DIY Zero Waste Car Kit

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The whole “zero waste” concept has been (finally) gaining popularity in 2018. Living zero waste means to live in a way that all things that are consumed or used by you on a daily basis can be reused, so that no trash is created & so the only end products are compostable or items that can be continually reused. Switching to a more zero waste lifestyle is crucial, as it is not only a more sustainable way to live but a more economical & efficient lifestyle. Some argue that living a more zero waste lifestyle is too difficult – so I made a “zero waste car kit” to show & encourage you all that living sustainably is not only quite doable but also easier than it seems. You can also take this idea and make a “zero waste bike kit” or a “zero waste purse kit”!

To create my zero waste car kit, I looked through all of the stuff that I had already and then made a list of what I still needed. Then I visited some local thrift shops to purchase anything else that I needed. Any specific item that I didn’t already have or couldn’t find while thrifting, I then researched companies that pride themselves in making sustainable products & ordered away!
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Almost every outing involves picking up food or drink – and with this we are usually given the item in single-use options (plastic straws, plastic cups, plastic lids, paper cups, plastic utensils, plastic water bottles, styrofoam takeaway containers… the list goes on and on). Most of these single-use items are not recyclable and the ones that are recyclable usually are thrown away or cannot be recycled due to other variables. We need to ditch this throw-away culture that we have come to accept as normal and realize that these single-use items go on to pollute the environment for centuries. When these single-use items are used then disposed of, the toxins from the plastic and other garbage continually leach into the environment. This creates a devastating effect which impacts the entire food chain (plants and animals alike).

So, how can we reduce our dependence and usage of single-use items? Bring reusables that replace them everywhere you go! Using reusables is a lot easier than it may seem, just use them and wash them then return them back into your car kit! When it comes to creating your kit, focus on creating a plastic-free kit that involves stainless steel items, glass items, or products made from natural sources (cotton, bamboo, etc).

Items to include in your kit: 

  • reusable straws (like this or this or this)
    • make sure that the straws you purchase come with a little brush to clean out your straws!
  • cotton/linen cloths (like this or this)
    • use to replace napkins or wrap your clean utensils & glass jars in)
  • large stainless steel water bottle (like this or this
    • use to avoid buying plastic water bottles out of convenience – so many places will fill up your water bottle for you if they don’t already have a water fountain!
  • stainless steel tea/coffee mug (like this or this or this)
    • can also be used for cold beverages
  • glass mason jar (like this)
    • to store left-over food or when purchasing items in bulk
  • stainless steel utensils (thrifted)
    • to replace all throw-away options
  • reusable cotton bags (like this and this)
    • plastic bags kill over 100 MILLION animals each year… it is time that we take responsibility for this and switch to reusable bags.

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Here is the easiest thing to switch to, reusable bags! Reusable bags need to be washed frequently. Since these bags need to be washed so often, choose bags composed of a natural material, so when they are washed they do not release harmful microfibres into our waterways.

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Now, here are some important items to keep in your car that might not be all that zero waste, but safety and health are arguably just as important, so do not deny yourself a first aid kit! Since I live in Saskatchewan and we experience incredibly cold winters, I have a survival candle and matches as well. I also have a multi-tool in case of emergencies.

I hope this posts helps to inspire you to live a cleaner & more sustainable lifestyle!

– Tiara

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Working Towards a More Sustainable Mouth Care Regime

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This year, I am slowly transitioning to a more sustainable mouth care regime! First however, I am using up what I have already until it is all gone and I will replace those items with more sustainable options or DIY solutions! I made the switch to bamboo toothbrushes over a year ago, as well as a more natural toothpaste. I also incorporate other steps into my routine – read on to learn more!

