Green is everyone’s color when it comes to clothing trends. Now more than ever consumers are shopping for brands that have sustainable and ethical values. The fashion industry is becoming more environmentally friendly and here’s how you can help.
Patagonia Pioneers Sustainable Fashion
It started with fleece made from post-consumer recycled plastic soda bottles. Today Patagonia is making clothes with organic cotton, nontoxic wool, nontoxic hemp, recycled nylon and recycled polyester. Organic cotton is grown without synthetic chemical fertilizers so its healthy on your skin. Nontoxic wool and hemp are processed without harsh pesticides and chemicals. Recycled fabrics reduce the carbon footprint from manufacturing fabrics and reuse recycled materials including bottles, roof tiles, and drywall.
Patagonia is one of the leaders in green clothing. They offer several nontoxic products that are stylish and better for the environment. Their eco-friendly products don’t compromise on quality either. The green sweatshirts, pants, hats and t-shirts are as durable as any other clothing line. Recently, the company has opened stores nationwide to sell used Patagonia clothing items. They’re also investing in repair services to help consumers get more use out of their clothes.
Minimizing the gas emissions from the factories that produce the clothing is another consideration when it comes to eco-friendly clothing. From production to transportation, the fashion industry leaves a large carbon footprint. Every time the clothing is shipped, it contributes gas emissions to the global carbon footprint. Companies that use locally sourced materials reduce this effect on the environment. Maximizing transportation efficiency is another way to minimize emissions from transportation. Reducing packaging waste is another area where the fashion industry is looking to improve.
Clothing brands that value sustainability also consider ethical sourcing and the labor conditions of their workers. The clothing industry is notorious for employing underpaid, overworked people. Support the companies that invest in their employees at every level.
So How Can I Help?
Washing your clothes in lower temperatures and drying them on a clothes line are ways you can get involved in sustainable fashion practices. If your clothes aren’t dirty or smelly, re-wear them to cut back on energy and water use. Avoid fast-fashion, buy a sustainable wardrobe instead. High-quality clothes will last longer, even though they might cost more upfront. Shop locally and shop second-hand. On the other side of that, don’t just throw away clothes when you’re tired of wearing them. Donate them to a second-hand store or give them away as hand-me-downs. Make your sustainability efforts known. The more people understand about reducing their environmental fashion footprint, the more we can make a difference.
An easy way to reduce your wardrobe’s carbon footprint is to wear and reward the clothes you have. By reducing your shopping trips, you’re also reducing the gas emissions and waste output that are required to mass produce clothing. Eco-experts suggest repairing the clothes you have and repurposing them by mixing and matching your outfits. Look for second-hand deals and hand me downs. When your clothes are worn beyond repair, reuse them around the house as rags.
Patagonia isn’t the only brand that prioritizes sustainability. Amour Vert, Threads for Thought, and People Tree are just some of the many companies that want to make fashion for environmentally friendly. Websites like Good Cloth provide an outlet for consumers to shop for accessories, clothing, and handbags. Wherever your style, there’s an eco-friendly alternative to make your wardrobe more sustainable.