At Timberland, we’re committed to environmental protection and sustainable clothing and have set ambitious goals for the near future. We also realise that billions of people making small changes can add up to big differences.
Eco-friendly clothing is a key piece of the jigsaw puzzle. If all 7.5 billion of us made small positive changes, the overall effect would be immense. From the clothes we choose to the way we get the most out of them, here are our ten steps to an eco-friendly wardrobe – all of which you can start today.
10 achievable tips for eco-friendly clothing
1. Buy from ethical clothing brands
There are so many clothing brands that take their environmental responsibilities seriously, so do some research on a company’s eco-credentials before you buy.
Don’t just take manufacturers at their word – they all say they’re greener than green. Search for any brand with a term like “corporate social responsibility” and you’ll probably be directed to one of its web pages where it lays out its mission. But you’ll also find independent articles and videos from campaigners who might give a more honest assessment. It’s up to you to make informed choices.
Once a garment has reached the end of its life, think about how you can use its materials. Could you cut that pair of knee-worn jeans into a pair of shorts, for example? If you’ve got scissors, a needle and some thread, you’ve all the tools you need to re-purpose all those old clothes. They don’t have to be turned into other clothes, of course. Make them into quilts, cushions or craft items that are truly unique.
3. Buy Quality
One of the major problems with fashion is the amount of energy required to make its materials, fabricate the clothing and transport it. The more clothes and shoes you buy, the bigger your impact. Buying good quality fashion will reduce the need to constantly buy new stuff, so you’ll be doing your bit. Remember: quality shoes are ethical shoes – they might cost a bit more than fast fashion, but you’ll save in the long run.
4. Buy vintage - and donate
People get rid of clothes for all sorts of reasons, not always because it’s worn out. You can pick up some bargains in vintage and charity stores with a near-zero carbon footprint. Also, don’t throw out old but wearable clothes. You can sell them, donate them to charity shops or weigh them in for cash – material can be recovered from unwearable clothes to make brand new fabrics. We run a Second Chance project for shoes – read all about it here.