Bamboo Toothbrush:

  • bamboo is easily sustainably harvested
  • bamboo is naturally antimicrobial
  • bamboo handles are completely biodegradable & you can recycle the bristles (you can compost the handle & it will decompose naturally)
  • bamboo grows quickly & is easy to renew
  • there is no recycling program for plastic toothbrushes
  • Plastic products end up devastating the environment, human & animal health (as seen here)

Natural Toothpaste:

  • there are so many DIY toothpaste recipes on Pinterest
    • for example: 1/2 cup coconut oil, 3 tbsp baking soda, 1 tbsp xylitol, 10 drops of food grade essential oil (usually peppermint, orange, etc).
  • regular toothpaste is usually full of harmful ingredients
  • natural toothpastes have natural sweeteners, while regular toothpastes have artificial sweeteners
  • natural toothpaste does not contain fluoride
  • regular toothpaste is tested on animals, natural toothpaste is not
  • natural toothpaste can clean your teeth just as well as regular toothpaste
  • the brand I have pictured is Nelson Naturals, a product that is made in Canada, not tested on animals and is in a glass jar with tin lid (purchased at Dad’s Organic Market)

Activated Charcoal:

Activated charcoal is usually found in natural mouth care products for numerous reasons:

  • activated charcoal whitens teeth naturally by removing stains
  • activated charcoal changes pH balance in the mouth & results in better oral health
  • activated charcoal helps to prevent cavities, gum disease and bad breath
  • however, activated charcoal is MESSY – usually requires clean up after use or some will only brush with activated charcoal in the shower

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There are multiple companies now that provide kits that include products with activated charcoal that is safe to use. I was sent a Carbon Coco kit – which is focused around the activated charcoal ingredient. Their products are 100% safe to use and provide a natural and healthy way to remove stains from your teeth – no harmful chemicals! I dip a wet toothbrush into the charcoal powder and brush for my teeth for 3 minutes – I am sure to be gentle & not scrub my teeth. I spit out the charcoal, which always requires cleanup afterward, then finish with brushing my teeth with the activated charcoal toothpaste for 3 minutes. My teeth feel so clean afterward! After oil pulling in the mornings and using these products at night, my teeth definitely are whiter after only 2 weeks! The Carbon Coco products are great, as they offer a natural whitening solution – however I would personally love to see them switch to more sustainable packaging and bamboo toothbrushes.

Oil Pulling:

  • use 1-2tbs of organic extra virgin coconut oil in the morning and swish it around for 20 minutes (I do this while in the shower or while doing my makeup)
  • Make sure not to swallow the oil, also make sure to spit the oil out in the garbage afterward as coconut oil will clog drains
  • oil pulling removes bad bacteria, prevents plaque, gum disease, cavities & gingivitis
  • oil pulling whitens teeth naturally and detoxifies your mouth
  • oil pulling is actually a holistic treatment for TMJ
  • follow by brushing your teeth with a natural toothpaste & you can follow up with a warm salt water rinse

Bentonite Clay:

  • this clay is able to absorb toxins & is full of strengthening minerals
  • bentonite clay neutralizes bad bacteria
  • is usually found in natural DIY solutions, such as tooth powder (a great recipe can be found here)
  • it is important not to use metal around bentonite clay – use a wooden spoon instead

Zero-Waste Dental Floss:

  • regular dental floss is made from nylon and is in a plastic container (nylon and plastic are derived from crude oil)
  • nylon dental floss is tear-proof so animals get stuck and killed by dental floss regularly
  • an alternative is silk floss with beeswax or candellila wax (one example is Dental Lace) OR a water pik.

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I hope this inspires you to make more sustainable choices when it comes to your mouth care routine!

– Tiara

Sustainable Skincare Updates

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Hello everyone! In this update on my favourite sustainable skincare products, I am adding in some amazing products that I have added to my collection and that I hope you consider adding to yours (previous favourites can be found herehere & here)! These products are created, formulated and packaged with the environment in mind, and in case you forgot, we ourselves are a part of the environment as well. What we do to the environment, we do to ourselves.

