While fashion is a fun way to express yourself, it’s also one of the top contributors to damaging the environment. With many businesses adopting more eco-friendly practices, sustainability is a big and important topic right now.
A student group at California Academy of Math and Sciences (CAMS), in Carson, California, is advocating for sustainable fashion choices as part of their 2020 Waste Campaign project. The students have been focused on reducing the number of clothes headed to the landfill and microfiber pollution and are promoting apps and websites where students can sell their second-hand clothes instead of throwing them away.
The CAMS students saw this as an opportunity after doing a survey at their school which found “less than 10% of our school were either aware or used any of these apps, these second-hand selling apps. So we wanted to increase that percentage …. to help the environment,” said CAMS student, Cathleen U.
They’ve been hard at work promoting this smart way to be more sustainable. Below are a few tips on how you and your loved ones can make more sustainable fashion choices, too.
Support Sustainable Brands
Making eco-friendly fashion choices doesn’t mean that you can’t buy new clothes. It’s about making a conscious decision to support sustainable brands that help our environment. The next time you and your friends are planning a shopping trip, do some research to see which brands are eco-friendly and which are not. You can easily find this information on company websites or their social media channels. Look into ethical brands to see which ones share the same values as you and your friends and family. Doing so will not only help the environment but will also help promote fair and equal working conditions as well!
Encourage Proper Clothing Disposal
As much as shopping sustainably is important, so is the proper disposal of our clothing. Every year, trends come and go and we find ourselves reaching for certain pieces in our closets less frequently. Now that spring has finally sprung, encourage your friends and family to do a closet cleanout and properly dispose of their unwanted clothing. Instead of tossing items in the trash where they’ll sit in landfills and emit greenhouse gases, sell your old clothing to a secondhand shop. Not only will this positively impact the environment, but your friends and family also won’t have to worry about doing any of the heavy lifting that is involved with selling their clothes.
The student team at CAMS knows why it’s so important to reconsider how we dispose of our clothing. “A lot of the clothes that people donate actually don’t even end up being sold to these … brick and mortar shops,” said Oliver K. — a CAMS student. “A lot of the clothes don’t even end up on display, don’t end up in the hands of anybody. They just go to the landfill. So these apps allow people to give these clothes a chance.”
Host a Clothing Swap
Another eco-friendly way to get rid of unwanted clothing and even score some new pieces is to host a clothing swap party. Reach out to your friends and family and arrange a time for everyone to bring over any clothing they no longer want. You can then set up tables and arrange the items by style, size, or even season and occasion. You and your loved ones can then go through each item and pick out your desired pieces. Any clothing left over after the swap can be donated to a local shelter or organization.
Upcycle Your Clothes Together
For those pieces that you or your loved ones may have that you’re not quite ready to let go of yet, consider upcycling your clothes. Grab your friends and family, get out your craft supplies, and watch your clothes transform! Have a pair of jeans or pants that are too short? Turn them into cut-off shorts. Have a worn-out t-shirt that you no longer wear? Turn it into a reusable grocery bag! Whether you DIY your clothes so you’re able to re-wear them or turn them into something else entirely, embrace your crafty side to completely transform your wardrobe!