I couldn’t stop admiring the San Gabriel mountains since snow first appeared on them in November, and knew I had to visit them before the winter season was over. So a couple of weeks ago, Sam and I filled my Prius up with zero waste trail mix and traveled to the cabin he had rented for us near Lake Arrowhead. The trip wasn’t as smooth as we had hoped for, with a rock slide closure adding an additional 1.5 hours to the drive, but watching the sunset over the snow-covered mountains on our way to a cozy dinner, and the impromptu sledding session next to a frozen Big Bear Lake, made it well worth it.
As someone who generally only leaves Southern California to visit my hometown in Hawaii, snow isn’t something I encounter very often. I did, however, manage to handle the winter chill in head-to-toe sustainable fashion. Read on for three eco tips that kept me warm and fast-fashion free.
1. Stay warm and dry in recycled polyester.
I usually stick to wearing clothing made from natural fibers, such as organic cotton, linen, and hemp, as its production is gentler on the environment than synthetic, and is generally fully compostable at the end of its lifecycle. I do make an exception when it comes to clothing that gets wet however, as synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon are needed to wick moisture away. But there’s a more eco alternative to conventional polyester, and that’s recycled polyester!
I brought this recycled polyester poncho from eco brand Quagga Green Label with me to Big Bear because I knew I would be able to play in the snow in it without remaining soaking wet. I love that its incredibly warm and feels like I’m wearing a big waterproof blanket–but in a chic way. I also wore recycled polyester leggings from the Girlfriend Collective under my jeans for added protection.
2. Borrow warm accessories from friends (or your boyfriend).
As someone who lives in a generally warm climate, the aim of my hat collection is more for protecting me from the sun than keeping me warm. As tempting as it was to run out and buy a new beanie for this trip, I know that after the weekend was over, it would most likely sit unused until next winter. Sustainability is as much about what you don’t buy as much as about what you do. I think new purchases should generally be reserved for items that I will truly get a lot of use out of, and one weekend a year doesn’t make the cut. There may come a time when I will frequent colder climates enough for me to invest in great cold-weather accessories of my own, but until then, borrowing them is just fine for me.
Lucky for me, Sam happened to have this Russian-type faux fur hat just waiting for me to borrow. Thanks babe!
3. Secondhand, secondhand, secondhand.
I know I might sound like a broken record by now, but I can’t stress the benefits of buying clothing secondhand enough. It’s not only the most sustainable option, as its conserving the energy and resources used to create a new item (even if it is sustainably produced) while saving clothing that might end up in a landfill, but it can also be the most authentically stylish option too. The majority of trends are throwbacks from past decades, and the original is usually better.
I actually scored this vintage Tommy Hilfiger puffer jacket from my neighbor and have been wearing it nonstop this winter. I love it for its 90’s nostalgia style, especially paired with this red Ralph Lauren turtleneck sweater, another vintage score. My combat boots are also secondhand from a flea market.
Photos by @sdrpick.
Quagga Green Label provided products in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.