When we consider ways that we can tread a little lighter on the planet and be kind to our fellow beings, we often think of switching our diet, rescuing an animal and switching to energy-efficient appliances. But we can actually make small changes and kinder choices in all areas of our life, including our wardrobe. Here are 5 tips to help you create a kinder wardrobe.
1. Plan for a kinder wardrobe
Try your best to plan your purchases. I know that kind of takes the fun out of shopping – I’m the biggest sucker of all when it comes to impulse buys – but they usually aren’t very sustainable for your wardrobe or the planet. Buying a top on sale for $10 from a chain store sounds fun at the time, but if you take a moment to consider where this top probably came from and whether this top will stand the test of time…you may want to pass. Did you know that there are 200 million child laborers in the world today? Choosing a garment that is fair-trade or locally made may cost a bit more money, but at least you know that you can feel good about where your money is going.
2. Wash carefully
Washing machines and dryers are not kind to the planet or our animal friends in the waterways. Try your best to wear your clothes until they really need a wash (excluding underwear!) and only wash when you have a full load. Hanging your clothes straight up after wearing is a great way to air them out. The chemicals that can be found in washing detergents and stain removers can be harmful to yourself and waterways, so next time you need some more, try a biodegradable, chemical free one instead. Wash your garments carefully – turn items inside out, pop delicate items in the delicates bag or hand wash them and hang them out to line dry whenever possible.
3. Choose natural and organic fibres
Conventional cotton is anything but eco-friendly and is woven through all areas of your life – from cotton buds to your towels and sheets, to many of your clothes. Did you know that conventionally grown cotton consumes approximately 25% of the world’s insecticides and more than 10% of the world’s pesticides? It also uses a lot of water and damages the earth. Organic cotton is becoming more easily available and other alternatives, such as super soft bamboo and linen, are harvested in ways that are much kinder to Mother Earth. For more information about cotton, check out this link: http://www.aboutorganiccotton.org/index.html
Probably the best way to green your wardrobe and fill it with a touch of kindness is to purchase pre-owned garments from op-shops or vintage stores. This way you are recycling and saving that item from landfill, getting a great item that is unique and being totally eco-friendly.
5. Avoid animal products
Of course one of the best ways that you can ensure your wardrobe is cruelty-free is by eliminating all animal products from it, including fur, leather, wool, silk, feathers and down. Every year the global leather industry slaughters at least a BILLION animals and tans their skins and hides.
Kangaroos are slaughtered by the millions every year to create soccer shoes. Upon learning about the cruel methods of slaughter, soccer star David Beckham switched to shoes made from synthetic materials in 2006. So bend it like Beckham and choose animal-free!
If you are interested to learn more about leather, fur or wool, check out this video narrated by singer Pink. http://youtu.be/qZmBqkTwNEA