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Living Libations Seabuckthorn • Best Skin Ever Oil 

I use this product either as a facial oil or after washing and steaming my face, I will apply this product and use it as a deep cleansing oil. This oil makes my skin glow, packed with goodies such as seabuckthorn, lavender & grapefruit, this is the perfect pick-me-up for your skin!

Living Libations Frankincense Honey Mask 

  • Purchased from Green Tree Beauty
  • Handmade in Canada
  • Animal Friendly
  • Packaged in sustainable packaging that is reusable

This is a lovely facial mask that I will put on my face & neck for up to 20 minutes. This mask calms my skin down and evens my complexion – leaving my skin glowing and soft! I massage it off with a hot, wet face cloth and then apply lotion or facial oil.
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Elate Cosmetics Twinkle Loose Eye Colour 

  • Purchased from Green Tree Beauty
  • Packaged in a reusable glass jar (that can be returned to a retailer so the company can reuse it)!
  • Clean & cruelty-free
  • Made in Canada

This loose powder can easily be applied to the eyelid (or anywhere else) with a brush or finger tip. I have the shade Fairy and it is a peachy-coloured shimmer that sparkles so beautifully. You can put on one layer, or build the product up to create a higher intensity. A lot of eyeshadows bother my sensitive eyes, however this eyeshadow does not give me any issues!

Elate Cosmetics Brow Balm 

Elate’s Brow Balm is the world’s first sustainable, vegan non-toxic and cruelty-free brow product!!! I apply this product with an angled brush and comb over it with a clear gel and my eyebrows look amazing all day long! I have the shade Raven.

Elate Cosmetics Illuminator Pressed Powder • Dew

  • Purchased from Green Tree Beauty 
  • Packaged in seed paper and fits in the reusable bamboo palettes
  • Clean, vegan & cruelty-free ingredients

Oh.My.God. This product is a MUST BUY!!! I am obsessed with this dewy highlighter and I get so many compliments on my skin because I use it. I apply it last and set it with a setting spray and it lasts all day and makes me look like I have the most healthy, glowing and bright complexion all while maintaining a rather natural look unlike most highlighters. I have never loved a product as much as I love this product.

Pacifica Pink Nudes Mineral Eyeshadows 

  • Purchased from Pacifica (sometimes found at Dad’s Organic Market)
  • Eyeshadows are coconut-infused
  • 100% vegan & cruelty-free
  • packaging is cardboard & can be recycled

These eyeshadows are so soft and blend nicely. I always use an eyeshadow primer and they stay all day. I love this palette because it has colours for a very natural look and for a more dramatic look.

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Sweet Pure Honey Gift Box 

  • Received as a gift from my wonderful cousin
  • Made in Canada
  • All products are fresh, fair trade & organic

These products came packaged in a reusable wooden box and are handmade with ingredients like coconut oil and beeswax. The solid perfume scents are to die for – so relaxing and delicious-smelling. I swear by the lip and salve products for my skin in the winter. The only issue is some of these products themselves are not packaged sustainably as they are in plastic – I hope this company grows and is able to switch over to tin containers for all their products!

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Ash & Thorn Sh!t for Menstrual Pain & Flow Regulation

  • Purchased from Green Tree Beauty
  • Packaged in a reusable tin
  • Only uses medicinal plants that were personally grown, ethically wild harvested or purchased from small organic farms
  • 100% handmade products

So, in my struggle with Endometriosis, I have been trying to find ways of coping with the disease without so many synthetics or chemicals. I came across this product, which contains natural ingredients which have been known to restore normal period cycles, suppress spasms, reduce muscular tension and cramping & relieve depression. This product can also be used for IBS, fibromyalgia and anxiety – all of which are usually parts of Endometriosis as well. I use this at night and I rub it into my scars that resulted from my Endometriosis surgery.

