We love to see how our styles are worn by real women. Meet the inspiring journalist and blogger Rachel Sarnoff, otherwise known as Mommy Greenest.
We took the opportunity to ask Rachel a bit more about herself and her ethical fashion thoughts.
How long have you been blogging/writing?
I can’t remember not writing. I think I wrote my first book when I was four—it was mostly pictures, but there was definitely a plot. I’ve only been blogging since about 2009. My background is in journalism, so I try to include as much factual information and as many links to outside sources as possible on www.MommyGreenest.com. It’s kind of more like an online magazine, but most definitely in my voice.
What inspired your ethical/eco approach to fashion/style?
In 2008, I started working with the non-profit Healthy Child Healthy World, which is now part of the Environmental Working Group. I learned so much in such a short time - how many lipsticks had lead in them (60%), what percentage of toxic chemicals are required to be listed on fragrance labels in America (zero), how many of the world’s insecticides are used on cotton (17%)—the lists went on and on.
As a hippie-ish, research-oriented, organic eating mother of three who went by the name of “Flower” in college, I realized that if I didn’t know this about these facts, most other women probably didn’t either. So I co-founded a site that became EcoStiletto, where I focused on ethical fashion as well as beauty, lifestyle and parenting; that site evolved into Mommy Greenest. I figured that if most women control nearly 80 cents of every dollar spent in America, we should know more about the industries that we were buying into.
What is your top tip for eco-fashionistas?
Don’t be afraid of preloved fashion! Many people associate shopping at thrift stores or consignment boutiques with a poorly organized and possibly stinky experience. But choosing used—whether at a consignment or thrift store, or by swapping with friends—is a great way to save money and help the planet. Buying gently worn clothes keeps them in circulation and out of the landfill, and reduces consumption. New boutiques are popping up everywhere that offer highly curated and truly beautiful experiences; you can even shop consignment online.
I think statistics are slightly better in Europe, but in the U.S., women spend an average of $60 each month on clothes, and toss six pounds (2.7kg) of textiles into the landfill. Each January, I ask my community to take a 30-day new shopping pause called the Shop Drop Challenge as a way of drawing attention to the impact that fast fashion has on the environment. This year, nearly 800 people signed up, representing 4,800 pounds of textiles rescued from the dump. And we reached almost 600,000 on social media. It’s small, but it’s progress!
A big thanks to Rachel for sharing her tips.
Outsider. Sustainable and ethical fashion since 2009.