We’d like to think that we live in a generation that has a growing awareness for an eco-friendly lifestyle – but you’d be surprised at what you still don’t know. Sure, we’ve started recycling and paying attention to what we put on our plate, but what about the clothes we put on our back? What we wear and how it was produced has a direct impact on our environment. Consider some of these things that we take for granted:
Denim is one thirsty fabric.
It takes 1500 gallons of water to produce an average pair of jeans. We don’t even drink one gallon of water in a day, so imagine how many people could benefit from all that water. And that stone wash you really love? It went through so many acid baths and bleaching processes that its wash water, if not discarded appropriately, destroys aquatic life in nearby rivers or seas.
Look for: Organic denim or vintage jeans. The latter can be naturally distressed or faded (if they aren’t yet). Some fashion brands have already taken to reusing old denim for new designs.
Your penchant for colour might be giving you that rash.
Unless you’re always wearing muslin, chances are, your clothes underwent a dyeing process that’s loaded with toxic chemicals. Your skin naturally reacts to that, causing rashes, allergies, and in some cases, even sickness.
Look for: Clothes that use plant-based dyes and natural fibres.
Last season’s clothes are going to take over the world. Literally.
You won’t be surprised to hear that the average person today has four times more clothes than she did 20 years ago. But have you ever wondered where all of that goes when they’re no longer trendy? Old clothes don’t just fill up closets — most of them end up taking too much space in our landfills.
Look for: Reused and recycled fabric, clothes swapping and even thrift store shopping.
Thousands have died for your silk.
Thousands of worms, that is. While silk is a natural fibre, its traditional harvest includes throwing silkworms into vats of boiling water so they won’t damage their cocoons by emerging out of them. Not a pretty way of saying goodbye to this world.
Look for: Peace silk or free range silk. These are silks made from discarded cocoons that are mended using a specific spinning process.