Last week we shared an article about how fast fashion hurts the Earth, but the question remains: how can we buy clothes that meet our needs and support the needs of the planet? From 2000 to 2014, the average number of garments a person purchased in the U.S. per year has increased by 60%, and each American generates nearly 75 pounds of textile waste a year. Buying higher-quality items made to last longer is a key way to reduce your textile footprint. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you shop sustainably:
- Will I wear it again? Wearing something once for fashion probably isn’t a good investment.
- Does it feel good to the touch? Will you want to wear the fabric over and over?
- Can I see my hand through it? Thicker fabrics last longer than thinner ones.
- Does it pass the tug test? Check for strong and frequent stitches.
- Do the pockets square? Mismatched pockets suggest quantity over quality during manufacturing.
- Is it a good blend? Natural fabrics like cotton tend to last longer and not create micro-pollutants.
- Can I maintain it? Does it require hand washing or air drying?
Thinking about these critical questions before buying an item of clothing can make your closet more eco-friendly and help you get more bang for your buck out of the garments you buy. A win for your wallet and the planet! Readers should note this article is sourced from the NY Times which only allows 5 free reads a month.