Do you know how damaging the fashion industry is to the environment? Here are some statistics to put it in perspective:
- 85 % of the water that is used for textile processing leads to run off and pollutes nearby water sources (Source: Cotton, Inc.)
- 11.3 billion litres of water is required for one year’s worth of global textile production
- 5.9 trillion litres of water are used each year for fabric dyeing
- 100 million new items of clothing are produced every year
As a consumer, you can change your habits to make sustainable choices when it comes to how you dress. Here’s how to fight fashion and make your dress more eco-friendly:
Less but Better
According to the United Nations, fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world. Instead of going to the mall and buying three low-quality dresses for $30, consider buying one high-quality dress for $100 that will last longer. Just think you can wear it for months on end and won’t have to keep getting $30 dresses. It may cost more at first, but you will avoid making more purchases in the future. Reflect on the true costs of your dress as well. Is it made in a factory that is safe to work in? Does the company that makes pay their employees a fair wage? Was it produced sustainably? Ask yourself these questions every time you buy a new dress.
Thirty Wear Pledge
Another critical question to ask yourself when purchasing a dress is: “Will I wear this dress at least thirty times?” If you’re considering buying a dress for a particular event, make sure you can wear it to other future events.
Shop Second-hand or Vintage
If you do have an event that you need a dress for, consider buying it vintage or second-hand. Shopping second-hand means you’re not contributing to a new garment being produced. It can also be a more cost-efficient option if you’re on a budget. Additionally, you’re more likely to find a unique dress that no one else will have! You won’t have to worry about someone showing up to a party in the same dress as you!
Participate In Clothing Swaps
Clothing swaps are a fantastic way to extend the life of your dresses. Ask friends that are the same size as you to do a clothing swap where you go through your closets and bring dresses they no longer wear. You can trade or just give them to your friends. If you have an event coming up that you need a new dress for, ask around if anyone has one you can borrow for the night.
Don’t Buy Dresses to Donate Them Later
According to Statistics Canada, 76 percent of Canadians donate their unwanted clothing and other household items to charitable and non-profit organizations. This percentage is excellent as it means people are giving a second life to their clothes instead of putting them directly into landfills. However, please don’t buy a dress, wear it once and then donate it or sell it to a consignment store. Sometimes when these dresses are not purchased, they end up in landfills. The thirty wear pledge still applies! Only donate dresses that no longer fit or in styles you’ve outgrown.
Shop Online Ethically
Who doesn’t love online shopping? It’s quick and convenient, and you don’t have to leave the house? If you’re online shopping, making sure the company you’re shopping from makes sustainability a priority. Looking into a company’s sustainability efforts is easier to do when shopping online because you’re able to review more information about the dresses. Check and see what fabrics it is made from, where it’s made and check the website for any certifications.
Look out for the following eco-friendly materials when shopping:
Repair, Alter, Preserve
Instead of buying new dresses when old dresses get a hole or become too small, bring them to Love Your Dress. We’ll breathe life into your dress with our dress cleaning, dress repair and dress alteration services. Wondering what to do with your wedding dress? Check out our affordable wedding gown preservation services. Love Your Dress is Canada’s largest dress cleaning facility. Our specialists can make your dress more eco-friendly by fixing any wear and tear, removing any stains and ensuring you get way more use out of it! Contact us today to get a free quote!