Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable fashion is increasingly popular today. More and more, garments are being created, produced and cared for with consideration to the environmental and social impact they may have throughout their total life span. Ethical and sustainable sourcing of materials have been an important focus in the sustainable fashion movement to date, but one of the biggest opportunities we have to improve fashion’s eco-footprint is in the way that we care for garments. Between 50 and 80% of the total energy consumed during the life of a garment is during the use phase – e.g. how we clean and care for our clothes.

Many people are surprised to learn that dry cleaning actually has a lower carbon footprint than home laundering. GreenEarth, with its positive environmental profile, offers the optimal solution for sustainable garment care. Finding a dry cleaner that uses the GreenEarth method will not only reduce your carbon footprint for each cleaning, it will also help your garments last longer, reducing their footprint over time without doing any damage to the planet. GreenEarth is a safe, non-toxic, biodegradable solution that will keep your garments soft and enhance their sustainability.

How to Clean

Depending on the type of garment and the price you paid for it, you may not want to risk washing your eco-fashions at home. Many items, no matter what they are made from, are labeled “dry clean only,” and there are good reasons for it. Dry cleaning extends the life of a garment by reducing …

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Recycled Polyester

Polyester is a petroleum-based plastic made from polyethylene terephthalate, or PET—the same plastic as water and soda bottles. Recycled polyester can be made from old polyester clothes as well as other similar plastic products, and may be labeled as “eco-fleece.” Patagonia, a brand of outdoor wear, pioneered a program where customers can send back their …

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Organic Wool

Certified organic wool must comply with organic standards for livestock (such as organic beef). These standards include providing organic feed for the sheep, not overcrowding the sheep on the land, and the prohibition of synthetic chemicals and hormones. Because of increased production costs, organic wool does cost more than conventional wool. Organic wool feels, looks, …

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“Linen” can be an ambiguous term—it often refers to bed sheets, towels, and tablecloths made from a variety of fabrics. Traditional linen is an all-natural fabric derived from flax. Being all-natural, however, does not necessarily make it a sustainable choice. The process used to create linen fibers from flax often uses harsh chemicals. Look for …

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The hemp plant grows well without using pesticides or other agrochemicals. It is a hardy plant that can withstand harsh weather, and fertilizes its own soil by shedding leaves throughout the season. These natural qualities make hemp a sustainable choice for the production of many goods. Hemp is illegal to grow in the U.S., so …

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Organic Cotton

Cotton farming in the United States uses only about 3% of the farmland, but 25% of the pesticides. To put it in perspective, it takes 1/3 of a pound of chemicals to produce one t-shirt. Organic cotton is cotton that has been grown without chemicals on land that has been chemical-free for at least three …

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The bamboo plant does not need pesticides or fertilizers, requires very little water, and can grow up to several feet per day. Bamboo also “breathes” heavily—a bamboo grove releases 35% more oxygen than other trees. Bamboo fabric is more absorbent than cotton, quick-drying, and has naturally occurring anti-microbial properties that help stop odor. Factories that …

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Sustainable fabrics

Organically grown versions of fabrics you already wear, like cotton and wool, are becoming easier to find. Other materials, like bamboo and hemp, are new to the fashion world and add trendsetting prestige to an outfit, along with the environmental advantages. To learn which can be cleaned at home which require dry cleaning, see the …

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