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5 Tips For Eco-Friendly Clothing Shopping

Most of us love brand new clothes. But fast fashion has a price: it represents 10% of the world’s carbon emissions and 20% of fresh water pollution. From a garment’s durability and functionality to its material and place of origin, your clothing purchases affect the planet in numerous ways. Here are five tips to make more sustainable, Earth-conscious clothing choices.

1.Buy Secondhand

Once bought, about 21% of our annual clothing purchases stay in the home. To reduce the eco-impact of your clothing purchase,  you can opt instead for used garments instead of new ones. Just as reusing the same grocery bag over and over again is a green idea, buying pre-owned clothing items is an easy way to feel great about your fashion buys.

2.Be Choosy

 5% of the world’s landfill space is textile waste. This is why shifting from a culture that promotes cheap, unsustainable fashion to one that thinks in terms of quality over quantity is important.Seek out clothing brands and shops that employ sustainable manufacturing practices. Clothing makers who use organic, chemical-free dyes and fabric treatments—and who source their materials from eco-friendly suppliers—won’t be shy about listing this information on their garments’ labels. While these items might cost a bit more money upfront, they’re often going to last much longer than less expensive, mass-produced items. Think quality, not quantity.

3.Opt For Functionality

3.Opt For Functionality

Whenever possible, try to buy clothing items you can wear in a variety of situations. A sweater or shirt that can be dressed up or down reduces your need to buy additional items that may only be worn once or twice for a specific occasion. Also, try to avoid “fast fashion” seasonal trends. Shopping for items you know you’ll wear for years to come is an easy way to reduce your environmental impact (and save money).

4.Consider How It’s Cleaned

Is the item you’re about to buy dry clean only? In 85% of cases, cleaning process involves an harsh chemical called perc (perchloroethylene) that is not good for the planet (or you, for that matter). That said, washing clothing in water and detergent also has an impact. Dark jeans, heavy sweaters, and other articles of clothing you can wear multiple times before washing are a cozy, eco-friendly style choice. 

5.Support Your Local Tailor/Cobbler

Even if it would cost only slightly more to buy a new shirt or pair of shoes, having a worn or ripped item repaired is a greener option. Also, your nearest seamstress or tailor can help you refashion last year’s blouse or slacks to better suit this season’s style trends. 

Even a few small adjustments here and there make a difference when it comes to the impact your clothing purchases have on the planet.