3 tips for sustainable clothing shopping from Walking Mountains Science Center
About Walking Mountains
Walking Mountains Science Center’s mission is to awaken a sense of wonder and inspire environmental stewardship and sustainability through natural science education. Visit www.walkingmountains.org/recycle to learn more about how to properly dispose of waste in Eagle County. Walking Mountains is a member of the Climate Action Collaborative for the Eagle County Community.
Did you know that, according to the “Riverblue” conservation documentary, it takes more than 900 gallons of water to produce one pair of blue jeans? Given that Americans drink on average 105 ounces of water per day, the amount of water needed to produce a single pair of blue jeans equals the amount of water that one American drinks over the course of about 3 years.
Donate used clothing still in good condition to a local thrift store or consignment shop. While you are there, shop around. Always consider buying used before deciding to purchase a new clothing item as used clothing has a much smaller environmental footprint compared to the inputs required to manufacture a brand new article of clothing.
Reduce your consumption of clothing. Ask yourself, “am I replacing a clothing item or buying something new?” “Is this something I will wear regularly and will this style last?”
When shopping for new clothes, avoid “fast fashion” brands. Stores that sell fast fashion products are able to make cheap, poor-quality clothing through low wages, child labor and environmental degradation. Instead, choose clothing companies with specific social and environmental impact goals that use eco-friendly fibers and do not add chemical dyes.
What You Can Do
Try shopping locally and second-hand first. There are a variety of great second-hand stores and consignment shops in the Vail Valley with great selection. If second-hand is not your style, then shop locally for new clothing.
If locally does not fit the bill, then do some homework before purchasing online. Research a company’s environmental credentials and seek to spend your money with companies that prioritize the environment and corporate social responsibility. Email or use social media to inquire with brands and ask questions about their policies and working conditions. This shows consumer demand for more environmentally friendly clothing and manufacturing.