The Fine Art of Balancing Eco-Friendliness and Fashion
A personal sense of style is absolutely essential in today's modern world of movers and shakers, but that personal style shouldn't come at the cost of our environment. When you're buying customized apparel, you have the opportunity to look fabulous while helping to preserve the planet for future generations.
So if you're eager to do your part for responsible style, there are things you can do -- from the moment you purchase a piece to the end of its time in your wardrobe -- to keep your fashion eco-friendly.
1. Aim Higher
Some fabrics can barely stand up to a couple of washes, while other fabrics are built to last. When you're trying to stay as eco-friendly as possible, it's a good idea to get your custom made clothing in as sturdy a fabric as possible. Finding a high-quality fabric that lasts longer is a good way to start. Brands like The Authentic T-shirt Company, Next Level Apparel, and Bella + Canvas will hold up to wear and tear much better than your average custom tee, and the benefits from that are twofold.
The most obvious one is that you probably won't need to replace your t-shirt nearly as soon as you might otherwise have to, but it also means that when you're finally ready to retire that same shirt, it should still be in fairly good shape.
2. A New Kind of Cycling
Speaking of good shape, it's a good idea to consider another option for those end-of-life outfits. It's important for us to learn how to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and what better way to do that than with personalized t-shirts you might have a hard time letting go of?
Consider reusing your t-shirt by recycling your custom t-shirt to give it new life, upcycling it into something brand new, or donating it to one of your local charitable organizations.
3. Keep on Caring
One of the most dangerous encounters any personalized clothing can face is the washing machine, but the close neighbour to that danger is the dryer. Whether you're working with something like embroidery or screen printing, there are right and wrong ways to get your t-shirts clean. Try to avoid the dryer altogether, and make sure you read the label ahead of time. Learning how to decipher those symbols can be a headache and a half, but it's very worthwhile in the end, and you can always find a guide to help you out. Like using preventative medicine to stave off a cold, a little care earlier on in a product's life can go a very long way to keep it looking new.
4. Go Go Green Brands
Try being green from start to finish by shopping a "green brand" like Alternative Apparel. Certain brands aim to be more environmentally conscious from start to finish while still focusing on maintaining their quality. Alternative Apparel shirts come in organic and eco apparel options but can still take printing or be turned into embroidered shirts, depending on what you're looking for. If you really want to make the commitment to eco-friendly fashion, a good way to start is to invest in something green.
5. Find an Eco-Friendly Fibre
In the same vein of recycling, one of the best ways to keep your custom shirts eco-friendly is to pick fabric that can be easily recycled. This kind of environmentally conscious decision becomes extra important when customized t-shirts are produced on a larger scale, which is one of the reasons cotton has maintained a position as the most popular fabric worldwide. As people become more conscious of how their choices affect the world around them, more options become available for clothing choices, but things like bamboo, soy silk, and recycled polyester can help you "green" your wardrobe today.
6. Do Your Research
Where you're buying something from is almost as important as what you're buying. Try to find out about the type of company you're looking at and see what strides they've made towards promoting environmental awareness, updating their own equipment to meet higher environmental standards, and partnering with local organizations that do the same.
For example, we do our best at Entripy to get the latest equipment with an eye towards reducing our energy consumption, as well as offering eco-friendly options and further information on how to find them. By choosing companies that are willing to put in the time to be environmentally conscious, you're telling every company on the market that you think that being eco-friendly is worth your money.
7. Look Out for Local
We're proud to be a Canadian t-shirt company that works with other Canadian companies and offers apparel made in Canada. Whether you're a big business or local store, buying local will help reduce your carbon footprint for t-shirt shipping, and for those big, multi-national corporations, buying Canadian can help cut down on cross-border headaches. While the shipping industry is working to better its carbon footprint, the plans in place for moving forward will take time to enact, making local purchases an even better eco-friendly option for the time being.
8. Rethink the Wrapping
Recyclable shopping bags shouldn't stop at the store.
Consider looking into eco-friendly, sustainable packaging options as an alternative to the traditional plastic packing peanuts and bubble wrap.
Enough demand for environmentally conscious shipping options will help convince companies that it's worth their time to switch over.
If you absolutely can't cut these kinds of plastics out, see if you can find a local recycling centre for them, or try to reuse them as much as possible.
Even environmental shipping options should last beyond their first use, so you'll be able to pack your own items and "ship it forward".
Where there's a will to do something better for the world, there's always a way.