The environment is straining under the fashion industry, and chemical dyes and artificially produced fabrics are so bad for the planet because of the difficulty to recycle or get rid of the waste products in a safe, cost-effective way. Many people are unfortunately not aware of this, and lots of people think that eco-friendly fashion means wearing grass skirts and rags - it certainly doesn't! Wearing eco-friendly fashion is a lot cheaper than you think and if you claim you don't know where to buy these earth-conscious environments, you might e shocked to find that they're right under your nose!
Buying sustainable, natural and cruelty-free fabrics are one of the many ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. Materials like Hemp, bamboo, soy, and lyocell are great eco-friendly fabrics, and the plants that make up these natural fibres grow fast and are inexpensive to harvest - and are all vegan. Although cotton is a natural material, it still (contrary tp popular belief) has a high carbon footprint because of the back breaking labor process and the fact that cotton harvesters get paid next to nothing for intense manual labor. Wool is also a fabric to stay away from as the shearing process often harms the sheep - the shearers cut them in an attempt to shave at a faster rate and earn more money. The sheep are also often sheared too early and they freeze outside with no warm coat, as farmers try to fit in as many shearings in a year to maximise profit. Silk, although natural is cruel as the worms are boiled alive in their pupae to make the silk gathering 'easier' or are taken out of their pupae early and are left for dead (and yes they have a response to pain).
Buying local is also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, as there is less transport used to distribute the clothing to your local retailers than if the clothing had to be flown or shipped in from overseas. Not only this but buying local also helps support your conutry's citizens, boosting your national economy and currency rates. In the long run, if everyone decided to buy mostly local products (not just clothing), the national government could put import budgets to better use in the education sector. So technically, if everyone changed their shopping habits, your trips to the mall could be bettering your country eventually!
Thrift shopping is also a great way to recycle clothing. The best thing about thrift shops is that the clothes are super cheap, and whatever you buy will be pretty unique seeing that a lot of the items will date back to the 1990's or earlier! May thrift stores are also charity based, like the salvation army, so by shopping like this, you're also giving back to your community and again are strengthening the economy! If you know how to sew a few simple things you could always learn how to adjust items that you find in a thrift store, for example: you see a shirt with a print/colour/fabric that you love but you wish that the waist was more cinched in, or a pair of jeans is calling your name but it's just a couple of inches too big, learn how to make your own adjustments. You can even learn how to sew from scratch (it's so much cheaper!) by starting with simple patterns like swing dresses and a-line skirts! Also, don't throw away your old clothes, donate them to charity or sell them to a thrift shop or an online second-hand clothing store and score some money for your next shopping trip!
I hope you all consider shopping more sustainably, now that you realise how easy and cost-effective it really is!
Until next time
-The Traveling Oyster xxx