Ethical and Eco-Friendly Summer Trends for 2019

I’m so excited about writing this post. Most of y’all know that I have had an interesting journey when it comes to my wardrobe.

I used to have A LOT of clothes, and was always very fashionable, but of course that involved a lot of fast fashion and a mild shopping addiction. Then I decided just to cut the whole thing and drop down to an 18 piece wardrobe which crashed, burned, and went up in flames which you can read about here.

where to find ethical and eco-friendly spring and summer trends from #ecofriendly #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #springtrends #summertrends

Some of the links below maybe affiliate links please see my disclosure policy for more information. All of the brands that I will be linking to are eco-friendly and ethical brands!

I’ve been on a wardrobe quest for a while now, and I’m finally starting to get serious about it and started the Wardrobe Project, which I’ve honestly been a little bit too embarrassed to post about…

But, it all boils down to building the wardrobe of my dreams. I tend to buy basics sustainably and ethically made and opt to grab trendy pieces from secondhand stores. I figured I’d round up all of the trends I’m looking for and keep you updated on the status.

You can get my 6 tips for mastering shopping secondhand and 10 places to buy secondhand online.

finding the latest trends at ethical and sustainable stores:

It’s not impossible, but it is a bit more difficult because sustainable and ethical brands typically focus on pieces that are meant to stand the test of time.

That’s not saying you can get cute prints and fashionable pieces, but it will be difficult to find hyper/seasonal trends… and you’re not going to be able to get ahead of the trend. You’ll always be a bit behind.

finding the latest trends at secondhand stores:

It can be difficult to find trends secondhand for a few reasons:

  1. most people haven’t bought the trends and then had enough time to decide to donate it.

  2. the trendy pieces will be the FIRST pieces snatched up so you’ll have to be super vigilant.

Speaking of donating clothes have you checked out my ultimate guide to recycling clothes? Yes even your holey socks and undies!

finding the latest trends at vintage stores:

You might have the most success finding trendy pieces at your vintage stores because all trends are cyclical. I mean the 80s have been back for a while and the 90s are in full SWING.

1. short suits:

Short suits are technically a 2018 summer trend, but I’m obsessed. I have never felt more Kathryn than wearing a pair of high-waisted shorts, a blazer and loafers or sneakers.

I’ve managed to thrift the perfect pair of vintage, high-waisted khaki shorts! If you’re in my area then you have to check out my Zero Waste Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area so you can eat all the best foods and score the perfect vintage finds.

I got black high-waisted paper bag shorts and the PERFECT slightly oversized khaki blazer from thredUP and you can get $10 off your first purchase with that link!

I had a long black blazer that I was about to donate because it had a sheer ruffle lapel, but I took the ruffle lapel off. Combine that with my black and shorts and BOOM - the perfect set!

khaki shorts
Linen cotton slightly oversized blazer

2. watches:

Now, it’s not like watches are all of the sudden in trend. I’m pretty sure watches will always be in trend, but it just happens to be one that I’m picking up on right now. I think that wearing a watch really brings a whole outfit together.

I have been searching for a watch with a white face, silver hardware and a tan leather strap FOREVER. And, I’m so excited to have FINALLY found one with Nordgreen a sustainable, Scandinavian watch company.

Nordgreen is a new Scandinavian watch brand. They have minimal, classic watches and offer inter-changeable straps so you (me) can finally get that watch you’ve been dreaming about!

They’re also partnered with three non-profit organizations and every purchase you can provide two months of clean water to one person in the The Central African Republic, two months of education to a child in India, or preserve 200 sq. ft. of rain forest in Latin America.

This is the watch I got and you can get 15% off with the code ZEROWASTE15

Citizen Stainless Steel Watch <——— I also got this watch, and is one of my favs!
Classic Engineering Minimalist Watch
Lux Wood Watches

where to find ethical and eco-friendly spring and summer trends from #ecofriendly #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #springtrends #summertrends

3. slip skirt & dresses:

I want to love this trend, I have really struggled trying to find a slip skirt secondhand. I’m not super crazy about the patterns on the ones available at Ref right now, but they do have a cute selection!

classic slip dress
slip dress with buttons down the front
slip skirt <——— this is the skirt I’m highly considering getting!

