Green Living magazine has a new section! Check here every month for some fun facts and stay green! This month we focused on clothing and beauty tips. This month’s tips are from Loren North, a local personal stylist.
1 STOP DRYING YOUR CLOTHES
Your dryer is your most energy-intensive appliance. Reduce utility bills, save energy and save your clothes by avoiding drying your clothes in the dryer. That lint in the collector? It’s your clothes falling apart. Get an outdoor line or clothing rack. Take advantage of nearly year-round ideal conditions to dry your clothes outside.
2 SHIFT YOUR COTTON BUYING HABITS
Yes, this is a natural fabric but traditional cotton is a water- and pesticide-intensive crop that typically requires labor under non-ideal conditions. Look for garments made from organic cotton. If you can, look for the GOTs (Global Organic Textile Standard) logo, which is a textile processing standard for organic fibers, including ecological and social criteria.
3 SHOP LOCAL
Before you head out to a big box retailer, consider a local boutique. Local First Arizona estimates that when you spend $100.00 with locally owned businesses, $43.00 stays in the state, versus $13.00 from a big box store. Local boutiques will have a more unique offering, be able to offer personalized service and you will be making a difference with your purchase.
4 FIND A COBBLER
When you find a high quality pair of shoes, make them last! Support a local business, keep your items out of the landfill and keep your shoes for as long as you can. If you aren’t sure if something can be repaired, take it to a local cobbler and ask! You will be surprised what they can do.
Buy less and buy better. Before you buy something, ask yourself if you can wear it at least 30 times. This will help you buy less, buy better quality and hold onto your clothes longer. Why does this matter? The EPA estimates in 2014 that approximately 24.5 million tons of textile waste was generated with approximately 20 million tons landfilled or combusted. This is a recycling rate of less than 20 percent (consider that we have a paper recycling rate of almost 50 percent). Source for #30wears: Ecoage.
6 BUY NATURAL FABRICS
Natural fabrics like cotton, wool, silk, linen and hemp are self-cleaning. This means that after wearing them, you can hang them outside (overnight typically works best) and they will smell fresh and clean in the morning. If the garment is wrinkled, simply spray with water before hanging up. Consider how your polyester workout clothes smell over time versus a cotton shirt (polyester is not self-cleaning).
7 SHOP SECONDHAND
When purchasing clothes, consider a locally owned consignment store. There are approximately 80 billion garments produced worldwide each year. Play a role in reducing this consumption by buying secondhand. Keep clothes out of the waste stream and save some money too!
Personal fashion stylist Loren North is a former environmental consultant who traded in her steel-toed boots for high heels to pursue her passion for sustainability and secondhand shopping. She is on a mission to change the world by changing how we shop for and treat our clothes. Her company Through the Closet Door is a personal styling consultancy focused on helping professional men and women improve their appearance. Send Loren an email (email@example.com) to learn more about her styling services.
For more green fun facts, visit greenlivingaz.com/greenfunfacts.