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Seasonal Shopping: A BUHO Farmers’ Market Guide.

Eating is a revolutionary act. We do it multiple times a day—truly putting our money where our mouths are. When more of us eat seasonally and shop at farmers’ markets, good old supply and demand will eventually bring about a more environmentally-friendly food system.

Shop at a farmers’ market rather than your big-box grocer, and you’ll be a part of the sustainability trend, which luckily for the planet and us, is rapidly becoming a lifestyle. 

Why Eat Seasonally?

Because when we feed ourselves and our families with what’s in season, we’re more in tune with what our ancestors ate. We’re also saying no to excess waste. The EPA found that 45 % of landfill in the U.S. is from food and packaging containers, and Worldwatch estimates that the average item on your plate traveled about 1500-2500 miles to get there. There’s no denying it: Shipping food across the country and world creates excess emissions and trash.

As if that weren’t bad enough, to preserve food over long distances, companies use techniques like gas ripening and radiation. Delicious! The effects of these practices on our health are questionable at best.

Now for the good news: According to Claire Georgiou, B.HSc ND, seasonal fare is cheaper, has a higher nutritional value, and supports your body’s needs.

How to Make the Most out of Your Local Farmers’ Market

We’ve all been there. Lured by the bright colors and bounty of the farmers’ market, we flit around, buying way more food than we’ll actually eat. All the sights and smells create high aspirations. We choose items that we don’t have the time or skill to make into a nourishing meal, and a week later, we find it rotting in the crisper. Or maybe that’s just me.

To get the most out of your farmers’ market, you need to arrive with a plan. First of all, answer the following questions. What kind of chef are you? Will your professional and personal commitments get in the way of your intentions?

Once you’ve identified what’s reasonable to expect of yourself in the kitchen, it’s time to make a list of the locally-grown items you’ll find at your farmers’ market. At first, pick one or two from the list that you’d typically buy at the grocery store.

Start small and feel free to scale if you’d like. When changing habits, it’s important to introduce elements slowly—kind of like an IV. Planning for the week ahead with crock-pot creations, mason jar salads, and other simple meals works best for me. You’ll find your rhythm—just remember to keep it easy. Bit by bit, these changes will become second nature.

BUHO has compiled a seasonal farmers’ market guide to help you get started. Scroll down to find the season you’re in and get ready to discover how to shop, cook, and eat seasonally in a way that fits into your busy life. Happy shopping!

BUHO’s Seasonal Farmers’ Market and Recipe Guide

Spring: A Fresh Start

Ah, spring! The time when much of the world is finally becoming new again. As we shed the winter’s cold, and our holiday excesses, we turn from hardy, warm meals to lighter fare. It’s a naturally supported period for cleansing both body and home. Powerful greens are coming into season, and according to  Chinese medicine, spring is the ideal time to cleanse the liver.

When shopping your farmers’ market or local grocer, look for items that will play well together. Some easy meals to consider throwing into your springtime rotation are green smoothies, chard and collard greens with bacon, spinach strawberry salad, or any of these cabbage-based meals by Mark Bittman. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, experiment with turnips!

Springtime Fruits

Apples | Apricots | Avocados | Bananas | Kiwi | Lemons | Limes | Pineapples | Strawberries  

Springtime Veggies

Asparagus | Broccoli |Cabbage | Carrots | Celery | Collard Greens | Garlic | Kale | Lettuce | Mushrooms Onions | Peas | Radishes | Rhubarb | Spinach | Swiss Chard | Turnips

Summer: Sweet Abundance 

Summer brings us warmer weather and so many flavors. It’s when most fruit comes into season, and we naturally want to eat light. When I lived in California, the summer farmers’ market was always my favorite. There’s nothing quite like biting into the first organic peach of the season. 

Some ideas for your foray into local summer meal planning are grilled peach salad (be sure to add avocado for some extra yum and healthy fats), gazpacho, berries and watermelon salad, cold zucchini soup, and cucumber salad

Summertime Fruits

Apples | Apricots | Avocados | Bananas | Blackberries | Blueberries | Cantaloupe | Cherries | Honeydew Melon | Lemons | Limes | Mangos | Peaches | Plums | Raspberries | Strawberries | Tomatoes | Tomatillos Watermelon

Summertime Vegetables

Arugula | Beets | Bell Peppers | Carrots | Celery | Corn | Cucumbers | Eggplant | Garlic | Green Beans | Lima Beans | Okra | Summer Squash | Zucchini

Autumn: Enjoy the Harvest 

Autumn. The leaves change, the weather cools, school starts and the days become noticeably shorter. This is a time to turn inward, just like nature, and nourish your body with hardier things like root vegetables and cauliflower. Play with broccoli soup, grilled Brussels sprouts, green beans with almonds, squash, and all things kale.  

Autumn Fruits 

Apples | Bananas | Cranberries | Grapes | Kiwifruit | Lemons | Limes | Mangos | Pears | Peas | Pineapples Raspberries

Autumn Vegetables 

Beets | Bell Peppers | Broccoli | Brussels Sprouts | Cabbage | Carrots | Cauliflower | Celery | Collard Greens Garlic | Ginger | Green Beans | Kale | Lettuce | Mushrooms | Onions | Parsnips | Potatoes | Pumpkin Radishes | Rutabagas | Spinach | Sweet Potatoes | Swiss Chard | Turnips | Winter Squash | Yams

Winter: Deep Nourishment

Winter is the time to slow down. The sun is at its lowest point in the sky and darkness reigns. Favor slow-cooked meals full of fat, use dark foods like black beans and kale, and give yourself the time to go within. Some ideas for your winter menu are nourishing bone broth soup, roasted butternut squash and turnips, vegan potato leek soup, and this roasted apple, yam, and kale creation.

