How to Dress Eco-Consciously
How to Dress Eco-Consciously
Clothing made of organic and natural fabrics like cotton, wool and linen should form the cornerstone of any sustainable wardrobe. Not only are these biodegradable but their production requires less resources than synthetic fibers.
Adopting sustainable fashion practices involves limiting synthetic fabric consumption such as polyester (which accounts for half of global clothing production), as this material comes from fossil fuel sources and takes years to decompose.
Buy Second-Hand or Vintage
Second-hand or vintage clothing purchases are one of the best ways to reduce fashion industry environmental impacts, by cutting down on both water use and energy consumed in producing new garments, as well as finding unique pieces no one else has. Thrift stores, consignment shops, and online marketplaces can all provide excellent opportunities to find gently used outfit pieces at reduced costs.
Organic cotton and linen clothing offer another sustainable shopping option, using less water, pesticides, and biodegrading faster than synthetic alternatives. Look out for certifications such as Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Made in Green by OEKO-TEX labels, or Bluesign certificates to confirm that brands use responsibly sourced textiles in their production process.
When shopping sustainably, it’s best to avoid purchasing clothing that’s unnecessary. Instead, look for pieces that can serve you year round: simple trousers and T-shirts, classic dresses, cozy cardigans and timeless jackets all work for any season – making creating a more sustainable closet easier while saving money in the process.
Attaining environmental sustainability means avoiding synthetic fabrics like polyester that make up more than half of global clothing production and require the burning of fossil fuels. When purchasing natural textiles like hemp, organic cotton or pure linen instead which require much less mechanical processing compared to their synthetic counterparts and biodegrade much faster – an eco-friendlier choice than nylon, acrylic and spandex fabrics.
At the same time, it’s best to avoid buying clothing items you know won’t wear; otherwise you are just making more space for items you might not actually need. Instead, donate or host clothing swaps as a fun and social way of refreshing your closet and cutting down waste.
Avoid Synthetic Fabrics
Sustainable fashion begins by opting for natural textiles over synthetic ones that use petroleum-based chemicals that take years to break down. Instead, opt for natural textiles such as organic cotton and linen – both of which use minimal pesticides and chemical fertilizers when grown compared with conventional cotton – or bast fibre fabrics like hemp and linseed, which produce fibers similar to cotton but more durable and eco-friendly than their counterparts.
Fashion production consumes significant quantities of water, energy and resources; its production can have far-reaching environmental repercussions. Fashion waste accounts for 10% of human plastic pollution; deforestation may occur as a result; while washing certain clothing types can release microplastics into waterways – all while industry works on solutions to address sustainability shortcomings. Individual consumers should also take note of their impact.
As a general guideline, garments made of polyester, acrylic and spandex should be avoided as these synthetic materials contribute significantly to microplastic pollution in our oceans and are hard to recycle. Instead, opt for garments composed of sustainable materials like organic cotton or wool; or recycled/biodegradable fabric blends like Tencel which utilize closed loop processes that reduce waste production).
Clothing washing can have a considerable environmental impact; you can reduce this by wearing your garments more often before washing. Aim to wear each item at least 10 times before giving them another go in the laundry, which will significantly lower their carbon, water and energy footprints. In addition, following care instructions on labels can extend their lives; simply mend or repair as necessary instead of discarding.
Eco-conscious fashion goes beyond simply reducing overconsumption: it also promotes fair and safe working conditions for those producing apparel, as well as encouraging reuse and upcycling of old and unwanted clothes and accessories. While eco-conscious fashion requires hard work and commitment from all involved, consumers should do everything possible to move towards this direction.
Wear What You Already Own
Fashion can be done sustainably when we make use of what’s already in our closets. While keeping up with current fashions may tempt us, investing in timeless pieces that won’t go out of style quickly is more sustainable – including day-to-night dresses, straight jeans, tailored blazers and casual “anytime” sneakers that can be worn multiple times over their lifespan. With timeless pieces you can mix-and-match to create new looks without needing more clothes items.
When purchasing clothing, opt for eco-conscious brands with an established commitment to sustainability. This may involve reducing CO2 emissions and overproduction, using local materials, sourcing ethically and responsibly, or guaranteeing workers are paid fair wages – there are more sustainable brands emerging every day; so take the time to discover them as options! The number of sustainable brands continues to expand so it may be worthwhile exploring all available choices.
Your fabric selection also has a significant environmental impact. Natural fabrics like wool, hemp, cotton and linen have less of an effect than synthetic ones like polyester and acrylic that use fossil fuels and have non-biodegradable qualities. When selecting eco-friendly fabric it is wise to look out for certifications like GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), LEED (Low Environmental Emissions) or OEKO-TEX that ensure azo-free dyes and manufacturing chemicals are used during production.
Patagonia stands out as an industry leader when it comes to sustainable fashion by advocating a “buy only what you need” mentality, and LLBean provides product repair services for prolonging garment lifespan and keeping it out of landfills – this allows users to be creative! Repairing clothing yourself is an effective way of keeping it from going into the waste stream and giving creative individuals the chance to express themselves!
As part of your efforts to support the fashion industry, you can also demonstrate its value by raising awareness about sustainable fashion with your friends and family. While they may initially be skeptical, you can help change their minds by showing designs or products you find inspiring while explaining how eco-friendly they are – not only inspiring them but potentially even persuading others to adopt more eco-friendly ways of living! This could inspire some individuals to switch over to living a more eco-friendly lifestyle!
Avoid Statement Pieces
Choose timeless pieces that can stand the test of time, such as simple trousers and T-shirts, classic dresses, cozy cardigans and durable coats and jackets. Avoid trends that quickly go out of fashion as this contributes to wasteful clothing production; for optimal efficiency it would be wiser to select clothing suitable for both warm and cold climates so it doesn’t end up getting donated after only one season has passed.
Sustainable fashion recommendations include selecting clothes made from natural fabrics like organic cotton. Such textiles are produced without using harmful synthetic pesticides or fertilizers that pollute the environment; additionally they promote biodiversity while helping maintain soil and water health. In addition, eco-friendly clothing often includes recycled or biodegradable components to reduce waste while conserving resources.
Look for brands that prioritize sustainability in their supply chains by providing full transparency, adhering to science-based targets, and guaranteeing that garment workers receive fair wages and safe working conditions. Everlane offers many sustainable fashion options as well as total transparency across their supply chains.
Consider buying second-hand or vintage, which is an eco-friendly choice. Look at local thrift and vintage stores, search websites like Depop or Thredup to locate used items, or download apps that allow you to buy and sell second-hand clothing. When considering purchasing new clothing items, take note of their cost as well as whether or not it will get worn often enough to justify its cost tag.
Finally, ensure your clothes are stored safely to safeguard against dust and moths. Consider investing in high-quality storage bags such as Hayden Hill bags made from organic breathable cotton that offer superior protection from light exposure, moths, moisture damage, etc. If it’s hard to part with old clothes that still fit you, donate or give them to friends or family instead – any way it keeps clothes out of landfills and out of fashion industries is an uncontested win! Finally, share the importance of eco-conscious fashion with family and encourage them to adopt eco-conscious wardrobes gradually over time – starting small can have huge results over time!