Around the globe, people are becoming more aware of what is happening to the environment more than ever. As we see multitudes of articles explaining that man-made industries are the main causes of pollution, deforestation, species extinction, etc, many of us are looking for ways that we can incorporate more sustainable or eco-friendly habits into our everyday life. Since the apparel industry is the second largest polluting industry in the world (right behind the oil industry) one of the easiest lifestyle changes we can make as a society is to create a “greener” wardrobe and habits.
This article discusses simple changes and habits you can make to your Arizona boutique clothing wardrobe, from how you take care of your clothing to where you shop, without compromising cost or style.
Take Care Of What You Have
One of the main ways in which apparel can have a negative impact on the environment is that 3 out of 4 discarded items of clothing will either end up in a landfill or incinerated. To combat billions of clothes piling up in landfills it is essential that we take care of clothing in order to keep them as long as possible. There are some simple changes we can all make that are cost-effective, good for the environment and will help to make the clothes you love so much last longer. These include:
- Try to avoid clothing that is labeled “dry clean only” or “permanent press”. The process to clean these items of clothing takes a lot more energy and requires more chemicals than regular Arizona boutique clothing.
- Purchase “green” laundry detergent. These detergents have no harsh chemicals and do just as good of a job as cleaning your clothes as other detergents which may harm the environment and present potential health hazards.
- Wash clothes in cold water and hang dry whenever possible. This cuts down on your energy bill, the amount of water used and can extend the life of your clothing.
- If you have an item of clothing in Arizona that is getting holes, you don’t have to throw it out! Quality items that you love can be mended by a tailor. Even your shoes can be taken to a cobbler to re-sole them as needed. This will help you save money in the long run and cut down on waste.
Give Thrifting a Try
It may be obvious, but one of the best ways to create a more environmentally friendly wardrobe is by not buying all of your wardrobe brand new. There are some great thrift shops, consignment stores and Arizona clothing boutiques that are treasure troves of gently used clothing. By purchasing clothes that have been used, rather than new items every time you go shopping, you can help to reduce the production of new clothing items. Women have even created entire fashion empires from selling thrifted and shoes (hello, side-hustle). The next time you have an afternoon to go shopping, check out your local vintage and thrift stores, you never know what forgotten gems you may find.
Above all, being intentional with all of our purchases from shoes, shirts, cleaning supplies, furniture, food, etc, is one of the greatest adjustments as consumers we can do to help the environment and create a more eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle. Being intentional with our Arizona boutique clothing choices means performing one or more of the following:
- Educate yourself. This means researching and understanding where your clothes come from, how they are made, the materials that are used and so on.
- If possible buy local. Buying clothing that is made in the U.S. not only helps our economy but reduces pollution caused by transportation.
- Choose eco-conscious brands when you can.
- The 30 wears test. Before purchasing an item, Livia Firth, the founder of Eco Age encourages us to ask ourselves if we would wear an item 30 times before purchasing it. If the answer is no, don’t buy it.
- Choose pieces that are versatile and can be worn throughout different seasons. Buy classic items that will stand the test of time and go together (think capsule wardrobe, but with fewer rules).
- Give yourself some grace. Creating a greener wardrobe isn’t about being perfect. You’re not always going to be able to buy the most environmentally friendly piece of clothing at an Arizona clothing boutique and that’s ok.