In the last two years I have begun to embark on a path towards sustainability in my lifestyle. What I buy, what I wear, what I eat and... my closet. The truth has not been easy to break with my habits. Moreover, I know that I still have a long way to go to make the changes that I know are necessary and break some paradigms that we have regarding sustainability. I want to tell you about some things that I personally apply to make my closet more ecological.
Please don't think I'm an expert, I'm still tempted to buy some things that don't follow these rules, but the first step is to know that we have to change and to be aware of the impact of what we buy.
I have to confess that I have always had the chip of "taking care of the planet" because I have always been a lover of nature and animals. What I didn't know was the impact my purchases had (specifically in terms of fashion). I was a fan of buying fast fashion clothes or fast fashion, even there were many clothes that I bought with the idea of wearing them only once. This idea was changing, I saw a documentary and a series where they talk about the entire fashion industry. This was a bit traumatic for me. Seeing the conditions of the workers and how poorly they are paid, definitely generated a change in the way I see the garments in the stores.
Anyway... I'm going to tell you about some of the things I do to make my closet more sustainable.
Tips to make an ecological closet
1. Buy second-hand clothes.
I know, the first answer is: EWW!... but I swear it's not serious. Lately there are many pages where they sell very cool and cute clothes that have been worn once. Many times there are even new clothes and you can save a few pesos. Also, if you are a fan of designers, you can find their pieces at an incredible price.
Obviously it is important to wash the garment before wearing it (just in case).
2. Don't wash your jeans every time you wear them.
Again the answer may be: EWW!... I used to feel terrible if I didn't wash my jeans every time I wore them, but guess what, jeans aren't meant to be washed that often. The general manager of Levi's, Chip Bergh, already warned about it a few years ago and with a personal example he said: «These are one of my favorite jeans. I've had them for about a year and they haven't seen the washing machine yet. I know it sounds gross…but trust me, it can be done.” And he is not the only one who advises it. The reason is that for jeans not to lose their color and texture, they should not be washed as often. But in addition, denim is a fabric that adapts to our body and improves over time, which is why putting them in water damages that "adaptation".
3. Do not buy if you do not plan to use it more than 10 times
Many times we let ourselves be carried away by a garment that we love but inside we know that there will be few opportunities or occasions to use them. In these cases, it is better not to buy it. Go for those basic garments that you will not stop using. These days I found out about a capsule closet concept (which I loved). This concept speaks, not only of thinking very well about your purchases, but also of the minimalist concept.
4 Wash with cold water
This one is very simple and has benefits for both the environment and your clothes. The ecological reason is that most water heaters are electric, so every time you select the washing machine cycle with hot water you are basically using two appliances, spending energy and the result will be exactly the same: Clean clothes. Setting your washing machine to cold water is a good practice, as you run less risk of shrinkage, colors stay vivid longer, and you save money and electricity. I honestly think there is no reason to use hot water. And it is that most of the times that we send clothes to be washed, they are not SO dirty, therefore, it is not necessary to wash them with hot water.
5. Bring your own bags and plan your purchases
This is a simple tip but it can make a big difference. It is about bringing your own cloth bags when you go to buy anything. This advice has a very interesting aspect that is planning. There are two ways to carry cloth bags, the first is to know that you are going to buy something specific and carry it, the other is to always carry it with you (which is not so practical). So if you are in a mall and you do not carry the bag, you can ask yourself if you really need what you are going to buy or if you craved it because it is on sale or because you saw someone else wearing something like that. This will prevent you from buying things for the thrill of buying it. Here comes the planning part, when you know that you need something and you go with the intention of buying it and by the way you take the bag with you to avoid being given a plastic bag in the store, you are making a conscious purchase.