Already most people are trying to do our part for the environment by using energy-saving appliances and recycling, but what if there was a way you could extend your efforts to your wardrobe. Although it might seem like another big adjustment, the same arguments apply; you save a lot of money, you improve your quality of life, and you do your part to save the planet. Believe it or not, it’s easier than you think to be a conscientious shopper. There is no reason why you can’t look fabulous while saving the Earth, and here are a few ways you can get started.
Green your laundry
According to Energy Star, the average household does almost 400 loads of laundry each year, consuming about 13,500 gallons of water. It takes more than buying an energy-efficient washing machine to have a real impact on the environment – although that is a great place to start. To make your laundry green, you can also try wearing outfits more than once before you throw them in your laundry sorters, use a concentrated detergent, wash some items by hand, and hang things out to dry instead of using a dryer. Finally, you could also use a green laundry detergent; traditional detergents can contain ingredients that aren’t good for you, your clothes, or aquatic ecosystems where the dirty water we wash down the drain can end up. Instead, look for labels that indicate a product is readily biodegradable, and made from plant- and vegetable-based ingredients (instead of petroleum-based). This means they’re healthier for the planet, and they’re often gentler on skin, too.
In the back of our minds, we know that the majority of our clothes are made from leather, fur, and wool, but we don’t think about the clothes-making process too much. Fortunately, you don’t have to shop in specialist stores to make sure your clothes are cruelty-free. All you have to do is read the label. Anything made from synthetic fabrics or polyester is 100 percent cruelty free. Mango, Zara, H&M, and Topshop are great examples of stores that make cruelty free and ethical clothing, proving that responsible choices are affordable, and accessible. There is even a growing market for vegetarian and vegan shoes, so choosing between durable shoes and being cruelty free might soon be a thing of the past.
Make them last longer
These days, clothes are made from cheap material that will inevitably wear out or tear within a few months of you buying the clothes – or sooner if it’s something you wear on a regular basis. Fifty years ago, women had the same wardrobe for years because they just repaired any holes themselves. The internet is full of guides to learn how to sew, or you can ask an older relative to teach you. It’s also easy to find a sewing machine to suit your budget. The cost might seem a little steep up front, but just think about how much you’ll save in clothes shopping.