Give a Sh!rt: 5 Steps to Lower Your Clothing Footprint

Friday, May 26, 2017

Thank you Value Village for partnering on this post! Sustainable fashion is "in" and when it comes down to it, the most sustainable clothing on our planet is clothing that already exists! Give a sh!rt about your clothing footprint! Affiliate links are used throughout this blog. All opinions are my own!

Give a Shi!t: 5 Steps to Lower Your Clothing Footprint

Did you know the world now consumes more than 80 billion pieces of new clothing each year (4x as much as in 1980), with more and more ending up in landfills?! On top of that, the average American throws away 81 pounds of clothing each year! That is crazy talk.

Fashion is one of the most wasteful industries on our planet and one of the largest sources of pollution; it takes over 700 gallons of water to make just one t-shirt and over 1800 gallons of water to make just one pair of jeans. That's over 2500 gallons of water for just one outfit. And water is just one of many natural resources required to make new clothing, Yikes!

Knowing that I am living on a planet with a finite amount of resources and with billions of other people, I am always looking for ways to reduce my ecological footprint ~ "the impact of a person or community on the environment, expressed as the amount of land required to sustain their use of natural resources." - Oxford Dictionary

My Fiance and I have chosen to live in a small house (900 sq feet) in the City where we have access to public transportation (2 buses within a few blocks that can get us downtown in 15 minutes!) and restaurants, shops and parks within walking distance. We share one vehicle, an electric hybrid, and always consider where our food comes from and try to buy local (growing within 100 miles from where we live) when shopping for meals (hello farmer's markets, bread from our neighborhood bakery and local produce and dairy at grocery stores).

This year my goal is to lower the ecological footprint of my closet, because Earth Day is everyday!  Value Village just released the 2017 State of Reuse Report, examining perceptions around clothing consumption and reuse; I am taking note and giving a sh!rt about my clothing footprint!

Give a Shi!t: 5 Steps to Lower Your Clothing Footprint

5 Steps to Lower Your Clothing Footprint . . .

1. Just Thrift It
Thrift shopping is a fun, easy and stylish way to help the earth! Some of the most sustainable clothing on the planet is clothing that already exists. By shopping at thrift stores, perfectly good items are kept in circulation and out of landfills. A reused product doesn't require additional resources to remain in circulation and is a great way to refresh your wardrobe.

Thrift stores are gold mines for items from past designer collections, rare vintage pieces and one of a kind finds, often for a fraction of the original cost. I am a huge fan of Value Village for discovering these fabulous finds, saving money, and reducing my clothing footprint!

2. Consider a Leaner Closet & Fewer, Better Things
Upon moving into our 1918, 900 sq ft Seattle Craftsman recently (first time homeowners here!), my Fiancé S and I quickly learned that our two 1918 closets would hold only a fraction of the clothing we owned between us. Specifically, it would only hold a fraction of my clothing.

I took the opportunity to edit and purge (donating anything that no longer brought me happiness, fit perfectly, or had tags still on but had never been worn) and parted with 80% of what had previously fit in the giant closets of our prior loft. I now only buy and own items I truly love and seek to create a lean closet filled with fewer, better things; items I know will last a very long time, that are made with the highest quality materials and define my personal style.

Give a Shi!t: 5 Steps to Lower Your Clothing Footprint

3. Check Yo' Labels
When buying a new item for my closet, I always take a peak at the label and spend time researching the brand and item ahead of purchase. I want to know the story behind the item and company and the impact they are having on our planet.

Just a few questions I consider - Is the item ethically produced? What is the environmental impact of their supply chain? What materials are being used to create the item? Do they pay their workers a living wage? Do they check their factories? Do they recycle? Reuse? Give back to the community through any initiatives?

Patagonia, Siizu, Nau, Veja, Skye Footwear and Edun are just a few examples of sustainable brands I am loving right now.

4. Reuse Items
I like to find creative ways to reuse items instead of tossing them. Jeans that are slightly too big or end up with too many holes are perfect contenders for denim cutoffs (I save the scraps to patch up other denim!). Broken jewelry can be reworked into new pieces and sentimental t-shirts become quilts!

5. Donate Unwanted Goods
Instead of tossing, head to your local Value Village and donate any unwanted goods. Landfills are turning into laundry piles and we are throwing out a sh!rt ton that could be reused. With only 16% of clothing and textiles being recycled (collected, processed, and turned into new clothing), 26 billion pounds of clothing and textiles ends up in landfills each year, 95% of which could be reused or recycled!

Even when you donate clothing that can't be sold or doesn't sell, Value Village will take those textiles and recycle them! So instead of tossing that worn out t-shirt in the trash, add it to your donation pile, keep it out of the landfill, and keep those finite natural resources in the cycle of use.

Give a Shi!t: 5 Steps to Lower Your Clothing Footprint

Give a Sh!rt & Lower Your Clothing Footprint:
Shop smarter for a leaner closet of fewer better things. Reuse items and donate them, instead of ditching them, to reduce your clothing footprint. It's time to give a sh!rt about our planet and keep fashion sustainable!

xoxo

My Outfit Details:
Lilly Pulitzer Dress c/o Value Village (thrifted, similar)
Bag c/o Value Village (thrifted, similar)
PONS Avarcas Classic Sandal c/o Moorea Seal
Marc Jacobs Sunglasses (similar)
Charlotte Tilbury Makeup c/o Nordstrom

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Photography: Jenn of HelloRigby
Give a Shi!t: 5 Steps to Lower Your Clothing Footprint

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