13 04 green living show beauty fashion toronto tbWe went to the Green Living Show in Toronto to learn how to have a greener lifestyle.

Here are the best tips and tricks we found at the show for becoming more environmentally conscious.

1. Buy less

Tara St James, owner and head designer for the New York-based sustainable clothing line Study, suggests investing in classic pieces to reduce waste (e.g. one versatile LBD) from brands that focus on fair trade, organic and recycled fabrics. These will last longer than trendier items from bigger retailers, plus you’ll support smaller, local designers who produce less garments and waste overall.

2. Simplify your closet

Julia Grieve, founder of Preloved stores, which creates one of a kind clothing items from reclaimed vintage fabrics, recommends reorganizing your wardrobe every season to reduce waste and make sure that you only invest in pieces that you need. Also refresh outfits each season with second-hand finds from vintage boutiques or consignment shops, and mix them with timeless wardrobe staples for a unique style.

Before tossing items that look too well loved, consider visiting a seamstress to see if it can be fixed or repurposed. Get shoes you love resoled to get extend their life. When you have to purge your closest (Did you ever really think those gaucho pants would come back in?). Donate your clothes rather than throwing them out.

13 04 green living show beauty fashion toronto 13. Do your research

Not sure if the ingredients listed on that beauty bottle are environmentally friendly? Visit the Skindeep cosmetic database to search for your regular products and find out what chemicals they contain that you may want to avoid.

Beware of labels that say “natural, ” since products only need to contain a low percentage of natural ingredients to use the word. Instead, look for third-party certification from reputable organizations like ECOCERT, which requires all products that bear its label to be eco-friendly, organic and fair trade.

Also, visit a toxin-free space like The Detox Market (367 King St. West in Toronto) where you know the beauty goods are selected for their purity.

4. Start from the inside-out

If you’re having skin problems, you can try changing your diet before hitting up the makeup counter. Mary Frewen, Whole Body expert for Whole Foods Market, suggests adding a fatty acid supplement to your diet to help hydrate your skin.

Since most of our skin conditions occur due to hormonal fluctuations, Frewan also recommends adding flax and primrose oil to your diet to help regulate your body’s natural ups and downs.

5. Naturalize your hair care routine

Brian Phillips, CEO of worldSALON in Toronto, recommends avoiding products that contain parabens, sulphates, and phthalates.

While you may have heard that excessive hair washing strips away your ‘natural oils’ and leaves strands feeling dry, under washing can be just as bad due to the buildup of pollutants and sweat on your scalp. Aim to wash your hair at least once a week, with 3 to 4 times a week being ideal if you’re using a gentle shampoo.

Also, search for an eco-friendly salon that commits to greener products and services. Look for a salon that is part of Green Circle Salons, an organization that helps prevent waste – including foils, left-over colour and even human hair– from ending up in the landfill or our waterways through innovative recycling programs.

6. Make smart choices

Try out some of these earth-friendly beauty products we can’t get enough of!

Leaves of Trees Unscented Argan Oil ($5, leavesoftrees.com) – Sourced from a women’s cooperative on the coast of Morocco, this oil is free of harmful chemicals and full of vitamin E, phenols, pro-vitamin and fatty acids to keep skin and hair hydrated and soft, naturally.

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Sappho Organics Cosmetics Eye Shadow ($20, sapphocosmetics.com) – This pressed powder eye shadow is a fine mix of minerals and certified organic jojoba oil that gives your eyes a bright pop of highly pigment colour quickly, without any chemicals. The whole line, created by Emmy-nominated makeup artist JoAnn Fowler, is vegan and comes in cardboard packaging to keep waste to a minimum.

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IKOVE Rosemary and Açai Bath and Shower Gel ($30, ikove.ca) – This ECOCERT certified product smells as wonderful and feels as nice on our skin as it’s non-organic counterparts. Try using this soothing, hydrating gel in your next bath for a spa-like experience you can feel safe indulging in.

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