Being environmentally conscious is a long process and a goal of mine, and I’ve been taking small steps to reach that goal- bringing reusable bags to the grocery store and recycling regularly. It’s no surprise that adopting this as a lifestyle isn’t easy, and I’ve found that living on a college budget, along with the ongoing stress of school, makes for even more roadblocks. The next step for me is learning how to be trendy, while doing my part to help the planet.
Some of the facts I’ve found on the impact of the fashion industry on the environment is astonishing:
“Combined, apparel and footwear production are responsible for approximately 8.1 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.”
“It takes 713 gallons of water to make a single cotton t-shirt.”
Researching and finding this information has given me the motivation to do something about my impact on the environment and how I purchase and get rid of clothes. I’ve come up with three tips on how to do this as a college student:
- Dispose of clothing in an environmentally conscious way. Donating your used clothing is a way to continue the cycle and give back to others. But before doing that, consider selling it. Many platforms have emerged that make selling used products a breeze: Depop, Mercari, Poshmark, even Facebook Marketplace. All of these are apps that can be easily downloaded. Simply take photos of the product, describe it and set your price. You’re one step closer to helping the environment, and since being in college is expensive, you can make a quick buck while you’re at it.
2. Donate/sell one piece of clothing per every piece you buy. It sounds simple, but I’ve found it to be very useful in keeping up with my ever-growing need to have more, more and more things. When committing to doing this, you’re restricting yourself on how many things you can have at once. For me, it goes something like this: “Do I really need a third variation of a white turtleneck top?” The answer is that I do not. Being more conscious of what and how many products you’re buying is a simple way to control your impact.
3. Buy used clothes. Thrift stores aren’t for everyone, I know, because it takes a long time to find the perfect product and digging through someone’s grandmas clothes. But at this point, if you’re donating or selling your clothes and getting rid of one thing per every new purchase, you should have a clear idea of what you want. Not only can you use apps like the ones previously mentioned to sell pieces, Depop, Mercari and Poshmark, but you can also use them to buy used products. You can find almost anything you’re looking for, things you’re not looking for and even prestige brands for (sometimes even less than) half the retail price.
By implementing these tips, I’ve already felt so much better about my impact on the environment. Focus on purchasing versatile pieces that can be re-worn in many ways, and feel proud of yourself for doing your part!