Sustainability and Your Wardrobe! How You Can Make A Difference!
What is Sustainable Fashion? Sustainable fashion refers to clothing that is designed, manufactured, distributed, and utilized in ways that are environmentally friendly. The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world.
Here are some strong facts:
- Around 85% of clothing thrown away in the U.S. are dumped into landfills or burned — including unsold clothes.
- It can take 200 years or more for the materials to decompose. Furthermore, it releases toxic chemicals and dyes into the ground
- Through washing & wearing clothes, specifically fast fashion that is made from *Polyester, nylon, acrylic, and other synthetic fibers, plastic particles that are washed off from these clothes contribute to about 35% of the plastic that is polluting our oceans.
- The fashion industry should operate in ways that work for years to come. And many huge companies are now creating ethical fashion through garment production, design, and distribution that reduces harm to the planet and people.
Let’s talk about everyday ways you can achieve a sustainable wardrobe and make a difference to your fellow human, the environment, and even marine life! Start by Recycling clothes, not disposing of them in the garbage. Here is how and where you can recycle your clothing:
- Local charities like Dress for Success
- Invite your neighbors and family to shop the gently loved items that no longer serve you
- Drop-Off containers that are located throughout your community
- Goodwill will gladly take your goods and provide a receipt!
- Your local Church, Shelter, or a family in need
There is also an organization called Forgotten Children. They collect clothing and donate them to children in need.
NYC Mammas Give Back in Chelsea also collects clothing for children
Choose sustainable fashion materials such as: Organic Linen, Organic Hemp (One of the oldest fibers in the world, hemp helps keep you warm in winter and cool in summer, and gets softer the more you wash it), and Recycled Cotton. Sometimes you will find that these fabrics are more affordable.
Buy in Power from Fashion brands with transparency: The H&M Group, YES H&M does sell some sustainable pieces, ask a salesperson or manager if you shop there. Adidas and Patagonia are the world’s most transparent major fashion brands, according to the 2020 fashion transparency index.
Other ways include: Try wearing certain clothes twice before washing them. Try quality over quantity. Revive your wardrobe and give pieces in your closet NEW life!
Consider NOT buying new clothing all the time, Explore gently loved garments on websites such as:
The Real Real
OR Clothing Stores such as:
Buffalo Exchange (Resale Clothing)
Wasteland (Resale and Vintage)
Everlane (Sustainable NEW clothing)
Reformation (sells NEW clothing made of vintage fabrics)
Consider hosting a “Style Me” party:
- Strategically invite people by their clothing size. For example, four women who are sizes 4, 6, 8 etcetera.
- Set some ground rules so people are bringing items in good condition to swap & style
- Consider having a stylist to host and show people how to wear items
Wouldn’t you love to shop in your most stylish friend’s closet? Offer to help them clean out their closet!
Living out of a sustainable wardrobe means you are loving your planet and its people on purpose! It’s a great way to start a new day or a new year!