What we drape over our heavenly inspired bodies, really does impact our environment and our personal carbon footprint. The impact from clothing is really a combination of quantity, longevity, and the type of fabrics in your eco-friendly wardrobe,
Now I am not suggesting that we can all be the kind of people that exclusively thrift shop or give up shopping altogether for the environment. After all, its a sophisticated and civilized world and a place for everything.
Many of us have office jobs and wearing a t-shirt with a ripped pocket and the name of a little league team from long long ago is not going to get us that promotion. With a little inquisitiveness, knowledge, and some innovative shopping alternatives, keeping up with the latest trends can minimize our fashion statement impact on the environment..
Key Factors To An Eco-Friendly Wardrobe
Buy less dry-clean only clothing. Hazardous perc chemical is unavoidable for the dry-cleaning industry. So if you can, just buy less dry-clean only clothing – carefully check the cleaning instruction label buried inside the garment. This usually means avoiding the three S’s: suedes, silks, and sequins. If you do feel compelled to buy from the three S’s, research your product to find out if you can just spot clean it at home. Similar items that are normally dry-cleaned only, like lace blouses, will often hold up just fine in a delicate tumble in the wash or even a hand wash in the sink. Just make sure to hang dry and to be careful with any ironing.
Consignment shops > thrift shops. There was a time in college when a thrift shop was a viable option for new clothing. But unless you’re going to a 70’s themed party, I really wouldn’t recommend it as a standard. Instead, try consignment shops. These are high-end versions of thrift shops with high quality, gently worn clothing. Many even sell designer labels and are perfect for the vintage inspired looks that are very on trend right now. Plus – if you have any clothing you may want to get rid of consignment shops will buy it off you, or at least give you store credit. Full circle, people! For guys, thrift shops are a great source for casual knock-around weekend clothing and painting clothes.
Do your research. Many companies are starting to reinvent their products in more eco-conscious ways. Spend half an hour doing a google deep dive on “eco friendly clothing” and you’ll be excited to know that some of our favorite brands are joining the eco-revolution. From H&M’s Conscious collection hitting stores April 10 to Zara, a company that has committed to eliminating toxic chemicals from it’s products. Just don’t be too quick to trust words like “green” or “organic.” If the product is really sustainable, the company website should have a clear description of why and how.
Throw a clothing swap. This was one of my favorite things to do with my girlfriends in college, and still works today. Because often, it’s not that you don’t like your clothes anymore, it’s just that you’re tired of wearing them. But I bet your best friends feel the same way about their own clothes but would love to take a spin in yours. All you have to do is pick one night to gather (men, you can do this too) and bring in 5-10 articles of clothing you are willing to part with. Then just start trading! Even if you don’t go home with a new item, you’ll probably be able to get rid of some of your back of the closet pieces. And the environmental impact is…drumroll, please…ZERO. Enjoy your ever-evolving eco-friendly Wardrobe.
*Note, if you and your friends have different body types, don’t be discouraged. Men and women of all sizes can throw events like these. All it takes is a little bit of planning and a fun Facebook invite.
Be sure to check out Sexy Undies Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint.