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Ten Secrets for a Sustainable and Zero-Plastic Wardrobe?

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Ten Secrets for a Sustainable and Zero-Plastic Wardrobe?

The fashion industry is a significant contributor to resource depletion (through water consumption), pollution (through microfibers and chemicals release), and waste generation (through landfills and leakage into the ocean).

Plastic pollution from (fast) fashion happens in at least three ways:

  • The release of microplastics when the clothes are washed the first few times – synthetic fibers, made from petroleum, make up about 60% of clothing (1),
  • The waste of clothes that end up in landfills – in the United States, 85% of all textiles are in landfills each year (2),
  • The plastic bags in which clothes are individually packaged when delivered to the stores.

However, it is possible to make sustainable and zero-plastic choices when buying clothes and shoes.

Tip n°1: Nurture a feeling of abundance

What about nurturing the feeling that you already have enough? Look at your wardrobe and see all the clothes and shoes you almost never wore. 

Tip n°2: Refuse to buy new synthetic garments

Once you are aware of the value of what you already have and feel that you own enough, exercise to refuse to buy new garments in general and particularly synthetic ones. Ask yourself, “do I really need this?”. In most cases, you do not.

Tip n°3: Exchange garments with siblings, parents, or friends

Instead of wasting clothes and shoes or buying new ones, you could exchange some with your siblings, parents, or friends. 

Tips n°4: Consider repairing what you already have

Repairing clothes can extend their lifespan and reduce the need to buy new items. In general, when you buy a secondhand or new thing, it is worth looking for clothes made with high-quality materials that are more likely to last longer and be repairable.

Tip n°5: Consider buying secondhand 

There are so many marketplaces and physical stores where gently used clothes and shoes are often less expensive and more sustainable than new items.

Tip n°6: Read labelings to spot synthetic garments

If you read labelings of clothes and shoes, you might find one of these commonly used types of plastics:

  • Polyester: used in clothing and home textiles,
  • Nylon: used in clothing, particularly in outdoor and athletic wear, as well as in home textiles,
  • Acrylic: used in clothing, blankets, and other home textiles,
  • Spandex or elastane: often used in clothing such as leggings, swimwear, and activewear,
  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride): commonly used in shoes,
  • PU (polyurethane): commonly used in shoes.

Tip n°7: Look for clothes from sustainable brands

Many brands are committed to sustainability and use eco-friendly materials and practices in their production. Look for clothes from these brands, which may use recycled materials, organic materials, or low-impact dyes in their products. However, be mindful of the existence of greenwashing. For example, some vegan shoes might be made with plastic material.

Tip n°8: Look for clothes made from natural materials

It might be challenging but doable (depending on your location) to find clothes made from natural materials, such as cotton, wool, and linen. Be open to their limitations in terms of convenience (stretch, shine, waterproof, etc.). 

Tip n°9: Avoid single-use plastic packaging

Many clothes are packaged in single-use plastic, such as plastic bags or plastic wraps. To reduce your plastic consumption, look for clothes that are unpackaged.

Tip n°10: Bring a reusable bag with you

 Anticipate before shopping and have a small or big reusable bag with you.

Beyond plastic, the impact of the fast fashion industry on the environment is enormous. Individuals need to limit their environmental footprint, and we encourage you to take steps like the ones mentioned in this article for a zero plastic wardrobe.

What about you? What do you do to eliminate plastic from your Wardrobe? Please comment.

To learn seven tips to eliminate plastic from your life click here.


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