What we choose to wear has implications beyond just our appearance. The fabrics that our garments are made from; their origins, and how we clean and care for them, all have impact on our planet. Love your Duds. Keep your family and your planet healthy.
• Approach new fabrics with skeptical enthusiasm. Bamboo, for instance, sounds great: It’s a fast-growing plant, not reliant on chemicals, and beautifully drapes the human form. The trouble is, bamboo plantations can displace native forests, and harvesting and fiber processing are often polluting and unregulated.
• Beware of Dry Cleaning. Though the industry is much-improved since 1992, there is still a high likelihood that your trusty corner cleaner uses tetrachloroethylene, a known carcinogen. See if there is a local green cleaner employing “wet cleaning” or liquid CO2 techniques. Many articles whose tags ask for the dry clean treatment can actually be hand washed, especially silk, wool and linen.
• Wash with care. Wait until you have a full load, turn the clothes inside out and use the lowest water temperature possible. Choose phosphate-free and biodegradable detergents and line dry as much as possible. Treat stains quickly with nontoxic removers.
• Find another use. Designers all over the globe have taken on this challenge in recent years, with very wearable results. Even turning old T-shirts into rags is better than tossing them.
• Whatever you’ve chosen to wear, take good care of it. Learn how to sew on a button or hem a pair of pants.
Kreg Weiss is a co-founder of My Yoga Online and certified Hatha Yoga Teacher. Several years ago, Kreg discovered yoga while teaching health and fitness. Yoga dramatically transformed Kreg's approach to teaching health and wellness as well as changed his personal life bringing new direction in finding physical, mental, and spiritual growth.