How to Shop Sustainably This Holiday Season

Disclaimer: This post was created as a part of my ongoing partnership with the apparel and lifestyle brand, Lake Effect Co. You can read more about their mission and movement here. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Remember to use code WISCONSINISTA for 15% off any in-store or online purchases!

Wearing the Go Lake Topography Tee from Lake Effect Co. at Pewaukee Lake in Waukesha County Wisconsin

I love the challenge of finding the perfect holiday gift for everyone on my list each year! Sometimes putting this much pressure on getting the “perfect” gift can lead to anxiety though, especially when I’m in a rut and don’t know where to look for gifts besides my go-to stores from years past. Does your holiday gift search ever feel like this?

When you do find what appears to be the perfect gift, then, it can be heartbreaking to discover that the backstory of the product or the company who makes it is one of unsustainable, unethical practices. While it would be awesome to keep your carbon footprint at a minimum during the holidays, is it actually possible? 

Thankfully, the answer is heck yes – if you know where to look. Having strived to shop both sustainably and affordably over the years, I’ve found that there are multiple ways to minimize your environmental impact over the holidays without sacrificing the quality or uniqueness of your gifts. Now I’m sharing them with you!

Shop & Support Local

Sure, sure, “Small Business Saturday” helps out mom and pop, not the rich guys on Wall Street, but how does it benefit the environment? Small businesses often create and sell carefully curated items that are made by locals, so finding out if they source products sustainably should be pretty obvious from their marketing. Lake Effect Co., for example, tries to source its products from sustainable vendors, many of whom are local to Wisconsin and the Midwest. Some of their new winter products are even made with organic cotton and are #pursuitofcoziness goals!

Katherine Gramann, the brand’s creator and owner, goes out of her way to ensure everything in the store meets those quality standards and strives to do more than sell products by spreading a message. Your purchase from their in-person or online store goes even further, because 5% of all sales are donated to charities like FLOW, who support clean water initiatives throughout the Great Lakes.

Find an Amazon Alternative

Nope, you don’t have to sacrifice the joy and convenience of shopping in your pajamas from your bed either! Lake Effect Co. has more eco-friendly packaging than the average online shop, though you can usually recycle boxes and packaging used by any store if you do your research. They also offer local pick-up if you prefer to shop online but leave in the Pewaukee area!

If Amazon’s unfathomably wide array of items is what keeps you coming back for more, you’re going to want to make a free account on Poshmark. This resale site has listings for everything from clothes to home decor, and given its widespread popularity, you can find pretty much anything here without supporting fast fashion and consumption. If you prefer items to be new with tags, don’t worry; many people sell items they bought but never used and write “NWT” on their listings to let you know! There are also small boutiques on the website that sell new, handmade clothing and goods.

Get Thrifty!

Similar to Poshmark, scour the shelves of your local thrift store and you’ll probably find many items that are still new with tags. Depending on who you’re shopping for, though, they might not care if the item is gently used, especially if it’s something you can clean or wash before gifting. If someone who loves helping the environment is on your holiday gift list, they’ll likely be extra appreciative that you put thought into their gift and sourced it sustainably!

I personally love when friends find thoughtful gifts for me at secondhand stores. Doing so doesn’t mean they put less thought or effort into my gift, it just means they found something that reminded them of me and won’t break the bank or contribute to America’s disposable culture when buying it.

Tips for Sustainable Holiday Shopping Pinterest Pin

How do you shop sustainably? If you don’t currently, get ready to take the leap this holiday season.

Looking for more ways to keep warm this winter? Check out last month’s collaboration post for 10 Hot Tips to Help You Stay Cozy!

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