Sustainable. Eco-friendly. Low-waste. These are buzzwords all of us have been hearing for the past few years. We all know (hopefully) that global warming and the environmental crisis facing our world are very real and serious issues. It’s easy to feel helpless and that there isn’t anything we can do to change the course of our society. But the truth is small things can add up and once you start making one change you are inspired to make others. If we all had that attitude and approach we could reverse our earth’s decline faster than we thought possible.
What can we, specifically you and me, do to help? Let’s start where we are and make changes where we can. I am a clothing designer (check out my clothing brand here) and fashion lover so focusing on how my shopping and wardrobe can help is my first course of action. The good news? There are many ways you can contribute positively to helping our earth just by how you shop and manage your closet. Here are 5 easy steps you can take to do your part to help the environment by cultivating a more sustainable, eco-friendly and low-waste wardrobe.
Seek out Natural Fabrics
You know how plastics tend to sit in landfills and never disintegrate? Well that doesn’t just apply to packaged products but also synthetic clothing. Since synthetic fibers, which are used in 72 percent of clothing items, are non-biodegradable and made of plastic, they can sit in landfills for 200 years before they decompose. Opting for natural fabrics (cotton, linen, rayon, silk) not only feels better on your skin, it has a lower environmental impact both from its production and its disposal. This is very important to me for my brand, Magill. You will only find all natural fabrics in the collection, to ensure the highest quality and lowest environmental impact.
Buy Less and Buy Better
How much of your closet do you actually wear on a regular basis? If you’re like me, probably very little. It’s human nature to find favorites and stick to them. It’s also way easy to make decisions when there are less choices. Buying less doesn’t need to make you feel like you’re depriving yourself, focus instead on buying better quality. A clothing piece that is made from beautiful materials with an attention to detail is guaranteed to last longer than something cheap – find something you love, invest the money and take care of it!
Hand-wash When Possible
Along with investing in better clothing comes taking better care of the clothing you. It can be tempting to toss everything in the washing machine but this is not the way to make your clothes last. Dry-cleaning is not necessarily better however, causing it’s own environmental impacts and the cost. The solution? Hand wash and lay flat to dry. Clean out your bathroom sink, fill with warm soapy water and hand wash your delicate pieces. Invest in a dry rack and lay your items flat to air dry.
I am a huge fan of vintage and thrift shopping so you’ll never have to twist my arm to shop this way. The simple fact is any time you can buy fabric already in circulation vs. new you’re helping to reduce waste. You don’t have to go the vintage or thrift route either if that isn’t your style. The Real Real, Poshmark and second-hand Instagram accounts are all get ways to reduce your overall consumption by buying from others.
Give Life to Old Clothes
Here’s a staggering fact- The average person throws away 70 lbs of clothing a year. Before tossing your next piece of clothing away (that is still in good condition) think about whether you can give it some new life. Can you cut, dye, bleach, or sew it? Do you know anyone else who may want it? If nothing else, donate it to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.