As far as slip dresses, I’m not entirely sure it’s for my body type since I’m pear shaped.

4. animal print:

I’ve never been really into animal print, but some sort of animal print is always in season. Starting last year snakeskin was THE HOT item. And, while I’m not going to be picking up any snakeskin pieces, I did pick up a pair of leopard print loafers from thredUP.

They look to be very high quality, and I’ve already worn them a few times! They’re made in Italy, leather, and pony hair. I always look for natural materials esp for shoes so the shoes are more breathable and last longer.

Check out this blog post if you’re interested in learning about the problem with synthetic clothing.

I think the loafers are a great subtle way to play into the trend, and hopefully since they’re a classic shape and a fairly classic animal print, they’ll serve me for a long time.

I think that leopard is the animal print with the most longevity, and I’ve noticed the slip skirt/animal print trend has naturally gravitated towards each other.

Leopard print slip skirt
Snake skin slip skirt
Leopard Print Bikini <——— GORGEOUS!


5. sneaks:

I do a lot of walking around town. Walking is my preferred form of transportation!

And, as much as I love my flats and loafers, after a few miles they can start to rub blisters so I decided it was time to invest in some sneaks. I picked up the perfect white pair from thredUP as well as a cute tan pair that I will be wearing all year long.

White sneakers are so in this spring and summer. I also think I should make a post dedicated to cute sneakers.

I don’t typically love the sneaker look, I’m not really a tennis-shoe kind of gal, but I’ve been seriously convinced and gravitating towards my white pair time after time.

THE cool girl sneaks <—— Meghan Markle brought a lot of awareness to this sustainable brand
Navy sneaks
Black sneaks with gold rivets
White Sneaks <——— Made using ocean plastics!

6. sandals:

Strappy sandals and squared off toes are in. I don’t think I’ll be opting for any sharp squared off heels, but I am interested in some strappy sandals.

Reformation just launched footwear and to be honest - I’m DYING.

The Menage Sandal <——— these are the ones I reallllyyy want!
Lucia Block Heel
Olivia Sandals
Mythologia Sandals

where to find ethical and eco-friendly spring and summer trends from #ecofriendly #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #springtrends #summertrends

7. hair accessories:

This is one trend that I really want to try, but haven’t taken the plunge yet. I really love all the hair clips that I’m seeing around, but want to make the trend a little more Kathryn I’m looking for clips with pearls, bur I might get a few that are tortoise shell.

I’m not sure when or if I’m going to get to try this trend out.

I have found some super cute secondhand and ethical silk scarves that I’ve been using for my hair.

favorite silk scarf

8. neutrals:

Neutrals are classic so they’re always in style, but beige is all the rage! This one will be super easy to implement for me because I own a lot of khaki!

And, I just realized as you scroll through all of these photos you will see a recurring theme!! KHAKI.

Good news is this trend should be super easy to pick up on but the one item I am lusting after is a smaller wicker basket for the summer!

That’s a Wrap <——— a very versatile piece!
Bristol Pant
Kass Jumpsuit
Neutral Patchwork Tee <——— I think we’re going to be seeing patchwork come back in style in the fall
Lumi Bucket Bag

What trendy pieces are you looking to pick up this year?

I Wore the Same Shirt for a Week — And Here's What Happened

If you’ve been following me for any period of time then you probably know I HATE laundry. I hardly ever wash my clothes because I A. hate it and B. like to think that I’m doing my part for saving the environment.

I love getting to justify my laziness with saving the planet. I ONLY wash clothes when they stink and by following a few simple rules, that hardly ever happens.

  1. I can’t wear the same shirt back to back

  2. I spray it with my homemade Febreze

  3. It has to air out between washes

I wore the same shirt for seven days and here's what happened from #minimalcloset #ethicalfashion #sustainable #fashion #tshirt

The reason I don’t normally wear the same shirt back to back is because giving the fibers space and time to breathe between wears keeps the washing down.

