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The 8 tricks to buy clothes in a sustainable way

By hollisterclothingoutlet 04/02/2022 996 Views

MARY JOSEPH TIMOTHY

The clothing industry has reached unsustainable levels for the planet. More and more people are trying to raise awareness about it and carry out a more sustainable consumption. The last twenty years have seen excessive consumerism of this type of product. But the time has come to put aside these bad practices.

Now actresses with second-hand clothes triumph at galas, celebrities demand that brands stop using fur if they want them to use their clothes. Among consumers, buying very cheap and unnecessary clothes is also beginning to be frowned upon, its impacts are too strong to compulsively enjoy buying products that are going to spoil soon.

Compulsive purchases are joined by the conditions of workers in the textile sector. According to the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU), 300 million people are employed in this sector in the world, most of them women who do not always have decent working conditions. But it also has a great environmental impact, emitting 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, in a scenario threatened by climate change. It consumes a large amount of water, releases 9% of the microplastics that reach the ocean and is responsible for 10% of pesticides. From the OCU they alert consumers to the situation and highlight that changing habits in this case can be key.

The 8 tricks to buy clothes sustainably

To buy clothes in a sustainable way, one of the first steps is to ask yourself if you really need those beautiful pants that look at you from the shop window. Check your closet, most of the clothes are underused and in perfect condition. The data shows that if you buy twice as much clothes as you did 15 years ago, you use 36% less time. The most important thing if you want to contribute to this change and acquire clothes in a sustainable way, it is best that you follow a series of tips.

1. Avoid compulsive purchases. Maybe after a long day at work you feel like buying an entire clothing store, but you know that these compulsive purchases do not bring anything good. Don't get carried away by advertising. If you have an important event you can resort to renting clothes or borrowing something. If you must choose, always quality before quantity. A good quality t-shirt is better than three that will spoil after a few washes.

2. Reject brands that do not treat their workers well. According to a report published by the Clean Clothes Campaign, only 0.6% of the profit obtained from the sale of a garment goes to the workers, while 12% goes to the brand and 59% to the store. If you do not want to be part of this situation, look for ethical brands that guarantee adequate working conditions for their workers, a decent salary and that respect human rights.

3. Avoid clothing made with materials with a high environmental impact. These types of products can be conventional cotton, which consumes a lot of water and chemical products; or synthetic textiles that release microplastics during washing such as polyester, nylon, polyamide, acrylic, elastane, etc. 35% of the microplastics found in the sea come from the water in washing machines.

4. Choose fabrics with a low environmental impact, such as lyocell (Tencel), recycled cotton, regenerated wool, hemp or ecological linen. As a general rule, if the fabrics come from recycled fibers they tend to have less impact on the environment.

5. Do not contribute to animal exploitation to dress yourself, it is not necessary. You can use fabrics of animal origin such as wool or silk, as long as they have been produced respecting animal welfare.

6. Avoid buying clothes of different sizes online, thinking of returning the one that does not suit you. If you do this, CO2 emissions are multiplied during transport and shipping packaging. And if you are going to buy online, it is better not to do it with urgent delivery, to allow logistics companies to plan shipments to minimize their emissions. You can consider buying second-hand clothes, in this way you will save resources from the manufacture of a new garment.

7. Try not to wash clothes more than necessary. Also when you wash a garment do it with cold or lukewarm water. In this way, you will not only be saving energy and water, you will also reduce the environmental impact derived from the use of detergents. To minimize the release of microplastics during washes, fill the washing machine with a full load and avoid intense and prolonged washes because they cause more friction on the clothes. Air dry and use detergents with low impact on the environment.

8. Prolong the life of your clothes and shoes. If you no longer use it, donate it to someone who can take advantage of it. It has also become very fashionable to sell the clothes you no longer wear on second-hand online platforms like Wallapop or Vinted. Another option is to throw it in a clothing container or take it to a clean point, never deposit it in the waste container. Only 1% of clothing is recycled to become new garments, in many cases it can be recycled for industrial uses. Even better if the manager is a social entity such as Cáritas or the Traperos de Emaús, it will employ people at risk of social exclusion.

OCU Organization of Consumers and Users, FashionTrends

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