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Growing up, my Mom took me shopping before any and every event … holidays, birthdays, graduations. I somehow never had anything to wear, so we’d indulge in some last-minute mother-daughter shopping. The pressure of finding something to wear meant that, regrettably, I bought tons of dresses that I only wore once. Although we always donated those hardly-used dresses to local thrift stores, I know better now. There are more eco-friendly ways to do last-minute shopping.

Most of us have made the mistake of shopping under pressure, only realizing later that the fabric is itchy or the color is terrible on you or the cut hugs your butt in all the wrong ways. It happens, and I’m not here to make you feel bad about it. What I am here to do is this: inspire you to think of more sustainable, environmentally-friendly ways to do last-minute shopping (and hey, it might just save you some money, too).

1. Don’t be afraid to wear the same thing. Spice up an old dress by adding a wrap or slouchy sweater. The outfit will feel different and cure that “nothing to wear” feeling.

2. Add some bling to a more casual outfit. Adding a little sparkle is the best way to dress up a look. Rocksbox rents you 3 pieces of jewelry at a time that you can swap in for new goodies whenever you’d like. It’s an easy, eco-friendly way to keep your outfits looking fresh.

3. Rent the Runway. A service that lets you rent designer dresses for a fraction of the cost and offers next-day shipping? Yes, please.

4. Thrift and consignment stores. Remember when I mentioned that I donated a ton of hardly-used dresses to thrift stores? Shopping second-hand is a great way to reduce the footprint that clothing has on our environment. (Wasteland is one of my favorites, with stores in LA and SF. Try looking on Yelp for other cities and comment below with your favs!)

5. Borrow from a friend. I’m blessed to have a sister who wears the same size as me, so we have been swapping clothes forever. It was particularly nice when she lived in Boston, because none of my west coast friends were the wiser. Find a friend who’s around your size and start trading away! I promise, it feels like having two wardrobes. Tip: we took full advantage of USPS flat-rate packages for swapping.

6. Your mom’s closet. I know what you’re thinking … Seriously? But yes, I’m serious. I’ve found some of the most amazing things in my Mom’s closet. Sure, sometimes they are a little outdated and a lot too big. But never anything a lil’ needle and thread can’t fix. Need sewing lessons? Check out Modern Girl’s Guide to Sewing, launched by bloggers, Leanne Barlow and Merrick White. Or find a great local seamstress or tailor.

Moral of the story: get creative! You don’t always need to buy something new to look fresh. Our planet will thank you (and so will your wallet).

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