Here are some simple tips to fill an environmentally-friendly closet with a wardrobe that looks great and lasts a long time:
- Shop second hand first. Buy pre-owned clothing from thrift shops, consignment shops, vintage sources, and online resale shops. Earth-friendly benefit: You’ll be reducing impacts on the environment and waste from the overproduction of new merchandise.
- Buy fewer clothes. Value what you buy. Buy clothes you know you will wear many times because they look good and fit well. With carefully chosen clothes, you can mix and match items to create many different looks.
- Invest only in clothes you really like and need. Consider not what is being pushed at you by fashion designers but instead look at your own style and what you want to communicate. Before you buy a new piece of clothing, consider if you have a similar piece in your wardrobe already.
- Shop locally. Buy from local shops for clothes, buy from local craftspeople to accessorize your outfits and use your neighbourhood tailor for adjustments. Earth-friendly benefit: Buying clothes locally reduces carbon emissions from shipping while supporting your local economy.
- Go natural. Buy clothing made with natural fabric fibers instead of synthetic fabrics. Natural alternatives to synthetic fabrics include cotton, linen, bamboo, flax, jute, silk, wool, and alpaca.
- Buy organic. Buy clothing made with organic fabrics when you can. Earth-friendly benefit: You’ll play a part in reducing the use of pesticides and herbicides as well as keeping the Earth’s water sources clean.
- Shop sustainable brands. Choose ethical brands that care about the environment, pay their workers fairly, and are transparent across their entire supply chain – not just one part. Many companies promote certain clothing lines as having been made with renewable materials, but still use unethical labour practices to make the clothing. Make sure to do your research on a brand before you buy from them.
- Shop for quality over quantity. Higher quality pieces often last longer. Check the workmanship of your clothing. Check seams and zippers. Shop with durability in mind even if it is somewhat more costly. Investing in well-made clothes will save you money in the long run by not having to keep replacing items.
- Buy from designers who will repair their garments for free or for a small fee. High-quality items usually have lifetime guarantees or are made to be repairable. On the other hand, trendy, low-quality items are sometimes made to last one season and be thrown away.
- Buy from designers or organizations that are willing to take back their used garments and recycle them or find responsible organizations that will recycle. They may even give credit or cash back for your used clothes.
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