Given the recent midterm elections, it got me thinking a lot about policies, especially environmental policies. To me, some of the most important votes are the ones about our environment and how we choose to treat it. Thinking too much about its current state of the environment could get you depressed quite easily but what always uplifts me is the amount I can do as an individual to change that.
Now, we all know by now to use a reusable water bottle, take reusable grocery bags to the story and so on. There are tons of tips and tricks to make your life more sustainable: use a soap bar of shampoo to not use a plastic bottle, ditch those plastic straws. But did you ever think about the clothing you wear daily is both capable of harming the environment and helping it depending on how you shop?
Clothing is being vastly overproduced around the world with many of the unsold items being wasted. This creates a chain of problems for the environment especially considering how harmful some clothing material can be to the earth when not disposed of properly. That is why I have made the conscious effort to shop more sustainably and have created a short list of the brands you can shop to do the same.
One of the easiest ways to keep on trend while remaining sustainable is by shopping at stores that make their clothing out of recycled materials. One notable company is Everlane, who now makes winter coats out of water bottles. Of, you can opt to shop local with a brand that uses old fabrics, deconstruct them and turn them into something new like Elliot Clothing who uses recycled materials such as repurposed raw silk.
Then, there are other brands that don’t produce the item you want until you buy it. What that means is that they are not overproducing so their materials will not go to waste if no one buys a certain style. Though this slows down the buying process, it forces us to think about how much we buy compared to how much is produced. A great brand that keeps demand and supply curve steady is Only Child based out of Oakland, CA.
Some of the biggest negative environmental issues that arise from clothing brands are poor factories that pollute the air and create unsafe human working conditions. Everlane has been transparent about their factories and working conditions making a movement to be completely plastic free in packaging while creating safe environments for humans to work.
Other notable brands that focus on environmental sustainability are Reformation, J. Crew and Madewell. Both J. Crew and Madewell have made strides toward sustainable clothing by repurposing old jeans to insulate houses and creating eco-friendly jeans. One of the easiest forms is simply shopping at local thrift stores and repurposing clothing so it does not add waste to the world.
I encourage you to take more care in where you shop. Anything from workout leggings to swimsuits are being made out of plastic that is repurposed. There are so many more brands trying to create a world of fashion sustainably.