Earth-Friendly Fashion Guide: 14 Ways to Green Your Style | Earth Day Network

By Stef McDonald

How we shop and care for our clothing is one of many ways we can we can reduce our carbon footprints and protect our water sources, the earth, and the public health. Here are some tips to green your wardrobe and be stylishly environmentally-friendly.

  1. Shop locally. Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll reduce carbon emissions. Bonus: you’ll support your local economy.
  2. Go organic: Buy clothing made with organic fabrics when you can. Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll play a small part in reducing pesticide use and keeping the earth and our water sources clean.
  3. Go natural: Buy clothing made with natural fabric fibers instead of synthetic fabrics. Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll reduce the amount of microplastics in our water sources that come from synthetic fibers that shed during washes.
  4. Support sustainable brands. Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll be taking business away from polluting companies in favor of ones who care about people and the planet.
  5. Donate, don’t throw out: One person’s trash is another’s treasure tip #1: Donate unwanted clothing to thrift stores or local shelters instead of throwing them out. Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll divert waste from landfills. Bonus: you’ll support your local community.
  6. Swap with friends and neighbors: One person’s trash is another’s treasure tip #2: Host a clothing swap with friends. Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll divert waste from landfills. Bonus: it’s fun!
  7. Sell wanted clothing: One person’s trash is another’s treasure tip #3: Sell your clothing on eBay or another resale shop. Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll divert waste from landfills. Bonus: you’ll earn money.
  8. Save water when washing. Wash clothing only when necessary (many items can be worn multiple times before they need to be washed). Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll save water and energy.
  9. Use earth-friendly detergents: Use laundry detergent without harmful, petrochemicals (petroleum-derived). Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll play a small part in reducing toxins from entering our water and environment and reduce your carbon footprint.
  10. Think twice about dry-cleaning. If it’s necessary to dry-clean your clothing, chose a dry cleaner that uses environmentally-friendly cleaning solutions and bring your own reusable bag return your hangers. Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll play a small part in keeping toxins from our environment and reduce plastic pollution.
  11. Drip dry. Hang clothes to dry outdoors on a clothing line or a drying rack (or on a drying rack in the bathtub). Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll save energy. (Bonus: there’s less wear-and-tear on your clothing.)
  12. Reuse and repurpose worn or unwanted clothing. Use old t-shirts and other worn items as rags. Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll divert waste from landfills and save paper.
  13. Upcycle clothing. You can work wonders with a pair of scissors and a needle and thread and give new life to an old garment. Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll divert waste from landfills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  14. Shop secondhand first. Buy pre-owned clothing from thrift shops, consignment shops, vintage sources, and online resale shops, from eBay and Etsy to Poshmark and the RealReal. Earth-friendly benefit: you’ll keep clothing out of landfills and reduce emissions and play a small part in reducing pollution and emissions from the over-production of new merchandise.