I’ve been down the rabbit hole and back so many times in the past 3 years while I study sustainability and environmentally friendly clothing. Sometimes I wonder, does it really matter?
Note: Sorry for the first 30 seconds of this video! If you skip past, the quality is much better.
Simple idea: look for conscious materials in clothing
Shopping used to be my therapy. After a hard week of work, a trip through H&M or Forever 21 really lifted my spirits. I knew it was a luxury that I could shop, but I had no idea what the true cost of my clothes really was.
Things changed when I began selling the kid’s tees to help animals. I spent months looking for a supplier. I was dumbfounded by the impact that clothing and fashion have on the world we live in. I was making a product to help whales, yet making clothing pollutes our waters, and ultimately hurts the whales! And not to mention the people involved in making it.
Make a Difference:
So how do we make a difference in something so large? And can we continue to shop and still make a difference? I questioned this a lot. Sometimes I still do. I do think each piece of environmentally friendly clothing we purchase ultimately does make a difference.
- If we choose better fabrics, we impact the health of our air, water, land, animals, and farmers.
- If we choose more sustainable brands, we also positively impact the lives of the people in every step of making our clothing.
- Every time we purchase consciously, we vote for brands to add more sustainable options to their line. And when the brands need more sustainable options, they ask for sustainable fabrics. And the process goes right up the line to the raw materials.
I honestly think it’s impossible though, to be perfect. The clothing supply chain is extremely complex, and it’s very hard to know the detail down to where a seed was grown, or a yarn spun. That being said, we can all try. And as we try, we make a difference.
My challenge for you (it’s my challenge for myself, and I’d love if you’ll do this with me) is we try to find a vintage piece, or eco conscious fabric, when we purchase a new piece of clothing.
For the past 6 months or so, I’ve gotten into the habit of doing this, and it’s getting easier. I still have this lingering guilt when I shop, so I have only purchased things that I really need. But when I do, I try to find an eco conscious option first.
My experience has been that it doesn’t always work, and usually I need to settle for a product that has a mix of fabrics, with one or two sustainable options in it. Or, something that I know is ethically made in the United States.
I’d really love some buddies in this, because it will be easier for all of us if we share the good options we find. If you find an eco conscious brand you love, please add it to comments below. I have a list started. And if you have any interest in being in a small group with me, where we share our finds, please let me know. I’d love to have a group of friends to do this with. ;-)
Coming Soon: an Eco Conscious Materials Cheat Sheet to help you know the pros and cons of each type. Join our mailing list to receive a copy when it’s done.