With so many cheap materials and machines used to make clothing, we are now making more clothes than we will ever need. In fact, according to studies in the fashion industry, clothing and textile garbage make up the second largest polluter in the world next to oil.
However, the problem doesn’t just stop at the disposal of used clothes and the overproduction of clothing and textile in general, but the manufacture and production, too. Textile industry wastes more than 2 billion tons of water annually and the cuttings also contribute to the garbage problem.
As a consumer, is there something you can do to help lessen this problem?
Repair Old Clothes and Shoes
Investing in quality clothes and shoes lets you save money because they are durable and will last long than most cheap materials, needing fewer repairs and replacements. Expensive items are like jewelry that need proper maintenance to make them last longer, that is why you should also invest for cleaning, repair, re-sole/re-heel, or re-dyeing of shoes. Clothes can be repaired by a trusted tailor or made into new clothes.
Stop Buying New Stuff
A lot of people want to have a walk-in closet full a year’s supply of clothes, but like it or not, not everything will fit after a few years or so. Maybe you’ll get thicker (or thinner) or your feet will get slightly bigger (yes, they still keep growing as you age), or maybe the designs and colors are no longer the trend. Invest in clothes that are made from durable materials and with colors and designs that are timeless.
Learn How to Wash Clothes Properly
The wear and tear on the fabric happens during the washing. Even durable fabrics like cotton mixes can be torn and stretched if you don’t follow the proper washing instructions. Dry-cleaning regularly is not the only solution, too, because your clothes will regularly be exposed to chemicals. Skip the tumble dryer if you can. Not only does it use a lot of energy, the heat can also damage fabrics.
Learn How to Sew and Recycle Clothes
Sewing is a basic life skill every adult should know. You can’t just rely on your tailor to reattach a button or change the garter of your clothes. Keep a mending kit at home and learn at least the basic sewing patterns. This skill can also be used for recycling old clothes and other textiles for other use. For example, you can use old materials for cosplaying instead of buying new fabric. Old shirts can also be sewn into tote bags that you can use for groceries.
Know Your Brands
Some top fashion brands now use recycled polyester, organic cotton, wood pulp fabrics and other alternatives for brand new clothes and have cut down the use of water for printing by using digital printing techniques instead of the traditional screen printing. You can learn about these by reading the labels or visiting the company’s website. Eco-conscious celebrities also endorse some names, so take note!