There are many ways in which we can reduce waste inside of our closets. Many of our clothes are made by fast fashion companies to degrade quickly so that we will buy clothes more often. These clothes are made overseas with terrible work conditions and unfair wages in most factories. The materials are cheap, often made of various forms of plastic like polyester, elastane, nylon, certain rayon fabrics, organza, acrylic, polyamide, and many more. These plastic materials break down when we wash them, causing microplastics to invade every part of our waterways and ecosystems. We're only beginning to understand the unprecedented damage these plastic materials have caused to environments all over the world and to ourselves.
Fast fashion also sells us the idea that clothes are only in style for a short period of time, which causes people to want to buy the newest, trendiest clothes that they can, then only a month or two later buy the next 'big thing' so that they can keep up with the trends. This is solely for those companies to make money. Trends come and go, but there are many styles that have lasted decades. What's most important is your style, which needs less clothing than you think.
Here are some ways that you can save money, help the environment and look fantastic at the same time in September:
- Wash your clothes on the eco cycle. Washing will take longer, but by using a cooler water temperature, the machine will take less energy than a normal cycle.
- Hand wash all plastic-based clothing like polyester, nylon, lycra, acrylic, etc. Hand washing is much gentler than the spin of a washing machine and will put far less microfibers in the water and thus in the environment. Let the garments sit in water with detergent for 30 mins to an hour, then twice fill up the bucket or sink you are using with fresh water and dip and swirl the garments to remove the soap. Gently squeeze out as much water as you can, then let them drip dry until they are ready for wear!
- Once a piece of clothing has reached the end of its use, use it as a rag, ribbon, patches, etc. Just because you can't wear that garment any more doesn't mean it's not still useful!