Winter Fruits

Apples | Avocados | Bananas | Grapefruit Kiwi | Limes | Oranges | Pears | Pineapples

Winter Vegetables  

Beets | Brussels Sprouts | Cabbage | Carrots | Celery | Collard Greens | Kale | Leeks | Lemons | Onions Parsnips | Potatoes | Pumpkin | Rutabagas | Sweet Potatoes | Swiss Chard | Turnips Winter Squash | Yams

Well, there you have it, eco-fashionista! To eat seasonally takes practice, so get to know the growing season in your hometown. Rediscover the joy of a fresh, locally grown, lovingly cooked meal, and return to your human roots. Your health and the planet will thank you.






Spotlight: 5 Eco-Friendly Underwear Brands

When we talk about sustainability in fashion, intimates are often overlooked. But in the past few years, there has been a quiet eco-friendly renaissance in underwear brands.

Unlike the old cotton you have grown to know and love, organic cotton is hand-picked which preserves longer fibers and provides smoother textiles against body parts that deserve the most comfort. And that is only the beginning.

New environmentally friendly underwear lines boast organic cotton, plant-based dyes, and a refreshing lack of grommets and other cinching fasteners.

Read on for five of our new faves.

Hara

Bamboo is extremely fast-growing (up to 4 feet in a single day) and does not rely on pesticides or herbicides for this fast growth. It’s also 40% more absorbent than cotton, a major plus for underwear.

Hara, meaning “green” in Hindi, make underwear constructed out of 100% organic bamboo fabric and exclusively uses natural plant dyes. So these dreamy, soft essentials don’t pollute the environment when created and won’t contaminate the marine environment when washed.

Shop them here!

We are HAH

We are HAH’s bold commitment to lessening waste in the fashion industry starts with an acronym: Hot As Hell.

With the driving ethos of “It costs more to care,” this line pioneers fabrics and ways of making intimates that lessen the environmental footprint; by using recycled, reusable, and biodegradable poly bags for packaging their collection.

Their intimates eschew any hooks, closures, and hardware, so it fits more body types, lasts longer, and overall utilizes less to make.

Now that’s Hot as Habitat…wait, no, Hell.

Find their collection on here.

Skin Worldwide

Skin Worldwide emphasizes the use of soft, natural fabrics – especially organic Pima cotton.

Pima cotton makes up only about 3% of cotton production though it is incredibly durable and extremely soft. Black, white, and nude basics that elongate, gently lift and hug are the foundation of Skin Worldwide’s intimates line.

Their bralettes, underwear, bodysuit, robe, and skinny pants are ultra-luxe in their softness and ultra-appealing in their fit.

Get to know them here.

Arq

Created by a mother of 3, Arq makes bucolic sets of tanks, bras, and underwear in natural and muted colors for adults and children alike.

Their cotton is GOTS Certified (Global Organic Textile Standard), an impressive marker of quality and environmentally-friendly textile practices.

This eco-friendly underwear brand uses environmentally friendly dyeing processes and produces exclusively in the USA (which means strict labor practices).

Pansy

Pansy is a line born out of respect for the environment and the desire to create the perfect pair of underwear. They live by “minimal, sturdy, beautiful, locally-made underwear, you can feel good wearing.”

Made of 100% organic cotton that is both grown and milled domestically, their cotton is grown in Texas, milled in North Carolina, and sewn in California. Sweatshop-free, toxin-free, thong-free. Pansy walks the walk of eco-friendly talk.

Our Founder

BUHO is founded by former Peace Corps volunteer, tech / media executive, non-profit founder and social justice advocate, Maria Casey.

Her days serving in the Peace Corps in Bangladesh just after 9/11 opened her eyes to the toxic implications the textile industry had on its workers and surrounding communities.

Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2004

Piles of waste surrounded her village in Savar and the streets as she commuted by rickshaw to the internet cafe in Rana Plaza. It wasn’t until the devastating collapse in 2013, when the rest of the world finally took notice. Yet six years later, much of the industry has returned to business as usual.

Growing up in an international family, Maria has always looked for ways to combine social good with her business acumen and couldn’t ignore her experience in Bangladesh.

So after spending 15 years scaling startups across gaming, e-commerce, and tech in New York and Los Angeles, she took a summer hiatus in Thailand with her partner. It was then that the idea for BUHO began to take shape.

After noticing a hole in the market for easy ethical and sustainable clothing discoverability and months of research, she launched BUHO to make this process much easier for consumers in March 2019.

Her goal from the start was centered around simplicity while also building something that would leave a minimal impact on our natural resources, and that could teach her daughter the importance of conscious consumption, providing fair wages to impoverished communities and environmental conservatism.

She has served on the boards for various non-profits throughout Los Angeles and New York, currently serving as a Board Member for ACLU SoCal. She has always been an advocate for women’s equality and active in her communities. She currently lives in Venice, CA with her lifetime partner Ken, their daughter Adelina, and dog Rosie. Learn more about Maria’s story here.

Maria Casey, Ken Ackermann

Replace Your Amazon Addiction With These Eco-Friendly Alternatives

Amazon. Where else can you get batteries, rosé, a plant stand, and paleo pie crust delivered in two hours? Well, as it turns out, nowhere. Only other behemoths like Wal-mart and Jet.com (which is owned by Wal-mart) come close. And we all know that if you’re looking to shop ethically, Amazon and Wal-mart aren’t the best choices.

But, oh, the convenience! 

It seems like now that we have it, we can’t live without it. At my house, we place an Amazon order almost every other day. We love it, and that’s what companies count on. If they can make it just a little easier to click the order button, we won’t think about the true cost of our actions. As Joni Mitchell said: “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” 

Kind of like the climate crisis, our appetite for convenience may be undermining the things we hold most dear.

Why You Should Start Supporting Smaller Online Businesses

Well, first of all, the obvious must be stated—Amazon is massive. In 2018, its revenue topped $232 billion . Take the infamous working conditions, plus the environmental cost (it’s worse than you think), and you have an equation that adds up to suffering, and that doesn’t feel great. 

