You’ve heard sustainable fashion is important for the environment. I’m breaking it down for you and explaining why it’s important. How we shop and care for our clothing is one of many ways we can we can reduce our carbon footprints and protect our water sources, the earth, and improve our health. It’s also important to start small with sustainable style. Below I’m sharing 10 tips to green your style this Earth Day.
WHY SUSTAINABLE CLOTHING IS A MUST
Fast fashion items often undergo a long and intense chemical process before ending up on our hangers. There are around 8,000 different synthetic chemicals used to dye, bleach and process garments. Those chemicals often cause diseases or even deaths among farmers and inflict serious birth defects on their children.
Some of these chemicals pose a real danger to our health as well, as our skin absorbs anything we put on it, including the chemicals in our clothes. Make sure to always wash new clothes before putting them on for the first time or try to buy organic fabrics when possible.
SUSTAINABLE FASHION TEACHES US HOW TO LOVE OUR CLOTHES AGAIN
It is just so easy to look at a gorgeous, finished piece of clothing in a store and forget that there’s a story and lifecycle behind it. When you shop and style with intention you’re more mindful of what you’re putting on your body and building a more sustainable closet, a true reflection of your personal style. Truth is, despite being a stylist, I don’t shop very often. I mix and match pieces and purchase investment items that I use year after year which has led me to be a conscious consumer. Sharing of the downsides of fast-fashion industry will hopefully lead to more people becoming mindful shoppers.
Thinking about it. When a summer dress is $4.00 that implies that is workers are not making a fair wage, the company is making a profit and the dress is very bad for the planet (I’m looking at you Shein!).
It’s time to recognize the impact of our buying decisions. Not as an inconsequential part of our modern lifestyles that changes with every season, but as an environmental and human responsibility that could greatly affect the future of our planet. At the end of the day, we can choose if we want to be part of the problem, or part of the solution.
BE THE CHANGE
Since clothing plays a big role in our daily lives, it’s an extremely accessible avenue for us all to affect change. Even if we may not be able to control the ongoings of a fashion company directly, we CAN educate ourselves, raise awareness on who made our clothes, what they’re made of and how their production impacts people and the planet.
10 SUSTAINABLE STYLE TIPS TO GREEN YOUR STYLE THIS EARTH DAY
- Shop locally. You’ll reduce carbon emissions. Bonus: you’ll support your local economy. Local LA based brands I love Baacal & Poplinen.
- Go organic: Buy clothing made with organic fabrics when you can. Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll play a small part in reducing pesticide use and keeping the earth and our water sources clean.
- Go natural: Buy clothing made with natural fabric fibers instead of synthetic fabrics. Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll reduce the amount of micro-plastics in our water sources that come from synthetic fibers that shed during washes. It’s so awful for the air you breathe, your skin and the fishes too!
- Support sustainable brands. Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll be taking business away from polluting companies (Nike, Shein, H&M, Zara) in favor of ones who care about people and the planet.
- Donate, don’t throw out: One person’s trash is another’s treasure tip #1: Donate unwanted clothing to thrift stores or local shelters instead of throwing them out. Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll divert waste from landfills. Bonus: you’ll support your local community.
- Swap with friends and neighbors: One person’s trash is another’s treasure tip #2: Host a clothing swap with friends. Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll divert waste from landfills. A shopping party is a great way to find new treasures.
- Sell wanted clothing: Sell your clothing on Poshmark, eBay and Instagram. Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll divert waste from landfills. Bonus: you’ll earn money to buy something new.
- Save water when washing. Wash clothing only when necessary. Trust me, so many items can be worn multiple times before they need to be washed. You’ll save water and energy.
- Use earth-friendly detergents: Use laundry detergent without harmful, petrochemicals (petroleum-derived). You’ll play a small part in reducing toxins from entering our water and environment and reduce your carbon footprint.
- Think twice about dry-cleaning. If it’s necessary to dry-clean your clothing, chose a dry cleaner that uses environmentally-friendly cleaning solutions and bring your own reusable bag return your hangers. Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll play a small part in keeping toxins from our environment and reduce plastic pollution.
- Drip dry. Hang clothes to dry outdoors on a clothing line or a drying rack (or on a drying rack in the bathtub).You’ll save energy and there is less wear and tear on your clothing.
- Reuse and repurpose worn or unwanted clothing. Use old t-shirts and other worn items as rags and you’ll divert waste from landfills and save on paper.
- Upcycle clothing. You can work wonders with a pair of scissors and a needle and thread and give new life to an old garment.
- Shop secondhand first. Buy pre-owned clothing from thrift shops, consignment shops, vintage sources, and online resale shops, from eBay, Poshmark and the RealReal. You’ll save a ton on investment pieces, keep clothing out of landfills and reduce emissions.
What are you favorite go-green tips? Let me know below and Happy Earth Day!
Don’t forget to shop The Jenny Bag! A portion of proceeds go towards The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention!