Tips to Make Your Wardrobe More Sustainable

One way to help the planet is to be mindful of your wardrobe. Over the last couple of years, sustainable fashion has come to the forefront.

“I mean, knowing how much clothing is wasted and thrown out, it’s a sad thing,” said Elizabeth Woodward, Owner of Restock Resale Thrift Shop.

The environmental protection agency estimates that 13.1 million tons of clothing are thrown out each year, and only 15% of that is recovered for reuse or recycling.

But you can help lower this number by thinking about sustainability when you shop for clothes.

Usha Chowdhary is a fashion merchandising and design professor at Central Michigan University. She says a great place to start making your wardrobe more eco-friendly is making sure the fabrics are sustainable.

“Consider natural fibers, organic cotton, organic flax, and the wool and your hemp,” said Usha Chowdhary, fashion merchandising professor at Central Michigan University. “People are using that for clothing and accessories and even footwear.”

Another way is to think of quality over quantity.

Elizabeth Woodward owns the Restock Resale Thrift Shop in Johannesburg.

“The fast clothing? They make it get it out really fast, and they do it for jobs. They do it for, you know, the money. But in reality, a lot of that cheap clothing and stuff gets thrown out quickly,” said Woodward.

You don’t need to buy new to have higher quality vintage clothing is usually a higher thread count.

“You see, it lasts a lot longer. If you look at vintage clothing, its stitching is absolutely beautiful. It holds up,” said Woodward. “I mean, you might find vintage clothing that has, you know, stains and things on it, but people are still wearing it. You know, loving it. It’s it’s beautiful.”

And the place to find vintage items is at a thrift shop.

“I feel like more than any time; it’s really important right now for people to be shopping at thrift stores. It’s one of those things where a lot of people don’t consider the amount of clothing more than anything that gets thrown out in the garbage,” said Woodward. “If you think about how much of an impact it makes when you reuse clothing specifically, it makes a huge difference.”

“Another thing is if you buy from the thrift stores and redesign it if you’re creative and can do that, and you can take, the bottom off one, then the top of that and create new design altogether. And you can be more innovative and creative in that part,” said Chowdhary.

But if you’re hesitant to buy used, here’s something to keep in mind.

“Everything is used in the sense when you’re buying a home. People have lived there before. You know, they flip it, they change it,  and I think that it is important to think about all aspects of thrifting,” said Woodward.

Categories: Earth Day