The planet is on fire (literally and figuratively), thanks to generations of frivolous living, and many of us feel pressured to do something before it becomes scorched earth. But sustainability doesn’t have to be about making drastic, life-changing choices. Sure, going vegan is great and stopping flying across the country might help save Earth from a climate catastrophe, but not all of us can (or are not willing to) give up all the things that make up life. worth living. And you can always make a difference, because it’s all about moderation and informed choices.
When it comes to clothing, the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of global emissions and a huge amount of waste, which means that the shirt on the back plays a minor, but not negligible, role in the struggle. The good news is, that doesn’t mean ditching style and settling for bland but eco-friendly options.
Here, four small changes you can make to become more eco-friendly without compromising your personal style.
Look for sustainable materials
Synthetic fabrics like nylon can produce obscene amounts of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that is 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide, so we should really invest in clothing made from sustainable materials. An easy (and still affordable) option is TENCEL ™ fibers, which are made from a natural and renewable material, cellulose (wood pulp). In addition, 100 percent of standard TENCEL ™ fiber products are biodegradable. The resulting fabric is soft, breathable, and less prone to wrinkling and shrinking compared to other popular materials.
Certain zero-carbon TENCEL ™ fibers are certified as CarbonNeutral products by Natural Capital Partners, having been developed using renewable energy, as well as with the goal of reducing and offsetting carbon emissions during production.
TENCEL ™ is on a serious road to becoming a true zero carbon, which will contribute to a carbon neutral textile industry. With a vision of net zero emissions by 2050, the brand’s three-step plan is already in action: reduce, engage and offset.
Dutch menswear brand Jack & Jones appreciates this vision and has blended zero carbon TENCEL ™ fibers with cotton for their new denim line. It’s part of the brand’s efforts to make its best-selling basics greener, starting with the fabrics they are made from. These are simple, straightforward jeans: classic blue and black washes in a straight or tapered fit with a hint of stretchy elastic.
To complete the look, there are also shirts made from durable TENCEL ™ Lyocell fibers and cotton to continue the workwear vibe: classic chambrays and button down shirts that straddle that difficult gray area between T-shirt time and winter season. coats (we suggest layering over the first and under the second). The comfortable fit, combined with the use of soft-touch TENCEL ™ fibers, makes the shirt as easy as it is to the touch.
Find your purchases
Let’s be clear: no one expects you to give up on buying new clothes (I certainly won’t). If you need something really specific, or, damn it, you just saw something you really, really want, the new one is the simple (and sometimes unique) option. But even when shopping at first hand stores, it is possible to shop while thinking of the environment and its inhabitants. Knowledge is the key: is there any information online about the wages of textile workers? Find out where brands make their clothes: the more local, the better. Do they use recycled materials? Are they aware of the impact of their manufacturing processes on the planet? All the important questions to ask if you are trying to use your money to support businesses that are striving to change.
And while many retailers have a way to go before they are perfect and it’s hard to find completely and holistically sustainable options when shopping for new products, there are some bright spots. Jack & Jones, for example, not only invests in environmentally friendly materials such as TENCEL ™ fibers, but is also a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative, a leading alliance of companies, unions and of non-governmental organizations that promote rights around the world.
Be careful when washing
It pays to take good care of your clothes – if my jeans start to wear out on the crotch, I’ll get them fixed right away rather than waiting until the damage is visible. Holes or zippers in knits and small tears in the fabric can usually be repaired by your dry cleaner, extending the life of your clothes. Speaking of dry cleaning, here’s the headline: Iit’s not great. Many dry cleaners still use a chemical called perchlorethylene, which is toxic to the environment, and the process requires a lot more energy than a traditional wash cycle.
But, as with all things, it’s not about giving up dry cleaning altogether, it’s about moderation and common sense. If dry cleaning is the only thing that’s going to remove that huge red wine stain from your favorite white shirt, then do it. Maybe try going with a greener option, and before you ditch it, be a little thoughtful. Ask yourself can i do something at home? A clothes brush with natural bristles is ideal for removing stains from denim, coats and custom items. Clean up small stains and remember that a combination of baking soda and vinegar works like magic on most stains if the garment is washable. (Speaking of which, there’s no need to wash something every time you wear it. If you can get by without washing jeans and sweaters at all, just air them out a bit for extra freshness. and put them back in your closet.)
Hunt used gems online
Buying used parts doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of time in expensive vintage shops. Check out the growing list of online retailers, where you’re sure to find used streetwear brands alongside premium brands to choose from. There are some budding brands with a cult following that do a great job checking the quality of products before you buy them, so you know exactly what you are getting. And, as an added bonus, buying second-hand, second-hand, old, whatever you call it, has obvious green benefits, but upcycling is also a chance to get a good deal.
Jack & Jones and TENCEL ™, the collaboration that combines style and durability, is available now.
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