The more money we can save, the less time we have to spend earning more money, to achieve our goals:
Clothes may not seem like the most wasteful item we own. After all, we wear them for a decent amount of time, then we throw them away. Are there more sustainable approaches to clothing that can waste less and save money? Can it also be done by using environmentally friendly materials?
If you source them from the right place, used clothing can be a great option and as they have already been used by someone, it makes them more sustainable. Charity shops are great for this because they are very strict about what they sell. They will ensure that this item is clean and in good condition. Producing clothing does take a lot from the environment so buying second-hand clothes helps to reduce its impact.
There are a few tips for making your clothing care more sustainable:
Don’t wash your clothes every time you wear them
Modern materials are pretty durable which means you don’t need to wash them every time you wear them unless there’s a stain or something specific that needs cleaning. Washing and ironing use a lot of energy.
Line dry as much as possible
Tumble dryers use a huge amount of electricity and don’t always create the freshest smelling clothes. Where possible line-dry your clothes and let the fresh air do the work for you. One tip is to use a little less detergent to make sure they are well-rinsed before hanging them to dry.
Avoid dry cleaning
The worst way of cleaning clothes is dry cleaning, using loads of harsh chemicals and resources. Most clothes now don’t need dry cleaning so avoid it as much as possible. When choosing new clothes, aim for ones that can be washed normally.
If you do have dry cleaning only clothes, see if you can use a spot treatment on any stains, to reduce the number of times that you need dry clean them. A gentle hand wash with some liquid soap can often do a good job and then leave them to air dry.
Use an Energy Efficient Washing Machine
When you are looking for a new washing machine, hunt down one that saves the most resources – both electricity and water. Front-loading washing machines generally use less water and are gentler on clothing. Every wash slightly damages the fibres so the fewer the washes, the longer the clothes last.
The other area you can consider is the actual material in the clothing. Some materials are more sustainable than others. Here are a few ideas:
Look at hemp
Hemp is one of the top sustainable materials because it doesn’t need any pesticides to grow or chemicals to process it into clothing. It’s a highly durable material and tops most lists of environmentally friendly fabrics.
Ethically produced clothing
Vegan, artisan, locally produced or organic are all examples of ethically produced clothing that are very sustainable and avoid pollution and animal testing. Often these clothes are well made and can last a long time, too.
Read up on cotton
Cotton is everywhere but not all cotton is equal. Look at the information on the cotton and watch for ethically produced cotton that avoids chemicals and pesticides in its production.
These ideas show that you can be fashion conscious and still be environmentally friendly. By choosing clothing that has the right materials, washing them in sustainable ways and even using second-hand clothes. All the while, you can still dress and look great!