Before I took on the endeavor of living less wastefully, I bought new clothes approximately once a month. I made these purchases not out of necessity but instead on impulse, which I now understand came from media and occasional boredom. Once I adapted to a more sustainable lifestyle, I took a realistic look at my closet and donated more than half of my unused clothing. I also vowed to end my online shopping addiction by only purchasing items from second-hand or locally sourced and ethical stores. By changing the way you purchase clothing, you directly take control away from large corporations that create pollution and waste through their manufacturing process.
Although it is quite tempting to buy new clothes from well known stores like Forever 21, H&M, Uniqlo, etc. considering their cheap prices, you are in turn supporting their morals. The reason that clothes at these stores can be dirt cheap is because they are manufactured with synthetic materials at low wage sweatshops found in foreign countries. Large amounts of energy are required to make synthetic materials such as polyester, spandex, and kevlar. Additionally, this process creates toxic gases and chemicals. These pollutants are then released into the air, negatively affecting our environment, wildlife, and people. By not buying these pieces of clothing, you are proactively taking a stand against unnecessary pollution and unethical textile production.
Thankfully, there are other options for buying clothes that coincide with your morals of living sustainably and ethically! My first choice when shopping is to visit a local thrift store, and buy clothes that are preworn. Not only do thrift stores cut back on the devastating environmental impact, they also provide cheaper prices! As a bonus, most stores donate a portion of their profits to a charity or communities in need. For some people, thrift store shopping can be time consuming and after previously shopping online, sometimes it can feel like you never want to step foot in a store again! But the excitement that comes with finding a hidden gem can not be explained!
If this speaks true to you, there are plenty of great companies that sell recycled clothing, vintage clothing, or clothing made from sustainable fabric! Check out some of the great companies I have listed below that align with the ethics behind your sustainable lifestyle! Happy shopping!
-A small business that sells recycled vintage clothing through Instagram
-Zero Waste Daniel
-Transforms disregarded scraps of textile waste into trendy unisex clothing
-Uses hemp textiles and natural dyes to make clothing, in hopes to reduce climate change all the while revolutionizing the clothing industry
-Takes textile waste and turns it into yarn, fabric, and tags for their creation of women’s clothing and accessories