5 ways to be more environmentally conscious with your clothes
Clothes and fashion are a big part of our lives. How we dress can be an extension of our personalities, and can help tell the story of who we are. But the way the apparel industry designs, makes and discard clothes has a huge environmental impact on our planet. Everyone associated with the industry needs to work on being environmentally conscious with our clothes, to start making a positive environmental impact for the long term.
Producing clothes requires toxic chemicals and produces climate-changing emissions.The apparel industry and everyone associated with it to work on being environmentally conscious with our clothes in order to start making a positive environmental impact for the long term.
Clothing, fashion, and style have always been a part of our cultures and identities… and will be forever.
But unfortunately, there is a big problem.
The numbers are in, and the fashion industry is one of the planet’s biggest contributors to climate change.
Whether it’s using chemicals and dyes in the production of clothes or pumping millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere during transport, the textile industry needs to change dramatically if we’re to help save the planet.
One way to do that is through the consumer.
As people become more environmentally conscious, they are making a concerted effort to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Here are 5 ways to help with sustainability when it comes to clothes.
Repair your old clothes
Just because something’s broke doesn’t mean it’s useless.
Repairing old clothes is a great way to cut down on consumerism. A broken zip or a popped button on an old pair of jeans can be fixed easily enough, even if you’ve never tried before.
There are literally millions of videos and tutorials on YouTube on how to sew and repair clothing, but even if it’s too much for the layman, a good tailor or seamstress can repair almost anything.
Old shoes can be resoled or re-heeled, and even a bit of shoe polish can give them a new lease of life.
Swap or donate your old clothes
Swapping clothes with strangers is now becoming commonplace, with Apps like Poshmark allowing you to link with other users who share your size, shape and sense of style.
On a more sociable note, clothes swapping parties are now also becoming popular, with friends and colleges getting together for an afternoon and sharing old clothes they no longer need or fit.
And of course, if you do have a pile of clothes you no longer wear, instead of throwing them out so they head straight to a landfill, you can donate to charity.
Giving your old clothes to thrift stores isn’t the only thing you can do – you can buy your clothes there too.
Charity shops and thrift stores are filled with hidden treasures. It may take some searching but that’s all part of the experience!
Remember, if you’re giving your clothes to charity, then that means there are others just like you doing the same. People with the same fashion sense donating clothes which have hardly been worn.
If searching through these stores isn’t your thing, there are plenty of ways to buy pre-loved clothes online. From eBay, TradeMe, and Facebook, through to specially designed Apps which were made specifically for buying and selling clothes.
Buy green in the first place
There are plenty of companies out there which are environmentally conscious to begin with, or at least are trying to be.
Some brands are changing their ways to keep up with the change in the times, striving to be more socially aware, while some are actively encouraging customers to recycle clothes by offering incentives.
When buying clothes, make an effort to buy from companies which are actively trying to fight climate change and support the planet by using more sustainable practices and fewer pollutants.
Natural fibres and organic cotton are easier on Mother Nature when it comes to returning to the earth, so if you can, try to buy these instead of chemically treated or blended fibres.
If you’re convinced your clothes can’t be saved, that no one would want an old, stained football T-shirt with holes in it (you’re probably right), then recycle it instead of simply throwing it out.
Clothing that can’t be sold or given away should be taken to an official textile recycling centre. Here, they will often be turned into building materials, cleaning rags or even more new clothes.
Being environmentally conscious and sustainable is the future
Consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious with their choices, and not just when it comes to buying clothes.
Social awareness, sustainability, environmentalism… these are not simply buzzwords but rather a change in society, and one that the younger generations are taking up with full gusto.
Business is also reacting to this change, with sustainability becoming a core component of their brand.
At immago, we strongly believe that every aspect of the production chain needs to change – from sourcing of raw materials to the shopping habits of consumers.
But no matter what the future holds for the textile and fashion industries, we will be here to help our clients adapt.
Contact us today if you would like to know more about how we can help you prepare for a future of more environmentally conscious consumers.