7 Tips for Finding Eco-Friendly Clothing

You can be very eco-friendly by buying all used clothing.  That way you don’t contribute to the manufacturing process or need to worry about what the clothes are made of, because buying them used means that you’re using something that is already there.  You’re not encouraging more to be made by buying it used, and you’re keeping it from the landfill a little longer.

But, if you really do need and want to buy something new, you can find eco-friendly clothing if you know what to look for.

  • Organic Fibers – When you buy organic and renewable fibers such as cotton or bamboo, you’re helping avoid too many problems.  This is because there are no pesticides going into the environment, which makes these fibers better. 
  • Recycled Fibers – One exception to using organic is to use recycled fibers.  There are processes that turn old plastic into soft fabrics that are safe and environmentally friendly.  These recycled fibers make excellent choices. Recycled fabrics usually use less water too.
  • Vegetable Dyes – Chose fabrics and fibers that use vegetable dyes instead of artificial dyes. Vegetable dyes are better for the environment and today they have some amazing colors, so you won’t even realize the difference.
  • Low Water Fabrics – One cotton t-shirt uses almost 750 gallons of water to produce.  When you think of how much water that is and how fresh water is not an unlimited resource, it really should be illegal.  Choose hemp or linen clothing instead to cut down on the water usage. 
  • Cutting with Less Waste – You can also buy clothing that takes into consideration how they cut the fabric, which can make a lot of difference in terms of how much waste goes on the cutting room floor - thus cutting down on how much water and other supplies have to be used to create the fabric.
  • Less Packaging – Buying clothing locally is better than ordering from Amazon. Yes, Amazon is convenient but the packaging that is used makes it harder to justify it.  When you shop locally you won’t need as much packaging. 
  • Fair Trade – Look at buying clothing that uses fair trade practices.  Besides the ethical reasons to do that, there are eco reasons too. A company that gets to say they’re fair trade is usually much more aware of how their actions affect the environment. 

If you want to buy eco-friendly fashions, look first for used clothing, next check with the company about their policy on all the above ideas.  Ask how much water they use, ask what they do with the wastewater, find out what’s in their fabrics and how it’s better.  Just because a company says they’re eco-friendly doesn’t mean they are.  Check before you buy and consider always buying locally when you can. 

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