Environmentally Fashion Conscious
How to make your wardrobe eco-friendly while still keeping your style

by Darcel Rockett / © 2019, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


Before you go out to buy more [clothes], consider some statistics found in author Elizabeth Cline’s latest book, The Conscious Closet: The Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good.


A look at the data:

  • A third of the microplastic pollution junking up our oceans is coming from what we wear.
  • A garbage truck’s worth of unwanted fashion is landfilled in the United States every 1.3 minutes.
  • For every two million tons of textiles we keep in circulation and out of landfills, we can reduce carbon emissions equivalent to taking 1 million cars off the road.

  Cline walks readers through the impact that clothes, “our most personal and universal possession,” have on the environment. In her 2012 book, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, Cline drops knowledge that clothing brands’ frequent churn of new styles and more affordable fare (aka “fast fashion”) sway consumers to buy more. And in turn, shoppers dispose of “staggering volumes of unwanted clothes,” which end as waste (23.8 billion pounds of clothes and shoes in the garbage each year or 73 pounds per person in the United States).

  The sequel is The Conscious Closet, which offers tips for consumers to build a wardrobe that does less harm to the environment and is of higher quality, all while maintaining your style and keeping up with trends.

  “What I’m doing with The Conscious Closet is showing people how to live sustainably, and that’s not an individual project, it’s a cultural project—it means changing the way that we live and what we value,” [Cline said].

  The Tribune talked with Cline about buying less but feeling more fulfilled in the process when it comes to being more aware of what you don as your “second skin.” The [following] interview has been condensed and edited.



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