How Green is Your Shirt?

The season is changing with winter on the horizon. To some, this is an invitation to shop for new clothing, a fresh look.  To others, it might be time to hibernate in jammies for the next four months. Whatever the desire, there’s something to consider before engaging in your next shopping spree, whether it’s therapeutic or necessary.

Textiles are hard on the environment. While conventional cotton occupies 2% of the world’s farmland, it uses 25% of the world’s chemical pesticides and fertilizer. Then, after a few reservoirs of water are used to grow the cotton, produce and dye the clothing, the water pollution remains. Then, many of these textiles end up in the landfill! Synthetic clothing has a different story with some remnants ending up in plastic-laden ocean gyres. Here are some tips to consider when buying holiday clothing gifts, sprucing up your wardrobe, or even buying the necessities for budding children.

1.       Buy less – what do you really need?

2.       Shop at thrift and consignment stores (less packaging and chemical residue)

3.       Buy sustainable fabrics, including organic, Fair Trade and U.S. sourced materials. Research the company before you invest.

4.       Consider the involved packaging (online purchases and local)

5.       Spend more for durability. Fix it when needed vs. landfilling it.

Recycle Utah, your community non-profit drop-off recycling center, provides these weekly tips. Visit their website for more information – ww.recycleutah.org.