It’s no secret that the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world….right behind oil. But we all need clothes, right? So what can we do? Like most things, there’s a sustainable way to go about it. Let’s explore some options to building a sustainable closet.
Buy clothes made with natural fabrics.
Why does this matter? Over 70% of clothing is made from synthetic fibers (i.e. polyester, nylon). About 84% of unwanted clothes end up in landfills. Synthetic fibers will sit in a landfill for over 200 years whereas natural fibers (that aren’t blended with synthetics) will biodegrade.
Quit Fast fashion.
Fast fashion has up to 52 micro seasons, designed to make consumers feel out of trend and fuel the need for overconsumption. It’s no wonder that clothing is commonly thought of as easily disposable. With such low prices, the clothes are made quickly, cheaply and aren’t made to last. However, fast fashion isn’t cheap. The environment, animals and garment workers are paying the price. The production process is highly resource-intensive and pollutes land and water with toxic chemicals.
Buy less, buy better, and buy quality.
When it comes to fast fashion, you get what you pay for. Fast fashion is made with cheap materials and labor. In essence, it really is made to be thrown away after just a few wears. Clothes that fall apart or lose shape after a few washes aren’t a good deal when you think about how many times you need to replace the garments. Most garments eventually sit in a landfill or are incinerated.
Support sustainable brands or buy secondhand.
In general, sustainable brands are a bigger upfront investment than fast fashion for sure. Here’s why: better quality fabrics, responsible production and labor costs, clothes last longer. If it’s not within your budget, try shopping secondhand. At some point, if you feel like you need to buy new, support a sustainable brand. Bonus points for brands that give back!
Make sure you actually wear it!
Sometimes we have buyer’s remorse – it happens. To avoid this, think about where you would wear this garment. Can you see yourself wearing it at least 30 times? Will you still wear this next year or the year after?
Buy versatile pieces.
Can you wear it in more than one way? Is it easily restyled for different occasions? Can it be paired with what’s already in your closet to create different looks? Basics, timeless pieces, or easy to match colors will generally get a lot of wears.
Give clothes a new life or purpose –clothing swap, crafts, rags, cotton pads. It’s time to get creative!
Donating may be the easiest choice besides dumping it straight into the trash bin, but only 10-15% of donated clothes actually receive a new home. Sadly, most sit in landfills and/or are incinerated because there is simply too much unwanted clothing.
Alter, mend or repair your clothes if possible.
Learn how to sew a button or do a quick stitch. Start a collection of extra buttons and get creative when the need arises for a quick fix. Picking up a few of these helpful life skills can save you in a pinch.
Take care of your clothes the eco-friendly way.
They’ll last longer, reduce environmental impact and reduce your utility bills. For some quick eco-friendly laundry tips, read this.
- Hang your clothes correctly.
Did you know that hanging clothes incorrectly can damage your clothes? Stretchy straps shouldn’t be hung by the straps – it’ll ‘grow ‘and lose shape. Some delicate items should be neatly folded in half and hung over the base of the hanger to prevent indents and misshapen parts to form.
Check out our sustainable line of clothing here. We use quality, plant based and sustainable fabrics to create eco-gorgeous garments that are made to last. We also plant (1) tree for every garment sold.