The fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters on the planet. Though we may not realize it, as purchasers of clothing, we have a role to play in the industry’s environmental footprint. One way to reduce our individual impact is to wear and maintain the clothes already in our closets.
Taking care of clothes requires understanding and independent research. For instance, it can be challenging to decode the combinations of fabrics on the care label. In recent years, the industry has shifted to more innovative fabrics over resource-intensive ones. Some newer fabrics may include TENCEL® Lyocell, organic cotton, and Piñatex. These fabrics are recyclable fibers taken from old clothes to give them a new life. After you gauge what type of fabrics are already in your closet, begin to group them into similar bundles so you know what type of laundry detergent, wash cycles, and drying methods are needed for your garments.
Good On You, a website and app that is known for its sustainable and ethical fashion brand ratings, also has a variety of articles and expertise on how to take care of your clothes and remove stains ethically. For more help on how to wash different types of fabrics, you can also reference our previous blog post on DIY Tips.
How to get started on a sustainable or ethical wardrobe:
Building a capsule wardrobe may seem like a daunting task. Since 2015, the benchmark to consider when buying an item as if it would be worn for a minimum of 30 wears. The 30 Wears Challenge was coined by Eco Age co-founder Livia Firth and journalist Lucy Seigle. Since it was originally brought on in 2015, eco-activists have questioned if this is really a good benchmark for clothes to be seen as investment pieces.
“It was a very different fashion landscape back then, as there was much less awareness and fewer brands doing sustainable work,” Firth told Harper’s Bazaar in 2022. “So many people were coming up to me and asking me, ‘Where do I shop? What do I buy?’”
Whether it be for 30 wears or 30 years, the best option would be to pick versatile pieces that can be elevated and styled in many different ways. Trans-seasonal clothing are clothes that you can wear all year round. While living in Buffalo, you need clothing for all four seasons. When shopping for your capsule wardrobe, look for clothes that can carry you through multiple seasons. Jeans, T-shirts, classic dresses, timeless coats, and trousers will make for a much more sustainable wardrobe.
More and more brands have begun to see the importance of environmental and social responsibility, which means consumers no longer need to compromise on where to shop. Although sustainable clothing may cost more, you are likely to have it longer and have more incentive to take care of it. For any questions on how to properly take care of your clothing, feel free to contact us or schedule a repair with our seamstress Anne Marie Cascioli at our OP location.
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