Tracey Martin is a Sustainable Lifestyle Leader and author and has been a certified Transformational Life Coach as well as health, life and wellness advisor for more than 25 years. Tracey’s mission is simple, to protect our natural resources, planet, and our most precious resource: humankind. She is sharing her knowledge with us in this weekly column and this week we are answering our first reader question!
We all get the “organic food” and “farm to table” concepts but what are the parameters around sustainability when shopping for clothing here in the USA? How do we do this sustainably?
This is a great question and one that I would like to take a broad and informative approach.
Definition of sustainability – The ability to be maintained at a certain rate or ability or avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.
Sustainability can be a multi level approach. For the context of your question. Yes, people are waking up to the realization that our food is laden with toxic preservatives, GMO’s and hormones. Organic food is always a better choice when available. Local and close to home grown is also a good choice.
When shopping for your clothes and looking for a more sustainable way to do it, there are lots of options.
Consignment shopping: This can be fun and can be full of the labels that everyone loves. Higher end consignment gives our clothing another life after we fall out of love with it. It can be a treasure hunt.
Local consignment stores:
Clothes swap: This is a fun one. Get a group of girls together and bring items that you know longer want and have a blast. Even better if you have a group of friends that have the same or similar style. Or try something new!
Vintage: This is my favorite. It is such a great thing to find something that no one else has and make it your own. This is what vintage does for your closet. It steps it up a notch. Most vintage is 20-30 years old, which means that it is made better and will last even longer.
Local vintage stores:
Traditional shopping: If you feel the need for shopping. Arm yourself. Take a list of the necessities that you need. I am sure you bring a grocery list when you go to the grocery store. So you only buy what you need. Same thing when we go clothing shopping. Buy better and buy less. Ask yourself, do I really need it? Be honest and be mindful. Look for organic cotton and natural fibers like linen and hemp. Find local designers and show them some love. Search for the Made in the USA label. But be informed. This doesn’t mean that the entire garment is made here. It could be as little as 20%. Every little bit helps.
Hope this helps! Keep an eye on our column for more info…
If you have comments or questions you would like to see addressed in this column, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a private one on one with Tracey text 602.568.4124.