Guest Post: 4 Best Ways to Green Your Closet
THE 4 BEST WAYS TO GREEN YOUR CLOSET
By Marci Zaroff
The average American consumer throws away 70 pounds of clothing every year, according to EPA estimates. The shift towards an eco-friendly world can start with your wardrobe, so this holiday season, challenge yourself to take a different approach when it comes to your shopping.
Below are four creative ways to green your closet:
1. Buy certified organic apparel
84% of Americans buy organic food at least occasionally, yet the organic movement doesn’t always come to mind when it comes to fashion. But just like conventional food, there are harmful chemicals in our clothing, detrimental to both human and environmental wellness.
Conventional cotton is grown with genetically modified seeds and heavily sprayed with toxic chemicals. It goes without saying that pesticides poison our air, water, and soil, but these chemicals (along with formaldehyde, heavy metals, and chlorine bleach often added during processing) can get absorbed through the skin, our largest organ and primary organ for absorption. Thus, it’s not just what we put in our bodies that matter; what we put on our bodies counts too.
Many ethically-minded brands are making organic a priority, without compromising style or quality, while adding values to value. Check out Under the Canopy, Stella McCartney, Amour Vert, and OuterKnown for eco-chic clothing and home goods. Visit consciously curated websites like Ethica, Modavanti, Reve en Vert, Helpsy, and Zady.
2. Join the Maker Movement
Fast fashion thrives on the premise that our style and our clothing should constantly be changing, which translates to cheaply made, throwaway clothing. It’s critical to cut way down on our buying-and-tossing of clothing: when purchasing new wares, look for durable, not disposable. In the meantime, you and your family may have wardrobes full of tired-looking clothing, but don’t just throw them out — get creative!
Sew elbow patches on an old sweater, cut jeans into shorts, or turn a scarf into a flowy top. It’s a fun and eco-friendly way to revamp your wardrobe and create unique pieces of clothing that no one else has.
3. Reuse, Recycle, Rent
The clothes we wear do influence the way we feel about ourselves, so if you’re stuck in a rut with the same old clothes, diversify your wardrobe by shopping at thrift stores or vintage stores. It’s better for your wallet — and the planet.
This goes the other way, too. If you’re thinking about getting rid of clothes, donate to Good Will or a thrift store, or do a clothing swap with a friend.
And if you’re looking for an outfit that you know will be worn only once or twice, rent it! Check out Rent the Runway or Mudd Jeans for affordable, well-made pieces available for one-time wear.
4. Rethink Laundry
For one month, try not to do any laundry except for underwear, socks, and athletic-wear. With the exception of these items, pretty much no clothing needs to be washed after only one wear, and some apparel (like denim) gets more comfortable the longer you go without washing it. If a piece of clothing really is dirty, put it in the hamper — but wait until the end of the month to wash. Chances are you won’t need it right away.
And, when you wash your clothes, save energy by washing in cold water and drying on a low setting — or, if you’re really committed, skip the dryer altogether and hang your clean laundry up on a drying rack.
The shift towards sustainability starts with a mindful modification of daily habits. Small, day-to-day changes can have a monumental impact in the long run, so join the movement towards a cool and conscious, smart and stylish world.