For the fashion lover in us, it can feel like it’s impossible to remain eco-friendly without sporting an entire wardrobe of hemp-based clothing. Stop right there. While hemp clothing is the quintessential vision of a green wardrobe, it’s not the only way to support the environment while remaining true to yourself and your style.
It can feel like it’s near impossible to be 100% green – and you’re right. Especially in today’s fashion industry, where materials are controversial, chemicals are toxic and labourers are exploited, not to mention the amount of energy it takes to create garments. But making better choices fashion-wise will help you help the earth, and its people, just a little bit more.
The goal is to create as little waste as possible, so instead of splurging on a new wardrobe, try shopping at a thrift or consignment store, or shop in friends or family’s wardrobes.
One man’s trash is another’s treasure, and that dress that didn’t just quite fit your BFF right may look perfect on you!
If you are buying brand-new clothing, it’s time to shop smart. Besides just supporting your community of artisans and designers, buying local is the best way to reduce environmental impact.
Local businesses usually take up less land and resources, and tend to make local purchases or use local supplies. Not only are you supporting designers, but you’re supporting local companies AND putting money into the economy. Talk about a win/win!
EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR CLOTHES:
Regardless of if you spent $100 or $1000 on an item, you should be laundering your clothes with care. No, this doesn’t mean sending every item to expensive drycleaners – but instead, wash with cold instead of warm or hot water, and be gentler on your pieces (and the environment) by hang drying instead of using a machine.
For clothing that starts to show it’s wear, try to fix any rips or holes (yourself or through a local seamstress!) instead of just buying something new. If the clothes are too far gone to save, try to up-cycle your pieces and use the textures, fabrics and material from the damaged item to create something else.
Reusable shopping bags are often only considered when you’re heading to pick up groceries – but you should be using these when shopping for clothes and other items too!
Make sure to store a bag in your handbag or car for easy access, and tell the cashier you don’t need the plastic bag.
LEARN ABOUT THE BRANDS
When you shop at a brand, you’re not just buying their items, you’re also giving an indirect seal of approval on the store. That means more than just its clothing, but its environmental practices too.
Do some research before you shop the next time, and ensure that you’d be proud of the brand the same way you’re proudly presenting its clothing.