Categories: Green

Sustainable Clothing Choices

Because the word sustainable means different things to different people, it can be difficult to pinpoint an exact definition of the term sustainable clothing. For some, it’s all about buying clothing from responsible companies that do not carry profit as their primary pursuits. For others, it’s about resisting the urge to buy new clothes and turning to used clothing items instead. Still others use some combination of the two in order to have a sustainable wardrobe on multiple fronts.

Common Materials used to Create Sustainable Clothing

There are a few things that have come to define sustainability in clothing designed for this purpose. One of those things involves the materials used to make the clothing. The sustainability of the material involves many things, including the source of the fibers as well as their renewability. But it goes deeper than this, including how the raw fiber is processed or manufactured into fabric – and the carbon footprint this process creates.

In general, sustainable clothing comes from fibers from either plant (cellulose) or animal (protein) fibers.

Cellulose Fibers

These fibers come from a wide variety of plant sources. Of course, you must also consider things like pesticides and insecticides used on the plants when considering how sustainable, or even green, the fibers may be.

Non-organic cotton, for instance, accounts for nearly 25 percent of the world’s use of insecticides and 10 percent of worldwide pesticide usage – making it not such a sustainable product after all. If you do prefer cotton clothes for their comfort and versatility, consider organic cotton

But don’t worry, there are plenty of sustainable fibers to consider, including:

  • Hemp
  • Jute
  • Flax
  • Abaca
  • Bamboo
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Beechwood

Protein Fibers

Animals are also important sources of fibers and have been for centuries. Some of the most commonly used fibers in fine clothing come from animals, including:

  • Wool
  • Silk
  • Cashmere
  • Mohair
  • Camel
  • Alpaca
  • Llama
  • Vicuna

Eco-Friendly Fashion Choices and Participation

When it comes to fashion, sustainability isn’t only about buying clothing that has been manufactured for the purpose of sustainability. It’s about adopting new ways to shop responsibly for clothing. It’s about getting back to the basics of sustaining the planet.

  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Recycle

These three words are the fundamentals when it comes to saving the planet. They are the minimal effort families from all walks of life need to do in order to do their part.

Giving New Life to Old Clothes

The options below allow you to breathe new life into old clothes. No matter whether you’re the one donating, purchasing, or transforming, by extending the life cycle of these clothing items you are helping to make them more sustainable.


Donate old clothing that you or your children have outgrown. Don’t simply toss it in the garbage to go to the local landfill. Churches, community organizations, and even schools are often all too happy to take your old clothing items to give to others. Consider organizations like the following for your clothing donations:

  • Goodwill
  • Salvation Army
  • Ready for Success (Minnesota organization that empowers low income men and women with professional wardrobes for job interviews) most communities have something similar, ask around to see what’s available in your area if you have professional clothing to donate.
  • Domestic Violence Shelters
  • Homeless Shelters
  • Prom Dress Donation Programs


If you’re willing to devote a little bit of time and effort, and one or two weekend days, you can actually get a little bit in return for holding a garage sell and allowing those who are less fortunate, or less inclined to dole out precious dollars on clothing, to purchase your old clothing items.

Another possibility is consignment shops that allow you to use their shops to sell your old clothing items (and those of your children) for a cut off the profits.

Even online auction sites like eBay allow you the opportunity to sell your used clothing items so that someone else can get new life and wear from them.


Thrift shops, consignment stores, garage sales, swap meets, and online auctions allow you to purchase or trade items to get gently used clothing items for yourself and your family. These practices help to keep clothes out of landfills, gives them new life, and helps to diminish the impact they’ve had on the planet by keeping them in circulation.


In addition to shopping to get used clothes, many people buy used clothes in order to transform them into something else. For instance, you can transform gently used jeans that have frayed ends into cute shorts by cutting them off and hemming them. Alternatively, they can be turned into an adorable skirt by cutting them short and adding layers of ruffles all around.

Old tee-shirts can become dresses with the help of the tasteful application of ruffles and frills in all the right places. Some people even refer to this as upcycling. You can even turn old tee-shirts into comfortable – incredibly soft pillow cases.

The bottom line is that there are countless ways to reuse old clothing by transforming it into something else.


Have younger kids in the family? Even if they aren’t your own children, chances are good that you have a relative who will be glad to accept any children’s clothing items you’re willing to pass along. Even if they aren’t in perfect condition, they make great clothes for art days at school or play days at home.

Eco-Friendly Clothing Brands

A few wise clothing manufacturers are beginning to take notice of the needs of the planets and designing clothes with that in mind. Some offer carbon offsetting, while others simply practice greener manufacturing processes and material selection. These are just a few of the brands you might want to consider:

  • Study NY – Brooklyn based designer that uses hand-dyed organic cotton, linen, and recycled fabrics.
  • Stella McCartney – High-fashion designer with an eye on sustainability. Her line is vegan, cruelty free, and innovative.
  • Mina & Olya – another high-fashion brand that places great stock in sustainability, this line is domestically produced using products such as organic silk, hemp, organic wool, and milk fiber to create stunning clothes for day, night, and all points in between.
  • Eileen Fisher – Not only does this brand talk-the-talk, it also walks the walk by using eco-friendly materials, recycling programs, and participating in various philanthropic initiatives for the sake of the planet. Did we mention the stunning and oh-so-comfortable clothes?

When it comes to sustainable clothing, there are abundant options available from the economically earth-friendly choice of used or second-hand clothing items to high fashion runways from top name sustainability designers.

Link to Us!

If you found this article useful and shareable, please copy and paste the following into the html code of your website or blog:

Learn More About Going Green at the <a href="">PlushBeds Green Living Blog</a>.
(Visited 247 times, 1 visits today)

Amber Merton

Amber Merton is an accomplished writer on the topics of green living and sleep. Her work has been covered in numerous online publications. Amber has been a regular author on the PlushBeds blog for the past 7 years.

Recent Posts

10 Ways to Allergy Proof Your Bedroom

If you're sniffling, sneezing, or dealing with nasal stuffiness or other allergy signs, you may want to consider taking some… Read More

2 days ago

How to Start Your Own Organic Garden

Various scientific studies have started finding that beginning your own organic gardening is beneficial for all areas of life —… Read More

4 days ago

Can a Full Moon Affect Your Sleep?

Sleep might be one of the easiest changes you can make to your everyday routine that can affect everything from… Read More

1 week ago

How To Assemble Your Latex Mattress

Congratulations on your decision to invest in your healthiest night’s sleep. You're going to love your new latex mattress. Latex… Read More

3 weeks ago

5 Reasons To Buy Organic Bedding

Organic Bedding offers many benefits to consumers. In this article we give you 5 reasons to buy organic bedding. Read… Read More

4 weeks ago

20 Things To Do Before Spring Ends

Summer officially begins on June 21, 2019. This leaves us with two more weeks to enjoy the Spring season. (more…)… Read More

2 months ago