However, Icebreaker sent me one of their tees, and challenged me to throw my rules out the window. They challenged me to try and wear the same shirt for seven days straight to see if it could hold up without washing.

And, well, Icebreaker - challenge accepted.

I wore the same shirt for seven days and here's what happened from #minimalcloset #ethicalfashion #sustainable #fashion #tshirt

This post was sponsored by Icebreaker. All thoughts and opinions are my own for more information please see my disclosure policy.

about the shirt:

I was sent the women’s cool-lite solace short sleeve scoop tee in sky blue. It was shipped to me in a small cardboard tube without any plastic packaging.

The shirt is made from merino-wool which is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and rockstar for temperature regulation. Wool has been my favorite natural fiber for a very long time.

Icebreaker has a very strict animal welfare policy that ensures a healthy, low stress quality of life for the sheep.

I know there have been some questions about the ethics of wool, but sheep have to be sheared or else they’re at risk for over heating, immobility and at risk for infections from urine, feces, and other materials that can become trapped in the wool.

Of course, this isn’t to say that all wool producers treat their sheep with respect so you still have to be careful which farm your wool is being sourced from, but I do not have a problem with wool if it comes from a small family farms who treat their sheep with care!

Icebreaker produces a transparency report every year that covers everything from social responsibility, worker safety, animal welfare, and environmental integrity. Read the Report

I wore the same shirt for seven days and here's what happened from #minimalcloset #ethicalfashion #sustainable #fashion #tshirt

day one - friday:

To be honest, I went into this with a goal of really trying to test this shirt and not hold back on my daily activities.

I kicked day one off by being late to my brunch meeting (my favorite type of meeting) which meant Nala and I were careening at breakneck speed toward the rendezvous point.

I was wearing my lined trench coat which got really warm after traveling about two miles to the brunch spot. After brunch Nala and I had a breezy stroll back to the house where I proceeded to work from home.

Day One - PASS

day two - saturday:

Day two was filled with wine tasting. My dad came into town speaking of which did you see my guide to eco-friendly father’s day presents?

And, we hit up a few wineries. We went to Opus One and Gamble with a few family friends. Now, what I learned was while my shirt might be odor resistant… it is not clumsy resistant. Thankfully, I managed to skate by without pouring red wine all over myself. A challenge indeed.

After spending most of the day in Napa, I came home and went to bed.

Day Two - PASS

I wore the same shirt for seven days and here's what happened from #minimalcloset #ethicalfashion #sustainable #fashion #tshirt

day three - sunday :

Ah, day three… almost half way through! I walked a lot in the morning. I walked around town, took Nala on a walk, walked to brunch and went down to East Bay Booksellers to sign a few copies of 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste.

In the afternoon, I lounged in the hammock all day drawing and watching TV on my laptop. That evening I made a really nice dinner for both Justin and me and we opened one of the bottles of wine I picked up from wine tasting the day before.

While cooking, I wore an apron because remember - these tees might be the sturdiest tees in the world, but they're not clumsy proof!

Day Three - PASS

day four - monday:

Today was a lot of sitting in my office writing, answering emails, and then of course - taking Nala on a walk. I know that the rest of the week is going to be pretty busy so today was all about buckling down and getting ahead of my work for the coming week.

Day Four - PASS

I wore the same shirt for seven days and here's what happened from #minimalcloset #ethicalfashion #sustainable #fashion #tshirt

day five - tuesday :

Oh boy did we me and my scoop tee go on an adventure today! First up I had an interview, I dropped Nala off at dog daycare, then a voice lesson, followed by a doctors appointment, and then after I picked Nala up from day care we went on a walk.

It’s was a day where I was bouncing all over the city running from place to place.

When Nala and I go on walks I like to listen to audio books, and I just finished my books and I really need to find a new one….

Day Five - PASS

day six - wednesday:

Here we are the final stretch, and I have to say that while the shirt doesn’t smell bad, it certainly does seem like it could go for a nice freshening up.

I didn’t do much today at all. I pretty much just stuck around the house doing the normal things, answering 5,000 emails, cooking, and picking up the house.