So what is a modern human supposed to do? 

Luckily, smaller online businesses with big ethics are popping up all over the place. If you’re willing to shop at a few different places, you can keep your convenience without sacrificing your values. And, to make matters even better, you’ll be supporting companies doing the hard work of making this world a better place. 

Read on to discover a few that just may become your new favorites. 

Better World Books 

What happens when two college students with tech credentials are a little bummed out by the tech bust and bored by their tutoring jobs? They get together to change the world! This dynamic duo wanted to use their powers to fund literacy and keep unwanted books out of landfills, so that’s what they did. 

You might be thinking that there’s no way a company like that could make money. But over 26 million donated books, more than $28 million raised for literacy and libraries, 320,019,014 reused or recycled books, and 16 years in business might make you think twice. When you purchase, Better World Books donates a book to someone in need. Then they fund literacy through grants, special projects, and partnering with nonprofit organizations. 

They’ve also never thrown away a book. Each book is either sold, recycled, or donated. 

Now for the nitty-gritty: they don’t have everything, and there’s no two-day shipping here. But Better World Books does have a large selection, and they offer free shipping—it just takes about a week.

Powell’s Books

If you’re looking for a new book or want a more complete selection, try a literary cult favorite. Among their staff recommendations are: “25 Women to Read Before You Die” as well as monthly and yearly top picks. And they have a $3.99 flat rate for shipping, so be sure to stock up! If you’re ever in Portland, make a point to visit —Powell’s is a book lover’s dream.

Brandless

From virgin organic coconut oil to eye gel to a stylish new reclaimed wooden utensil holder—Brandless has everything! And at low prices, too: $3, $8, and $9 respectively. By building direct relationships between you and their suppliers, they can keep their costs low and offer you the savings.

Brandless offers many environmentally-friendly products, such as bamboo toilet paper and cleaning concentrates. Their cleaning products are non-toxic, they support clean beauty, and their partnership with Feeding America means that every time you shop, they donate to someone facing food insecurity.

Shipping is always free over $48, and if you get a subscription, you’ll get free shipping on items that you order regularly.

Thrive Market

Thrive Market makes it incredibly easy to find your favorite organic, vegan, paleo, and keto products at wholesale prices. Memberships cost $59.95 per year, but you can try the service free for 30 days. And with every paid membership, Thrive donates another to a family or person in need through the Thrive Gives program. Their mission is to make it possible for everyone to afford healthy food, no matter what their income bracket.

Shipping is free, but only for orders over $49. Thrive says that the price threshold encourages customers to order between 10–15 items at a time, which reduces the impact that ordering one or two has on the environment. Not only that, but they use sustainable packaging, are a carbon neutral business, and operate zero-waste warehouses.

Credo Beauty

Credo Beauty is an addictive one-stop-shop for clean beauty and makeup. This online store carries four out of our top-five eco-friendly makeup lines, plus so many more. If you like skincare and makeup as much as we do, be prepared to buy all the things. 

Credo offers free shipping for orders over $50, and your goods will come packaged in a recyclable box filled with 100 percent recyclable, eco-friendly padding. Although it can be daunting to try beauty products sight unseen, Credo has a 30-day return policy.

Shop Your Favorite Brands Directly

Between Brandless, Thrive, and Credo, you should be able to find most of what you need for your kitchen, beauty routine, and home. But what about that bottle of rosé? Why not buy it directly from the winery or join a wine club? That way you’ll never run out of libations when you need them the most. As for the more obscure brands you love, go directly to the source instead. Most companies will offer free shipping after you hit their minimum order. 

Although nothing can beat the instant gratification of two-hour shipping, perhaps knowing that you’re supporting ethical businesses helps ease the void left by your old Prime addiction. Your dollars matter. When you use them vote for companies that share your values, you make a difference.

Simplify Your Style: Multiwear and Convertible Pieces

When you’re trying to cultivate a capsule wardrobe, likely your desire for owning no more than a few well-made staple items will be challenged by a little voice in your head. The one that always seems to come up with a reason why you need to purchase things you don’t need.

Cultivating A Capsule

When you’re trying to cultivate a capsule wardrobe, likely your desire for owning a few well-made staple items will be challenged by an internal little voice. The one that always seems to come up with a reason why you need to purchase more. 

This time, the little voice will warn you about becoming an outfit repeater. The deadly sin. The atrocity. One must not, one must never.

Fortunately, you can have your capsule wardrobe, while simultaneously avoiding the dreaded offense. It all comes down to owning a few strategically chosen convertible and multipurpose pieces. These will allow you to effectively trick the world.

Convertible items are a mainstay for the pared-down dressers among us. They are the transformers of the fashion world, often the product of well-thought-out research and design teams. And before you even take material and production into account, and it’s worth noting that convertible items are already more sustainable than non-convertibles. This is because it requires fewer resources to make one item than two (math!) while occupying the resources and environmental footprint of one.

Added to the sustainability factor is these pieces flexibility. The slippage between work and home, business and leisure is a fact of-the-times. So in many ways, the multifunctional item speaks to the need for quick costume changes, several times a day.  

So what are some of the hardest working multi-functional and convertible pieces out there? We’ve rounded up a few unique pieces and smart styling ideas here. 

Reversible Anything

Sometimes in order for something to be multi-wear, it has to optically behave like two items. A reversible feature is one sneaky backdoor way into turning a single into a double. The Reversible Spinster Bodysuit by We are HAH is a super sexy example of this. Worn one way, it’s a scanty front lace corset but worn another way, suddenly you have way more coverage, and you can wear tucked into jeans with a sweet little cardi over the top. 

