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5 Easy Ways to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Wardrobe

We’re always looking for ways to live a more sustainable life. We recycle our plastic, walk to work, and cycle where possible, but what if we told you that actually,...

We’re always looking for ways to live a more sustainable life. We recycle our plastic, walk to work, and cycle where possible, but what if we told you that actually, your closet could be one of the biggest contributors to your carbon footprint?

The fashion industry is a huge contributor to climate change, producing around 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) per year - more than international flights and maritime shipping combined.

In addition to releasing vast amounts of carbon emissions, the fashion industry consumes over 1.5 trillion litres of water and produces around 92 million tonnes of waste produced annually, most of which is sent to landfills.

With these figures, it’s clear why adopting a more sustainable closet can seriously benefit the environment. That’s why we’ll take you through our five easy tips to reduce the carbon footprint of your wardrobe.


1. Choose Organic Cotton over Conventional Cotton

Cotton is the most used material in the fashion industry. But, while cotton is biodegradable, did you know that it uses the highest amount of pesticides than any other natural fibre crop? These harmful pesticides deplete the soil and pollute waterways, threatening biodiversity and human health.

Along with using a huge amount of harmful chemicals, conventional cotton requires vast quantities of water to irrigate - around 44 trillion litres to be precise - that’s 3% of all global water usage…yikes!

One easy swap you can make to reduce the carbon footprint of your closet is to switch out cotton for organic cotton.

Organic cotton is grown without harmful chemicals or pesticides and saves huge amounts of water compared to conventional cotton. On average, organic cotton cultivation requires 91% less water than conventional cotton.

Plus, If that wasn’t enough reason to make the switch to organic cotton, studies have found that the carbon footprint of organic cotton was about half that of conventional cotton

At Plant Faced, we create all our t-shirts, as well as a number of our hoodies and sweatpants with GOTS-certified organic cotton free from harmful chemicals or pesticides.

2. Drop the Virgin Polyester

Virgin polyester is another environmentally harmful material used frequently in the fashion industry. Polyester relies on crude oil to produce and is not readily biodegradable - meaning it’ll stick around in landfills for hundreds of years.

There are other more sustainable alternatives to polyester, including recycled polyester. Recycled polyester (rPET) uses up to 53% less energy to create than virgin polyester. Plus, it diverts plastic waste, such as plastic bottles, away from landfills and our oceans and gives it a new lease on life.

We have an extensive range of recycled hoodies and sweaters. Each piece helps to divert between 7 and 10 PET plastic bottles away from landfills!

3. Buy Less But Better Quality Clothing

The rise in fast fashion has meant that, as consumers, we’re buying fashion and discarding clothing at an alarming rate, with 3 out of 5 new items thrown away within one year of purchase. The main reason clothes are being discarded is that they’re made from cheap, low-quality materials, meaning they won’t last.

So, rather than buy lots of low-quality items you’ll have to throw away after a few wears, switch to buying fewer but better-quality items. For example, choosing a high-quality organic cotton t-shirt that’s made with care will outlast a flimsy thin cotton t-shirt from a fast fashion brand. Plus, you’ll be able to wear it season after season.

Plant Faced Tip: As well as buying better quality clothing, caring for garments the right way can double the life of a garment and reduce the climate impact in half.

4. Switch to Vegan Fashion

Adopting a vegan diet is a fantastic way to reduce your carbon footprint and ensure no harm is done to any animals. But have you ever considered that adopting a vegan closet can also help to reduce carbon emissions?

It’s estimated that around 7.9 million tonnes of CO2 are generated by the leather footwear industry every year, and that’s not including the extra carbon used in the production of other animal materials like animal-based glues or dyes.

At Plant Faced, we use 100% animal-free materials and water-based dyes to ensure no animals are exploited and help to save carbon emissions.

5. Support Sustainable Clothing Brands

Fast fashion companies generate huge amounts of waste, exploit their workers, and contribute huge amounts of carbon emissions.

To shift toward a more sustainable closet, ditch fast fashion and shop from smaller sustainable clothing brands that ensure ethical and sustainable production processes.

At Plant Faced, we’re using sustainable materials and ensuring ethical production. We’re also working hard to offset the carbon emissions of each order; we’ll plant one tree for every single item you purchase through our partnership with Eden Reforestation.

Bonus Tip: Recycle your Old Clothes

When we consider how to reduce the carbon footprint of our closets, it's vital that we also think about what we do with our garments once we’re finished with them. Unfortunately, less than 15% of people recycle their old or used clothing, and it's estimated that the average American throws away around 70 pounds of clothes each year.

If you have a closet refresh, ensure that instead of sending your clothes to landfills, you recycle your old clothing before buying new clothes.

A great way to recycle your old clothing is to donate it to second-hand shops. Shopping second-hand is a great way to reduce an item's carbon footprint.

Also, allowing your pre-loved piece to be worn again is a great way to ensure your clothing doesn’t end up in landfills. 

As well as donating pre-worn clothes, other ways you can recycle your clothing is to sell your clothes online, swap with friends, or recycle them through the correct recycling channels.

Ready to Make The Change?

Overall, it's clear that we can reduce our carbon footprint by changing our shopping habits. So if you're looking for a place to start, check out our organic cotton and recycled polyester clothing that's made to last wear after wear.

If you want to keep discovering more amazing tips, We've also got some other great tips for living a vegan lifestyle, including our 10 favourite vegan recipes.


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