In this day and age, it’s considered “trendy” to be eco-friendly when it comes to fashion. However, sometimes the fashion retailers will try to fool you with their labeling tricks. For example, there was a huge controversy about companies labeling their products as “100% natural bamboo” when indeed this was false—the garment was made of 100% rayon. Although rayon is a derivative of bamboo, rayon is a manufactured/synthetic fiber that goes through many chemical processes which then turns it into rayon. (Think about it—wearing 100% bamboo is unheard of, it would be stiff, uncomfortable and itchy). With that being said, rayon is basically the complete opposite of a product that is “natural” and “eco-friendly.” However, there are products that you should look out for that most often do hold true to being an eco-friendly fashion product. Here are some tips to follow if you are trying to be an eco-friendly consumer!
- Aim for clothing made of flax rather than cotton (which is a very water-intensive crop, especially when it goes through the dying process). Less water is wasted when producing flax because of the irrigation process used to grow and process it. Also, there are less agricultural chemicals used and removing the fiber from the stem is less water intense.
- Aim for more hemp in your closet—it is processed in a way similar to flax and has low environmental impact when kept in its natural color. It also grows very quickly without the need for pesticides.
- Try to purchase garments that have not undergone many finishing processes—these processes produce so much water waste and the chemicals used can pollute if they are not discarded properly
- One of the best ways to be an environmentally-friendly consumer is to purchase less. Although investing in staple products can be a bit pricey, it not only positively benefits the environment, but also gives your closet some garments that will last a lifetime. Try not to go out and find a black dress from Forever 21, but instead, opt to invest in a little black dress from an environmentally-friendly company that although many be a little expensive, will most likely last you forever because it is made of nicer and environmentally-friendly trims and findings. Besides, it’s a black dress, you will get endless uses out of it (especially if you just play up your accessories!)
- Lastly, being educated is key. The Earth is a gift from God, and therefore should be treated with the uttermost respect and care. By being educated and staying up to date about the recent manufacturing and production processes that are garments undergo today, it will help us to make better and more educated decisions about what we are purchasing and how it impacts the Earth and future generations.