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FEB Issue 003  UPDATED -Elise St. Espirit.jpg

Discussing thrifted fashion and conscious lifestyle choices with Boston-based influencer Elise St. Espirit @TheThriftedCapricorn

What led you to start being more conscious of your fashion/lifestyle choices? And what have you changed as a result?

I have always had a passion for fashion and an eclectic style. I enjoyed thrifting for many years because of the lovely unique pieces you can find for a fraction of their retail prices! When I started @TheThriftedCapricorn in 2019 and got into the slow fashion community, however, I was shocked to learn just how big of an environmental impact fast fashion has – the only group currently producing more waste is the oil and gas industry!! Since I believe that climate change is the most pressing issue of our generation, I decided to make it my goal to show the world that sustainability is so stylish and showcase through my Instagram that thrift store clothes are not just your grandmother’s old stuff. Together we can all make a difference and I hope to foster a space on Instagram for discussions, learning, and action!

When did you start thrifting and shopping second-hand?

I have been thrifting with my mom since I was a little kid in the late 90s!! She is the original thrift queen and taught me all the best tips and tricks I know.

What are your top tips for reducing fashion waste?

I like to make a “thrift wish list” of the pieces I am looking to find!! This helps me from getting overwhelmed while searching through the racks at thrift stores and encourages me to shop more mindfully while considering if the pieces are right before buying. You can reference back to it when shopping and see if you are on the right track for what you wanted! How do you keep up with the latest trends without over-consuming? Having a “thrift wish list” is a simple and effective way to combat over-consumption as well! When I know what I want to look for ahead of time and have that list in front of me, it helps me from getting distracted while I’m browsing through the thrift store racks and buying something I don’t need or want!

FEB Issue 003  UPDATED - Elise St. Espirit2.jpg

What brands do you look at for the future of fashion?

I think small, independent artists are going to be the future of our fashion consumption!! One place I love the shop if I decided to buy something new is Etsy. You know that there is a real person behind that shop – someone you can talk to that is passionate about what they do – and it makes me happy to know that I am supporting someone like that instead of a large corporation. These goods are beautiful, unique, and of a higher quality than mass-produced fast-fashion items!

Could you recommend one simple lifestyle change for someone who is looking to reduce their fashion waste?

The first thing I would recommend is to start shopping in your closet!! When you see, a new item you want or an outfit you would like to recreate, look at the pieces currently in your wardrobe to see if you have something similar to it already. You will be surprised at how circular fashion trends are and how easy it can be to repurpose or upcycle an old and out-of-date item into something trendy and cool again!! By doing this simple thing, you are reducing your consumption of new products as well as giving new life to something in your wardrobe that you may not love currently.

What are some of your favourite ethical/sustainable brands to shop at?

Today, most of my closet and home are thrifted/second-hand!! I love shopping at local thrift stores to support those in my community but with the pandemic and stay-at-home orders that is not always possible. Because of this, I have found many good websites and apps this year for shopping second-hand online, including Depop. Poshmark, Mercari, and eBay. Facebook Marketplace also has some real gems – although it tends to be more for home goods than clothing!