The clothing industry has always had this dark side to it when it comes to labor and being environmentally friendly. It has been a major source of the worlds pollution and has unethical practices such as the low wages and the conditions that the workers are forced to work in for longer hours than most. According to the Natural Resources Defense, the Chinese clothing industry alone creates up to 300 tons of soot each year. According to the EPA ( Environmental Protection Act), more than 21 billion pounds of clothing was discarded in U.S. landfills. With the impact that global warming is having on our planet, there are some simple things that can be done to help with the environment.
1) The first thing that you can do for a more environmentally friendly wardrobe is buy “green Detergent”. Most of the chemicals that are found in laundry detergents are harmful to the environment because of the synthetic chemicals. Try to find a detergent that does not have Perchchloroethylene, a common and hazards chemical that is commonly used for dry cleaning. Make sure to use low heat or hang dry clothing after washing to save energy.
2) Make sure to not throw your clothes away, but instead recycle them. Give them to charitable organizations or take them to second hand stores. Buying and selling to second hand stores will decrease your carbon footprint and take away from the money that is going into the companies that are using factories.
3) Something that we are very good about here in the Pacific Northwest is shopping local. By supporting local businesses and artists, this decreases the transportation costs and resources. They also have smaller spaces and buy their materials most likely locally.
4) Before buying a certain brand or going to a certain store, make sure to do a little research on what the brand is about-morals and ethics. It really says something about the brand and how the clothing is made by the morals of the brand itself. Before buying a 5$ shirt at one of the big chains such as Forever 21, think about why it is so cheap to begin with. Most of those clothes that are priced so cheaply are made with cheap materials and do not use environmentally friendly materials to produce their clothing. They are just trying to make a fast buck and are all about quantity or quality.