Eco-friendly Clothing

PaulGoyette/Wikimedia Commons


Whether its the water used in leather processing, or the working conditions of the people who make our clothes, the apparel industry has environmental and social impacts. But there are things we can do to make it better. Here are some tips for greening your wardrobe:

  • Buy resale or consignment. Visit your local resale shop to find unique fashions without breaking the bank. Places like Goodwill, Salvation Army and Buffalo Exchange have unique items at low prices, and keep clothing out of landfills.
  • Check the label. Avoid clothing that requires dry cleaning. Natural fibers are often easier to care for at home. They can be washed in cool water and hung out to dry, reducing chemical use and energy, too.
  • Buy natural fibers. Many synthetic fabrics have been found to release microplastics into our waterways. Companies are developing bags to keep synthetics from shedding in the wash, but buy natural fibers - cotton, wool, hemp, silk - when possible.
  • Dress down. Fancier outfits seem to require more dry cleaning than casual wear. Encourage your office to implement a "casual day" on Fridays.
  • Recycle. Don't toss your old togs in the trash. Donate them to a resale shop or a charity drop-off box, or throw a yard sale. Even your old tennis shoes can be recycled at many Nike Stores to be recycled into new products. 
  • Wash Sparingly. Levi Strauss' CEO Chip Bergh and designer Tommy Hilfiger have both advised their customers to refrain from washing, at all. Even if the no-wash treatment isn't for you, chances are your clothes could handle several wearings before washing. You'll save water, and the life of your clothes. 



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I would like to add: "buy eco-friendly clothing that has a smaller carbon footprint by searching for clothing made and shipped locally whenever possible."

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