Nala was so tired from yesterday at day care that she didn’t even wake up until 2 pm! If she’s feeling up for it, we might go on a walk a little later around 6. Just need to find a good book…. promptly spends 3 hours on good reads instead of working


I wore the same shirt for seven days and here's what happened from #minimalcloset #ethicalfashion #sustainable #fashion #tshirt

day seven - thursday:

Today is the final day of the challenge and as I was seasoning my cast iron skillet after breakfast I splash oil all over myself - remember - not clumsy proof.

So, alas, I removed my shirt applied a bit of liquid soap, ran it under cold water and hung it to dry. I’m hoping that I got the stain out in time, and then I’ll throw it in the wash. All in all though 7 days, one shirt and I’m really impressed!

Day Seven - PASS

final takeaways:

My final takeaways from this challenge might be a little surprising… but the main one is that I really enjoyed the ease of knowing what I was going to wear in the morning.

Knowing that I was going to be wearing this baby blue tee eliminated the question of, “What am I going to wear today?”

Now, I probably wouldn’t wear the same shirt seven days in a row again, but it’s nice knowing that I could if I needed too. However, Icebreaker tees would be perfect for traveling when you’re crunched on space!

I’ve loved the baby blue tee so much, that I’m actually planning on buying this tee in blush pink.

Eco-Friendly Father's Day Gifts

This year I rounded up a few eco-friendly Mother’s Day Gifts, and thought it was only fair to do the same thing for dear old dad.

When it comes to shopping for my dad, I have it pretty easy because he loves to cook. He likes good food and wine both of which are consumable gifts - my favorite type of gifts to both give and receive.

12 eco-friendly gifts for Father's Day from #fathersday #gifts #ecofriendly #zerowaste #sustainable #giftguide

Consumable gifts are great because you get to enjoy them, and then once they’re gone… they’re gone. They don’t stick around taking up space and creating clutter. Check out this post for a complete guide to consumable gifts.

TBH, the last thing my dad needs is more stuff. He pretty much has ALL of the stuff that he needs. I’m guessing you dad probably does too? After all most people are left with the conundrum, “What can I gift my dad that’s not a tie….?”

Well, not today! I’ve rounded up a list of things that I’m considering buying my dad for Father’s Day some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information please see my disclosure policy!

1. ask him what he wants:

I think first and foremost, you should ask him if there’s anything that he actually wants or needs. Maybe he needs new socks or really wants a sous-vide cooker with a 4 pack of stasher bags. If that sounds oddly specific, that’s because it’s what my dad actually wants.

It blows my mind that people try to buy other people gifts without asking them what they want. So much waste could be saved by simply asking the other person. So, before you go on a buying spree - ASK.

2. fair-trade coffee:

My dad is a big coffee drinker, and buying coffee beans is always a safe bet. Similarly, for me, buying me a nice box of loose leaf tea is always appreciated and will definitely be consumed. When my boss went to London he brought my back a box of Earl Grey from Harrods and it was SO thoughtful! Way better than getting a t-shirt I probably wouldn’t wear.

I’ve rounded up a few different types of sustainable coffee that are organic and fair-trade.

12 eco-friendly gifts for Father's Day from #fathersday #gifts #ecofriendly #zerowaste #sustainable #giftguide

3. a gift-card for a round of golf:

My dad is a pretty classic dad. He loves to spend his weekend on the golf course. We actually used to golf together when I was kid. Golf courses have long been seen as a blight in the eco-friendly community, but after being asked to attend the Waste Management Phoenix Open (a zero waste event for more than 16,000 people) I decided to look into how eco-friendly golf courses really are.

The answers might surprise you! See if there’s a sustainable golf course near you, and buy him a gift card for a game!

4. sailing lessons:

My dad loves to sail. As a kid my dad thought it would be fun to take my mom and I on a three day sailing excursion while he got his sailing license. All I remember is being sea sick which has put me off on traveling by boat for any extended period of time.

Even the ferry ride into SF can make me feel a little dizzy so while I may not be going on any sailing expeditions any time soon, I think sailing lessons would be a great gift!

5. a nice bottle of wine:

I live near Napa which is wine central in the US. Any time my dad comes to visit we typically go to a few wineries for tastings.

