Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 89 - Greening your Clothes

Clothes - most of us want to look good and therefore we buy nice looking clothes to wear and I am no exception to that.

I will admit that I do not regularly visit the thrift stores in search of clothes. Not to say I have never been - I have and my last pregnancy wardrobe was made up of 95% thrift store finds and this was before I went green. I guess by my third pregnancy I did not want to pay those high prices attributed to maternity clothes when you only wear them for about 9 months. This last pregnancy I was also a little smarter as I know it takes some time for me to loose the pregnancy weight I also just purchased extra large normal clothes ( like track pants, yoga pants, sweaters - things with a little stretch to it) that way I was not stuck wearing maternity clothes after the baby was born. Some of the clothing because of the stretch factor can still be used well after I have lost the 'baby fat'.

I think this greening of clothes is going to be a little more challenging for me - I mostly now shop for my children and they tend to grow out of their clothes so quickly. I am going to make a resolution of sorts to go a little more greener with their clothes:

-- I will attempt to purchase organic fabrics or natural fabrics like cotton and hemp
-- For their romp around everyday clothes I will visit the thrift store more often (we have a great local kids only thrift store in town with a huge selection)
-- Instead of purchasing gloves and mitts every new winter season - I will invest a few extra dollars and get them a good eco-friendly fair traded set which then can last several years.
-- I will also be reusing some of their summer clothes for winter. T-Shirt can be worn over long sleeve cotton shirts. For girls shorts and skirts can be paired with leggings or tights for a funky look.
-- I will also be handing down more of their clothes. No need to get rid of the 'boy' jean shorts when really a pair of jean shorts is just that jean shorts that can be worn by a little girl. Same goes for regular jeans. With my two girls this will be easy as I can keep the clothes for the little one. In fact our church minister asked when I wanted to get my baby baptised and I replied - well not quite yet as I want to reuse the dress my other one wore and she needs to grow a little so she can fit into it.
-- Once the clothes are done in our family I will as I have always done donate them to charity.

For myself - I tend not to buy that many clothes for me anymore. I have always bought clothes that last through the fashion trends and I have some items in my closet going back over 10 years, with proper care and handling they can last another 10 years. As I type this I think of my favourite wrap skirt - it used to be my mom's then it was given to me and that was a good 20 years ago and I still love it. Because it is a wrap skirt it has always fitted me as I have gained and lost weight through all my pregnancies. Then there is the button up cardigan I purchased a a thrift store for $9.00, 15 years ago - it is still one of my favourites and still looks as good now as it did then. One of my favourite things to do to clothes to is to re-invent them. I am lucky enough to know to sew and have often changed an item of clothing after I got bored with it. An ankle length skirt becomes a short skirt - pants can become capri's or shorts etc.

So I guess I have been on the right track all along - I just now need to ensure that any new items I purchase are either recycled (thrift store) or environmentally friendly and are fair trade.

Shopping for my husband clothes - well I do not do that - so hopefully he will read this post and take a few hints.

Well, I started off this post thinking that it might be a challenge for me to go green with the clothes but it seems at least for myself I am doing a pretty good job already and that I just need to work on the shopping for my kids clothes.

After my post yesterday - I found so many cool online green and fair trade stores that I will be adding them to a list on the right for easy access to all.

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