In an ideal system, the life cycle of a garment would be ongoing, intertwining circles such that the garment would continually move to the next life—redesigned, reinvented, and never discarded—eliminating the concept of waste.
But that’s not realistic. Or is it?
Here are 9 ways to end YOUR addiction to “fast fashion” and help the environment:
1) Support designers and manufacturers that take responsibility for the future life of their garments. Educate yourself and purchase responsibly.
2) As a consumer, do be mindful of not only how you dispose, reuse, or upcycle garments appropriately but also how you care for them. How we wash and care for the garment in a way that both is sustainable and ensures longevity of the item is as important as how it was made. Launder full loads, use ethically made detergents and hang to dry when you can.
3) Look for VINTAGE designs – visit your local thrift stores where you can find gems such as donated denim jeans, coats or dresses. Give your Amazon Prime account a break for a month and get out there to shops where you can touch what quality garments should feel like. Then come back to sites like www.carafina.com and support our on-demand manufacturing.
4) Have a “denim trade-in” party. What is this? Host a clothing swap. I know…sounds like your grandma’s Tupperware days. But did you know that denim is among the most guilty garment types responsible for waste? There are close to TWO BILLION pairs of denim garments produced every year and provided with varying degrees of quality. Rather than throwing yours away, gather your friends. And as denim is gender neutral, have everyone bring three to five denim items they no longer wear and trade away.
5) Support brands and products that are “season less” and less stuck on the latest trends. Classy and ethically-made are classy and in style year round. Buy high quality when you can.
6) Donate, donate, donate. Your shoes too, please. Take care of them so that they can move on in the life cycle and have a new owner.
7) Now that you’ve educated yourself with where and how your garments make their way to the landfills, how about doing the same slow your roll method of thinking through your other shopping habits. Did you know that shopping for groceries while HANGRY (hungry and angry) is the best way to increase the amount of food spending that will also make its way into your trash and the landfills. So have a graham cracker or snack to hold you over before you hit the next grocery store. or better yet, don’t even step foot into a grocery store. Use grocery delivery services such as Instacart and work from a strict shopping list created on your profile. If you don’t see it on your must-haves list, you are not buying it.
8) Repurpose old clothing. Cut up your old shirts full of tears and use to wipe up messes in the kitchen. Use old cotton clothing to swipe the dust up and did you know that even newspaper can be used to clean your car windows (so don’t throw those away either…wait do you even use newspapers? Online is best for the environment but support your local newspapers if you can).
9) Now that that you’ve gone this far, take a look at the Carafina page for t-shirts that will be made to order just for you and your loved ones. Have any other t- shirt design ideas? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we may just be able to include your family last name for that Family Reunion you’ve been dreaming about.