Shoulder Bag to Rucksack

Buying leather is a choice that some of us make, but it should always be done mindfully, and with an eye to minimizing animal product consumption. One obvious way to do this is to opt for long-lasting and multi-purpose leather items. Cue the Tribe Alive Convertible Backpack. It works as a daytime cross-body shopper or a carry-on travel backpack, with an understated design that can play nice with pretty much any outfit. Plus the brand works to employ female artisans (in Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, India, and the United States) at fair trade wages.

Multiwear Floral Summer Skirt

Here’s a little secret: any given maxi skirt, especially if it has a super relaxed elastic waist, can turn into a variety of other summer looks. The most obvious example is to transform it into a strapless mini-dress or tunic. We love this vintage micro floral midi from our curated Buho vintage selection. 

A Crop Bra

Right now we’re really digging undergarments that can’t quite be categorized. Sweet little nothings that can work as high support bras. What’s more, a crop bra tank is the perfect staple for layering under barely there sheer tunics and blouses, or otherwise drop-back or deep V-neck numbers when you want a little bit more coverage.  This Ivory Organic Cotton Crop Bra is a favorite right now. A bonus is it’s designed in LA with low-impact textiles.

Loungewear to Outerwear Kimono

Channel Stevie Nicks in the Stevie Kimono in Charcoal by MATE in this swingy kimono. It easily goes from loungewear to outerwear in a snap. MATE’s ethos is guided by sustainability and ethical practices. Think of their garments as skincare for your closet. As consumers we all understand the importance of organic foods and clean beauty products but what about the clothing we wear every day? MATE has committed to using natural GOTS certified organic fabrics, like this kimono made of 100% linen. Things like pesticides, endocrine disruptors, and carcinogens are rampant in the industry and MATE offers the cleanest product possible.

A Gauze Wrap

This gauze wrap is made from the softest, dreamiest organic cotton double gauze. Its cloud-like weight and stretchable nature make it a daily favorite. Use it to wrap babies in soft cocoons, or as a lightweight towel, scarf, or nursing cover. Willaby, an Athens GA based design studio leads with a heart forward spirit and was formed in 2014 after the birth of founder Kim’s son. They make modern, classic bedding and children’s goods from 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton gauze. Willaby’s collection is ethically sewn in the U.S. by skilled craftspeople.

Multiwear Jumpsuit

Jumpsuits are the easiest thing to throw on for an all in one outfit. This Lacausa Linen Santi Jumpsuit can be styled in a multitude of ways for any mood and occasion. This loose fit one-piece features a daring v-neck and pockets. It can be worn as is for a flowy casual look, belted to show off your waist, or layered with a tee, sweater or blouse! Lacausa supports its community through local production. Their offices are in the same factory where their patterns are made and samples are sewn. They partner with organizations and charities to create awareness, voice support, and donate in hopes of providing resources for causes their team cares about.

Stock up! With multi-purpose and convertible statement pieces and basics, your wardrobe will look deceivingly small while still managing to feel expansively varied – no outfit repeating necessary.

Keep up with us here for more product roundups!

What’s the Lifecycle of Your Denim?

The truth is, we often don’t think about the bigger picture when it comes to the clothes we wear every day. Things seem to miraculously appear on the shelf (or miraculously show up in a box on our doorsteps). It’s easy to think of garment as being these fully formed entities that were always ready-to-wear and tagged – that they grow on ‘bootcut denim trees’ and are expressly delivered to us by helpful denim storks. 

Question: Where did your favorite pair of jeans come from? 

The ones with the super soft texture, the perfect back pockets, the faultless boot-cut shape that makes your legs look three inches longer.

Answer: they came from that cute denim boutique in your area. Or from the vintage consignment store you practically haunt. Or from yours truly, Buho, the godsend of an e-commerce marketplace that’s your new first-stop-shop when you need something that’s both cute and ethical.

But where did they come from before that?

The truth is, we often don’t think about the bigger picture when it comes to the clothes we wear every day. Things seem to miraculously appear on the shelf (or miraculously show up in a box on our doorsteps). It’s easy to think of garments as being these fully formed entities that were always ready-to-wear and tagged – that they grow on ‘bootcut denim trees’ and are expressly delivered to us by helpful denim storks. 

The analogy that works here is one that draws a connection between the fashion industry and the meat industry. Packaged in a plastic, sliced, and made presentable to the consuming public, it’s easy to forget that the innocent pink chicken breast in front of you was once a living and squawking bird. And while this isn’t a ‘GO VEGAN!’ blog post, the point being made here is that, with the items we use and consume every day, we are often fundamentally disconnected with the life cycles they go through before they end up prettily packaged in front of us.

Moving back from the topic of chicken breast to the topic of denim: what exactly is the life cycle of yours? Here we’re sketching it out, so you can be more intentional and aware when it comes to purchasing denim, taking care of it, and recycling or reusing it when it’s at the end of its life. 

Note: we’re taking our notes from an environmental life cycle assessment done by Levi Strauss and Co, in 2007. This is a broad survey of the denim life cycle, and it’s important to remember that it varies by brand. 

Step 1: Raw Material Production

Most jeans are made out of a combination of natural cotton fibers, synthetic materials, metal, and livestock derived leather. In order to produce these raw materials, a series of extraction and production process relies on fossil and renewable fuel extraction, including petroleum, coal, natural gas, nuclear fuel, electricity, steam, hot water, and liquid fuels. Fertilizers, pesticides, and other agricultural chemicals are used in this process unless your denim company specifies that it’s using only organic cotton. 

In other words, each tiny grommet, belt loop, and thread on your denim originates as a raw material with a production process that’s taxing on the surrounding environment. 

The general finding here has been that water consumption is one of the primary issues in raw fiber production. 

What can you do to ameliorate this?

Try washing your jeans less. Think every tenth use instead of every other use. This can reduce a pair of jeans’ overall water intake by up to 80%.

Step 2: Intermediate Textile Production

At this stage, the raw material is transformed into what we call ‘denim’. This encompasses a complex process of fiber extrusion, spinning, weaving, dying, finishing, molding, and treating with chemicals that preserve the fabric. 

