The materials used to make our attire are often environmentally toxic and require significant amounts of energy and water during the manufacturing process. If you are going to buy new clothes, why not buy those made out of sustainable materials? Such as:
- Sustainable cotton
Of course, buying recycled clothes has an even smaller environmental footprint.
The 12 to 15 percent of people who shopped at consignment and thrift stores in 2006 saved 2.5 billion pounds of clothes from re-entering the waste stream.
What you can do?
- Sell your clothes online. E-commerce sites like eBay allow you to sell them at the price of your choice or watch as people bid madly back and forth to get their hands on your old shoes and vintage jeans. You can also list your clothes on Craigslist and Freecycle.com.
- Go to your local consignment store. Places like Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading will give you cash or store credit in exchange for the clothes they buy from you. Other consignment shops will give you a cut of the profit they make on your old gear.
- Donate your clothes. Goodwill and Salvation Army are in almost every state and offer tax forms you can file for incentives. You can also look in your neighborhood for clothing collection boxes for local charities.
About your Clothing!
Be smart about washing the clothes you now own. 80 percent of the energy our clothes consume is used when we wash them. Roughly 26 billion gallons of water are used each day in the U.S., 4.5 billion of which go to operate washing machines. Dry your clothes on the line and wash them only when necessary.
When you do wash your clothes, wash them in cold water. Washing clothes in cold water can cut CO2 emissions by 100 pounds and save you up to $64 per year on your energy bill.
You can also line-dry your clothes in the spring and summer instead of using the dryer. This will keep 700 pounds of carbon dioxide from making their way into the environment.