Fast fashion, cheap clothes, and impulse purchases often don’t fit very well or stand the test of time. They end up piling up in our closets–and eventually in landfills–and add stress to our lives (today I WILL clean out my closet and drop clothes off for donation!). Not to mention all the money we could have saved!
The production of too many clothes that go unworn or thrown away is a growing burden on the world via toxic water, bad labor conditions, and increased emissions. Did you know that clothing alone contributes 10 percent to our global emissions?
Thankfully, awareness–and choices–for better clothing options are on the rise.
If you’re giving the gift of a new outfit to yourself or someone else, you can take the opportunity to buy clothes that will have a positive impact on people and the world.
Here are a few ideas for buying and giving clothes that will help us all spring forward toward a healthier mindset, lifestyle, and planet:
- Buy from ethical, transparent makers and brands. Vote for better working conditions for people around the world by buying from clothing brands that treat workers fairly. Look for labels such as “Fair Trade”.
- Buy clothes made with organic, sustainable fabrics. Choosing these fabrics helps improve air quality and protect water resources. And make sure to avoid non-organic denim, synthetic fabrics like polyester, and fabrics like rayon that are made unsustainably.
- Buy high-quality goods that will last. Even if the initial cost is higher, high-quality clothes will last longer and thus can lower costs over time, both for you and for the world.
Also, don’t forget that you can buy used and vintage clothes, or take clothes you already own–but don’t wear because of how they fit–to a local tailor to customize them for you.
Shifting my perspective on clothing purchases has been transformative. Not only do I have less “stuff” weighing me down, I now have clothes that feel and look better, and I have more money! Because even though each item may cost a bit more, I buy way fewer items that I don’t need or want. I’ll call that a win-win!
P.S. If you want help finding out about your favorite brands–or with discovering new ones–there’s an app for that! Check out the Good On You app that gives you “trusted ethical ratings in the palm of your hand” and helps you “shop your values.”
Let me know in the comments if you’ve found some great brands that are sustainable, ethical, and transparent that I should feature here!