This process usually involves factory work and human labor, so questions of ethical production are brought into this stage. Are the factory workers being paid adequately? Do they have benefits and healthcare? What about maternity leave? Are there children working at this stage of production? Is there gender parity? 

Step 3: Apparel Production

This is the stage in which the denim material is transformed into your garment, i.e, your trusty bootcut pair that you rock every autumn. This involves cutting, sewing, welding, seam taping, garment finishing, and garment dyeing. This process requires the use of process chemicals, dyes, and detergents, finishing chemicals, plus paper and plastic for packaging. 

Ethical labor standards are something to be aware of here, as well as land use, water consumption, and raw material waste (all of the bits and pieces of denim that are leftover after the garment has been constructed). 

Step 4: Retail and Product packaging

This phase of the process involves the finished jeans being packaged in plastic and transported to retail distributors, who then stock and distribute according to store policies. Product transport and packaging can involve overseas truck hauls or even cargo flights, so this stage can be incredibly taxing on the environment in terms of fossil fuel production. 

What can you keep in mind at this stage?

Buy local!

If you’re purchasing denim that’s been primarily produced in your region, this will mean a less invasive transportation process. It also means there needs to be less sturdy and resource intensive packaging (think about it: products need more packaging and protection for an overseas cargo flight than they do for a trip around the block). 

Step 5: YOUR USE!

This is the stage of your denim’s life cycle which sees them living in your closet (or being worn by you daily). Many of us make the mistake of thinking that once we’ve purchased an item, its sustainability story is over. Think again! This phase is actually one of the most critical when it comes to how sustainable and planet-loving a pair of jeans can be. 

What happens during this phase?

Wearing.

Washing.

Ironing.

Drying. 

Repairing.

If you’re washing and ironing and drying your jeans daily, you’re going to be making their footprint fundamentally more environmentally degrading then if your wash them infrequently, air dry them, and most importantly, repair them instead of throwing them in the landfill.

Which brings us to the last stage in the denim life cycle. 

Step 6: End of Life.

The most important thing to emphasize about this stage is that it does not have to be a landfill. Leaving your denim in a landfill contributes to land waste, greenhouse gas emissions, species degradation, the spread of disease, water contamination, chemical saturation into soil, and carbon dioxide byproducts. 

So what options should you opt for?

One of your options is to buy biodegradable denim.

Another option is to recycle your garment, either through bringing it to a consignment store or working with a textile partner that repurposes old fabric into new items. 

At BUHO, we’re committed to a circular model of textile regeneration, so if you don’t know what to do with denim, SEND IT OUR WAY. We work with independent producers who will recycle it into something new.

So next time you slip on your fave boot-cuts, remember that it’s simply one phase in their (hopefully) long and sustainably-minded life cycle.

Keep up with us here to get more in-depth guides to sustainable fashion!

Brand Spotlight: Galamaar

Galamaar’s main objective is to minimize harm down to the smallest detail in each ethical swimsuit they create. This includes everything from the recycled hang tags and eco-friendly packaging to regenerated mixed-metal hardware and the fabric made from discarded fishing nets.

We love spending our summer days enjoying nature. Whether it be a hike to a secluded waterfall in Malibu Creek State Park to a good old fashioned fun in the sun beach day. So why wouldn’t we use our style as an extension of our love for the earth and all it has to offer? That’s the sentiment that Galamaar lives and creates their entire sustainable swimwear line by. Just like us at BUHO, they want to provide sustainable fashion, while creating conscious consumers. 

Who are they?

Founded by Blakely Wickstrom, this sustainable swimwear brand came onto the scene in 2017. To boil it down, Galamaar strikes a balance between the West Coast’s effortless sensibility with modern East Coast vibes. In each swimsuit, you’ll see contemporary swim styles with the most flattering cuts and subtle retro vibes. 

Galamaar knows that the most important part of swimwear is making sure their beach-lovers feel comfortable and confident. Their focus on quality is just as exceptional as their focus on sustainability. They make each swimsuit to keep its shape and last, so you won’t worry about contributing to that take-make-and-dispose model. 

Shop the classic brief bikini bottom from Galamaar

What’s their secret to sustainability?

Their main objective is to minimize harm down to the smallest detail in each ethical swimsuit they create. This includes everything from the recycled hang tags and eco-friendly packaging to regenerated mixed-metal hardware and the fabric made from discarded fishing nets. 

That’s right. Abandoned fishing nets pose a massive environmental harm that most people don’t talk about. Every year, 640,000 metric tons of old fishing gear is either lost or thrown into the sea. Not surprisingly, this gear keeps catching the sea life long after the fishermen leave.

Once they’re caught, sharks, dolphins, turtles, and other sea animals will die in the net or be too injured to feed if they’re able to swim free. In fact, these nets kill 136,000 seals, sea lions, and whales each year. By using a sustainable fabric made from these abandoned nets, Galamaar is doing its part to combat ocean pollution.

Shop the retro bikini top from sustainable swimsuit brand Galamaar

Take one look at their website, and you know that they care. They are focused on keeping their suits in pristine condition, even after they leave the store. They even offer up some of the best tips they have for caring for your new swimsuit.

Our favorites this season?

Shop the high-cut bikini bottom from sustainable swimsuit brand Galamaar

That yellow high-kick brief bikini bottom. Retro vibes abound with the ’90s-inspired swimsuit, featuring a high-cut, high-waisted silhouette. Better yet, the waistband is elastic-free, so you don’t have to worry about it stretching out. And, of course, who can say no to the Braxton one-piece swimsuit? The black-and-white colorblocking brings a vintage look, but the flattering cross-front will never go out of style.

Shop the retro one-piece swimsuit from sustainable swimsuit brand Galamaar

This Los Angeles based swimwear company shows that eco conscious alternatives can still be chic and that positive changes are actively taking place within the fashion industry. Shop Galamaar swimwear.

