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How to Navigate the ‘Occasionwear’ Market the Eco-Friendly Way

From weddings to birthdays, here's how to navigate the occasionwear market in a more sustainable fashion.

Written by
Kristine Nguyen

As we begin to see the light at the end of the COVID tunnel, more places have started to open back up. Because of that, your schedule probably looks a little more packed than it used to. Weddings are back on, events are being planned, and vacations have been scheduled—and with that, the "occasionwear" market is only rising in popularity.

We've all purchased occassionwear—aka clothing you buy for special occasions. But by no surprise, buying a new outfit for every event you attend isn't exactly the most eco-friendly practice. Luckily, we have good news: Great style and a healthy planet can go hand-in-hand.

If you're looking for ways to navigate the occasionwear market sustainably, here are a few easy tips.

3 Ways to Enjoy Occasionwear Sustainably

1. Shop Your Own Closet First

Before you go to the store for brand-new pieces, look at the clothes you already have first. Chances are you have a dress or top that hasn't gotten enough love lately. Maybe you wore it once for a wedding or a baby shower, and now it's collecting dust in the back of your closet.

Instead of letting it become a one-and-done article of clothing, be sure to wear it to future events, too. You probably bought that piece because you loved it, so it doesn't hurt to wear it again and again. In fact, being an outfit repeater is one of the best things you can do for the planet.

2. Borrow Clothes

When you borrow your occasionwear, the opportunities are endless. Ask a friend if you can raid their closet for your next event. Better yet, ask if they would be up for trading a few pieces. Those dresses in the back of your BFF's closet aren't new to her, but they're new to you. After you make your way through each other's borrowed pieces, return the items and go for round two.

3. Thrift Your Occasionwear

Buying your occasionwear secondhand is a great way to score some unique, vintage pieces while also being more sustainable. You could even try to search for pieces that can work for a multitude of occasions, like a classic black dress. You can easily dress it up or down for a particular event by mixing up your accessories and shoes.

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