Five Ways to Promote Sustainability, be a Fashion Eco-Warrior


(Graphic via Goodwill)

Sustainable fashion practices can have a significant impact on the effects of climate change.

By Mckenzie Uhrig, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Buy Upcycled Clothing

Buying upcycled isn’t only good for your closet, but it’s also good for the environment. Upcycled clothing is created when old clothing is broken down and the materials are used to construct a new clothing piece.

The fashion industry, unfortunately, produces a lot of waste. Upcycling old clothes helps limit the amount of waste the fashion industry produces. Various clothing companies have a recycling program where you can bring in your old clothes and turn them in. 

The retailer Urban Outfitters has an extensive upcycle program, in conjunction with brands like Levi’s, using recycled fabrics to produce unique statement pieces. Not only are you reducing the impact the fashion industry has on the environment, but the clothing pieces can also be unique to you. 

Urban Outfitters can be accessed through their website, or you can visit one of their nearby stores in Orange Village, Pinecrest Center or Westlake, Crocker Park.

Buy Vegan/Organic Clothing 

Organic clothing maintains its coloring better during washing and will last longer than non-organic clothing. Buying vegan means that no animals will be harmed in the making or testing of the product you’re purchasing.

Vegan and organic clothing not only saves animals, looks brighter and lasts longer, but it also limits the amount of waste that is produced during manufacturing. Both of these options use fewer resources than regular products, ensuring there is less of a negative impact on the environment. 

Doc Martens have their own line of vegan shoes, no more expensive than their regular shoes, and just as fashionable. These eco-friendly alternatives are available at various retail stores and online shops.

Fashion Hand-Me Downs

Repurposing old clothing is another great way to limit waste in the fashion industry. You help save resources and energy that’s used to manufacture new garments.

One of the biggest trends right now is wearing vintage clothing and styles from the past. Most of our older family members will have clothes from previous years, so instead of buying vintage clothing, ask them for their old clothes and tailor them to yourself. Not only does this save money but you also get authentic clothes from different decades. 

Wear your Dad’s old blazer by turning it into a new dress and protect the planet. 

Beware Donating Your Clothes

Donating your clothes to local charities and companies is an incredible way to give back to those in your community. However, not all companies and charities make use of the clothes you donate.

In some cases only a percentage of your clothing is given to those less fortunate while the rest is sold to textile firms for recycling. While recycling is good, those who donate their clothes are usually hoping for a better purpose for their clothes than companies making money off of them. 

Instead of throwing your clothes in a donation bin, take them to your local churches, homeless shelters and rehab clinics. These places will ensure your clothes are given to those who need them. 

If you want to recycle your clothes, give them to companies with recycling programs or sell them to recycling firms yourself. Repurposing clothes helps save resources and limits waste; just ensure you’re aware of what happens after they leave your hands. 

In Akron, the community outreach program Good Neighbors distributes clothes, food, and other necessities to those in need throughout various locations in the Akron area. 

Valerie Straw, Good Neighbors Council President, stated that there is only one clothing unit in operation right now due to COVID-19, located in the Centenary United Methodist Church at 1310 Superior Avenue. They are open on Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to noon. 

If you would like to get in contact with them to ask about donating your clothes or volunteering, their email is [email protected].

Cut Back On Your Consumerism 

Limiting the amount of clothing you buy will significantly reduce your impact on the environment. Not only does it help the planet by limiting the number of resources used in manufacturing, but it also helps your bank account. 

While it’s expensive to shop excessively, it’s also detrimental to our planet. The planet only has so many resources and as a society, we are currently pushing it to its breaking point with excessive pillaging of these sources for unnecessary products. 

We are currently consuming more resources than we can replenish all throughout our planet. In order to win the battle with climate change, we all need to change. The change can start with reducing our excessive manufacturing and purchasing of clothing.