Building and maintaining a wardrobe can be exhilarating, particularly for those that love fashion. However, general clothing practices have proven to be harmful to the environment. If this is something that you want to work on, here are four ways to make your clothing habits eco-friendly.
1. Look for the Materials
A major thing you should do before buying anything is to check the materials. Look for a tag and inspect what the fabrics are made out of. Anything that uses polyester, regular cotton, acrylic, nylon, or rayon will be harmful to the environment. The formation and disposal of these fabrics is often dangerous and unsustainable. On the other hand, fabrics made from tencel, organic hemp, recycled cotton, organic linen, and econyl are generally more eco-friendly. Sticking to the latter fabrics may make shopping on a budget near impossible, but using as many sustainable fabrics as possible can still make a difference. Sites like Persus.com offer more information on sustainable products, so do some digging if you want to know more.
2. Think Before You Choose
When you shop for clothes, it can be fun to go wild with your purchases. However, this isn’t an eco-friendly action. Every piece of clothing you buy creates more waste. This is through the necessity for a replacement, as well as the disposal of the bought item. Therefore, it’s essential to think before you buy. First, consider how often you’ll be able to wear something. If a shirt is a sheer crop top, you’ll likely only wear it on hotter days. This is fine for someone that lives in a hotter climate, but it won’t be continually wearable for those that live in the North. Try to pick clothes that can be worn during any season and any type of weather. If you don’t want to give up pieces like crop tops, that’s fine. Simply invest in layers. You should also consider how much you actually like an item. If it’ll only be worn a couple of times, it’s probably not worth buying.
3. Research Every Brand
Before you make any clothing purchases, it’s essential to do some research. Specifically, you should look into the brand of clothing that you’re considering. Unfortunately, many companies (especially large ones) are lacking in eco-friendly practices. For instance, brands like Hollister, H&M, GAP, and Forever 21 are known for not having sufficient sustainability protocols. Some even claim to be making changes yet show no signs of doing so. Since this tendency is so widespread among popular brands, it’s vital that you do some basic research before giving a company your money. While this can be tedious, especially if your shopping center offers only big-name brands, it might save you from hurting the environment and help to discourage unethical business practices.
4. Use Fabrics to the Fullest Extent
It can be tempting to throw your clothes away, particularly when something is out of style, but doing so is a waste of materials. Even if you’re no longer enamored with the clothing, you should try your best to make it usable. Only give up on an outfit once it’s become unwearable. This may be through contamination, deterioration, or something similar. When the fabric gets this way, check the label to see if the materials can be recycled. If, on the other hand, you have usable clothes that you’ll never wear again, find a suitable donation center. Doing so allows you to help someone in need while keeping the clothes out of a landfill. Before you donate, make sure that the center itself is ethical and eco-friendly.
Shopping for clothes while staying sustainable is a goal to strive for. It may take a while for your wardrobe to become eco-friendly, but any effort is certainly worth it.