Sustainably Fashionable, Not Fashionably Sustainable
Given the increasing urgency to address climate change and the focus on our journey towards carbon neutral cleaning, we at EC30 like to stay informed about the state of the world around us. Our latest topic is one close to our laundry-cleaning hearts – fashion.
Though you may not know it, the t-shirt on your back has a major impact on the planet. Producing it took 2,700 liters of water, plus it takes a lot of energy to get it from the cotton fields to your closet. Overall, the fashion industry is responsible for about 8% of the total emissions worldwide. That's more than all international flights and shipping combined, the UN says.
But some of your clothing’s biggest carbon footprint comes from how you care for it. That’s because of all the energy used to heat the water and run your washing machine (and dryer if you use one). Plus, when it comes to washing synthetic materials–like polyester fleece, acrylic, and nylon– thousands of microplastics release with each wash.
So, what can you do to help lower the impact your wardrobe has on the environment?
Protect Your Clothes (And the Environment)
Fashion blogger Aditi Meyer offers some insight. “If you already own synthetic pieces, opt for a Guppyfriend Washing Bag. While not a perfect solution, it does help reduce the amount of microplastic shedding that may enter rivers and oceans from washing.”
Washing in cold water can make a huge difference as well. In fact, by washing in cold water, you can reduce your laundry energy usage by up to 90%*! Not every detergent works well in cold water, but EC30’s laundry swatches are specially formatted to work in all washing conditions.
Wash Less Often
A washing machine uses the same amount of energy no matter the load size, so it’s best to wash a full load. Despite the common school of thought, not all clothing needs to be washed after every wear. With the long-lasting scent of EC30’s laundry detergent, your clothes will smell so fresh you won’t be ready to toss them in the wash anyway. Take it from one of our customers – “I have tried a few eco-friendly laundry detergents and this one is definitely my favorite because it makes my clothes smell so good!”
In addition, shopping for more sustainably sourced clothing can help cut your closet’s carbon footprint. Meyer adds “when shopping for more sustainable clothes, opt for natural fabrics, that are made from organic cotton.” The average American throws out about 82 pounds of textile waste per year, often a result of purchasing fast or “disposable” fashion. It takes about 100 gallons of water to grow and process a single pound of cotton. The average American goes through about 35 pounds of new cotton material each year.
Eco advocate Lydia Firth has another tip to choosing the right clothes for your closet. She began the #30Wears campaign to encourage shoppers to only buy an item if they really know that they’ll wear it. "The biggest message is every time you buy something, always think, 'Will I wear it a minimum of 30 times?' If the answer is yes, then buy it. But you'd be surprised how many times you say no." Plus, 70% of the world wears secondhand clothing – so next time you want to go shopping, try checking out a thrift store!