10 Ways To Make Your Wardrobe Sustainable

If having a more sustainable wardrobe is your goal this year, you are in luck! While some might think that eco-friendly fashion just means clothing made with organic cotton or recycled yarns, There are actually many ways to have a greener wardrobe - some very simple, and some require a little more work, but its a well-worth effort to keep the environment safe and can make your outfits more interesting and unique as well!

1.Keep what you already own. Really? Can it be that easy? Yes! Just because the clothes currently in your closet weren't eco-friendly to begin with doesn't mean you should throw them out and start from scratch. Wearing what you already own requires no new materials, no water or energy to produce it, and no shipping. It's the most green thing you can do.

2. Don't wash them so much. Washing machines consume huge amounts of water and energy, while utilizing harsh detergents and chemicals that do the environment no favors. Try to wash full loads less frequently, and line dry if possible. And avoid dry cleaning if you can.

3. Buy pre-owned fashion. If you do want to buy something, shop vintage. When you buy used clothing, you're recycling it, saving it from the landfill. And it required no additional resources to produce it.

4. Buy clothes that last. When you do need to purchase a new item of clothing, choose something that will last for years- not just in terms of durability, but timelessness in style. A classic dress made with inorganic cotton that you keep for 20 years is a lot more eco-friendly than a trendy one made with organic hemp that you only wear for one season.

5. Shop for new clothes made from recycled ones. Perhaps inspired by their class projects from fashion college, some innovative, up and coming designers are creating entire fashion lines constructed of fabric from cast-off clothing. That means old men's dress shirts given new life as skirts, or vintage kimonos reincarnated as wedding gowns.

6. Buy new clothes and accessories made from recycled non-clothing. New technologies are making it possible for manmade objects like plastic water bottles to be shredded and woven into fibers to make sweaters and socks. You can find handbags made of recycled candy wrappers, and shoes made from old rubber tires. Everything old is indeed new again.

7. Look for organic fabrics. Because most major retailers and fashion design labels are using organic fabrics as their entree into the eco-friendly category, consumers are increasingly more familiar with organic cotton, linen, wool, and hemp. To be certified organic, the natural materials used in the fabric must be farmed without pesticides and herbicides.

8. Beware of "greenwashing." Many fashion companies like to claim that their clothes are green, but they may be jumping on the green bandwagon while actually harming the earth. For example, many companies are touting bamboo this and bamboo that, since the public perception is that bamboo is green. But not all bamboo is created equal. True, the plant is renewable, but forests and animal habitats are being cleared to make way for some plantations.

9. Shop locally. Clothing made in the United States or, better yet, your hometown, reduces the amount of energy needed to ship that garment to your neighborhood store. And you're supporting the local economy.

10. Demand Fair Trade Practices. Besides the material and energy resources required to make a garment, more light has been shed in recent years on the human resources. Environmentally conscious consumers are urging manufacturers to cease child labor and sweat shop conditions, instead providing employees with fair wages, reasonable hours, safe working conditions, and access to health care.

While some shopping behaviors, such as buying only fair trade merchandise, can be difficult and expensive, it's nice to know that some of the greenest things you can do for your wardrobe are actually easy and free.

Article source: Lily McCallister Ezinearticles
Photo credit: Envirofitfashion

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