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Greening Your Wardrobe: 6 Ways

Greening Your Wardrobe: 6 Ways

When you think “eco-friendly” wardrobe, something totally unsexy probably comes to mind. You know what I’m talking about–those old-time Birkenstocks, baggy burlap-feeling dresses, or some other form of “hippie” gear. Well, put aside those preconceptions and consider that an eco-friendly wardrobe has more to do with the approach to building and maintaining your wardrobe rather than some ascetic ban on the pleasure of feeling good while you’re looking good.

Here are some suggestions from The Green Teen by Jenn Savedge (Kedzie Press) for planet-lovers of all ages who like to dress well.

1. Fix It.
Try taking a fresh look at what’s in your closet to see what can be fixed and what can be reconfigured into something great. Learn how to sew a button or patch a hole (or make a hole); or re-tailor worn-out duds by turning a last year’s pants into shorts or an old dress into a skirt.

2. Consider “Preloved.”
Most thrift shops are a treasure trove of amazing clothes in every shape, style and color. “Preloved” duds save money and reduce the use of new materials while keeping the old items out of the landfill.

3. Seek Out Organic.
When you have to buy new, look for clothes labeled 100 percent organic. Cotton, linen, wool, bamboo, and hemp can all be grown organically and used to produce green clothing. (Did you know that one-quarter of all the pesticides used throughout the entire world are used in the production of cotton?)

4. Keep It Fair.
A $5 T-shirt may seem like a great deal, but you have to remember the environmental and social costs required to make this garment so inexpensive. Look for clothing that has been independently verified as “sweat-free.”

5. Give Them a Second Life.
Don’t toss your clothes in the trash. If you can’t use it, and none of your friends want it, pass it on to a local charity or thrift store. If it is simply too worn out, cut it up to use as rags around the house.

6. Don’t Get Taken to the Cleaners.
Avoid the extra hassle and wasting money by buying clothes that do not have to be dry-cleaned. If you absolutely must have something dry-cleaned, look for a shop that use greener methods such as wet-cleaning or liquid CO2 to reduce its toxic load.

Read more: Beauty, Fashion, , , ,

By Terri Hall-Jackson, contributing writer,

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Terri Hall

Terri Hall lives in the Hudson Valley with her family. In addition to writing, Terri works with public television and radio stations/networks in the area of new media, and leads workshops on authentic and empowered living.


+ add your own
11:04PM PST on Nov 10, 2013

great tips thanks for sharing

4:15AM PST on Feb 12, 2013


4:12AM PST on Feb 11, 2013


3:27AM PST on Feb 11, 2013

These are very good tips. Thank you

11:43AM PST on Jan 21, 2012

a lot of items marked "dry clean only" may be hand washed or machine washed on delicate cycle...

1:56PM PDT on Sep 20, 2010

I've never heard of "sweat-free" before. This is a helpful article. Thank-you.

1:56AM PST on Nov 23, 2009

Thanks for the great tips. I buy Fairtrade clothing whenever possible and I love the organic cotton and bamboo products. I only buy clothes which don't need to be dry-cleaned and I clear out my wardrobe every so often and give any unwanted items to a charity shop.

4:39AM PST on Nov 7, 2009

Great ideas! Some other things that I do--
-Avoid buying clothes that are "dry clean only"--though I understand there are eco-friendly dry cleaning processes these days, I'd just rather not deal with the hassle. It helps that I have a job with a casual dress code


2:59PM PDT on Oct 26, 2009

i love this article--there is so much we can do to be greener and look gtreat while we are at it. I run an import business of artisan designs from colombia and many of our items are made fromall natural materials like our orange peel, melon seed and necklaces and iraca palm bracelets and bags.

10:50AM PDT on Oct 20, 2009

Well I guess it would be accurate to say that slowly green is becoming the new black. Celebrities such as Cate Blanchett are leading the way and many famous designers such as Oscar de la Renta are venturing into the green fashion territory. Now that I know a little more about the trend I hope it continues. After all it is great to know that there are clothes that are good for you and the environment.
My wife found a site which she really liked. The clothes on the site looked pretty, fashionable yet practical, and were at very reasonable prices. So if you are looking to try some eco-friendly fashions made out of organic cotton try this site.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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