NAU Organic Linen Dress
Have you looked in your closet lately and wondered how your wardrobe got so grungy? From stained tees to torn trousers, you can’t seem to keep your clothing in line and you’re beginning to feel a little guilty about buying more when you know that the fabrics you purchase may be harming the Earth (from pesticides to pollution to eventual waste). But what can you do? How can you afford to buy pricey organic clothing when you are constantly paying to replace damaged items? In fact, you can get the eco-friendly threads you desire (without breaking the bank) as well as take steps to ensure that your clothes last longer and ultimately help you to reduce your carbon footprint.
Organic and sustainable fabrics are a growing industry. From cotton and hemp that are grown without pesticides or fertilizer to humanely treated animals and insects that produce wool and peace silk, you can find clothing options that cater to your newfound environmental consciousness. Most clothing that labels itself organic and/or sustainable also utilizes emission- and pollution-free processing along with non-toxic, low-impact dyes. So on every front you will be helping to stop the pollution of the planet (and your body) when you buy green clothing. And like most clothes, it can range from fairly cheap to very expensive.
In addition, eco-friendly clothing often comes in a wide variety of styles and textures (including popular, soft jersey knit) so you don’t have to look like a hippie to promote a clean environment (unless, of course, you want to). In fact, many famous designers are jumping on the eco-clothing bandwagon, such as Stella McCartney, Gary Harvey (former Creative Director of Levi Strauss), Marc Bouwer, and Linda Loudermilk. For something a bit more affordable (and wearable) check out American Apparel, which offers some items in 100% organic cotton (and recycles over a million pounds of fabric scraps every year) or Levi Strauss, which uses organic cotton, recycled metal (for buttons, zippers, and rivets), and natural indigo dye.
As always, you can also green up your wardrobe by buying vintage (that’s hipster for “used”). You can give old clothes another chance at life and there are many second-hand stores that offer really cool clothing at a far better price than you would pay on most retail racks. Plus, styles from bygone eras will always turn heads and announce you as the knowledgeable fashion-maven that you are (as long as you remember to be selective). A retro look is a lot easier to pull off if you have the right outfit and this is also a good way to get fabrics you love (like silk) that are otherwise not terribly eco-friendly.
And of course, once your closet is full, you’ll want to think about how to make your clothing last longer. Avoiding stains may not be easy, but you can certainly pre-treat your threads and wash them in eco-friendly detergent to make the best of it (try Purex Natural Elements). As for torn (or ill-fitting) items, simply visit a nearby alterations shop. You can support a local business while finding a way to keep your favorite clothing items viable.