10 Tips That Will Make Your Next Jet Set More Earth Friendly

Although flying is the safest way to travel, it’s not the greenest. Sustainable travel may seem grandiose, and we know you’re not about to stop exploring this beautiful world of ours. Neither are we! But if we want to make sure future generations still have a world to explore, we need to make some changes—and fast. So what makes your next trip more eco-friendly?

Read on for 10 tips that will make it easy for you to enjoy sustainable traveling without sacrificing your globetrotting desires.

1. Bring Food with You

Traveling with food packaged in sustainable containers will help reduce the amount of waste you produce while on the go. And as a bonus, you’ll also be able to tailor your meals and snacks according to your nutritional goals. Good for you; good for the earth.

Here in the US, you can bring pretty much anything on board as long as it fits in your carry-on and can’t be considered a liquid or gel. Keep in mind that the ice packs you bring to keep your food cold will be regarded as liquids or gels once they’ve started to melt. So, to avoid that, freeze some of the food you plan to eat. Voila! Edible ice pack.

If you’re traveling overseas, remember that countries have different safety regulations. Check the rules of flight wherever you’ll be stopped over, since you might need to go through customs and security there.

At this point, you might be asking yourself how you could possibly pack enough food to sustain you on longer journeys. This is a far more challenging endeavor, and requires more forethought than packing a salad and a couple of snacks. In this case, we recommend you check with your airline and find out whether they will allow you to store your food in their refrigerator. If not, know that by packing what you can, you will have already begun to reduce your carbon footprint. It’s not about perfection; it’s about progress!  

If you primarily use your oven as storage space, fret not! Stopping at farmer’s markets along your journey is one of the best ways to explore new towns, support local communities and stock up on the freshest produce there is.

2. Travel with Eco-Friendly Silverware

If you haven’t already, get some sustainable travel silverware. Add it into your carry-on, which is on its way to becoming an eco-friendly powerhouse. Plastic utensils are nearly impossible to recycle, and since plastic is literally killing all life on earth, including us, reducing our dependence on it is imperative. So, even when you’re not flying, keep it on hand. One tiny caveat for your upcoming flight, however—knives are not allowed. Pre-cut any food you’ll be bringing on board, and get one of these ingenious sporks.

And don’t forget your reusable straw. Like plastic utensils, straws are not recyclable and are ending up in the ocean at an alarming rate. It’s easy to say no to plastic while you’re sipping through a stylish, green version.

3. Pack Like a Minimalist

It might seem like what you pack to take on your trip is the least of your eco-travel worries. The truth is, the heavier a plane is, the more fuel it burns while getting to its destination and the more carbon it creates. If you pack like a minimalist, you’ll help your flight become more fuel-efficient.

If you’re going on a longer trek, rather than packing a different outfit for each day, take less and plan to do laundry part of the way through your trip. Most hotels will offer laundry service, or you can simply wash some of your items in your sink.

The trick is to take versatile items in neutral colors that you can wear multiple times. Cupcakes and Cashmere recommends bringing a pair of white sneakers, which we think is a great answer to the main question a fashionista has while minimalist packing: How can I only bring two pairs of shoes? Pro-tip: wear your sneakers on the plane and pack a pair of booties or flats in your carry-on luggage.

4. Don’t Buy Anything Travel Sized

Take a tip from the zero-waste community and opt for solid shampoo and soap packed in reusable tins. To keep your pearly whites looking bright all over the world, consider bringing powder toothpaste or tooth tabs instead of a travel sized tube. Toothpaste tubes are hard to recycle, so why not eliminate them from your carry-on?

These items will not only help you reduce plastic, but will help you get around that annoying rule about liquids and gels. Pack those in reusable containers. This way, you can just say no to the pint-sized toiletries in your hotel room or Airbnb while you have your favorite products close at hand. And don’t forget to pack natural sunscreen in one of your silicone containers—chemical sunscreens contribute to coral bleaching.

With your shampoo, soap, and toothpaste in solid form, you might even have room to squeeze some almond butter into your quart bag.

5. Bring a Reusable Coffee Cup

Did you know that to-go coffee cups aren’t recyclable because they’re lined with plastic film? This makes them one of the most wasteful products that many of us use regularly. Opt for a chic, reusable coffee cup instead, and stay caffeinated without the guilt.

6. Travel with Your Reusable Water Bottle

From stainless steel to glass, reusable water bottles help you stay hydrated during your flight without depending upon single-use plastics. It used to be hard to find filling stations, but now they’re in most airports. If for some reason, your airport lacks one, fill your water bottle at the drinking fountain, or have someone fill it for you at a restaurant or bar.

If the thought of drinking tap water makes you cringe, don’t worry. We have you covered. Read on for an easy solution that will help you stay eco-friendly and remove chemicals and other nasties from your drinking water.

7. Invest in a Water Filter

This one is big, especially since some bottled water hasn’t been purified at all. Water filters help you completely avoid single-use plastic water bottles. Whether you’re traveling to a country with a sketchy water supply or don’t like drinking chemicals, bringing a water filter with you will help you stay eco-friendly and healthy. Depending on where you’re traveling, you could be facing some deadly organisms and viruses, so do your homework. REI has some great information about how to choose the right method of water filtration for your trip. And, to make sure you stay safe, please read this article by the CDC.

A few options we like are the gorgeous LARQ bottle, (a combination insulated stainless steel water bottle and UV filter), and SteriPEN Ultra (a UV sterilization wand that you can charge via USB).  Keep in mind that UV won’t work to eliminate fluoride or chemicals in your water, and it won’t work in cloudy water. If removing particulate matter matters to you, consider a GRAYL bottle instead.

