Clothes: Making wise choices

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Day 59 – According to EPA estimates, the average American throws away 81 pounds of clothing every year. We are a society that has a love-hate relationship with clothes. We love them one minute and hate them the next. Disposing and purchasing, just to dispose and purchase more. Over the next three days, I’m going to cover how we can love our clothes longer and when the time comes to part with them, how we can make choices to keep them out of the landfill. Today, I’ll cover how making wise choices with our purchases can help prolong the life of our clothing. Tomorrow (Day 60), I’ll discuss the ease of donating unwanted clothes. On Day 61, I’ll cover what to do with clothes that have been well worn and unable to be donated.

Here are ways you can be more Earth friendly with your clothing:

  1. Avoid fast fashion. Fast fashion relates to clothes that are produced fast, purchased fast (without much thought), worn fast and discarded fast. Make sensible decisions and choose clothing that you can see wearing for years to come.
  2. Purchase clothing from companies with sustainable practices and a love for the planet. You just need to look for them. They are out there. Patagonia is one of the more popular clothing companies that puts the planet first. A simple internet search can put you on the right track to finding environmentally friendly clothing companies.
  3. Shop at thrift stores. Not every thrift store is created equal, but there are plenty out there that offer quality clothes for reasonable prices. Sometimes it just takes a visit to check them out. You can also shop thrift stores online. ThredUp is one of the more popular ones.
  4. Welcome hand-me-downs. My son benefits from the hand-me-downs from my three nephews. Suits, dress shoes, shorts and pants are clothing items I never have to purchase. Don’t shy away from the offer to take someone’s hand-me-downs. Not only does it prolong the life of those clothes. but it can save you a great deal of money.
  5. Mend when you can. This one can be tough, especially if you do not sew. However, there are people that do. You might know them and you might have to seek them out. Whatever the case, patching, hemming, or stitching can keep those clothes in the closet and out of the trash.

So, start loving your clothes and realize that they have a purpose and it’s not polluting our planet.

Tomorrow, donating closes is simple and helpful.