How To: Green your wardrobe

Green your wardrobe

Wearing vintage clothing is one of the best ways to reduce the environmental impact of your fashion choices—short of walking around naked.

You Will Need:
* A vintage store
* A sewing kit
* A resale shop
* Eco-safe laundry detergent
* A clothesline
* And an environmentally conscious dry cleaner

Step 1: Read labels
Look for natural fabrics such as wool, cotton, cashmere, bamboo, hemp, and linen.

Step 2: Avoid synthetics
Avoid new synthetic fabrics made with petrochemicals, such as acrylic, polyester, rayon, nylon, or anything labeled stain-proof or wrinkle resistant. Many such fabrics are treated with chemicals that not only impact the environment, but also may be absorbed or inhaled directly.

Step 3: Look for natural dyes
Botanically dyed or color-grown cotton provides natural variety.

Step 4: Think classic not trendy
Try not to load up on trendy items that you will throw away after one season. Be willing to pay a bit more for a high-quality classic that will last for years.

Step 5: Buy vintage
When shopping for clothes, accessories, and jewelry, check your local consignment or thrift store for vintage items.

Step 6: Make over old clothes
Don't but new clothes unless you have to. Extend the life of what you already own with a stylish makeover—such as new buttons or trim.

Step 7: Donate used items
When finished with an item of clothing, instead of discarding it, hand it down to a friend or charity, or donate it to a resale shop.

Step 8: Use a green dry cleaner
Many natural fabrics wash beautifully in cold water by hand, but if you must dry-clean something, look for an environmentally conscious dry cleaner.

Step 9: Use nontoxic detergent
Launder your clothes with a nontoxic detergent that is free of dyes and artificial fragrances. Powdered detergent is easiest on the environment.

Step 10: Use a clothesline
Consider air-drying at least some of your clothes on a clothesline, to save on electricity.

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