8. Pack a Reusable Bag

Whether you’ll be going to farmer’s markets, heading to the beach, or are bound to end up with more souvenirs (ahem—clothing) than you can fit into your suitcase, having an extra tote with you is a game changer. Say no to single-use bags and yes to a cute, reusable tote.

9. Just Say No to Airplane Food

The main reason to bring food with you is so you can say no to packaged airplane snacks and meals. Did you know that the airline industry created 5.2 million tons of waste in 2016?  By 2030, CNN estimates that figure will rise to 10 million tons.

You can reduce airline waste further by asking flight attendants to fill your reusable coffee cup (and saying no to the stir-stick), asking for the whole can rather than accepting the plastic, single serve cup, and filling your water bottle (or bottles) before you get on the plane.  

10. Choose a Flight with a Smaller Carbon Footprint

Tread a little more lightly when flying by choosing nonstop flights on larger, newer planes. When you travel on older, smaller aircraft, you create more carbon, and since they consume the most fuel during takeoff and landing, each time you change planes, you add to your carbon load.

Once you’ve found a few nonstop flights that look good, head to Flightview to pre-check what kind of plane you’ll be flying on. Click “scheduled,” and you’ll find the make and model of the aircraft under the flight details section. Then compare crafts using SeatGuru, which will tell you how many seats your prospective flights have. It might seem like a lot of work, but it’s actually quite easy and fast.

Another thing you can do is to offset the carbon you’ll be adding to the atmosphere through your wanderlust. Support airlines that have carbon offset programs (by 2021, international airlines will be legally bound to do so) or visit Carbon Fund and do it yourself.   

Well, now you know how to be a little more friendly to the skies you’re flying in, eco-travelista! What are your favorite sustainable travel tips? Leave a comment below—we’d love to hear from you.

What Are Microplastics?

The Plastic Problem

Before we get into what microplastics are, let’s talk about what creates them—plastic. According to Science Magazine, we’ve produced over 18 million pounds of it to date. If we continue to make and throw away as much as we do now, more than 26 million pounds will be in the environment by 2050. Around 8 million tons of that plastic finds its way into the ocean every year, and if we continue to use the ocean as a garbage dump, 2050 will give us more plastic than fish in the sea.

Although we have a sense of the environmental toll of plastic, we’re just beginning to understand microplastics. And microplastics could pose the greatest risk to our health and our environment. Read on to learn more about microplastics and what they’re doing to the earth, its animals, and us.  

All Plastic Will Become Microplastics

Microplastics are byproducts created when plastic breaks down into small pieces—less than five millimeters. (Click here for a visual.) These complex polymers concentrate toxins and are easy for marine animals to ingest. Since living beings can’t process them or the chemicals they absorb, that means trouble. Especially since some of those chemicals are linked to birth defects, cancer, and more.

An illustration of the sheer magnitude of the problem is that as much as 51 trillion microplastic particles – 500 times more than stars in our galaxy – litter the seas.

UN News

If They’re So Tiny, Why Are They So Bad?

Their small size is what makes them such a threat. You’re probably aware of the worldwide campaign to ban microbeads, the tiny plastic beads used in cosmetics and skin care that the US banned in 2015. According to a report from the New York State Attorney General’s Office, “In both the Great Lakes and Pacific gyres, virtually all of the plastic collected was microplastic under 4.75 mm in size.” Marine animals eat these toxic morsels, which end up in our bodies when we consume them. But that’s just part of the story. The UN estimates that 500 times more microplastic particles fill our oceans than stars fill our galaxy—51 trillion.

Yes, that’s an an incredible amount, but it’s not the whole problem. Meet microfibers.

Meet Microfibers—Microplastics from Your Clothing

Microfibers shed from synthetic clothing into our waterways via your washing machine. Microbeads and microfibers are too small for wastewater treatment plants to filter. That means that every time you wash your favorite synthetics, microfibers head into our lakes, rivers, and oceans. And as a result, 1.4 million trillion microfibers are in our oceans, mixing with microplastics to create aquatic smog.

The Environmental Toll

To animals, this plastic looks like food. Fish and even plankton eat these toxic morsels, which eventually end up in our bodies when we consume them. Microplastics have been proven to cause gut distress and molecular changes in earthworms. And in 2018, National Geographic reported that microplastics are harmful to aquatic animals, turtles, and birds, saying:  “They block digestive tracts, diminish the urge to eat, and alter feeding behavior, all of which reduce growth and reproductive output. Their stomachs stuffed with plastic, some species starve and die.” The Laysan albatross, a modern-day canary in the coal mine, is one species that is paying the price.

According to estimates, by 2050, 99 percent of earth’s seabirds will have ingested plastic.

United Nations

Welcome to Trash Island

The birds breed on Midway Atoll, an island deep in the North Pacific. Once a battleground, it’s now a National Wildlife Refuge. And although the atoll is far from human civilization, it’s full of trash.

In 2016, CNN reported that birds starved to death from bellies full of plastic. You see, the adults, who raise their chicks on the island, fly out to sea to hunt and mistake lighters and bottle caps for squid and crustaceans. The albatross, a bird known to live over 50 years, is another casualty of the sixth extinction. What’s more is that if we don’t turn the tide on our plastic problem, things are going to get worse for seafaring creatures. The UN has reported that by 2050, “99 percent of earth’s seabirds will have ingested plastic.”

Microplastics—A Threat to Human Health?

If plastic is so bad for animals, what can that mean for us?

Microplastics have been found in indoor and outdoor air, and we breathe them in—to the tune of 74,000 and 121,000 per year. We also consume them through the food we eat and the water we drink. If you drink bottled water, you’ll be consuming another 90,000 microplastics, while if you drink tap, only 4,000.

Time and research will tell what effect microplastics have on human health, but since plastic absorbs chemicals like DDT, PAHs, HCHs, PCBs, it’s probably not going to be good.

What Are Nanoplastics?

