10 Questions to Ask to “Green” Your Non-Green Clothing Purchases

While it may be easier to transition purchases like food and cleaning supplies to more earth-friendly and healthier options, for me clothing seems to be a more difficult challenge when buying brand new.

I venture to say that the average city does not have many, if any at all, organic clothing stores or even lines represented in a shop.  And while there are many great online boutiques and companies offering these kinds of options, it may not be the answer depending on the particular clothing need.

So in the meantime, how can a new clothing purchase be as “green” as it can be when the item isn’t? Here are 10 key questions to consider.

  1. Do you really need it?  Or is this an impulsive desire that will soon fade after the credit card is swiped and the package gets home?
  2. Do you already own something similar to serve the same purpose or will this enhance what you already have in your closet and perhaps help create an additional outfit or two? Likewise, will this create a domino effect and cause you to purchase more to complete the look?
  3. Is this a closet staple kind of item like a coat or good pair of pants that you can wear for many seasons to come or is this more of a trendy piece with a shorter life span?
  4. How well is it made?  Will it survive more than the first wash or two?
  5. Where is it made? Check the tag…USA or overseas?
  6. What is it made of?  100% wool, linen, silk, cotton or other natural fibers or a combo of polyester or another synthetic blend?
  7. What are the care instructions?  Dry clean or hand wash? Machine wash in hot or cold water? Line dry or tumble?
  8. How much does it cost?  Can you afford it regardless of being on sale or not?
  9. Will it be donatable?  Do you think the condition will be good enough to pass on when the time comes?
  10. Where are you buying it from?  A national retailer or a local merchant?

Of course the greenest thing to do is not buy at all, but let’s face there are times when we really need an item as well as just plain really want it.  Thinking through and asking ourselves these kinds of questions can at least help us tread a little more lightly during the process.

{ 4 trackbacks }

The Eco-Impact of Clothing – Voices from The Green Moms Carnival
October 2, 2010 at 8:01 am
Eco-Resolution for October: Pondering Precycling, Packaging & Production
October 6, 2010 at 12:37 pm
5 Insights for Being a Savvy “Green” Consumer
October 11, 2010 at 1:14 pm
6 Ways to Shop a Little Greener During the Holidays | The Green Samaritan
November 15, 2010 at 1:44 pm

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 BagInspiration September 28, 2010 at 11:03 pm

I agree that not buying is better than buying something I don't need. But when it comes to handbags, sometimes I need to indulge. I now buy recycled or eco-friendly handbags. They are made of hemp, or inner tubes, or recycled Billboards. I have a lot of information on this if you want to know more.

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