highly recommend trying it!
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