Because when microplastics degrade further, they become nanoplastics, which are small enough to cross the tissue barrier. Research in this area is scant, but one study showed that a scallop accumulated billions of 250nm particles (around 0.00025mm) in its intestines while even more particles measuring 20nm (0.00002mm) dispersed throughout its body. The study took place over six-hours.

How to Keep Microplastics out of the Ocean and out of Your Body

It’s a daunting problem, to be sure, especially since the biggest polluters out there are governments and corporations. But people in the US consume an average of three-quarters of a pound per day. So the truth is that each one of us simply has to consume less.

Consider packaging when you’re about to make a purchase and support brands with sustainable packaging. Bring reusable bags and containers when you go grocery shopping. Wash your synthetics in this magical bag designed to keep microfibers out of the water.

And check out the zero waste movement. One of the ways that we can start to stem the tide, one person at a time, is to reuse and recycle the plastic we already have. You don’t have to give up all your conveniences to make a difference, but finding new ways to consume is key.

Now you know all about microplastics, eco-fashionista! Do you have any tips on how we can use less plastic? Leave a comment below—we’d love to hear from you.

Our Top Five Eco-Friendly Makeup Brands

Why Eco-Friendly Beauty?

There are many reasons to use clean makeup. Did you know that conventional color is full of endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins, and substances that cause cancer? The EU has already banned 1,300 of them. The US? Only 11.

If those stats didn’t make you want to ditch your favorite lipstick, maybe this one will: 40% of plastic pollution comes from packaging. Now, think about your beauty routine. Are most of the containers plastic? Yep. Because the cosmetics industry produces 120 billion pieces of plastic per year.

Can I Just Recycle Instead?

It’s complicated—most cosmetics packaging needs special treatment. So don’t just throw old makeup in the trash or blue bin. A few brands recycle their containers, and Origins will take any of your empties. Additionally, TerraCycle and Garnier have partnered up to recycle cosmetic packaging. For an in-depth guide, read this great article by Refinery29.

Do I Have to Give up Makeup?

We would never ask you to ditch your makeup—we love it too! But many of the environmental problems we’re facing include our not-so-friendly friend, plastic. If you’re in the market for some new products, why not try an eco-friendly line instead? There are so many lovely brands to choose from these days. To make it even easier, we’ve curated a list of companies that offer the highest quality products in the most eco-friendly packaging. Read on for our top five picks.

BUHO’s Top Five Eco-Friendly Makeup Lines

RMS Beauty

Founded by industry veteran Rose Marie Swift, RMS Beauty has it all! Their makeup is formulated with food-grade ingredients that nourish your skin, and it works like skincare. With so many gorgeous colors to choose from, we’re sure you’ll find at least one or two products you can’t live without. Their “Un” Cover-up is even available 16 different shades. They just say no to GMO, soy, gluten, and animal cruelty, and stick with organic and wildcrafted materials.

Although some RMS packaging contains plastic, care has been taken to ensure that any plastic used is recyclable. Most items you’ll find on this site are housed in glass and aluminum, two of the most recycled products on the market.

Elate Beauty

Elate is one of the most sustainable brands we’ve come across. They aim to do everything with kindness and ensure that no person or animal is harmed in the process. A favorite of zero-wasters because each product they make is packaged in bamboo, this line is known for its sustainability. They also sell refills that arrive in seed paper, not plastic. Simply plant them in your garden and get wildflowers and herbs along with your eco-friendly, cruelty-free makeup.

Kjaer Weis

Kjaer Weis is another eco-superstar. Kirsten Kjaer Weis, a Danish makeup artist who’s worked for Elle, Vogue, and Marie Claire, grew up on her family’s farm. Disillusioned by some of the ingredients she found in traditional makeup and the allergies they caused for her clients, Kirsten created one of the first organic makeup lines. She designed her formulas to stand up to the most rigorous beauty standards and perform during high-fashion photoshoots. Check out their cream foundation, available in 16 different shades.

Kjaer Weis’s packaging is much more than just recycled—it’s a work of art. She tagged Marc Atlan, of COMME des GARÇONS fame, to create her signature metal compacts and tubes. The compacts are made from recyclable metal and get this: even the mascara is refillable.

ILIA Beauty

Sasha Plavsic founded ILIA Beauty when her mother asked her about the ingredients in her favorite tinted lip balm. Drawing on her mother’s commitment to natural healing, her previous experience as a fashion industry branding expert, and a deep commitment to performance, she set out to create a line that would marry the two worlds. ILIA is cruelty-free, gluten and dairy free, and uses organic ingredients.

ILIA’s packaging is “beautiful and sustainable wherever possible.” Although we see some plastic in their line-up, you can easily choose products packaged in aluminum or glass. They also use recycled paper and vegetable-based dyes to create their boxes.  

Axiology

Talk about being committed to the greater good while making us look good! With a tagline like 100% evil-free, you know what you’re getting with this lipstick—a vegan, clean, natural, and cruelty-free pop of color that will leave your lips soft and plump.

Their crayon containers aren’t recyclable, so we suggest you go for their lipsticks: aluminum packaging plus vibrant fashion-forward colors equals amazing! Not only that, but Axiology never uses palm oil, and donates a portion of every tube you buy to the Orangutan Foundation International. In addition, Axiology works with a female-owned factory in Bali that uses recycled trash and traditional paper-making methods to create Axiology’s signature boxes.

Your Choice Matters

If you went shopping for organic food in the early 2000s, you’ll remember searching far and wide to find it. Nowadays, most supermarket chains have an organics section. The reason? Purely economic—supply and demand. For example: Organic food sales totaled $10 billion in 2003, but in 2018, they topped $50 billion. This is a consumer-driven change. So, when you choose to funnel the $300,000 that you’ll likely spend on makeup into responsible, eco-friendly companies, you’ll be the change the industry needs.

So there you have it, eco-fashionista! What are your favorite eco-friendly makeup lines? Leave a comment below—we’d love to hear from you.