Low Impact Clothes Shopping

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The terms “low-impact” and “no-impact” can be heard in every discussion about ecologically sound practices today. We want to make less of an impact on the environment, we want to recycle, reuse and reduce. Aside from having the recycling bin that all our plastic milk jugs and glass containers are tossed into and hauled to the recycling center once a week, what else can be done? Here’s one suggestion. Some people will embrace it, and others will not, but it’s an idea whose time has come.

Low Impact Clothes Shopping

If you want to reduce your ecological impact when it comes to clothes shopping, here are some things you can do:

- Hit the resale shops – Yes, you read that correctly. Go buy someone else’s clothes. There are resale stores that sell clothing and other items, charity stores, such as Goodwill and Salvation Army, and vintage stores that specialize in selling funky old vintage clothing. You may actually find brand new, still with the tags on clothing items in any of these stores. You will often find excellent quality, clothes that are still in very good shape. Some people love to shop at these kinds of stores. Finding bargains is fun, and participating in the hunt for something cool and interesting is fun. Some people are sensitive about buying and wearing other people’s underwear and shoes (that’s understandable), but most people are fine with wearing shirts, pants, dresses and coats that others are no longer using. Resale stores are a great place to purchase children’s clothes. Kids grow so quickly that there is little time to wear them out. Buying form a resale store is a way of recycling too. Those clothes may have ended up in a landfill (one would surely hope not!).
- Buy clothing made from organic fabrics – You can find clothes for kids and adults made from organic cotton or hemp in a number of places. These clothes are made from fibers that were farmed without the use of dangerous chemicals and then made into fabric without the use of petroleum softeners, brighteners, retardants, formaldehyde and other dangerous chemicals and practices. Organic cotton and hemp are naturally sturdy, but comfortable. Plus organic cotton and hemp are farmed using sustainable practices such as crop rotation. Good for us and good for the Earth.
- Do more with less – Is it really, truly necessary to have twenty pairs of shoes, or ten pairs of jeans, or five party dresses? Really? If you want to have less impact on the environment with your clothes shopping habits – purchase less. You will save money and gas (fewer trips to the mall, or fewer deliveries from the shipping company).

For some, adopting low impact clothes shopping habits is easy, but for others this is a radical idea. Not everything works for everyone. It’s worth considering your habits carefully and making even small changes that will make you a lower impact shopper.

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  1. Nelson Wade  November 23, 2008

    Great article on shopping for clothing!

    We encourage our clients, men and women who want custom made to measure clothing, to use our web site –

    We provide information for shoppers on how to measure one self. Also we provide free online fabric samples either by email or by regular mail. This way customers do not need to go to store to store and waste time shopping and more importantly gasoline!