Make green your new auspicious colour 

It’s 2019—you’ve got your metal straws, your reusable to-go cups and eco shopping bags, and with environmental consciousness on the rise, there really is no better time to commit to the cause for going green. As you get wrapped up in closet purges and shopping for Chinese New Year, set aside your festive reds and make room for green instead; and escape the crowds at Bugis and Orchard while you’re at it. We show you three different ways.
 

Clothing Swaps



Swapaholic

Subvert the typical interpretation of out with the old, in with the new, and get ‘new’ clothes in exchange for your old ones. Through a barter system, you shop pieces that others have gently worn, while offering up that dress you’ve never worn before—and at these physical venues, you skip the hassle of haggling on Carousell. Get your eco-friendly shopping bag ready.

The Awesome Accessory Swap @ Earthfest

As part of Earthfest 2019, Swapaholic is hosting the Awesome Accessory Swap, where you’ll feast your eyes on a wide array of eclectic pieces to spice up any outfit. You’ll probably not have to worry about accidentally matching with that snooty cousin when CNY rolls around; all while minimising waste.

If nothing catches your eye (we doubt it), you’ll still be able to join in on their Upcycling Trinkets Workshop the same day at 11am, as you learn from DIY queen @gwenstellamade on how to make your own unique accessories; get ready to take your accessory game to a whole different level.

Held on Jan 20, starting 11am. More information on swapaholicevents.com.

Your Clothes Friend Swap 

Its 12th year in the running, Your Clothes Friend Swap has promoted the eco way of updating your wardrobe long before it even caught on to the mainstream consciousness. Think buffet-style for its event on Jan 22, where you pay a $25 door fee to bring any amount of clothes, in exchange for as many as your eco tote can bear. Welcoming to all sizes and styles, you’ll be sure to find something you like—making it the sustainable, guilt-free spree of your dreams, served with a side of cake from Carry On Cafe.

Held on Jan 22, starting 7pm, at Carry On Cafe. More details on fb.com/Your-Clothes-Friend-Swap.

The Fashion Pulpit

If you have a taste for the off-beat but can’t fit it into your schedule, you’ll find this charming, cosy retail space in Liang Court your new shopping haven. With racks upon racks of preloved items in near-mint condition, you’ll skip out on the hefty price tags without having to skip out on style—just bring along your unwanted stash of clothes anytime from 11am-8pm, and walk home with a bag of fresh finds. If clothing swaps are not your thing, tailoring and upcycling services onsite can breathe just as much life into those well-worn staples. Retail therapy that cares for both your wallet and the environment? Yes please.

The Fashion Pulpit, #02-08, Liang Court. fb.com/thefashionpulpit
 

Thrifting



Refash

Departing from the fluorescent lighting and predictability of fast fashion outlets, these thrift stores tucked away from the mainstream eye is the place to bag a bargain. A vastness of outfit possibilities stretch out ahead of you, so dive on into the innumerable racks of donated clothing items old and new. You’ll never have to worry about being basic this CNY, and your money’s going to good social causes both charitable and environmental.

Refash

Far from being an ulu store in the middle of nowhere, Refash has carved a name for itself in Singapore, as a reputable name in the second-hand fashion industry. If you’re not already reeled in by its well-lit storefronts and sleek modern interiors, its wide offering of items from well-loved brands will surely call out your name—including local cult favourites, The Editor’s Market and Love, Bonito. There’s even an option to register to sell your clothes, for when you are looking to manage your explosive CNY expenditure; not that that’s controllable here, with their ongoing CNY Showcase Mega Sale with prices starting from $8.80.

For those of us who can’t bear to jostle with CNY shopping fanatics, Refash even lists their pieces online, and delivers them right to you in the comfort of your home. Their seven-day return policy makes for responsible purchases, that won’t end up collecting dust in the back of your closet. Shopping sustainably has never been more fuss-free.

Shop online refash.sg, or their physical stores, including the newly opened outlet at #02-156/157 Northpoint City.

Praisehaven Mega Family Thrift Store

Take a break from the human traffic in shopping malls and take your pick from this thrift store instead, offering anything from furniture to baby items. Housed comfortably in its own building, you’ll be able to take your time looking through the various sorted sections; especially in its clothing department, full of preloved gems that you can try on in their fitting rooms. You can even bring your bored partner along on this particular bargain hunt, as they check out the vast array of other donated goodies while you’re in the fitting room. Bonus sustainability points to you if you snag more than just clothing home—and spruce up your living space with more things green and waste-free. 

Praisehaven Mega Family Thrift Store, 500 Upper Bukit Timah Rd. 

New2U

Set up by the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO), this volunteer-run thrift store has been around since almost two decades ago. One of the pioneers of thrifting in Singapore, it’s sure to hold a treasure trove of undiscovered gems friendly for your angpao-hungry pockets—with regular monthly sales to further satisfy the bargain-auntie in all of us. All proceeds go to Star Shelter and various SCWO initiatives, making shopping this CNY guilt-free.

New2U Thrift Store, 96 Waterloo St. fb.com/New2UShop.
 

Sustainable Eco Brands



Catch

Look good, feel good, all while sparing the environment the detriments of the fast fashion industry. If you’re feeling like treating yourself to fresh pieces because #newyearnewme, spend your money on local-based sustainable brands instead—dedicated to ethically-sourced, waste-minimising production, while championing social causes. What you’ll get for paying a higher price is clothes with a conscience; made out of breathable materials like linen, silk and bamboo to help you survive the visiting heat, all while helping to save the earth.

Matter

This homegrown brand prides themselves on making timeless pieces rich in traditional influences, tailored for the modern crowd. Featuring a plethora of elegant patterned clothing in saturated colours and good old neutrals, each design is borne out of the brand’s reinterpretation of heritage prints and styles, with detailed attention to craft and worksmanship. Casual enough for Sunday brunch and yet elevated enough to wear to the office, these versatile pieces are sure to be staples you can wear throughout the year—if you can resist framing these prints as art.

For the essential red outfit for prosperity, the Bhalka Rust Line made from 100% organic cotton is a fun twist featuring red arrow-head motifs; inspired by the Banjari print still worn by the nomadic Banjara today.

Shop online at shop.matterprints.com, or visit them at 24B Cheong Chin Nam Rd.

Catch

For those aiming for an atas feel to their outfits this year, these silk shirts are sure to catch the eye during any home visit. These classy pieces ooze sophistication, but they are made with the common crowd in mind; the label strives to increase the everyday woman’s accessibility to luxury clothing. Silk being a naturally-extracted fiber, you can feel luxe like cai shen ye while protecting the environment.

If you’re looking for an airy top with just a pop of colour for the festive season, the TAYLOR ($98) features burnt orange stripes running parallel to navy ones, chic enough to wear out and to work.

Shop online at catch.com.sg, or visit at #02-02 163 Tanglin Rd.

Esse

The brand’s name itself meaning ‘existence; to be’, it anchors itself to being socially conscious, championing transparency in production processes and minimising waste. In a bid to reduce pollution, more sustainable materials like Tencel, Bamboo, and 100% Organic Cotton are used, producing airy pieces with an earthy feel. Modelling after classic, fool-proof designs that are easy to style, it’s effortless chic with an eco twist—making eco-chic the new way to go.

If you’re up for literally incorporating green into your outfits, the Crop Linen Top in Forest ($79) made out of 100% rescued linen could be your subtle way of pledging to a sustainable new year.

Shop online at essethelabel.com.