Dressing more sustainably can be easy, budget-friendly, and safer for both your health and the environment! Follow these simple wardrobe tips to reduce your impact on the planet – and your wallet…
One of the simplest ways to save money and protect the environment at the same time is with your wardrobe. There are so many ways that you can make a difference just by dressing more sustainably! You can buy less clothing, buy used clothing, and really consider which fabrics you purchase to ensure that producing and caring for the clothing doesn’t add pollution to the environment.
Here are 8 easy tips for dressing more sustainably and ensuring that your clothing doesn’t have an oversized impact on the planet:
1. Buy Used – The more often you can purchase used items, no matter what they’re made of, the the more waste you will keep out of landfills, and the less new clothing will have to be produced (and the more money you’ll save). Clothing manufacturing takes a lot from the environment, including water, and adds a lot of bad stuff back into the environment in the form of waste and chemicals.
2. Consider Hemp Fibers – The great thing about hemp is how environmentally friendly it is. It doesn’t need pesticides to grow and it doesn’t require a ton of chemicals to process it into fabric for clothing. It’s also highly renewable and regrows quickly.
3. Don’t Wash Your Clothes Every Time You Wear Them – Just because you wear something doesn’t mean it’s dirty. Unless there is visible dirt or strong smells, you can hang most things outside on a line to air out instead of washing them to allow body oils to evaporate and smells to dissipate.
4. Line Dry for Longevity and a Great Smell – Dryers are hard on your laundry. You can line dry many things and they’ll actually turn out a lot nicer. Sweaters, sheets, jeans, and many shirts actually smell amazing and feel better line dried if you know what you’re doing. The trick is to use less detergent to ensure that they’re rinsed well before hanging to dry.
5. Avoid Dry Cleaning – Dry cleaning is really just cleaning with dangerous chemicals instead of water. There are so many fabric choices out there now that look wonderful, hold their shape, and are still business-like, without buying dry-clean-only fabrics. Read all the labels in order to avoid these fabrics as often as possible.
If you do have to purchase dry clean only clothing, instead of having them dry cleaned treat spots the minute they happen with either water (for water soluble stains) or a small dab of cheap vodka to get rid of stains. You can also dry brush or steam clean. Or, you can hand wash with a gentle detergent and hang to dry.
6. Use Water-Saving High-Efficiency Washers – Front loading HE washers not only use less water, but they’re actually gentler on the clothing fibers, thus helping your clothing to last longer. Just keep in mind that the fewer times you get your clothes wet the longer they’re going to last, the more water you save and the fewer new items you will need.
7. Look for Ethically Produced Clothing – Whether you buy vegan, artisan, locally produced, or organic materials, buy clothing that is produced in an ethical way as to avoid as much pollution as possible. Plus, well-made clothing will always last much longer.
8. Be Careful with Cotton – Not all cotton is created equal. Some cotton farmers use extreme amounts of pesticides, which can cause major environmental problems, so be careful about buying cotton items. You want to only buy organic, ethically produced cotton that avoids pesticides and chemicals for processing.
These small thoughtful changes can make your clothing last longer as well as help the environment by reducing waste and pollution in the environment – and you’ll save a pretty penny by dressing more sustainably, too!