Creating an Eco-Friendly Wardrobe

Read these shopping tips to discover ways your outfit choice can save the planet – and your wallet – from extra stress.

  • Shopping at thrift or vintage stores can save you an estimated 400 dollars a year on clothes.
    Photo by Pixabay/SnapStock
  • “We Can All Live Green” by Jennifer Noonan offers tips to bring down every day costs, while also positively contributing to the environment.
    Photo by Jess Nicoll

We Can All Live Green (St. Lynn’s, 2008), by Jennifer Noonan presents examples of your daily lives that puts stress on the environment, and offers green solutions to ensure that the environment and our wallets re being treated better. In this excerpt, Noonan informs her reads how knowledge in your clothing options and a switch in your shopping habits can save you hundreds of dollars each year.

Fashioning A New Look

We all need clothes. We don’t need clothes the way we need food, water, air and shelter – but for all intents and purposes, we need clothes. They keep us comfortable, they express our individuality and taste. We spend a lot of time, thought and money on our clothes. But aside from the label, the price and the trendiness of an item, few of us know the story behind the clothes we’re wearing. And you might be surprised. It’s well worth a bit of sleuthing. Three important questions to ask:

What is it made of?
Where was it made?
How much energy was used to get it to me?

What is It Made Of?

Over 97 percent of clothes items are made from the following two materials: cotton (40 percent) and synthetic fibers (57 percent). Let’s look first at cotton:

Cotton is the most common natural fiber in use today (other natural or animal fibers include wool, silk, hemp and bamboo). Total international trade of cotton is over 12 billion dollars yearly. In many developing countries hungry for economic growth, cotton is referred to as “white gold.”

Traditionally grown cotton – It seems logical to assume that cotton is nice and natural. And it is, but… Traditionally grown cotton is cultivated with a heavy use of pesticides and insecticides. In fact, cotton makes up 11 percent of total global pesticide use and 25 percent of total global insecticide use, which is an astounding number for one single agricultural group.

So we need to be aware of chemicals in the fabrics we use, just as we are with our foods. The chemicals that are used to control pests and insects on crops (including cotton) soak into the ground, water supply, into the air and into the environment as a whole – which eventually affects all living things on the planet. The flip side of this picture is that not all cotton is grown this way.

10/8/2020 3:12:42 AM

Another option is your child's hand me downs. My teenage daughters are growing fast and passing on their old clothes to me. I can't fit in their jeans, but their pullovers and hoodies are the right size. They're not my style, but fine for wearing around the house. That way, my own clothes are worn less and last longer.

2/5/2018 11:27:42 AM

combine two of the tips, with a sewing machine, you can cut down adult clothes for children, or make smaller items like underwear out of old shirts, or restyle garments by changing the sleeves, etc. Fabric, especially good quality fabric, isn't cheap.

2/5/2018 8:28:31 AM

How about growing HEMP word-wide!?!?! a plant that can be used for textiles, paper, building material, and food, to name a few. It's cheap and easy to grow.



Fall 2021!

Put your DIY skills to the test throughout November. We’re mixing full meal recipes in jars, crafting with flowers, backyard composting, cultivating mushrooms, and more!


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