Evaluate Your Fashion Footprint

The fashion industry is a major contributor to climate change. This week, consider how you can shrink the carbon footprint of your clothing.

The textile industry emits an estimated 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon emissions every year, and the number of garments that are produced annually has more than doubled since the year 2000. Sadly, this results in more and more garments being made that will hardly be worn and unlikely to be recycled — even when donated.

This week, as the gift-giving season approaches, we hope you’ll consider the ways you can cut down on the carbon footprint of your apparel. Here are a few general guidelines:

  • Most people in the United States and other developed nations have far more clothing than they need, and should make an effort to buy less and make the most of what they already have.
  • If you need to buy clothing, consider getting something pre-owned. Check out second-hand clothing shops like Buffalo Exchange, PlanetXchange or a local charity shop. There are also many apps and online options to sell and buy clothes, like ThreadUp, eBay, and Poshmark.
  • When you must buy something new, consider supporting an ethical and eco-friendly clothing maker. Here’s a great list of designers, to which we’d like add PACT apparel for underwear.
  • To get great new-to-you clothing without spending a dime, clean out your closet and consider swapping it by attending or hosting a fashion swap event.
  • When the clothing you own is totally worn out, look up how to recycle textiles in your area.