Are you interested in living an eco-friendly lifestyle? Making the switch to solar panels, LED light bulbs and electric cars are all great ideas, but you can start going green beginning with your own personal clothing choices. Here are four sustainable fashion tips to keep in mind before your next shopping trip.
1. Look into Eco-Friendly Materials
Be sure to consider environmentally-friendly materials when shopping for clothes. Here are some materials to take into consideration:
- Organic hemp might be the most eco-friendly clothing fabric there is. It’s considered a carbon-negative raw material because it absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It’s also healthy for the soil it grows in. Organic clothing is harder to grow, however, making it a pricier option. That being said, it offers other benefits, including sun protection and anti-microbial properties.
- Bamboo fabric is a green choice because chemical pesticides aren’t used, and neither are the chemicals involved in polyester production. Organic bamboo linen is also inexpensive to produce. From bamboo sleepwear to bamboo daywear, it’s a cozy option.
- Organic cotton is chemical-free when it comes to production, making it healthier for both the environment and workers. Most find 100% organic cotton to be more comfortable than traditional cotton. It’s also been found to be more durable.
- Cork fabric is produced by shaving it away from a cork oak tree, which tends to absorb more carbon dioxide than other types of trees. It’s commonly used to produce handbags and shoes.
Choosing the right materials can help lead you to a more sustainable wardrobe. Keep in mind that non-vegan options, such as authentic leather, wool, cashmere, and silk, can have a more negative impact on the environment.
2. Make Long-Term Clothing Investments
With styles constantly changing every season, it can be easy to buy clothes that you’ll end up tossing out later. To reduce your impact on the environment, consider making fewer—and smarter—fashion choices.
Buy a few statement pieces that will withstand changing trends so you’ll have to shop less and produce less clothing waste. For example, a black faux leather jacket or a white cardigan will always be in style.
3. Understand Your Wants Vs. Your Needs
When shopping smarter, consider if you want a clothing item or if you need a clothing item. As a general rule of thumb, some experts recommend asking yourself if you’ll wear a piece at least 30 times. If the answer is no, refrain from purchasing it.
4. Donate or Sell Your Old Clothes
Consider ways to get rid of old clothing. Consider donating old clothes. You might consider donating them to a non-profit organization, such as a women’s shelter or homeless shelter. Nursing homes can also use old clothing. If your clothes are in poor condition, a local animal shelter might also be interested in them. Another idea is to donate them to the Salvation Army or Goodwill.
If you have an expensive taste in clothing, you might be reluctant to donate them. In this case, consider re-selling your clothes on sites like eBay, Poshmark, or Mercari. Another option is to take your old clothing items to a thrift or consignment store in exchange for in-store credits. Purchasing recycled clothing from these stores can also be less harmful to the environment.
There are certain types of clothes that need to be tossed out once you’ve finished wearing them, such as old underwear or bathing suits. But the majority of your clothes can be donated or sold.
These are just four tips for a more sustainable wardrobe. Choosing the right clothes, shopping smarter, and donating or selling your clothes once you’re done with them can have less of an impact on the environment.