Hot Take: Is H&M Recycling a Scam?

H&M has been advertising a program in which the buyer donates their old clothing to their local H&M for recycling in exchange for 15% off of their next purchase. Sounds pretty awesome, right? Is it, though?

No? Maybe. Kind of.

I’d advise a healthy dose of suspicion toward fast fashion companies in general, but especially when they suddenly advertise their image in a way that is contrary to their entire system of functioning. Being “sustainable” and having a new display of clothing every week is just not compatible. It is important to ask what H&M’s motive is and even to question our own motive in participating.

This fast fashion company has gotten in trouble in the past for the mass shredding of never before sold or worn clothing. The recycling program, which has been going on for a couple of years, if my memory serves me correctly, is part of an attempt to shine up the store’s sullied image. Trying to clean their image is not a problem necessarily, but it is not entirely genuine.

The 15% off coupon is a huge incentive for most people, considering H&M’s already low prices. If a person drops off one bag of clothing and leaves with three new bags, has anything good truly been accomplished? It seems like one step forward and two steps back. It has the potential to create more waste than it eliminates.

It is also important to consider that clothing recycling is not magic. The act of shipping the clothing around and breaking it down for re-use is also a use of resources. A good use of them, but maybe your clothing could have a second life on a friend or in a re-sale shop before needing to reach its final demise. It is a fairly new practice that is rigorous and in need of more research for efficiency.

Recycling is always better than throwing away, but it is not better than not creating or consuming excess in the first place.

The final decision and conclusion is in your hands. Mostly, I urge you to never stop thinking critically.

 

Back in Time

Let’s go back in time. I don’t mean to the 1960s’ as my outfit might lead you to believe. (I’d rather stay in 2018, thank you very much.) I am referring to close to two months ago when this photo set was taken by my dear friend, Andrea.


I made this dress YEARS ago. When I was in the 11th grade, I decided to make this dress, inspired by Marina and the Diamonds’ Electra Heart phase. Thankfully, I still had pretty good taste back then, as this hot pink mini dress has stood the test of time.



It is crazy that I’ve waited so long to post these pictures considering how awesome Andrea did taking these. This was from one of the last times I hung out with my friends before leaving on a super long trip.


If you didn’t know, I’ve been in Hong Kong teaching English for the summer and I’m current in Cambodia. I have been insanely busy since the minute I got on the first plane, which is why I sat on this post for so long. It’s been a once in a life time experience for sure. I apologize for any mistakes in this post as I only have access to the internet through my phone right now. I am sorry to be so short but am excited to begin posting more in the weeks to come!

Thanks for your patience.

Early Summer Sunset

Summer weather recently hit the Midwest full force and I am 100% more of a person than I was before it came. I always forget how much more alive I feel in the sunshine.

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I love novelty prints and bright colors no matter the season. However, I look a lot less out of place in the summer. Believe it or not, this is not the only lemon printed shirt that I own. I bought this shirt in high school, but these vintage peachy shorts were a recent Salvation Army purchase.

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This girl loves to be ridiculously matchy-matchy, hence the shirt and scarf combination, so I had to grab this lemon mug at Goodwill. It was fate. Besides tied scarves, which are a personal favorite in every season, my favorite accessories for the summer are colorful barrettes. They are a simple way to add some extra color to an outfit, especially for us short-haired girls who don’t have many options for switching up hairstyles. I like stacking several colors, especially yellow, orange, and pink as they resemble a sunset. Just pick up a rainbow pack from your favorite store in the little girls’ section (no shame).

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Velco sneakers are comfy, casual, and quirky. They add a silly touch to my already fairly silly outfit. Shoes always make the final decision about how casual or dressed up an outfit is, making these shoes perfect for everyday summer looks. I love to wear dresses on a daily basis and these shoes are the perfect paring to keep me from being too overdressed, if one believes in such a thing.

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This is one of the first summers I won’t be spending my time in class or working. I have been blessed with a lot of opportunities to travel, which is why I have gone back to a lower maintenance hair color. I am not sure what my blogging schedule will be like, but I am excited to find more unique places to take pictures as well as just to soak up new experiences.

Sail Away in Second-Hand

As an early celebration of Earth Day, I am featuring two of my favorite second-hand items: vintage clothes and used books.

Listen, I know that it is more earth friendly to read books on a Kindle but I think most book-lovers would agree that nothing beats the feeling of a physical book in your hands. Shopping at local second-hand book shops, like Always Buying Books, is the best way to keep up with my book habit without having to go electronic.

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This vintage sailor dress overflows with just as much whimsy as this darling book shop. I love finding old handmade items because it is fun to imagine someone’s mom sewing her this dress just in time for spring. Both this dress and these socks were obtained while I was working for an estate sale company this past summer. An estate sale is a great place to find vintage pieces which is often overlooked. If you are up for a treasure hunt, hit one up sometime.

I just purchased these Velcro babies on Depop and I am never taking them off. If you didn’t already know, Depop is the equivalent of an online thrift store. You can sell your used clothing items or purchase other’s. These shoes are a little goofy but I love them paired with almost anything– mini dresses, jeans, shorts. They add a little bit of personality to any outfit and make me feel like a cartoon girl.

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This post may be a little scatterbrained, but this is all just to say that you don’t have to give up all the things that you love in order to live a greener life. Making alterations in the way you consume and finding small ways reduce how much waste you create make a difference in the long run, whether that be buying used items or donating rather than trashing.

How do you live greener every day?

Lemon Drop Dress Transformation – Handmade Fashion

Over spring break I had a few spare moments to work on a small project. Sometimes I don’t have time to sew an entire dress from scratch, but I’m always making alterations on pieces that I pick up at the thrift store. Keep scrolling to see a vintage dress transformation.

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Before:

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Personally, I would argue that there is not necessarily anything wrong with this dress in its original form. However, the length is not very practical and the sheer amount of pattern contained in this skirt is not very wearable unless I were attending some kind of clown-prom. I loved this quirky dress, but I knew that I would not have many occasions to wear it if I kept it at this length.

 

After:

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I gave my six-dollar dress a chop at the finger tips. Who doesn’t love a mini dress? Now the dress is more playful and can be worn on a daily basis.

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This was such a simple alteration. I just hemmed the bottom to a length that is flattering on me. There was so much fabric left over that I even made this cute lil’ matching scarf. Thrifting is so much more fruitful when you are able to sew. Instead of looking for items that are perfect, I often look for items that have potential and then make them perfect for myself.

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Let me know if you guys are interested in more handmade pieces and thrift shop transformations!

Professional Doesn’t Mean Boring – Fall Fashion

As a future teacher who will have to integrate business-casual into my everyday life sooner than I’d like to think, I have made it a goal to find a way to make it my own.

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About a week ago, I had to attend an honors ceremony at my school. To my dismay, they gave zero dressing guidelines. I decided to play it safe and test out my professional styling skills. DSCN0347 (3)

For the first time in a very, very long time my outfit contains zero thrifted items. It is a strange feeling to be wearing items that others could actually purchase in a store if they wanted. Both items are purchased from stores committed to having strictly ethical factory  regulations, so fear not!

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This ruffly sweater is from Target’s new line called “A New Day” and I am obsessed with it. (Although it reminds me slightly of Pennywise the clown.) I think the key to making a professional look stylish is by not losing your personality in it. This sweater is girly and a little weird, so it still represents my personality. These yellow ankle pants are from the gap. Simply choosing an ankle cut pant takes this look from being frumpy to being clean and youthful.

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This outfit is simple, but the details make all the difference.