We all want to take care of the environment and reduce our impact on the world.
You’ll most likely have made changes to your lifestyle in recent years, reducing the amount of plastic you use and making an effort to reuse and recycle your products to avoid wastage.
However, one area of your life where you might not have considered being environmentally friendly is fashion.
More than two trillion gallons of water is used by the fashion industry every year, with 150 billion pieces of clothing ending up in the landfill.
What’s more, fashion production contributes an incredible 10% to the world’s carbon emissions, with some clothing items, like shoes, taking more than 1,000 years to decompose.
Certain materials are worse than others, of course, with polyester the biggest culprit, whilst wool and cotton may only take a year to break down, it takes between 20 and 200 years for a polyester top to decompose, leading to millions of tonnes of landfill waste made up of clothing items.
If you want to help to protect the environment, then you should start by thinking about your wardrobe. In this post, we take a look at how you can dress more environmentally-friendly.
Choose a product made from Merino Wool
The chances are you have yet to hear of merino wool, and that’s okay.
This material has grown in popularity in recent years and is now a popular choice for fashionistas who want to get the most out of their looks without damaging the environment.
Indeed, merino wool is biodegradable which makes it the perfect material for clothing.
In today’s throwaway fashion world, knowing that your garments will degrade over time gives you peace of mind and reassurance.
What’s more, when you purchase a product made from merino wool from a company such as Leona Creo, then you can enjoy a whole host of other benefits.
First, fibres in the wool are extremely fine and soft, making them perfect for everyday use, and they’re also breathable so that you can feel comfortable all day.
What’s more, the wool provides natural heating and cooling for the body, so you can wear garments in the summer and the winter, whilst the wool is also stain resistant and fire resistant.
Finally, the material offers UV protection from the sun.
Make your own clothes
We all have far too many outfits in our wardrobes, whether it’s dresses, skirts, t-shirts or jumpers – but rather than binning them or sending them off to a charity shop when we no longer want to wear them, consider making your own clothing items and accessories using leftover fabrics.
You don’t need to be an expert seamstress to convert an old dress into a comfortable nighty or a bag to use when visiting the supermarket – you just need some patience and a willingness to learn.
There are thousands of tutorials online, giving tips on how to make your own clothing items from old fabrics and accessories, and the best part is that it’s free.
With a needle and a thread, you can convert an old pair of jeans into a pouch for your makeup, or turn a knitted jumper into a one of a kind cushion to give to your friends or family for Christmas or a Birthday.
There are truly endless possibilities when it comes to making your own garments from unwanted items; sure, it might take you longer than buying an item from a fashion store, but you’ll appreciate it more because of the time and effort you’ve put into creating a beautiful garment made just for you.
Buy with caution
With discount fashion retailers offering dresses and skirts from as little as £5, it can be hard not to buy a new outfit for every special occasion.
But rather than splashing out on new dresses every time you’re going to a party or attending a special event, you should look for ways to reuse your old clothing, and only buy new clothing as and when you absolutely need it.
The chances are that your wardrobe is jam-packed with dresses, many of which you’ll only have worn once or twice in your lifetime.
Do an audit of your clothing and decide what pieces you need to wear more often; remember that you can jazz up an old jumper with a piece or ribbon or a new piece of fabric, and a little black dress can be given a makeover with a belt or a colourful pair of high-heeled shoes.
Play around with your options and see what works best; you might just be surprised at the results and find that you have more than enough clothing for every day.
So, the next time you visit the shopping mall and find yourself looking at a new dress, think twice and ask yourself whether you’re really going to get enough use out of it.
If we all buy fewer clothing items, there will be less fashion waste and we’ll help to protect the environment.
Choose eco-friendly cleaning options
Another reason why fashion is such a huge polluter is that of cleaning.
Every time we wash our clothing with harmful detergents and cleaning products, we’re putting more toxic chemicals into the environment and our oceans, and that’s bad for everyone involved.
Finding alternatives is a good idea, and the good news is that they are easier to find than you might think.
The most obvious is to wash in colder water, as almost 90 per cent of the energy used when washing clothes goes to heating water.
Next, reduce or reuse your laundry packaging – plastic bottles can be reused for storing liquids, for example, whilst boxes and cups can be reused by children to create toys and accessories.
Only washing when you have a full load is also a good idea, as this will make your washing cycle more energy-efficient.
Finally, whiten clothing using natural products such as lemon juice, rather than expensive and toxic whitening products.
Which of these techniques have you used before? Do let us know in the comments below!