Climate activist and model, Laura Wells shares her top 5 tips on shopping sustainably
1. Buy natural fibers whenever possible.
Thinking and learning about where our clothes and beauty products come from, the environmental impact they have and how to mitigate their effect is important as a consumer.
Knowing that a single cotton t-shirt can require 2,700 Litres of water to create, the dying process of clothing can pollute waterways, or that the pesticides and insecticides used on farms can impact the environment and other species etc. are great baseline facts to be aware of in order to be a conscious consumer and choose sustainable for the future.
2. Do your research and where possible, buy recycled fibers instead of virgin
When purchasing garments look for brands that are using recycled materials. If you can find products made from fibers such as recycled PET (post-consumer recycled plastic), these are a much better choice as they help reduce the carbon footprint of the fibre and gives the original plastic an extended life.
3. Worldwide, every minute, 1 MILLION plastic bottles are bought
Globally, only around 9% of recyclable items are actually recycled, which means a lot of plastic is being littered or sent to landfill and negatively impacting our environments and contributing to emissions that lead to climate change. If you’re using plastic water bottles you should ensure they are reused and recycled, always! You can use the container deposit systems available in most Australian States and Territories where you’ll get 10cent refunds and ensure the plastic is in a clean and uncontaminated recycling system.
This means, companies can use these recycled plastics for good, giving them a real purpose and making them useful, rather than having them harm the environment. That’s just one of the many reasons I love The Good Shoe by Hush Puppies – you can literally feel good about wearing them as you know they’re good for your feet and the environment! They use recycled PET in the making of their latest, eco-friendly range and also incorporate recycled plastic bottles too!
4. Educate yourself and be aware of how your favourite brands operate
Do your research, check out their websites to find out their plans around environmental sustainability and ethical manufacturing policies. Be aware of greenwashing by companies saying they are environmentally
friendly but actually aren’t. It can be tricky waters to navigate as a consumer however, you can always contact the brand and ask questions.
5. Recycle + Donate
If you’ve come to the end of your time with any wardrobe pieces, think first before throwing it away! There’s lots of great ways to donate your much-loved wardrobe pieces and there’s also some great clothing recycler outlets – check for one closest to you. If an item is in a good condition, you can donate them to charity stores, all of which helps avoiding adding anything else to our already overflowing landfills.
If you have a pair of shoes that are a little too worn to donate or repair, take your shoes to any Hush Puppies store and pop them in the Save Our Soles collection bins, which will be ground up and turned into rubber mats used in sporting clubs and playgrounds!