Pacifica French Lilac Spray Perfume 

  • Purchased from Pacifica (can be found at Dad’s Organic Market)
  • 100% Vegan and Cruelty-free
  • Formulated without SLS, sulfates, parabens and petroleum
  • Proprietary perfume blends with natural and essential oils, and natural plant based alcohol

I think my two favourite scents in the whole world are lavender and lilac. When I smelt this perfume, I could not believe how similar smells like the actual flower. I have gone through 5 bottles of this dreamy liquid.

Saje Essential Oil Roll-Ons

  • Purchased from Saje 
  • Roll-ons are made with no animal testing, no synthetics, are plant based and 100% natural & travel friendly
  • Each roll-on is mixed with the carrier oil grapeseed oil so direct application to your skin is safe

I have about 10 different roll-ons from Saje, all I highly recommend. These little guys are my saviours that help me through each day. Could not be happier that I found these products!

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So, that concludes my updates! I hope that you check out these products and love them as much as I do! Also hope you loved my collection of cotton and silk vintage scarves and handkerchiefs!

– Tiara

Sustainable Gift Guide

Christmas is right around the corner, which means you are probably in the process of purchasing gifts. Finding the right gift can be stressful, however supporting local businesses and purchasing sustainably-made products has never been easier. Since what you spend your money on is essentially the type of world that you support, let’s start supporting a healthier planet. It sounds difficult, however it is really simple! Some key points are to avoid plastic items, resist fads and fast fashion and invest in products that are high quality and will have a long lifespan. Remember to bring reusable bags and avoid plastic bags while shopping!

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Shopping sustainably can be done easily, even here in Saskatoon. There are multiple stores and local businesses that provide many opportunities to shop smart, buy local and minimize your negative impact on the environment. Buying for a beauty lover? Green Tree Beauty offers sustainably made and natural cosmetics! The Farmer’s Market is a gathering of many local businesses which can help you to invest your money back into the province, rather than into large corporations. Locally owned stores like Hazlewood Vintage, Better Off Duds or 33rd Street Vintage Market, for example, are stores that offer high-quality vintage items for sale. These vintage items are very well made and still have many more years of life left in them – not to mention they are uniquely crafted! Second hand does not mean poorer quality. Most vintage items are made from natural fibres, real wood, glass, or metal, meaning that they will all naturally decompose when thrown away or that they can be safely recycled. Also, by purchasing an item second hand, you are saving a perfectly good item from the landfill, and promoting less wasteful manufacturing of new products.

 

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Another great idea is to purchase your friends or family natural products that will replace every day items that are usually made of plastic. This will not only be healthier for them, but for the planet as well.

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Some Christmas gifts do not need to be expensive at all! You can hand make your gifts! If you have some glass jars or little tin containers lying around (and if you don’t, Value Village is a great place to look) and simple ingredients found from the kitchen, DIY body scrubs, lip scrubs, lotions and other natural products are easy to make and give – Pinterest is full of recipes! Another great idea is to sew or knit something! Below, I have a picture of the reusable cotton makeup remover pads that I sewed! A handmade gift shows that the giver put some thoughtful effort into making the gift for the recipient. A promise of spending time with a friend or making special treats for someone is another way to make the season happy and memorable.

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Another important aspect about Christmas is the gift packaging. Most wrapping paper and gift bags cannot be recycled. This ends up with an unnecessarily large input going into the landfill. This can be easily avoided by switching to these following methods. Have extra pillowcases, sheets, scarves or tablecloths lying around your home? Wrap your gifts using the “furoshiki” practice. You can knot the fabric, or secure it with a broach! Fabric can be continually reused to wrap presents over and over! Another way to wrap gifts is with newspapers, paper bags, or old road maps – just insure that they are recycled afterward!

Need a stocking stuffer idea? I keep my hands looking holiday ready using natural lotions from Dad’s Organic Market and the Seche Vive Topcoat from Nail Polish Canada! I apply this topcoat initially and then 2-3 days after as well and it is the only top coat I’ve found that keeps the polish on for a week (and on my hands, that is saying something… usually I chip my nail polish in 2 days). This top coat also keeps my nails very shiny and strong! This polish offers a gel nail look without the need of a lamp. Nail Polish Canada also offers nail polishes that are toxin free, found here!

