Consciously Curating an Environmentally Friendly Closet

With fall weather approaching, summer clothes are being pushed to the back of closets in order to make room for the purchases of a new wardrobe. But this year, why not try becoming an empowered consumer knowledgeable about where your articles of clothing are being produced, where the materials are sourced and what the materials are, as well as the environmental impact they have on our world. Fast fashion is a large culprit to the pollution of the world we live on: it sells itself inexpensively and conveniently, it preys on the oppressed in developing countries, and it is furthering the destruction of our planet.

One of the easiest way to begin to reduce your impact on the environment, in regard to fashion, is to buy articles that are made from high quality materials, take care of them, and repair them when necessary. This lends to the concept of circular fashion where there is ideally no waste being produced.

The easiest way to begin to reduce your impact on the environment in regard to clothing is to buy used clothing. Go thrift shopping with friends to buy clothes you aren’t sure are going to be worn that often or to happen upon some vintage finds. There are also many online websites that allow you to buy used clothing like Poshmark.

Consumer knowledge allows you to make conscious decisions when buying something new. When buying something, look at the materials it is made from. Polyester is commonly used, but in its production and when it is washed, contributes to the increasing amounts of synthetic microplastics in our water systems. Try purchasing articles of clothing that have only one source material so in the event that your clothes are recycled all parts can be reused efficiently. Also look for organically sourced materials which can often be signified by a label that has OEKO-TEX® on it.

There are many brands that have pledged themselves from contributing to the now deeply rooted fast fashion that invades the closets of all. One of the easiest determinants to understand if a company is making efforts to reduce their impact on the environment is transparency. A few companies are active clothing brands, Girlfriend Collective and Patagonia; more affordable environmentally conscious companies, Everlane and H&M’s Eco-friendly line; French inspired wardrobe, Sezane; and American brand, Reformation.

To gain a better understanding of the true impact fashion on our world watch documentary “The True Cost” on Netflix or read New York Time’s article “How Fast Fashion is Destroying Our Planet.” Of course, it’s not easy to transition quickly from buying convenient and inexpensive clothes to purchasing articles you want to have for years, but it all starts with just one purchase. You can use this as a suggestive guide to consciously curate your closet.