This video sparks some interesting points…
Clothing is one of those everyday things that slip under the cracks. When people think of clothing it is usually about finding the best deal, what’s stylish on oneself, and heck, finding what fits best—because shopping for a well fitted slack is impossible!
Things to start thinking about:
Right now. Grab a piece of clothing, any clothing, but make sure it has a tag. Now examine the tag and what do you see? No, this isn’t home economics.
Key things to look at -> Material used and Where it was made.
Why does material matter? Common synthetics like polyester, acrylic, and nylon are made from synthetic materials, being cheaper and easier to produce. BUT, these synthetic materials are harmful to the Earth, to people you indirectly affect, and yourself.
Synthetic fibers are formed mainly from raw materials such as petroleum-based chemicals or petrochemicals. They can catch fire easily, are toxic when burned, non-biodegradable, can be damaged easily by heat, and add microfibers to water supplies and oceans. YES. You probably have plastic floating around in your body. Thank you chemical engineering, you are the gift that keeps on giving.
‘That dress is so vibrant and is perfect for Summer!’ Well, that dress also was made with toxic dyes, by people in poor living conditions who experience the harmful effects of chemicals used during the dying process. Cancer, occupational asthma, allergic reactions and yet again we see another pollutant to water.
Sweatshops, we’ve all heard this before and they have evolved. Many workers have poor working conditions, make little money, and work long hours.
‘Made in the USA’—Why is this important? First off, help support local businesses and buy locally whenever possible. But make sure they do their best and find businesses that source their material fairly and sustainably. You can even go a step further and buy your clothes from a local thrift shop—Bonus points if it is a not-for-profit!
Thrifting is a fun activity and is like a hunt for treasure. When you find that perfect shirt, dress, or even pants, you will be so ecstatic and your brain will release some happy-inducing chemicals. Plus, you can find fun, vintage clothing and even brand name clothing that is brand new. Have fun with it!
Finally, buy quality over quantity. Make a purchase not based on the latest style, but rather for quality, sustainability, materials, necessity, and comfort.
Make informed decisions and don’t buy something on the whim. Your conscious purchase will benefit the planet, those who live on it, and help build a sustainable future for the next generations.
Note: Rayon is also known as a synthetic fiber but made from cellulose, so it isn’t AS bad.
Good luck conscious shopper!