April 22 is Earth Day, an annual event raising awareness of environmental issues around the globe. Each year organizations, communities, and individuals alike celebrate this planet we call home, and take action to protect it. This spring, girlaboutOtown is getting into the spirit of things. Local green living guru Pamela Tourigny has kindly agreed to share and show-off some her favourite eco-friendly fashion and beauty insider finds! -ed.
A decade ago when I began my quest for eco-conscious fashion and beauty products, my options were severely limited. I remember being super excited to visit an environment-focused store, with the full intention of buying myself some sort of eco apparel. I was so disappointed to find a rack full of ill-fitting hemp t-shirts.
Not that there’s anything wrong with hemp, but thankfully eco-fashion doesn’t mean shapeless hemp t-shirts anymore. And now that thrifting has come out of the shadows, we can buy and wear used clothing with pride, opening up a whole world of fashion opportunity!
I was like a kid in a candy store when I began working for terra20, North America’s largest eco store. It gives me (and you) access to the widest selections of eco fashion and beauty products all in one place. But - in addition to the new treasures I’ve discovered at terra20, I have long time favourites to share too.
Here are a few of my top picks:
Miik apparel is stylish, versatile, and so much more. Made in Toronto, Miik’s gorgeous bamboo garments are manufactured with a closed-loop process, minimizing their impact on the environment. I love this vibrant aqua dress, which I hear is all the rage this season. In the photo I’m also holding a vegan Matt & Nat bag, which has a liner made from recycled pop bottles.
I am absolutely crazy about Lole’s ready-to-wear, ecologically friendly fashion line. Many of their products are made with organic, Tencel ™, or recycled pop bottles. In a short period of time, I have accumulated a significant chunk of their collection. It’s almost like Lego that snaps together seamlessly! We will be carrying Lole at terra20 starting this fall.
Anyone who knows me has heard the story about how far and wide I’ve had to search to find high-quality, affordable vegan cosmetics. I was thrilled when I learned we’d be carrying the Gabriel and ZuZu Luxe lines at terra20. Not only are they vegan, they also meet our high standards of being free of harmful chemicals. I especially love their mascara.
I have been eying Totem products since before we even opened terra20. These handbags, over-the-shoulder bags and laptop/iPad sleeves are made in Toronto from upcycled promotional banners, truck tarpaulins, seatbelts, and bicycle inner tubes and each one is unique. I recently purchased one for my laptop and it gets all kinds of compliments.
No list of eco fashion/beauty options is complete without citing the vast array of treasures to be found at thrift stores. It’s definitely not a pursuit for the rushed or impatient, but thrifting can yield some amazing finds at a fraction of the cost you’d pay at a retail store. In the photo above, I am wearing a green Banana Republic dress that I found at Value Village for $9.99.
Pamela Tourigny is a long-time environmentalist, community builder (co-founder of Ottawa Veg Fest), and writer. She is also the Community Manager for terra20, North America’s largest eco store. She lives in Ottawa with her husband, rescued cats and dog, foster squirrels, and two stepkids. For a day-to-day perspective on living sustainably, follow Pamela at @exploreterra20 and @pamelatourigny.