Going green in fashion can benefit you in the long run. Here’s how.
1. It’s Better for the Earth
The fashion industry leaves behind a huge environmental footprint, from the pesticides used in growing cotton and the leached chemicals from the toxic dyes to the landfill impact of clothes that wear out and the energy required to produce each piece. Conventional cotton requires a third of a pound of chemicals to make just one t-shirt. Choosing organic fibers or sustainable fabrics–like those made from bamboo or hemp–can also lessen the amount of carbon you give off and chemicals you bring into your life.
2. It’s Better for People
Buying clothes labeled under the Fair Trade Act is sustainable on several levels: It was produced under safe working conditions, it’s sweatshop free, and the person who created it earned a fair wage. It counts for a lot when you look at an industry known for its unkind labor practices and unhealthy cost-cutting; purchasing pieces that are Fair Trade proves that people and places mean as much as the company’s products.
3. It’s Better for Animals
Think of all the animals when you wear fashionable clothing in fur and leather anything, the next time. For vegans, that refusal to take advantage of animals extends as far as not wearing wool or silk. When you make sure your closet is stocked with cruelty-free clothes means you can get dressed without upsetting about what went into what you’re wearing.
4. It Lasts Longer
Finding timeless, durable pieces can be just as green: Instead of wearing those hip organic leggings for just one season, invest in classic shapes, chic silhouettes, and foolproof colors that you can flaunt for years to come and thus reduce waste. Reducing waste and reducing on your consumerism will do more for the earth–in terms of saving energy and resources–than stocking up on unnecessary fashion, even if they were made green.
5. It is More Personal
Check nearby boutiques for fashions from designers in your area , and call on your favorite neighborhood tailor to keep your favorite pieces fit perfectly. Avoiding the mall will often give you more personalized service, and make developing your own style sense easier.
6. It’s More Than Just Organic
Sustainable clothing also includes vintage pieces and handmade options–both of which make your wardrobe one-of-a-kind. Check out thrift stores for vintages shapes and patterns that you won’t find at the chain stores, and take out your sewing machine (or call on a crafty friend) to add embellishments, tailoring, and embroidery to make each piece exclusive.