As the entire world is looking for ways to get the planet’s climate crisis under control, one subject keeps coming up – how to make our wardrobe more sustainable? Whereas talking about fashion is fun, it’s important to remember that the clothing industry is among the biggest polluters. As parents, we need to seriously consider what values we are teaching our children.
Besides making sure our kids safe and sound, raising them should involve teaching them about our changing world and the responsibility we all bear for its evident decline. As most working moms know, balancing all aspects of family life with work is never a walk in the park. With this in mind, here’s a simple guide that can help create a more sustainable wardrobe in your home.
Choose sustainable fabrics
One way to make your wardrobe more sustainable is to make wiser choices when it comes to fabrics. When you consider where your clothing comes from, its production process and eventual decomposition (or lack of it), the environmental impact is more than evident. Luckily, the clothing industry has taken notice and sustainable fashion is becoming a trend making it easier for you to be smarter when picking fabrics.
The production of synthetic fabrics causes microplastic pollution and these are generally not biodegradable, so whenever you can, opt for pieces made from recycled and environmentally friendly fabrics. Unfortunately, natural and organic fabrics have a great impact too as they often need a lot of water to be processed. While they’re surely not ideal, you can choose better options such as linen, viscose, alpaca, and hemp.
Go into details
Most moms are very meticulous as to what they buy and we always go the necessary length to choose the best for our family. Researching particular fabrics just comes naturally. For instance, when choosing jeans, look for affordable and good quality denim that comes from a clean factory that produces less waste.
For knitted garments, go for cashmere rather than synthetic blends. That said, make sure it’s grade A cashmere that might appear thick and strong, but it will soften in time. The same goes for alpaca – garments are warm and cozy but much easier on the planet than cashmere.
Support brands that work toward sustainability
Despite all the challenges, more and more brands are working toward sustainability, and as much as their paths might differ, the effort is there. This doesn’t only mean the producers. Education starts back at school where future fashion designers are still learning their trade. According to the teachings of a current master’s degree in fashion design and business, fashion isn’t only about learning the ways of beauty and expressing one self’s emotions and thoughts. Now it goes beyond and teaches young designers to broaden their views and experiment with new aesthetics and production processes.
This is where their story of sustainable fashion starts with the aim of training them to succeed in the fashion scene of tomorrow. We as buyers can show our support by buying those garments that are designed and produced sustainably. It can be a big brand or just a small start-up working on its vision of sustainability.
When choosing your wardrobe, consider the brand’s commitment to sustainable production ways. They should be LEED-certified, use renewable energy, and have solutions for water waste and chemical use. Their workers are paid fairly and they use green fabrics. Moreover, these brands make an effort to re-use existing materials instead of always going for brand new fabrics.
Pick classic, well-made pieces
As the younger generation mostly focuses on how cute and inexpensive clothes are, busy, practical moms think of the long run and how a certain piece will hold up several months later. With only a bit of extra time and effort, you can choose clothes with more care. Opting for classic, well-made garments will make them last for years.
Make sure to always try on clothes and when shopping online, don’t hesitate to return things that aren’t suitable. And those classic items you can wear for years. Remember to choose natural fabrics, neutral colors, and timeless cuts.
Buy second-hand clothes
Thrift shops and second-hand clothes stores can hide amazing finds! Don’t shy away from these as it often happens you find a designer piece in mint condition for a fraction of the original price. And for your kids – set up clothing swaps with other moms! Chances are that many of those garments have been worn only once or twice!
Buy less, repair more
Probably the most sustainable option is mending and repairing the things you already have instead of tossing them away once they’re worn out and buying new things. If you can sew, custom-tailor both your clothes to fit better. And when shoes and bags start wearing out, hand them over to an expert cobbler. You’ll be pleasantly surprised what quality work they do for a very affordable price.
Wash your clothes sustainably
Turn to spot washing and natural deodorizing spray. This way you can wash the clothes less often, save water and prolong the life of your garments. Also, wash in lower temperatures and shorter cycles, and whenever possible, air-dry. If you have to dry clean, opt for a “green” dry cleaner.
Get a microfiber filter/guppy bag
Synthetic fabrics such as spandex, polyester and acrylic release tiny plastic microfibers, which find their way into our waterways and even our bodies! A microfiber filter or a guppy both used with washing can trap microfiber plastics and lint preventing them from entering the waterways.
Stop supporting brands with unsustainable production
There’s still a large number of famous brands that haven’t made the effort to become more sustainable and as much as you’ve loved buying them, if you’ve learned the truth about their practices and it makes you feel uncomfortable, cut off your support.
Voice your opinion
If you’re passionate about sustainability and our world’s preservation, don’t hesitate to voice your opinion! It starts with deciding to stop buying a brand whose quality has gone down and you’ve learned about their unsustainable production. You should also speak out on social media, let the public and the brand know that they need to change. This way, you’ll be setting a great example for your kids!
Fast fashion is continually on the rise and unsustainable brands at the forefront of their beliefs prospering. We all need to do everything we can to turn things around and protect our planet. If you are a mom who cares about both the environment and her personal style, now you know what you can do.
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