One of the great things about being a consumer in the world today is that we have choices like never before. Buying recycled clothing is an obvious choice for people who wish to steward the earth forward in the healthiest way possible.
Recycled clothing takes many forms. There are fine items like the ones created by Crispina – colorful, one of a kind beauties that are both comfortable and immaculately tailored. You can find some great splashes of spring color from Cripina’s latest collection, available at her Etsy store.
There are also many brands and items of clothing created from recycling products that are a daily part of our lives. For example, did you know that some polar fleece is made from recycled plastic bottles? It’s true and it should make you feel even better about your own recycling efforts. It’s possible you are wearing a fleece sweatshirt made out of a water bottle you discarded a few years ago!
Plastic bottles become clothing in a fairly simple process. It begins when bottles are picked up from recycling centers, processed and sorted into colors. The bottles are then crushed into fine flakes after which they are melted, stirred and made into polyester strands that can be used in clothing. Companies as well known as Patagonia, Polartec and North Face use recycled products in their clothing lines and there is a wonderful site called Repreve which can tell you more about it.
Re-using plastic bottles this way has the power to keep billions of the bottles out of landfills and oceans each year. Consider factoring this into your thinking next time you are shopping for something new to wear. You really can do well by doing good.
There are also a variety of brave, committed companies who make clothing out of reclaimed cotton. Two are Clothes Made from Scrap and the wonderfully named menswear company, Dirtball Fashion. These are companies that walk their talk, creating every item they sell from recycled products. The fierce eco consumer below is wearing a Dirtball shirt.
If purchasing clothing made from reclaimed items is a stretch for your wallet, there is always the ever wonderful Thrift Shopping. The Salvation Army and the Goodwill are two of the biggest and best known Thrift Shops across the US and if you have a bit of patience, there are treasures galore to be found in both places. The Salvation Army tends to be a bit less expensive and usually has a designated “Family Day” where nearly the entire store is 50% off.
An easy way to slice through the overwhelming amount of clothes in a big thrift shop is to simply move your hands through the racks and look for fabric that feels good to you. If you like cotton or linen or wool, you can start your shopping by simply reaching for items made from those materials. Most large thrift shops also organize their racks by color, so you can go right to a section that suits your eye. If you’ve never shopped in Thrift Shops before, now is a great time to start.
Take the time, make the time to recycle and look for clothes made from recycled items. The whole planet will be grateful.