A Step in the Right Direction – Reduce Your Fashion Footprint

These days, it’s hard to skim the headlines without seeing references to global warming and climate change. With the onslaught of grim predictions for planet earth, finding solutions can feel hopeless.

The good thing is, that’s not the case. Each of us can have a positive impact by measuring, evaluating and finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint.

The term carbon footprint is defined as “The total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).” [Wikipedia]

When you measure your carbon footprint, you are determining the total of all emissions of CO2 (carbon dioxide), created by your lifestyle and activities on an annual basis.

We can expand this to the clothes we wear. You can reduce your “fashion footprint” by following these tips.

  1. Reuse & Recycle – Chances are you have garments hanging out in your closet that you will never wear. Instead of discarding items, start donating. Use this 3 question quiz when you’re on the fence about an article of clothing.
  • Do I need this item?
  • When have I worn it?
  • Will I ever wear it?

This helps you focus on the clothing you will wear on a regular basis, and donating the rest. There are plenty of organizations in Canada that need clothing in good condition.

  1. Make It Last – Read garment labels and understand how to properly clean your clothes. Hand washing delicates and other fine garment materials will extend the life of the garment and save energy. Not sure how to read garment labels. Lifehacker has a handy infographic on how to wash fabrics here.
  2. Be A Conscious Consumer – Embrace sustainable fashion and eco conscious retailers. Pay attention to how retailers manufacture their clothes. There are many Canadian based designers that use organic and sustainable materials to make clothes. Either/Or is a website featuring eco conscious Canadian designers.
  3. Buy Used – As more of use start recycling clothes, it means more donations to thrift stores. Buying used is a great way to save money and avoid fast fashion You’re also using less energy that would be devoted to the shipping and packaging of a new garment.
  4. Shop Less – Online shopping has made it easy for us to buy more clothing, for less money, delivered quicker than ever. This is also the reason why fast fashion is so toxic to the environment. Instead of buying sale items, buy better quality and buy less. A hand made luxury item may cost more, but it will last longer.


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