In the last two years I have started 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. What's more, 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 some things that I personally apply to make my closet more eco- frendly.
Please do not think that I am an expert, I still fall into the temptation to buy some things that do not meet these rules, but the first step is to know that we have to change and be aware of the impact of what we buy.
I have to confess that I have always had the chip to "take 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 or fast fashion clothes, there were even 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 badly they are paid, definitely generated in me a change in the way I see the garments in the warehouses.
Anyway ... I'm going to tell you some of the things that I do to make my closet more eco-frendly.
1. Buy second-hand clothes.
I know, the first answer is: EWW! ... but I swear it is not bad. Lately there are many pages where they sell very cool and cute clothes that have been worn once. Even many times there are 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 lousy if I didn't wash my jeans every time I wore them, but guess what, jeans are not made to be washed that often. Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh noticed this a few years ago and with a personal example he said, “These are one of my favorite jeans. I've had them for a year or so and they still haven't seen the washing machine. 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 so that the jeans do not lose their color and texture, they should not be washed so often. But in addition, denim is a fabric that adapts to our body and improves over time, hence putting them in water damages this "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 deep down we know that there will be few opportunities or occasions to use them. In these cases, better not buy it. Go for those basic clothes that you will not stop using. These days I learned about a capsule closet concept (which I loved). This concept speaks, not only of thinking about your purchases very well, but also of the minimalist concept. If you want to know more you can click here.
This is very simple and has benefits both for the environment and for your clothes. The ecological reason is that most of the water heaters are electric, so every time you select the cycle of the washing machine with hot water you are basically using two appliances, wasting energy and the result will be exactly the same: Clean clothes. Programming the washing machine to use cold water is a good practice, since you run less risk of shrinking clothes, colors will look vivid for longer, and you save money and electricity. I honestly think there is no reason to use hot water. And the thing is that most of the times 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 simple advice 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 fabric 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 shopping center 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 because it is at a discount 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 you need something and you go with the intention of buying it and by the way you carry the bag with you to avoid being given a plastic bag at the store, you are making a conscious purchase.