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Plastic is lightweight, convenient, and cheap. This, matched with the intense “go” of today’s society, creates not so much a perfect storm but rather a polluted one. With Plastic Free July right around the corner, so comes the time to evaluate the amounts of plastic we use.

As more and more plastic pollution enters our worldwide ecosystems, we are beginning to see just how detrimental its impacts are. Not only are plastics physical pollutants, but this synthetic material’s structure allows it to carry and spread chemical toxins. The result, inevitably, is contaminated land, water, crops, and other food sources.

It seems as though the most beneficial tool at our disposal to combat plastic waste is mindfulness. That is, recognizing where we can realistically cut down our own plastic waste. 

It may not always be possible to avoid convenience food contained in plastic or plastic packaging shipped in your Amazon order. As concerned citizens of Earth, it’s important to incorporate sustainable practices. at your own pace to avoid eco-burnout. Starting in one aspect of our lives, like reducing the plastic in your wardrobe can be a fun way to start. A sustainable wardrobe is an expressive marker of a sustainable lifestyle.

Check out these easy yet impactful tips to help you work towards a plastic free wardrobe!

First Way to Reduce Plastic in Your Wardrobe: Repair and Rewear

As always, the most sustainable wardrobe option we have is maintaining and rewearing our current garments. This is so important to remember when we invest in sustainable wardrobe staples like an organic linen tee or your favorite cotton jeans. Pieces made with ethical fashion practices are usually investments and have a sturdy build so they can be mended with ease. Doing this can maintain a sustainable, plastic-free wardrobe for years to come. 

Even though repairing synthetic clothing doesn’t exactly reduce the amount of plastic in your wardrobe, it is a good practice to reduce impulse shopping. It’s all about the supply and demand chain. We vote every single day for the type of future we want to see by choosing which items to purchase. While diminishing the amount of plastic in our current wardrobe may be tricky, the avoidance of purchasing new clothing made out of synthetic fabrics is a simple way to draw a clear boundary as consumers. 

To refresh, repair, and keep your clothing looking brand new, send it in to a top online tailor. Top online tailors, like Tad More Tailoring, are a convenient, new age way to repair your garments from the comfort of your home. Need tips on how to style your current wardrobe? Check out sustainable stylists, like Hanna Lee, for tips or to set up your consultation!

Second Way to Reduce Plastic in Your Wardrobe: Shop Locally and In-Store when Possible

As is, even clothing made from natural fibers often come with plastic tags or stickers attached. Buying clothing from online retailers, especially less environmentally-conscious brands, often results in many plastic components  in shipping packaging. Shopping in stores can reduce some of this plastic waste, especially if the shopper avoids a plastic shopping bag by bringing their own cloth one- they aren’t just for grocery trips, you know! 

When you shop at local clothing boutiques, there are even more potential benefits. Firstly, small businesses may skip individual plastic tags altogether, sometimes opting for more general pricing signage. Additionally, local purchases do more than support our communities directly. In a way, supporting local businesses condemns the exploitative nature of capitalistic fast fashion, a sector of the fashion industry seemingly uninterested in sustainability of our planet. 

Third Way to Reduce Plastic in Your Wardrobe: Look for Natural Fibers

The most literal way to reduce plastic in your wardrobe is to buy garments made from natural fibers. Synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester are composed of plastic. Because all materials shed some fibers when washed, plastic-based fabrics shed what we know as microplastics, which drain into our water systems and create pollution.

Natural fibers include hemp, jute, linen, cotton, and silk are materials to look for when needing to stock up on wardrobe staples. Shop brands like Everlane, Levi’s, Reformation, and Pact. Purchasing natural fiber clothing from companies like these cast a vote for a plastic free future, as we personally decrease the demand for plastic-based clothing production. If you have a lot of clothing made from plastic-based fabrics, try using a guppy bag so that you can properly dispose of microplastics shed in the washer.

Fourth Way to Reduce Plastic in Your Wardrobe: Evaluate your Accessories

The biggest plastic culprit in most of our closets is probably our accessories. Watches, necklaces, shoes, sunglasses, earrings- many affordable accessories are made of plastic. Always get the usage out of these items and even try fixing them when they break.  Disposing of them properly by looking for recycling programs is a great ethical fashion practice. When needing replacements, look for materials like bamboo or metal. These materials will surely maintain value longer than their plastic alternatives, so make sure you pick classic accessories with style that resonates with you. 

Fifth Way to Reduce Plastic in Your Wardrobe: Upcycling

Upcycling old, synthetically made clothing takes your sustainable wardrobe to the next level. Unwanted polyester, nylon, and rayon tees make sturdy produce bags or tote bags. Garments like these, along with old towels, fabric scraps, and unwanted sweats, can also be cut up and turned into a rag rug. Projects like these are extra beneficial to reducing plastic in your wardrobe because of the reduced amount of washes these home items will need!

Working toward a plastic free wardrobe is a healthy alternative to a closet (and environment!) full of plastic particles. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but taking it one tip at a time and going at a pace that’s sustainable for you is a surefire way to build your plastic free wardrobe and future.

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