So your green juice is organic. Your face cream is natural. Your toilet paper is recycled. Want to give your wardrobe the same eco-makeover, but worried that means a dull life of thrift store hemp sacks? Here’s how.
Before you shop, take a minute to consider three things: what an item is made from, how it’s made, and how you’ll clean it. For fabric, cotton is a heavily sprayed agricultural crop. The solution? Organic or sustainably grown cotton. Then think about production (some textiles use more water and harmful chemicals than others), including dyes (some dyes pollute more than others). Next, look at how a fabric should be laundered; dry cleaning is not the eco-friendliest way to clean. Washing at home in cold water with a “natural” detergent is preferable. Line dry for extra points.
Now it’s time to shop. You’re in for a happy surprise.
Start by familiarizing yourself with the most established eco-fashion lines—high end as well as low. Get to know Edun, Bono and his wife Ali Hewson’s line founded to promote trade in Africa. Check out Stella McCartney; the vegetarian designer weaves sustainability throughout her collections. Don’t forget Toms for ubiquitous shoes (including new sandals and wedges) that give back. For reasonably priced organic cotton staples, shop H&M’s conscious collection.
Finally, buy pieces to last beyond one season; durable is green. Here are 8 must haves from up-and-coming eco-designers.
Related: Olivia Wilde’s Baby Step Plan to Save the World
Related: Sequins Made from Shampoo Bottles & More From H&M’s Sustainability Report