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I hope that this article helps you to make this Christmas season more sustainable and inspires you to bring that level of sustainability into all the other aspects of your life. After all, we only have one planet.

– Tiara

Purple Rain

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I was so excited when I found this purple suede jacket at my local thrift store. I wish the items I thrifted came with pictures of how the original owners wore them.
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Sweater: Aritzia (thrifted) / Jacket: Sybilla (thrifted) / Jeans: Levi’s / Boots: Nevada (thrifted) / Belt: thrifted from Hazlewood Vintage / Necklace: my grandmother’s / Purse: Steve Madden /
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– Tiara

Natural Body Skincare Products

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Natural products are more beneficial for our personal use and for the environment – so why not make the switch? I’ve been using natural products for almost a year now and it has been the best decision I’ve ever made. My main focus is purchasing products that are made locally, are not packaged in plastic and are composed of natural ingredients.

Remember that REUSE (from reduce, reuse & recycle) is listed before recycle because reusing is more important and crucial in being more environmentally-friendly! Purchase products that either have no packaging, or that have packaging that can be safely reused for years to come. (Hint: Plastic is not something you want to be reusing – this is why I stress that we need to reduce our purchases of plastic altogether).
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In the Shower:

Lush Solid Shampoo & Conditioner

  • Purchased from LUSH
  • 1 shampoo bar can last up to 80 washes
  • NO plastic! You can also purchase reusable tins!

These bars do not have any packaging and smell so wonderful! I know they are not 100% natural, however I have not had success with any completely natural shampoos and conditioners – I am still experimenting – but the shampoo & conditioner bar pros outweigh their cons. Just make sure to let them completely air-dry before you close the tin lid! There are tons of different options to choose from as well, at a very reasonable price.

Uncle Mike’s Body Scrub

  • Purchased from Uncle Mike’s
  • Made in Saskatoon
  • Comes in a reusable tin container!

This body scrub is completely natural & smells so good! This product slowly dissolves while exfoliating and leaves the skin moisturized.

Assorted Bar Soaps

  • Look for bar soap that has natural ingredients that are sustainably sourced and that does not have any packaging – I personally hate when natural bar soap has plastic packaging all around it – as it is not needed!
  • Ensure that the bar soap you’re purchasing is not made from sneaky chemical ingredients
  • Comparable products, like liquid body washes, contain petroleum-based detergents and added chemicals which are hormone disruptors and also pollute water systems – natural-ingredient bar soaps are safer!

I rub my bar soap into a loofa and wash my body – providing some extra exfoliation. Also, bar soap lasts so much longer than liquid body soap – which is better for the environment and also saves you some cash!

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Body Lotions & Oils:

Northlore Lowlands Body Oil

  • Purchased from Green Tree Beauty (ps: every time you purchase something from Green Tree Beauty – they plant a tree)!
  • Packaged in reusable glass container
  • Made in Saskatchewan

This body oil has a wonderful smell, it has a light citrus scent which is musky at the same time – so both men and women can happily use it. I apply this all over my body and let it absorb before I put on clothes. I need to reapply this oil daily.

Lush Massage Bars/Body Butters

  • Purchased from LUSH
  • No packaging!
  • Finished product is not tested on animals

I love these lotion bars because there is no packaging which eliminates all the resources and energy that would usually go into creating packaging and there is no garbage! Also there is no waste with these bars, as you can use every last bit of them and not be concerned that any product is going to waste, like when you get lotion in a plastic bottle and you know theres still half a cup lurking in the bottom that you cannot get to!

