Ethical Wardrobe: How Careful Selection Of Clothes Can Help The Environment

Ethical Wardrobe: How Careful Selection Of Clothes Can Help The Environment
Ethical Wardrobe: How Careful Selection Of Clothes Can Help The Environment

Every year, the ecotrend in the context of fashion is becoming more sustainable: large mass-market brands from H&M to Mango release capsule eco-collections every season, fashion conglomerates like Kering, which owns Gucci, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney and others, create programs to support ethical production, the stars of the first Echelons take to the carpet in dresses made from recycled garbage (as Emma Watson did when she appeared at the 2016 Met Gala in an organic cotton outfit), and small ecolabels gain weight every day.

Such initiatives are the response of the fashion industry, recognized as the second largest in the world in negative impact on the environment after oil, to changes in the minds of consumers who are now not indifferent to what their clothes are made of and how much water was used to produce one cotton T-shirt (answer - before 2700 liters). The question arises: how realistic is it to adhere to ethical consumption, without going into asceticism?

Of course, it is almost impossible to completely eliminate the negative impact on the environment while living in a metropolis. Nevertheless, it is possible to reduce the damage caused, at least within reasonable limits, and it is not at all necessary to sacrifice the desire to dress beautifully.

Less is better, but better

Think, why do you need 10 identical and not very high-quality dresses, if you can buy one that will fit perfectly, last longer and bring you more positive emotions? The notion of curated wardrobe (a carefully selected wardrobe) has replaced the uncontrolled consumption of the 2000s and is gathering more and more adepts. The bottom line is that it is much more efficient to have fewer items of clothing in your arsenal, but each of them will be an exemplary representative of their own kind. Choose carefully and don't make impulsive purchases, choosing quality over quantity.

Know how to get rid of unnecessary things

From time to time it is worth arranging a total cleanup of your wardrobe, getting rid of things that have lost their presentable appearance or that you simply do not wear. The former can be handed over to clothing collection points for recycling (there are, for example, in H&M and Uniqlo stores), the latter can be donated to charity, taken to an exchange party (“swap”), or sold. Surely there are a lot of things in your wardrobe that you are sorry to part with, while deep down you know that you are unlikely to ever wear them.

Photo: Crew / Unsplash
Photo: Crew / Unsplash

© Crew / Unsplash

Avoid unnatural fabrics

Quite frankly, none of the fabrics used by the fashion industry can be considered 100 percent sustainable: even natural materials like cotton, linen or silk, and semi-natural materials like viscose, tensel or modal, which could theoretically be considered food waste when making clothes. go through various stages of toxic processing like painting or printing - burying or burning such things without harm to the environment will not work. However, unnatural materials such as polyester, nylon or acrylic are even more dangerous: they take several hundred years to decompose. It turns out that it is better to choose the lesser of two evils.

Don't be squeamish about vintage shops and resale outlets

By buying clothes that someone bought or wore before you, you give old things a new life - instead of ending up in a trash heap, they will last several more years. The idea may seem dubious to some, but in fact, many vintage items or second-hand items look completely new and do not cause disgust (besides, it is customary to thoroughly clean them before selling them). And most modern stores specializing in reselling clothes look like full-fledged multi-brands - take at least and

Get to know ethical brands

As already mentioned, every year there are more and more brands that are committed to ethical production - most of them are very small, with a predominantly basic assortment of clothing. These are, for example, the well-known brand Organic by John Patrick, which produces items from organic cotton and recycled polyester, and the Los Angeles brand Reformation, which makes clothes from textile waste and vintage fabrics, and the Ukrainian brand RCR Khomenko, and adherents of Scandinavian minimalism Kowtow, and Shaina Mote with an incredibly beautiful Instagram account. Each of these brands completely destroys the stereotype that eco-clothes are exclusively nondescript hemp fiber hoodies.

Give mass market eco-lines a chance

Critically, the eco-lines of mass-market giants can hardly be called ethical: for example, H&M uses only 0.1% of the raw materials obtained from clothing collections in the production of the Conscious collection, while continuing to produce more than 600 million units of goods per year for its main lines. However, if you do not have the ability or desire to buy clothes from full-fledged eco-brands (after all, prices for most of them are higher than average), opting for mass-market items made with ethical principles in mind can be an alternative. In addition to H&M, these are released by Mango (Committed), Zara (Join Life), Cos and others.>

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