7 Ways To Make Your Wardrobe Eco-Friendly
Fashion is all about being on trend and looking stylish, but this philosophy is starting to take a different direction with eco-conscious thinking among many fashionistas and clothing designers. To be fashionable and chic doesn't mean we have to invest in brand new pieces each season. Sometimes, all it takes is a look into our own closets, our local thrift or consignment shop, or new fashion alternatives to find truly great pieces with style. This facet of fashion is nothing new, but it is becoming an increasingly valuable part of many people's wardrobes. Green is the new black and we can all make the changes in our wardrobe to be eco-consciously fashionable.
1. Keep What You Own
There is nothing greener than holding on to, and using the clothes you already own. If there is anything in your wardrobe which you no longer plan to wear or simply doesn't fit, sell it at a yard sale or donate it to your local thrift store. Make sure that what you donate is good enough to sell, otherwise it may just be thrown away.
2. Recycle Your Threads
Anything which can no longer be worn and be sold at a thrift store or yard sale can be recycled. Rather than throwing these items out, use the fabric and materials for craft projects and scrapbooking, or if the item is too worn and can't be used to make something nice, cut it up into different size pieces and use as dishtowels or rags for dusting and cleaning around the house.
3. Buy Someone Else's Clothes
One man's trash is another man's treasure and shopping at thrift stores or consignment shops is a positive step towards an eco-friendly wardrobe. Don't shy away from this option altogether; you'd be amazed at what you can find, and it can be a fun shopping adventure. From brand new, once-worn items to cool vintage items, thrift shops can offer a wide variety of fashion. And the best part of shopping thrifty? Since you're reusing what someone else has worn, you are helping to reduce the energy and resources used to manufacture new clothing.
4. Choose Organic & Recycled Materials
Shop brands and retailers that offer eco-friendly clothes made from organic cotton, hemp, or bamboo. No chemicals or pesticides are used to farm these fabrics, so their production is environmentally safe. Also, look for clothes made with natural dyes as this, too, is better for the environment. In an effort to produce eco-friendly clothing and products, many clothing designers and manufacturers are using alternative materials for their products. You can find fabrics that are made from recycled water bottles, as well as jewelry and accessories that are made from other recycled materials.
5. Buy Clothes That Will Last
You don't necessarily have to buy clothes made from organic fabrics or reused materials to build an eco-friendly wardrobe. Buying regular clothes made from durable quality materials and that are classic in design will be items which you can keep in your wardrobe for many years. These are generally basic items which are timeless and will never go out of style. You may invest a little more at the beginning, but the time and use you will get out of these items will be more environmentally (and budget) friendly than purchasing trendy, of-the-moment clothes made from low quality materials every season.
6. Wash Mindfully
More so than the wardrobe itself, the way you care for your clothes can have a great impact on the environment. As a first step, wash your clothes less often, using cold water whenever possible. This will reduce the amount of water and energy that is used by washing machines with each load. Wash clothes when they are truly soiled or odorous. Also, whenever possible, line dry clothes rather than throw them in the dryer; this will help conserve energy and resources, as well. Additionally, when you shop for clothes, avoid items that require dry-cleaning, as this process is harmful to the environment.
7. Shop Local Fashion
Purchasing clothes and products made in the United States not only helps to support the local economy, but also reduces the amount of energy it takes to ship items from overseas. To make these effects even greater, shop the local boutiques, thrift shops and consignment stores in your own town – maybe even stop by a few yard sales in between!
It's just as important to care for the environment as it is to care about how we look. By making these changes to our shopping habits and fashion preferences, we can contribute to a greater cause and help conserve our planet. Think “green” when you're in the mood for a wardrobe change and don't forget to reassess your wardrobe. You may already have some great items in the closet that merit a second chance.