While choosing organic, sustainable clothing can be very beneficial for us and our planet, much of it can also stretch the budget of any green glamourista because it requires compromise and extra cash. I want to share with you a few great tips to keep your closet and your wallet filled with green!
1. Buy vintage
You’re likely to find higher quality, more unique clothing at secondhand and vintage shops while saving the waste of precious resources in the production of new items. I love vintage shopping, arm yourself with patience and an eye for style and spend an afternoon on the hunt for vintage treasures.
Nothing beats a good bargain, especially when it involves saving the planet as well as your cash. Add your name to online green retailers’ mailing lists and watch for sales at your favorite local shops. I love thrift shops. Most thrift shops are a treasure chest of amazing clothes in every shape, style and color. “Preloved” clothes save money and reduce the use of new materials while keeping the old items out of the landfill.
3. Fix and Re-wear
Try taking a fresh look at what’s in your closet to see what can be fixed and what can be reconfigured into something great. Shop in your own closet and restyle old pieces to create a totally new look. Don’t be afraid to nip and tuck. Think of shortening hemlines, adding patches, and pulling apart old jeans to create one-of-a-kind eco-friendly pieces.
4. Pass it on and give it a second life
Did you know that the average American throws out 68 lb. of clothes and textiles each year? don't throw your clothes in the trash. Rather than sending last season’s clothes to the landfill, if you can’t use it, and none of your friends want it, pass it on to a local charity or thrift store . Another fun idea is to invite a few friends over for a clothing swap and green your friends’ wardrobes at the same time. If it is simply too worn out, cut it up to use as rags around the house.
5. Shop to last
Most sustainably made clothing is crafted meticulously, with careful attention paid to each step of a manufacturing. Eco-friendly clothes tend to be better made than mass-produced, cheap items which you will spend more for in the long run. Spend a few dollars more on planet-friendly essentials and avoid the hidden costs of environmental harm and unjust labor practices.
6. Keep your laundry cool
Extending the life of your clothing saves money and resources. Keep your precious wares looking fresh by washing in cold water with planet-friendly detergent and hanging to dry.
Avoid the extra hassle and wasting money by buying clothes that do not have to be dry-cleaned. If you absolutely must have something dry-cleaned, look for a shop that use greener methods such as wet-cleaning CO2 to reduce its toxic load.
Do you have any other great tips? Share your tips and ideas!
Photo credit: Katherine Lynn at Flickr