Go green by hitting thrift stores, recycling

Going green doesn't necessarily mean wearing fig leaves or going au natural. And you don't have to live in a tree or become a tree-hugger in order to save them. You don't have to add solar panels to your roof, or forego electricity. You don't have to raise sheep, spin your own wool, or weave your own cloth. Going green can be as simple as patronizing your local thrift shop, or holding a clothing exchange with all your friends.

You could also buy clothes made from recycled materials. No, I'm not talking about newspaper dresses, or plastic pants (they went out in the '80s, and they should stay out!) I'm talking about mixing recycled materials, such as plastic bottles, with cotton or other natural fibers, and turning it into cloth. Real cloth, like T-shirts are made of. Coca-Cola is currently doing this for their fashion lines.

By buying clothes made from all natural materials, without a stitch of synthetic fibers, is also green. Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic have a lot of eco-friendly clothing options.

When you buy clothes from a thrift store or consignment shop, it's just like recycling. You can take it one step further and take your old clothes with you. Some places will allow you to trade your old clothes for new-to-you clothes they have in the shop. The value from your old clothes is put toward the total cost of whatever you decide to buy. This way, you don't have to worry about the fiber content, as it's essentially being recycled.

Holding a clothing exchange is another great way to recycle clothing. Call up your friends and family members, and tell them to bring all the clothes they don't wear or don't want anymore. You know that sweater you're best friend was lucky enough to find on sale five years ago that she never wears anymore and you've always had your eye on? Maybe you'll get lucky. Chances are, she'll bring it to the exchange. You won't even have to pay for it with cash! (She'll probably take that vintage scarf you never wear.)

Keep reading "Fashion Beat" every week! Next week, Prep style. It's a never-ending, ever-evolving fashion phenomenon. And remember, as I always say: Style matters; let the world see your inner beauty.

Rinni Clark is a fashion student at Cazenovia College. She is from Clinton.

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