Better living is about more than organic food and natural cleaning products. For the next phase in your journey toward a more sustainable lifestyle, take a step into your closet. Did you know the fashion industry is the third-largest contributor to pollution, right behind fuel and agriculture? It can be difficult to determine if the clothing you buy is eco-friendly, but there are some ways to practice personal fashion sustainability. Here are four questions to consider when updating your wardrobe.
This is a Guest Post: We appreciate guest authors. However, the viewpoints expressed in this blog post may, or may not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of Living Natural Today.
1. Do You Need It?
You may be excited to fill your closet with sustainably-made apparel, but sweeping your shelves of their current contents would be the reverse of conscious living. Your best first action may be to take no action at all. When you see that cute chunky sweater in a chic online boutique, ask yourself if you really need it or if you have two more just like it in a drawer. When you buy less, you help to reduce the overproduction of clothes by the fashion industry, and you create an opportunity to be creative with the pieces you already own. Set a goal for yourself only to purchase new items for the purpose of replacing your worn-out or broken clothing and footwear.
2. How Is the Quality?
The quick and inexpensive production of clothing for mass-market brands is known as fast fashion, and the low cost of trendy pieces appeals to those who want to look stylish without breaking the bank. However, the quality of these items is often so low that they don’t survive more than a few washes, only to wind up endangering the environment in a landfill. When shopping, look for the following signs of a superior product and avoid the cheap alternatives.
- Fibers: Synthetic materials like acrylic and polyester will not biodegrade for at least 1,000 years, so choose natural textiles like organic cotton, wool and linen instead.
- Stitching: Examine the size and length of thread stitches to determine the integrity of the garment.
- Hardware: Look for clothes with metal buttons and zippers instead of plastic to ensure longevity.
Instead of thinking of your pieces as single-use, put your hard-earned cash into higher-quality attire that you can wear for years to come.
3. Does It Have To Be New?
The impact of new clothing production on the environment is extremely harmful. Making garments uses an excess of natural resources and many companies do not subscribe to ethical and eco-friendly business practices. When you buy articles secondhand, you are recycling and preventing unnecessary waste. Additionally, rather than throwing your unwanted pieces away, you can send them to a thrift shop, swap meet or social media marketplace for someone else to enjoy, keeping them from the landfill a while longer.
4. Where Was It Made?
Of course, you won’t always find what you’re looking for in a thrift shop. When you do purchase new clothes, consider where they are made and how far they must travel to reach your doorstep. You can reduce your carbon footprint by purchasing from local retailers because your items won’t require shipping. If you order online, consider buying from companies that do not outsource manufacturing to other countries. Not only will your packages not cross any oceans, but you’ll be supporting the national economy as well.
The definition of sustainability is so broad that it’s impossible to make a complete lifestyle change overnight. Conscious living requires a lot of time and money, so it’s important to focus on one good decision at a time. These small changes not only meet your personal morality goals but when adopted by larger communities, lead to a cleaner, greener planet Earth.
Additional Post You Might Like: