Today’s Solutions: January 19, 2022

How can we stop contributing to the fashion industry and its polluting ways? It’s simple: stop wearing clothes. Okay, that would probably get a bit awkward, so here are three feasible ways to shop for clothes without hurting the environment.

First off, buy clothes that use leftover fabrics. Since fashion is all about trends, apparel manufacturers need to predict what will be in style six to nine months from now. This is incredibly hard to do, and as a result, many clothes produced every season don’t end up selling, which wastes a lot of fabric, not to mention energy and dyes. Some brands like Christy Dawn and Dorsu make all their clothes using the leftover fabric from other brands, known as deadstock. Buying from brands that use deadstock is certainly one way to be more conscious as a consumer, but it doesn’t solve the big-picture problems. In the end, it would be much better for everyone if deadstock didn’t exist in the first place.

The second way you can shop more sustainably is by renting rather than buying. Renting clothes was once limited to fancy attire such as gowns and formal wear, but now it’s possible to rent all kinds of clothing online from lots of brands. The only problem with rental clothing is that emissions are still generated when clothes are being brought back and forth. The third way to shop green is by purchasing clothes that don’t use plastic. Washing clothes made of plastic fibers cause microplastics to wind up in our waterways, so it’s better to buy clothes made with other materials. If you do have clothes made of plastic fibers, however, make sure to wash them in a laundry bag that prevents microplastics from entering the water.

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