3 Ways to Stop Contributing to Fashion Waste
As we become more aware of the state of our planet, and the role we play in taking care of it, we start to take a closer look at some of our habits, and how they are contributing to the environment. In recent years, industries like fashion, furniture and even packaging have come under more scrutiny because of how much waste they are producing.
So what do you do when you love and enjoy fashion but still want to be more environment-conscious? Do you have to give up on shopping altogether? The answer is thankfully no, but there are definitely ways you can tweak your consumption habits so that you’re not wasting things, and so that you’re not contributing to some of the more harmful consumer behaviors that are degrading our planet at a very rapid pace.
Here are a few ways for us to stop contributing to fashion waste, and enjoy beautiful clothes more sustainably.
Extend the Life Cycle of Your Clothes
One of the things that forces us to keep buying more and more clothing is the fact that the clothes we do have don’t last that long. There are many reasons why this could happen, for starters, buying cheap and low quality clothing. The challenge with fast fashion is that it’s often driven by quick trends, and in order to keep up with changing clothing trends, brands often produce very cheap clothing in ways that put a lot of waste onto the planet. If you are constantly buying this type of clothing, it won’t last long and you’ll be forced to keep buying more clothes and disposing of old clothes after a very short time.
The second reason why your clothes end up getting degraded is the quality of the water that you wash your clothes with. If your home water is made up of chemicals that harden it, it can definitely affect your clothes and even ruin them. According to The Spruce, hard laundry water leads to many issues with your clothing. This includes, “dinginess, graying, or yellowing of fabrics, the weakening of fibers causing tears, and white or gray streaks on colored fabrics.” If you are finding that your clothes are suffering from this, you might have to find out how to install a water softener, so that you can treat all the water in your home. It’s a very simple process, but one that will make your clothes look better and last longer.
Reduce Your Use of Wasteful Packaging
It might seem like quite a minor thing, but one of the things that contribute to massive waste is the packaging that our clothing is packed in. Whether you’re buying clothing online or from a brick-and-mortar store, if you’re getting a plastic bag every time you buy clothes, that can contribute to a ton of waste which ends up in landfills or even in the ocean. One simple change you can make is to opt for more sustainable packaging. That can mean going with your own fabric bag when you go shopping, or shopping at stores that prioritize reducing their plastic waste, or making sure that you recycle the packaging you have. All these things will make a tremendous difference and allow you to consume in a way that’s better for the planet.
If we want to reduce the amount of fashion waste we’re producing collectively, we have to consider extending the life cycle of the clothes that are already in existence. One of the best ways we can do this is to start buying second hand clothing. Whether you buy clothes from thrift shops, use online fashion stores that specialize in pre-owned goods, or even do swaps with your friends, these are some of the ways you can get more out of the clothes that are still in great condition.
You don’t have to give up on fashion completely to be kinder to the planet, you just have to be more thoughtful about how you buy clothes, and what you’re investing in. It might be better to start buying higher quality items that will last years and years, instead of cheaper sales items that won’t be worn in a few months. You should also consider how much wasteful packaging you’re getting with your clothes, and find alternatives that don’t add to the massive waste problem that we’re struggling to contain. There are ways for us to be more thoughtful, while getting to wear all our favorite trends and gorgeous fashion items.