The apparel industry is a leading source of pollution on the planet. Staggering amounts of water are used to make a single t-shirt that’s flown all over the globe for different stages of production before hitting some chain retail shelf for a few dollars. Hands that sew each individual garment often belong to a person earning slave wages and working in unsafe conditions. Many of the chemicals and dyes used to color and treat clothing are known carcinogens and hormone disruptors, directly absorbed into your bloodstream through your skin.
Do we have your attention yet? This week, we challenge ourselves to rethink our clothing choices. Here are 6 steps you can take to build a more forward- thinking, slow fashion closet. Break it up into small tasks throughout the week, or set aside for a less busy day.
Pull Together Your Entire Wardrobe
Divide it in to 4 groups, separated by fabric type:
- Natural Fibers: linen, cotton, wool, help, silk, ramie and jute
- Cellulose Fabrics: acetate, bamboo, rayon, modal
- Synthetics: acrylic, polyester and spandex
- Fabric Blends: combination of any of the above
Decide What To Keep
Think about what your clothes represent, and what you want to wear on your body. Natural fibers are better for the environment, our health, and safer for workers and manufacturers. Keep in mind that if you already own something and are using it, the more sustainable thing is to keep wearing it as long as you can, and to minimize the release of microplastics by limiting how much you wash the athletic wear and fleece.
Be realistic about which items you will use, and which ones are just taking up space.
Donate Unwanted Clothes Responsibly
Thrift outlets or rummage sales, the more local the better! Plan a clothing swap with friends, or a garage sale in your neighborhood! If possible, avoid nonprofit collection boxes unless you can confirm where the items are going. These often end up being shipped overseas where they disrupt local markets, or end up in the landfill.
Know Your Closet and Think Before Purchasing
With a simplified closet, you can remember what items you already have before buying more. Try buying or swapping for second hand items from thrift stores or swap events. Consider choosing from the natural fabrics list above for all new clothes. Select brands that source and manufacture ethically and sustainably.
If Your Do Choose to Transition Your Wardrobe to More Natural Fabrics…
…notice the comfort and the “feel” against your skin with all synthetics removed. Our bodies know!
Enjoy the Ease and Freedom of Creating More Space in your Closet…
…and your life! Having fewer clothes will save you time, money, and energy.