You know her as the skeptical wife of uber-environmentalist Ed Begley Jr. on Discovery’s “Living with Ed” and the Bite Size TV web series “Our Green House.” But did you know that Rachelle Carson-Begley is an ecoista in her own right? The actress and television personality opens up about her motivation for taking the Shop Drop Challenge in this exclusive Mommy Greenest interview.
Why are you taking on this challenge?
That’s easy. I need to save money, period. Five years ago, my husband and I embarked on building one of the most sustainable homes in Los Angeles, and in doing so I’ve had to cut back on my spending in other areas for sure. What I used to spend on clothes, I now spend on toilets and flooring!
I’ve been shopping in thrift and resale stores my whole life, so that part isn’t hard. I really appreciate the value of the clothes that I’m getting at a price I can afford. But not going to the after-Christmas sales because I was doing the Challenge—that was difficult. But freeing, too!
What’s your motivation for being an environmentalist?
I’ve always cared about the environment. I was even named for Rachel Carson, who wrote Silent Spring. But when I met my husband it took my interest to a whole other level. It was like eco boot camp! The more I learned and understood what was happening, the more involved I became.
What was the last thing you bought?
I needed something to wear to a wedding and found a beautiful, high-end designer dress at a resale store in my neighborhood. My shoes came from the Discovery shop in Sherman Oaks. They’re Manolo Blahniks!
What’s the best thing you swapped with a friend?
I tend to just give my clothes away. I don’t think I’ve ever swapped. But what a great idea!
Your favorite thrift or consignment store?
I know so many, and they’re all good for different things. Crossroads and Wasteland in Studio City are always worth looking through.
What’s your favorite place to shop preloved—either brick and mortar or online?
I still prefer shopping in a store. I like to feel the material, try things on and see the items up close. But with budget restraints, it’s strictly resale. And that’s better for the environment, too!
Established in 2013, #ShopDrop2016 challenges women not to buy any new fashion for 30 days beginning any day in January, instead choosing to swap or thrift as a way to break the “fast fashion” cycle. The 2016 goal is 1,000 participants—representing a savings of 6,000 pounds of landfill waste. All participants are entered to win a $250 like-new consignment shopping spree from presenting sponsor thredUP.com, and will be invited to a celebratory party in Santa Monica, CA.