Avocado Oil/Grape-seed Oil

  • Easy to buy in bulk
  • Easy to find in grocery stores
  • Cheap but great for your skin

Ensure that the container you are purchasing the oil in is not a plastic container! I pour the desired oil into a little glass container and use it in place of a lotion after dry-brushing and after a shower.

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Facial Masks:

Redmond Clay

I mix this clay with water, honey, coconut milk or coconut water and apply it as a face mask. This clay draws-out toxins from the skin and it is safe to use on eczema patches! I am searching for some that I can purchase in a glass container – in the mean time I will make sure to recycle this container.

Northlore Plains Mud 

I mix this mask with either honey, coconut milk, or green tea. This powder mask smells amazing and is really good to use once every 2-3 weeks to help to maintain clear skin!

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Scents:

Uncle Mike’s Natural Deodorant

  • Purchased from Uncle Mike’s
  • This product is 100% natural
  • Made in Saskatoon

On my (long and smelly) journey in finding a natural deodorant that actually works, I always come back to this product. This is the best natural deodorant I’ve used and the smell is great for men and women. 1-2 swipes of this product last the entire day, and any slight oil stain left behind on clothing will easily wash out.

Wood’s Body Goods – Peppermint Breeze Natural Deodorant

  • Purchased from Green Tree Beauty 
  • Made in Canada
  • Cruelty-free, gluten-free, chemical-free
  • Uses simple ingredients from Canadian suppliers

This deodorant smells incredible and works well against body odours. However, I have to be careful to only use one swipe of this product, as it tends to leave a yellow oil stain on my shirts.

Saje Essential Oils & Perfumes

  • Purchased from Saje
  • 100% all natural ingredients
  • Pure essential oils
  • Saje uses ingredients that are derived from safe and renewable resources, and their packaging is reusable or recyclable.

I am obsessed with Saje products, I could spend my entire paycheque in that store. I love their products and I love how their products not only help me to smell great but also help to boost my mood, help with mental illness and my overall health. The chemicals that make up perfume are incredibly toxic to your health – this is why I made the switch to essential oils. You can customize your own personal scent by mixing essential oils as well – the possibilities are endless!

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Everything Else: 

Dr. Dronner’s Pure Castile Soap

  • Purchased from Dad’s Organic Market, and is also easily ordered online!
  • 100% natural ingredients, certified organic, fair trade and vegan
  • Is every concentrated – a little goes a long way!
  • Can replace every toxic cleaner in the household
  • Can be used for dozens of uses

These soaps come in rose, eucalyptus, tea tree, almond, citrus, lavender, peppermint, and baby mild scents. This soap can be used for shaving, shampoo, dental hygiene, body wash, bathing, hand soap, laundry wash, pet wash, fruit and vegetable cleaner, plant pest spray, household cleaner, and so much more! Yes, this stuff is packaged in pesky plastic – but now I buy it in bulk and it lasts me for almost a year, and the container is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, however I’m still waiting for a better alternative!

I hope this helps you to make the switch over to natural products!

    – Tiara

Second Hand News

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I am very excited and proud to announce that this entire outfit is all secondhand clothing and accessories. Buying clothes secondhand saves the atmosphere from further carbon pollution and the world from further chemical toxicity that would have been produced to create new clothing. Not only is my entire outfit all secondhand, but it is all made from natural fibres that will break down eventually – unlike synthetic clothing which releases plastic microfibres every time it is washed, which has lead to a massive pollution problem. I also want to mention that this entire outfit costed me around $100 Canadian. You can buy secondhand clothing, save money (and donate/spend it on things that really matter), and still look amazing! I encourage you to scout out your local thrift stores, vintage stores and Value Villages and have fun discovering treasures and embracing your true style through a more earth-friendly alternative.
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Shirt: Hazlewood Vintage / Skirt: Closet Raid / Belt: Value Village /  Shoes: Closet Raid / Bag: Value Village / Ring: vintage / Watch: vintage Gucci /
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Buy Less. Buy Used. Buy Better.

– Tiara