Fast fashion is one of the leading contributors to the environmental crisis that the world is going through. Every year, the fashion industry creates 10% of the annual carbon emissions, according to the Panel on Climate Change or IPCC. It is also one of the many industries depleting non-renewable sources and using an estimated 1.5 trillion liters of water each year. So, how can you help stop this trend?
The simple answer to how you can help stop the negative environmental impact of fast fashion is simple: don’t support it. It is a revolutionary act to go against these companies that are slowly killing the planet in the process of meeting people’s demands. If there is a lower demand, then there will be less needs to produce. You can also buy secondhand, vintage, and antique clothing to avoid more clothes from ending up in landfills. As for the clothes you already have in your closet, take better care of them.
Clothes Care 101
Keeping your clothes longer and taking care of them can reduce the carbon emissions released into the atmosphere during clothes production. By extending their use, you can dramatically reduce the negative environmental impact of clothes and the fast fashion industry.
When you properly care for your clothes, you can also extend their lifespan and lessen the chances of discarding them. You can even make them look brand new for a long time. Here are some things you can do to care for your clothes:
You should pay attention to the clothes’ care instructions.
Of course, every piece of clothing has different materials that need a different kind of caring, especially when washing and ironing them. For example, you should only wash wool when required, and you have to use a detergent made specifically for wool. On the other hand, cashmere and silk are very sensitive and easily damaged by chemicals and heat, so you must handle them more carefully.
You should wash your clothes less.
Whether you wash your clothes using your hands or go to dry cleaners, you should do it less. Of course, everyone wants clean clothes, but the more you wash, the more you will decrease its lifespan as washing clothes damage the fibers. If you have any clothes that are not dirty, think twice before putting them in your washing machine.
You should avoid hot water when washing your clothes.
So, after avoiding washing your clothes as much as possible, you should also wash them in low temperatures using natural laundry detergents to avoid damaging the fabrics and prevent the colors from fading. Of course, there are some exceptions to this, especially when you want to get rid of odors and stains. You can also use hotter water when you need to wash towels, beddings, pillowcases, and undergarments, but try to avoid it as much as you can.
You should use eco-friendly detergents.
The detergent you’re accustomed to using has chemicals that can harm your skin, clothes, and the environment. These detergents contain substances that don’t biodegrade, which causes negative impacts on your surroundings. Fortunately, as the demand for sustainable products increases, there are many options for environment-friendly laundry detergents made of organic, plant-based ingredients.
You should let your clothes air dry.
There are times when you need to wear the clothes you just washed the next day, which means you would need to use the machine’s dryer. That’s understandable, but if you are in no rush, consider hanging your clothes and letting them dry naturally. Doing this is not only going to be better for your clothes as it lessens the chances of them being damaged by the heat, but it also saves energy consumption.
You should repair the damages.
It’s natural for the clothes you wear too often to be damaged, but what isn’t natural is for you to discard them right away, especially if the damage is reparable. Taking time to repair damaged clothes also allows you to be creative by adding some designs to your clothes. You can even alter their sizes on your own. Lastly, to avoid your clothes from being damaged, you should store them properly by either using hangers or folding them neatly, depending on the fabrics.
Green Is A Fashion Statement
Now, you see there are many ways to save the environment by not supporting fast fashion while also saving money by avoiding discarding your clothes. Doing this doesn’t mean you have to lose your fashion sense; it only means you can be sustainable fashionable.