The next time you feel the urge to buy that extra dress, coz it might be useful someday – remember that our fashion choices can make a significant difference to the environment. How? Well, the fashion industry is one of the major sources of pollution – it adds to the solid waste that our cities have to deal with, and the production process puts pressure on natural resources. We’ve put together a list of things you can do differently, so you can dress green, reduce the carbon footprint of your wardrobe and maintain your fashion quotient. Here’re 9 eco friendly fashion ideas that can give a completely new look to your wardrobe.
- Subscribe to a Fashion magazine (online edition): Every fashion magazine has a section that gives you great advice on how to use what you already have, in different ways to ensure you’re always looking good, without wasting money. Keep a file of these pages, or stick them up on your walls. Just follow their advice.
- Create a Capsule Closet: A ‘Capsule Closet’ is all about Essentials. Map what you have to the season, and buy things that you can mix and match. It’s a smart way to save money and have an eco friendly fashion quotient. Check out #1 New York Times Bestseller Marie Kondo’s book – ‘The Life – Changing Magic Of Tidying Up: Japanese Art of De-Cluttering and Organizing’ or simply look up her method on ‘KonMari’ It’s all over the social media J
- Make a style statement with ‘Slow Fashion’: Fashion trends these days undergo a change at a phenomenal rate (read almost every 3 weeks). With a lot of international clothing brands available at throwaway prices, there’s a huge spike in the concept of ‘use and throw’, thereby leading to unbelievably large amount of textile waste. ‘Slow Fashion’ on the other hand promotes clothing that is versatile, classic and all weather which increases reusability and reduces waste, and also promotes the use of natural and Organic fabrics which end up being better for the environment. Instead of focusing purely on the buying and consumption, Slow Fashion requires consumers to pay attention to the entire lifecyle of an outfit. This is one of the great eco friendly fashion ideas that you should adopt.
- Know your fabrics: When considering fabrics, think about three things. If a fabric is biodegradable, whether it’s degradation process releases harmful chemicals into the environment, and how renewable the source of fabric is. Bamboo is particular, is a big hit as an eco-friendly fabric because it is highly renewable. Fabrics such as Cotton, Silk, Hemp, and Khadi all come from natural resources and are biodegradable so they are good. Whether the fabric harms the environment from a toxins standpoint can be determined by the farming practice itself. Is the source material Organically produced – or simple put is the fabric Organic in nature? Navigating the terminologies of eco-friendly materials is not easy, so be careful. Here’s a short guide to understanding the different terms.
- Clean with care: First of all, choose clothes that require minimal care – having a wardrobe full of clothes that require regular dry-cleaning is a bad idea. For your laundry, opt for green detergents. Look for Organic or Green detergents on major shopping sites like Amazon or at an Organic bazaar near you. Free of chemicals, they keep the garments from harm and since they don’t contain any fillers and artificial foaming agents, they conserve water. The drained water after washing clothes can even be used to water plants, as it doesn’t harm them.
- Go local: Support local brands, and locally developed clothing instead of imported ones – this will help reduce the overall carbon footprint especially the energy used during packaging and transportation.
- Create a ‘Swap Group’: Done wearing that outfit? Try swapping it with your sibling, cousin or friend. You will be surprised at the number of takers you find to swap with you your favorite pick from their wardrobe. This way, you get a new wardrobe, without any extra cost.
- DIY – Keep up with the trends: Before throwing away clothes, think of what else you can do with them. For example, denims, try and think of innovative ways you could use them. Fray them for starters to make your own pair of distressed denims, cut them into shorts or sew it into a bag. Here’s one way to do it. Or do this with an old tee.
- Invest in a funky tote: Use it as a shopping bag the next time you go out. You’ll save tons of paper bags, and trees!
And when you have too much, Donate! There are lots of NGOs out there that take old clothing, and put it to good use such as Goonj which creates sanitary pads for underprivileged women using waste fabric. Here’s a list of Goonj’s drop off centers.
We hope you can put some of these eco friendly fashion ideas to use, and we’d love to hear some of your thoughts as well.