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Eco-Friendly Fashion: How To Detox Your Wardrobe

Last updated on : November 07 2018

eco fashion

Fashions Ecological Price

More and more research finds that manufacturing clothes comes at a tremendous environmental cost.  

Quickly changing fashion trends means the items you buy go out of fashion fast, leading to excessive waste. Additionally, some mass clothing producers keep in mind that clothes have a limited shelf life, and often compromise on quality as a result.

Greenpeace warns that clothes producers use a variety of toxic chemicals in their fabrics and dyes. During production, these chemicals slip away into the environment, primarily in water, damaging the ecosystems present in it.

All in all, it would appear as though a person’s love for fashion and their concern for the environment cannot align.

Fortunately, this is not true. Just by taking up a few conscientious practices, you can wear clothes that you love, without compromising on the environment. 

Much as your body needs a detox to rid itself of toxic waste, your wardrobe needs one too. As you will soon find out, this is good for the environment and your overall health.

Here are some steps you can take

Invest In Recycled, Organic Or Eco-Friendly

recycling stamp on sustainable organic cloth

Any product that has been manufactured, produced, used or disposed of without harming the environment is considered eco-friendly or ethical. Eco-friendly or green products reduce pollution and cause minimal harm to the environment and people.

Recycling is a vital process in sustaining our environment. It reduces the need to use landfills, it decreases pressure on using raw or virgin materials, and it reduces the cost of transport - saving energy and creating less pollution in the process. 

Recycling in the Fashion Industry

Fashion creators increasingly use recycled fabric for their creations these days, for example, Armani Jeans and Marks And Spencers use recycled polyester made out of recycled bottles. Armani Jeans have incorporated eco-friendly fabrics since the early 1990’s in their fair trade practices.

Levi’s, the leading denim brand since 1853, has taken severe measures to reduce water consumption. It uses 100% recycled water and 21 different techniques to recycle. It estimated to save close to 50 billion liters of water by the year 2020. 

Levi focuses on being environment-friendly and works to raise the economic standard of farmers and to improve labor around the world. Along with other organizations, Levi’s partners with third world countries to train farmers on how to use less water to grow cotton and to work toward yielding more organic crops.  

Organic Designers

Ace designer, Stella McCartney, sets an example in the fashion industry for going green and is the first designer to embody sustainable fashion in her business. McCartney ensures that she makes only eco-friendly dresses mainly out of organic cotton, hemp, and recycled polyester.

Her stores, offices, and studios are operated using green energy, and she is very vocal about not using any animal skin for the production of dresses or any other accessories. She also uses vegetarian leather and vegetable dyes and other eco-friendly products in her designs.

Anne Gorke is an authentic German fashion designer who ensures all her dresses are eco-friendly - non-toxic, no animal skins and additive-free. Her label ANNE GORKE was founded in the year 2012 and focuses on using organic materials that maintain a high standard in the production.

Designers Stina Anderson and Gigi Renee embrace up-cycling fashion to create t-shirts, handbags or pants and say that recycling is their crucial foundation. They use pre-consumer and post-consumer disposables or combine both to create their clothing and accessories. The duo also educates people on how to recycle or up-cycle by creating fashion out of waste.  

Many high fashion designers and boutiques take cues from eco-friendly designers like McCartney and Gorke. Since the early 2000s, we have begun to see a rise in designers and fashion brands utilizing organic and recycled materials.

Organic Labels

Various brands and stores are introducing sustainable fashion lines around the world. 

H&M the Swedish fashion retailer recently introduced clothes that are eco-friendly. The line features clothes made out of organic cotton, recycled polyester, and linens. They are the world's largest buyer of organic cotton and work to ensure their suppliers produce material made out of natural resources and fewer chemicals. 

As part of their social awareness campaign, close to 1500 of their stores collect old clothes (dropped in at the store). Some go to charity, some turned into new clothes or up-cycled, others recycled. High-end stores like H&M now encourage and carry green fashion.

It's not just fashion retailers and designer that are involved in the green trend. Many shoemakers have been eco-friendly for decades. 

For example, Timberland invests in ecological or environmentally friendly products regularly. The company has been an eco-friendly shoe and work boots giant for more than 40 decades. It works alongside its vendors and manufacturers to focus on style and eco-friendly products that consume less water and use recycled plastic bottles for making laces and linings. Additionally, they make their soles out of recycled rubbers and the cotton used is organic.

Eco-friendly goals and influencers are not limited to fashion designers and apparel manufacturers. 

Big box stores Ikea and Walmart promote and sell eco-friendly and eco-fashion products, in many aspects. They administer educational programs to farmers about how to produce eco-friendly plants. Many of their products sold are vegan, that means no animal skin or products, silk, feather, etc. A proportion of sales are given out as charity -  to save animals and also empower women.

Get Involved

 dress and pants icons with recycle logo

Giving back is no longer a simple trend but a tangible and realistic way of life

Through purpose and conviction, you are easily able to protect the environment without compromising your style and fashion sense. First be sure to explore the fashion lines, brands, and stores we’ve mentioned here, plus others similar. 

Next, contribute to sustainability by recycling, restyling, up styling, or re-fashioning your wardrobe regularly. 

Instead of shopping for a new pair of jeans every fall, consider wearing your old ones for a few more years. Embrace the power of donating as often as possible. You may also want to find consignment shops so that you can earn and give back at the same time.

For premium-grade, seasonal clothes, try storing them somewhere safe, such as your garage. An appropriate garage door service will insulate your garage for storage allowing you to save the clothes you cannot part with safely.

Here are a few other pointers to help you become more eco-friendly and fashionable.

Instead of looking for a new dress or outfits at the store remember that you are easily able to accomplish a new look by using creativity to accessorize your way into a new one.

  • Swap your existing clothes with your loved ones
  • Opt to invest in clothes oriented towards quality than quantity.
  • Say NO to plastic bags. Stop using plastic bags for shopping. Instead, buy cloth or cotton shopping bags that are eco-friendly. Most of the supermarkets have almost dropped or stopped giveaways in plastic bags and generally charge the public to stop using them.
  • Use recycled fabrics. If you are a designer and wish to create clothes, go for materials such as the aforementioned recycled polyester.
  • Use and search for unwanted factory rejects. These products will be thrown away otherwise.
  • Customize clothing and give it a second life. There are a host of blogs, vlogs, and videos dedicated to tutorials that give you an idea as to how to make “Do it Yourself” dress with eco-friendly products. Learn how to make anything from plastic bags to clothes.
  • Utilize your created products or sell them for a profit.
  • Buy and wear clothes that are recycled or from organic materials. A tag is always sealed to the garments with a logo to make it clear.

 

Conclusion 

An overflowing wardrobe is incredibly cumbersome. Instead of offering you options, it can make picking clothes a more difficult process. Worse, it can be bad for the environment.

If you're not already, begin detoxing your wardrobe today by adopting the simple practices outlined in this article. There are many fashion designers who have started to incorporate recycled fabrics and up-cycled clothes into their fashion lines. Join the trend and protect the environment for the next generation. 

Additionally, as we begin to pursue eco-friendly fashion, many more opportunities will arise. Designers are inspired to make more eco-friendly clothing and retailers to stock and feature them.

Awareness is key. Get involved with your local recycling center or eco-friendly fashion brand to join the movement today.

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About the Author

Sasithon Bella is the kewl in The Kewl Shop. Co-founder, chief buyer, bandage dress guru and a lot more. If you like what you see at The Kewl Shop it is because of Sasithon Bella. You might know her better as Sasi.

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