Everyone can do their bit to help the environment – and now it’s more important than ever. Interested in changing your shopping habits for the better? One of the best ways we can protect Earth from further damage is through shopping sustainably, especially with our clothing. Find out more about what sustainable clothing is, how to shop ethically and sustainably, and the different types of environmentally friendly clothing in our guide.
What Is Sustainable Clothing?
We hear the term thrown about online, but what is sustainable clothing? A whole host of different factors can be included within the term. The most significant are: the fabrics used, the process in which the garments are made and the garment’s lifespan. Let’s delve into each factor in a bit more detail:
• Fabric. The majority of clothing is made with fabrics that shed plastic microfibres that contaminate our waterways and oceans after being washed and dried. Environmentally friendly clothing uses fabrics that release much less microfibres into our water or fabric made from recycled materials.
• Process. The process in which clothes are made plays a significant role in whether they’re sustainable or not. Sustainably made clothing considers the environment in the craft process i.e. efficient energy sources in factories and a low carbon footprint.
• Durability. Design for longevity. In order to achieve more sustainable clothing, the individual garments need to be physically and emotionally durable. This means using good quality, long lasting materials, fabric that is comfortable and a style that transcends trends across the seasons.
How To Shop Ethically And Sustainably
Now you know what it is, how do you go about buying sustainable clothing? A huge part of learning how to shop for clothes sustainably is by changing your mindset. In the era of fast fashion, it’s easy to feel pressured into buying new clothes all the time. But this isn’t the case with good quality, long lasting clothing.
When you’re shopping, remember these questions:
• Do I need this?
• Will I like it this time next year?
• Is it made from long lasting, sustainable materials?
• How often will I wear this?
If it doesn’t tick all of these boxes, you’re probably better off without it. Both the environment and your bank account will thank you for it.
Where Can I Buy Sustainable Clothing?
Fortunately, there are plenty of places you can pick up sustainable clothing. Shopping at your local charity shops is a great example. Not only can you find good quality second hand clothing, you’re also supporting a good cause and your local community – win win.
If you’d still like to buy the odd new garment, lots of high street brands offer sustainably made clothing and offer recycling schemes in store for your old clothes. Looking for eco friendly hiking clothes? We offer just that. Find out more about our sustainability efforts in our Honesty Project pages.
One of the best ways to shop more sustainably is to buy recycled clothing. Clothes made from plastic are a great example of this as the process massively reduces water use and saves on energy. Check out our video on how we make our recycled fleeces from plastic water bottles below:
Sustainable Clothing Guide – Top Tips
Ready to make the switch? We have some additional tips to help you to be the most sustainable you can be.
• Wash and dry your clothes less. This doesn’t mean you can’t wash your clothes when they’re dirty. Just avoid mindlessly throwing your clothes in the laundry pile without checking to see if they actually need a wash.
• Wash your clothes at a lower temperature. When you do wash your clothes, washing them at a lower temperature can save approximately 40% of energy used on laundry each year.
• Never throw your clothes in the bin. There are so many more sustainable ways you can get rid of your clothes nowadays, try taking it to a clothes bank, donating to a charity or recycling in a high street store.
• Mend your favourite pieces. Your favourite pair of boots have a hole in them? Don’t throw them away or spend money on a new pair, head to your local cobblers to give them a new lease of life. Is your GORE-TEX jacket not performing as well as it used to? Don’t replace it. Find out how to care for GORE-TEX jackets in our blog.
• Go for clothes made with sustainable materials. Check the label for materials cotton, linen, wool, rayon, and modal.
Now you’ve read our sustainable clothing guide, are you feeling inspired to change your shopping habits? Help to protect the planet by choosing environmentally friendly clothing from now on. Browse our men’s outdoor clothing and women’s outdoor clothing online.