Last Updated on June 29, 2021 by Sarah
When adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle, it’s important to look for ways to switch to eco-friendly products and lifestyle choices that contribute to helping the planet. One area that people often ignore is with their clothing. From the moment we’re born, we rely on clothing to help keep us warm and shield our bodies, but it’s also one of the more wasteful habits we have as humans.
While clothing is essential, many of us have developed habits that end up wasting clothes or encouraging unsustainable practices in the fashion industry.
Below we’ll look at 5 simple things you can do to make more sustainable and eco friendly clothing choices, as part of your switch to a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
1 – Invest In High Quality Products That Last
One of the problems with fast fashion is that pieces tend to be low-quality and replaceable. While they are cheap, the fabrics can rip easily and they’re not the most durable. This is why it helps to invest in higher-quality clothes from reputable brands. You don’t need to invest in high-end fashion, but it’s a good idea to visit different clothing stores to find pieces that aren’t flimsy and can stand multiple washes.
It’s also important to look at long-lasting accessories too. For instance, a quality pair of classic style glasses will last much longer than cheap plastic ones. Metal jewellery is great for accessorising, but you should try to stick to quality pieces that won’t rust away and be thrown out after a few uses.
More often than not, it’s the cheap clothing and accessories that quickly end up in landfill.
2 – Go Thrifting!
Thrifting is somewhat of a staple for people that are passionate about fashion. This is because they can find lots of vintage pieces that are utterly unique and different from everything else, but it’s also a sustainable clothing choice because you’re reusing and repurposing the clothes. You can find clothes that are suitable for your entire family at thrift stores and it’s a great way to save money as well.
You can also give back to thrift stores by donating clothes that you no longer need or want. This is a great way to get rid of clutter in the home and also save your clothes from ending up in a landfill somewhere that could clog up the environment. It’s a great way to ensure your clothes get used again and again, even if it’s just reusing the fabric itself.
3 – Wash Your Clothes With Minimal Waste
Washing machines are perhaps a little too convenient to completely get rid of, but that doesn’t mean we need to have a wasteful approach to using it. Many families can run four to five loads of washing per week which wastes a lot of water. It also creates a lot of laundry wastewater that has harmful environmental effects.
Thankfully, there are a couple of zero-waste laundry options that use natural products. These can be extremely effective at cleaning your clothes and they don’t harm the environment like regular detergent. It can also help to handwash certain types of clothes and fabrics to ensure they last longer. This is especially important for delicate fabrics.
4 – Support Eco-Friendly Or Sustainable Brands
With stiff competition between clothing companies, both on and offline, it’s not hard to find clothes that appear exceptional value. The down side is that cheaper clothing often means poor pay and conditions for workers who made them, not to mention production processes that put a harsh toll on the planet. Clothing labelled as using recycled fabrics also don’t always tell the whole story, since a lot of processing and chemicals are often employed in the production of recycled clothes.
So if you want to make more eco friendly clothing choices, look out for brands who are dedicated to ethical and sustainable practices. This is sometimes referred to as ‘slow’ fashion. Companies that are truly making efforts to support sustainable fashion will be transparent about their production processes and how these take into account both people and the planet.
Here are 35 ethical and sustainable clothing brands to get you started.
5 – Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
It may sound obvious, but remember to recycle your unwanted clothes.
You can pass kids’ clothes that are still in tip top condition onto friends or family (or your next child) or sell them online on places like Ebay, making you a bit of extra cash.
And if you have clothes in your wardrobe that haven’t been worn for over a year, it’s unlikely you’re going to start wearing them anytime soon! So consider having a clear out and donating them to a charity or thrift store. You can also take them to a clothing bank. It’s easy to find your nearest one here.
Vintage clothing also does really well on places like Ebay or Etsy. So if you have any 80s Moschino hiding in a cupboard, you could make a handy bit of cash selling it online.
Whatever you decide, don’t forget that making just one or two shifts towards more eco friendly clothing choices can make a big difference over time…