I always joke that wine tasting is one of the most eco-friendly activities in the bay area. Everything is local, made on site, and you taste out of real glasses! #ZEROWASTE. ;)

If you’re headed to the bay area you can check out my favorite places zero waste edition which includes a list of my favorite wineries.

12 eco-friendly gifts for Father's Day from #fathersday #gifts #ecofriendly #zerowaste #sustainable #giftguide

6. tickets to a concert:

Now, my husband is only a father to our dog, but he’s a bit modern and I started thinking about what I would buy him for Father’s Day. And, if I were to pick out the perfect gift for Justin, I would definitely be tickets for a concert.

Justin loves music so if you’re trying to buy a gift for a music lover, concert tickets might be the way to go.

7. take him out to dinner:

I mean is there really anything better than going out to a nice dinner together? This is one of my favorite gifts to give people.

8. a homemade fresh loaf of bread:

Who doesn’t love fresh, homemade bread! It’s the perfect gift if you’re into baking.

12 eco-friendly gifts for Father's Day from #fathersday #gifts #ecofriendly #zerowaste #sustainable #giftguide

9. undershirts, socks, hankies:

My husband can always use undershirts, socks, hankies or boxers. Most of these items make their way into his stocking during Christmas. I’ve rounded up a few places you can find sustainable basics for men, but will be writing a whole post on that soon as an accompaniment to the post I did for Women’s Sustainable Everyday Underwear.

10. speakers:

I know that Justin would love to have a portable speaker to bring on picnics this summer and is pretty much always in need of headphones. House of Marley is one of the few brands that’s offering sustainable electronics. They use mindfully sourced materials including bamboo, FSC™ certified wood, recyclable aluminum, plastic and fabrics.

11. organic cologne:

Justin really likes to wear cologne. It’s funny because he applies cologne daily before he leaves, but I’m lucky if I ever remember to apply perfume.

Last year I slipped a vial of DedCool into his stocking and he’s loved it so much! I always trust Credo when it comes to product recommendations because they do all of the homework for me to make sure that everything reaches a very high level of criteria when it comes to clean beauty. You can learn more from the Credo Creed.

12. sustainable spirits:

I feel like spirits are also a really popular gift to give guys so when you’re looking for spirits try and look for ones that are sustainable. Unfortunately, we don’t have many distilleries around where I live so I pretty much have to buy them in store.


Absolut is an incredibly sustainable vodka, and they’re a zero waste company. Their main by-product is stillage which is what’s leftover from the wheat fermentation.

Their stillage is an excellent food source and is used to feed thousands of pigs and cows in the surrounding area which reduces the need to import soy-based feed. (Soy is one of the leading causes of deforestation in the rainforest)

Absolut has one have one of the most energy-efficient distilleries in the world which is completely carbon neutral! You can read more about their sustainability initiatives here.


Patron is an incredibly sustainable tequila. They’re proactively funding a study with a top agricultural research center in Mexico to ensure the sustainability of the Weber Blue Agave plant for the entire industry.

They create more than 5,500 tons of fertilizer compost a year from leftover agave fibers from the production process, and take used agave fibers from 10 neighboring distilleries free of charge.

Since 2015, Patron has reforested or donated approximately 16,000 trees to their local community of Atotonilco el Alto, Jalisco. Read more about their sustainability initiatives.


Glengoyne is an incredibly sustainable whiskey. They filter their whiskey in a natural way that produces less waste, energy, and increases wildlife. They’re situated in the wetlands are rich of biodiversity.

The wetlands are home to around 14,500 plants of 20 varieties – attracting songbirds, dragonflies and lots of other wildlife. They’re an exclusive partner of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT).

Wetlands are incredibly good at keeping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Wetlands cover less than five percent of the world’s surface, but they lock away about a third of its terrestrial carbon which is even more lot more efficient than, say, a forest. Learn more about their sustainability initiatives here.

I would love to know, what are you getting your dad for Father’s Day?

12 eco-friendly gifts for Father's Day from #fathersday #gifts #ecofriendly #zerowaste #sustainable #giftguide