This article includes paid for links about sustainable fabrics.
Be honest, how many clothing items do you have in your closet that you have never worn, and what is even worse, you will never wear in your life? They just sit there, collecting dust because you bought them on a shopping spree, and they looked sooo good on the mannequin. We are often tricked by fashion brands that persuade us with their clever advertisements that our old clothes are out of style and that we simply must buy something from the new collection.
This wouldn’t be an issue, except that this fast fashion is killing our planet. Okay, not by itself but it is a part of the problem. Landfills are full of ‘old’ clothes and if we don’t do something about it, our planet will soon be covered in never-worn shirts, jackets and pants. Another problem is that we are constantly buying items made from unsustainable materials. So how can you be more eco-friendly these days?
Sustainable fabrics you should buy
Linen and hemps
The best thing about linen is that it doesn’t grow on a fertile soil and doesn’t need pesticides to grow. It is one of the most eco-friendly fabrics you can buy, so be sure to check out the tag on your new shirt before you make the purchase.
Who doesn’t love sweaters made of wool? They are so warm and cozy and the perfect choice for cold winter nights. However, many other items are made of wool, such as Rockay Running Socks, fully sustainable sportswear apparel. But why is wool good for the planet? Well, it is rapidly renewable (thank you sheep), biodegradable, recyclable, and can be produced organically. So this could be a good choice in sustainable fabrics for you?
This fiber is a great alternative to viscose and is made from the pulp of trees. Therefore, since it can be recycled and is compostable and biodegradable because it is a cellulosic fiber, this is a very eco-friendly fiber. In addition, waste products from the manufacturing process are minimal and basically harmless.
Fabrics you should avoid
Polyester and nylon
Any kind of polyester causes pollution since it is made by using fossil fuels. Even recycled polyester is not a good option. It contributes to microfiber pollution because polyester sheds when you wash it, and where do those microfibers end up? In our oceans, of course, where the fish eat it. Afterwards, we eat the fish so it is basically a lose-lose-situation. However, you cannot always avoid this fabric, since a lot of weather-proof outdoor garments are made from it. Nevertheless, even if your sports attire is made or recycled polyester, doesn’t mean your sweater or your pants should be as well.
Maybe it sounds weird, but unless we are talking about organic cotton, this fabric is simply terrible. Not only does it require huge amounts of water, but it also gets attacked by a lot of pests so you need to use pesticides and fertilizers to grow it. On the other hand, organic cotton is more eco-friendly isn’t treated with pesticides and it can decompose easily.
Colorful faux fur
Yes, it is so soft, cute and can boost your every outfit, but it is harming our planet. It is completely synthetic and it quickly dates, so every year you have to buy a new one.
Here are some other things you can do to make our planet a better place:
Think before you act
Before you purchase and item, ask yourself whether you really need it. If your answer is no, move on and find something you will wear for years to come.
Do your research on sustainable fabrics
Don’t buy a product before you have done your homework about the brand. Find out where they produce their clothes, whether their employees receive fair wages and try to find out what they’re doing to save the planet.
Visit thrift shops
Do you need a new coat or a pair of jeans? Before you buy anything brand new, check out garage sales, thrift shops or groups on Facebook and see if you can find a second hand item you need. This way you will buy something that already exists and therefore doesn’t require new materials to be made.
Think before you wash your clothes
Contrary to popular belief, we really don’t need to wash our clothes after we have worn them just once. Unless you have been rolling in the mud, how dirty can they be? Therefore, wash only when needed and do it in cold water whenever possible.
With some simple lifestyle changes, you can decrease your environmental footprint and do our planet a huge favour.
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