June 22nd is World Rainforest Day, founded by Rainforest Partnership as a “collaborative effort to raise awareness and encourage action to save one of Earth's most precious resources, our rainforests.” Rainforests are important because they play a vital role in protecting our planet. According to Rainforest Partnership, they help provide freshwater, absorb excess carbon in the atmosphere, and help stabilize our climate. In the current climate crisis, people are starting to realize the importance of conserving our rainforests.
However, over the last 40 years, deforestation has destroyed an estimated 2.5 billion acres of tropical rainforests, which is about the size of Europe. This is a devastating statistic, as our rainforests provide homes for countless plants, animals, and even people. To help spread awareness for protecting our rainforests, National Rainforest Day is a celebration of nature and the earth. It is a reminder to live more sustainably, to be more environmentally aware, and to make better decisions regarding our planet.
You may be asking yourself, “I don’t live near the rainforest… What can I do?” Which is a completely valid question. There are many small changes you can make in your life to be more environmentally conscious. And yes, even the tiniest simplest changes make a difference. We’ve compiled some examples to help you make changes in your fashion choices & beauty routines below. Let’s all do our part to protect the planet. Happy National Rainforest Day!
Sustainable Choices for the Fashion & Beauty Enthusiast
1. Shop Your Closet (or Vanity!)
The most sustainable items are the ones you already own. Go through your closet and check out some of the older items you may not have worn in a while. Also, check out your vanity to find some old products you’ve barely used, and use them up. And if you’re not sure if you’re still feeling your old clothes or products, bring your friends over for champagne and closet shopping. You never know what you all might find! Bonus: make a pact with your friends that every item traded is $5, and all proceeds go to Rainforest Partnership!
2. Repair & Upcycle Clothes
If your clothes get damaged over time, repair them! You can mend those rips and tears with some sewing skills or take them to the tailor. You may have tried out a few new skills or crafts during quarantine, so why not add some new ones to the lineup? For instance, we love Evelyn Wood’s YouTube tips for mending clothes. If the clothes are too damaged for use, upcycle them into something else—use them as rags and wipes for cleaning or removing makeup.
3. Change Your Attitude Towards Fashion
Do you really need that new shirt everyone is buying? Is it a lifelong investment or will you be donating it in a year? Think about building a capsule wardrobe instead of staying on top of microtrends that will be gone before you’ve worn it. Ask yourself what items you wear in your everyday life and what you’re drawn towards. Invest in your personal style! Consider buying higher-end quality items that will last for years. Renzoe Box Founder, René Graham, affirms this idea: “No joke, I have 2 pencil skirts from my grandmother and a blazer I’ve owned for almost 10 years. I love and wear them all the time.” Investing in clothes that will last for years is a more sustainable alternative than staying on top of every trend, and you can save a few dollars in the long run.
4. Rent the Rack
If you need a new dress for an event but would only wear it one time, consider renting one! This is a fairly new concept, but with companies like Rent the Runway, you can find your perfect outfit for one evening without spending too much money on a one-wear outfit.
5. Buy & Sell Second Hand
Thrift stores are your new best friend. Americans produce an average of 11 million tons of textile waste per year, so give that garment a new home and extend its life cycle. You can really develop your own personal style by digging through racks of used clothes and finding things that call to you. And with apps like Mercari, Poshmark, and thredUP, it’s easier than a dating app (and way more fun!) to shop the closets of fashionistas like yourself. Be creative and have fun on a wallet-friendly budget!
6. Remember the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce: Reduce waste just by using a product until it’s completely empty. Resist the urge to buy new when there’s ¼ of the product left and you’re anxious for a refresh.
Reuse: Instead of reaching for disposable makeup wipes, try using reusable cotton pads or wipes like these from Amazon!
Recycle: Once you’ve emptied the product, rinse it out and recycle the packaging. Unfortunately any packaging smaller than a yogurt cup won’t make it through recycling, so a lot of cosmetic packaging is out. But did you know Renzoe Pods reduce 80% of makeup packaging waste? True story.
Your small actions can have a large impact!
7. Minimize Packaging/Go Packaging Free
Next time you’re walking down the beauty aisle, take note of just how much single-use plastic is there. You can’t avoid it. Yet you can reach for products with minimal packaging to reduce your packaging waste! There are also many options to go plastic free with shampoo bars, conditioner bars, soap bars, and more. Try to find products with less or no packaging to minimize packaging and therefore your plastic waste footprint!
8. Shop Sustainable
Photo Courtesy of ILIA
So many companies highlight sustainability as a core value of their business. They do this by using renewable energy to power their manufacturing & operations, choosing recycled plastics for their packaging, or incorporating recycle programs as part of the full lifecycle of the products they sell. Here are a few of our favorites: Rituel de Fille, ILIA, Kosas, Vapour, and RMS. Support these companies over your usual picks!
9. Choose Eco-Friendly Ingredients
When trying to shop sustainably, it’s important to choose products with sustainable ingredients, which are ingredients that are sustainably sourced. By choosing sustainable cosmetics, you are directly supporting the push for making the beauty industry cleaner and more sustainable. If you don't change your buying habits, brands won't bother to make the change either. Support brands that use sustainable ingredients and are doing their part to help you and the environment. Ere Perez and W3ll People are two of our absolute favorites.
10. Seek Refillable Products
So many companies are starting to create refillable products! Buy the base and refill when you run out of your product—you usually end up saving money from this as well. A Renzoe Box is a perfect example of this, and you can prevent plastic waste with refillable items. With a few small changes in your beauty routine, you could reduce single-use plastic waste in your entire beauty routine by half. Yes, half. And in your makeup routine by 80%! By using our refill system rather than buying whole compacts and palettes, makeup wearers typically reduce the waste and bulk by 80% or more. The image below shows just how much plastic waste you can save through using Renzoe Pods.
By choosing a more sustainable option, you are impacting the environment (and our rainforests!) in a positive way. There are so many small changes you can make in your fashion choices and beauty routines to live more sustainably. World Rainforest Day is a reminder of why our rainforests are vital to humans, and therefore why we must make more sustainable changes in our lives. Let’s all do our part and be more environmentally aware. These changes may be small, but they can have a significant impact on our planet and future generations.