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Shopping for Sustainable Clothing 101

By Stephanie Osmanski

You buy organic foods, compost (even from your tiny one-bedroom apartment), and have made low-impact swaps throughout your home. But are you doing everything you can to be as sustainable as possible? Here’s a zero-waste topic you may not have considered: clothing.

So, what can you do to make more sustainable choices when it comes to clothing shopping? Keep reading for tips for shopping sustainably!

The fashion industry as it traditionally stands is not sustainable. In fact, the fashion industry’s “fast” methods make it a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, solidifying it as one of the top ten most polluting industries. In the United States alone, 11.3 million tons of clothing is thrown away yearly. That’s a lot of trash but then consider this on top of it all — most clothing is made of synthetic materials, synthetic chemicals, microplastics, and non-sustainable dyes. In other words, these materials cannot break down. Clothing waste that cannot break down accounts for 20 percent of water pollution.