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:

  1. Will I wear it again? Wearing something once for fashion probably isn’t a good investment.
  2. Does it feel good to the touch? Will you want to wear the fabric over and over?
  3. Can I see my hand through it? Thicker fabrics last longer than thinner ones.
  4. Does it pass the tug test? Check for strong and frequent stitches.
  5. Do the pockets square? Mismatched pockets suggest quantity over quality during manufacturing.
  6. Is it a good blend? Natural fabrics like cotton tend to last longer and not create micro-pollutants.
  7. 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. 

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