Further are recommendations on how to buy, consume, and use clothing and footwear to having a positive impact on buyers, society, and the environment.
1. Choose clothes made and sold by conscious businesses
You will gain directly and indirectly, immediately and over a period of time, if you will buy products from companies, that manage their business in such a way to:
- protecting the buyer pocket and health, by designing products that are useful, qualitative, durable, and eco-friendly;
- protecting the environment by saving natural resources and reducing waste and toxic emissions in their manufacturing, logistic, and storage processes;
- practicing ethical business (legal finance activity, honest marketing, decent wages, and working conditions for employees, etc.).
Further are recommendations to identify such products:
- ANALYZE THE ADVERTISING:
Choose products that were advertised without urges to practicing excessive consumption. Excess is harmful to the environment because it increases the volume of production, and as a result, increases the volume of natural resources used and industrial and consumer waste generated. Usually, these products are overestimated and aggressively promoted. Here you can find more information about toxic marketing.
- READ THE LABEL:
- The product description.
This will help you choose the right material for clothes. For example, instead of buying clothes made from ordinary cotton choose sustainable materials that were made from organic and recycled cotton, organic hemp, bamboo, etc. (which is grown without pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals, and requires less water and energy to produce). But pay attention to the percentage ratio of materials for each item, because a garment presented as green may not be so, for example, a T-shirt may have the following composition: organic cotton = just 20%, regular cotton = 50%, synthetic = 30%.
Visit our clothing store catalog and you will find products with a detailed description regarding the impact of the product and classification of the products according to a green rating.
- The product certifications
This is proof that the company applies in practice certain recognized technologies and standards (this was verified by a recognized evaluation company).
Because many logos and text on the labels are a marketing move (fakes like eco, green, clean, without any proofs), it’s important to know which certifications are appropriate. Here are some examples with recognized certifications:
- GOTS – Global Organic Textile Standards. The presence of this standard confirms the following: the product was raised without chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides); water management in production; good social working conditions; manufactured (at all stages of production: spinning/weaving/dyeing/printing/garment), without any toxic products, neither for the environment nor for production workers nor for users; laboratory test reports proving that there is no trace of GMOs in the DNA.
- ISO 14001 – all processes in the company are managed in such a way as to improve their environmental performance through more efficient use of resources and reduction of waste;
- Fair Trade – Fair Trade empowers consumers to have a positive impact on farmers, and farmworkers through their everyday purchases.
- Click here for more certifications.
- The product description.
- SEARCH FOR PRODUCT REVIEWS:
Find reviews about product quality. Clothing and footwear that was designed to be comfortable, functional, and durable will be worn a lot and purchased less often. For example, instead of buying 2 pairs of sports shoes per year, choosing the quality, you can do this once every 4 years. This will contribute to reducing the production rhythm, and as a result, decreasing the volume of natural resources used and industrial and consumer waste generated.
- FIND INFORMATION ABOUT THE BUSINESS:
Here you must find out the following information about the Manufacturer and Retailer:
- history – find information about the activities in which the company was involved, for example, social or illegal activities;
- strategy – find on the company website their mission and objectives. Developing and promoting innovative technologies to solve local and global problems is a good sign.
Most likely you will not find the ideal products or businesses, but it is always possible to choose the best ones.
2. Choose local producers
By doing this you will have the next benefits:
- aster delivery and less carbon footprint because of shorter transport distance;
- in most cases cheaper prices, because there will be no expenses on transportation, storage, and other financial expenses incurred by the retailer;
- a more dynamic local economic development because part of the money earned by the company will be invested locally.
3. Buy second hand
By doing this you will have the next benefits:
- purchasing quality and sometimes almost new clothes at low prices;
- supporting environment, because buying second hand, you will decrease the demand and therefore the production of clothes, which will also contribute to the decrease in the volume of natural resources used and of industrial and consumer waste generated.
4. Rent clothes for unique occasions
In some cases, such as ceremonies, you may want to consider renting clothes. By doing this you will have the next benefits:
- save money, and in some cases a lot of money. Because some clothes that you will wear only once, have a high price, for example, the wedding dress or a carnival costume;
- supporting environment, because by renting, you will decrease the production of clothes, which will also contribute to the decrease in the volume of natural resources used and of industrial and consumer waste generated.
5. Avoid making collections
A few pairs of jeans, T-shirts, and shoes is enough. If you go beyond the number ten and reach tens of pairs, then you practice excessive consumption, which is harmful to the environment (the higher the volume of production, the bigger the volume of natural resources used, and industrial and consumer waste generated).
Some causes of excessive consumption are how you react to advertising, indifference, lack of information, and others. More details on how to change this habit can be found in this article.
6. Choose the right style
Buy clothing that has a:
- durable style. Fashion changes frequently, and to keep up with it, you need to shop often. Choosing a style that will be ok in 1 year and over 10 years, will save you a lot of money, and at the same time, you will contribute to reducing the volume of clothing production and as a result to the decrease in the volume of natural resources used and of industrial and consumer waste generated.
- non-toxic style. Try to avoid clothes with negative text messages and pictures. Instead, choose a dress with a positive picture or message: joke, aphorism, lyrics, useful information like green statistics, etc.
7. Take care of your clothes
Taking care of your clothes, you will increase the life of the product, and practicing responsible consumption will reduce the volume of water, energy, and detergent used. This will help save money and natural resources. Further are the recommendations:
- Store correctly. Choose for this a clean and dry place, protected from sunlight.
- Wash properly.
- read the instruction on the label to know washing recommendations to avoid harmful handling of the item;
- use a special bag for washing, this will provide protection against stretching or tearing of the material;
- choose the right temperature (the higher the temperature, the faster the fabric loses color and strength).
- use eco-friendly detergent;
- use the right amount of detergent (if it is harmful to nature, use as little as possible);
- do not turn on the washing machine if it is almost empty;
- wash clothes without stains that are difficult to wash in a shorter time, this way you will use less water and less detergent, this will help reduce the volume of energy, water used, and polluted.
- Dry responsible. Dry your clothes without using a clothes dryer or iron, in this way you will contribute to reducing the carbon footprint (applicable if you do not have access to solar or wind energy).
- Worn mindful. If you are doing some dirty job, choose a suitable garment, if you do sports, choose the right equipment, and so on, so as not to tear or soil a garment that could be worn for a long time.
- Repair. If you have a nice coat that can still be worn but has a defect, then repair this garment instead of buying a new one. Find for it, a good specialist.
9. Dispose of correctly
- Donate clothes you don’t use to people who need them and can’t afford to buy them. For this you can call these people yourself, call on institutions that deal with charities, or use specialized sites on the internet;
- Sell clothes that you do not use at second-hand markets or on specialized websites;
- Get creative before you recycle, for example, from a pair of pants, you can make a pair of shorts, from a suit a chair cover, from a leather bag a phone cover, and many other examples that you can find on the internet;
- Recycle. In order for the clothes, you throw away to become the raw material for the production of other clothes, do not throw the clothes to garbage together with the other waste, but find specialized points for collecting clothes. By doing this you will contribute to reducing the volume of land used to grow the plants from which the clothes are made and thus to reduce the volume of toxic waste and emissions in the air, soil, and water in the growth process.