Why You Should Choose Eco-Friendly Clothing and Cosmetics

Here are some reasons why—and ways how—to choose clothes and cosmetics which are more natural and sustainable.

Why You Should Choose Eco-Friendly Clothing and Cosmetics

This world is in trouble, and it has been for quite some time now. Rainforests are burning, polar ice caps are melting, and the temperatures are rising increasingly. And while we’re worried about how things will play out, and what the destiny of this planet and mankind will be, we still live our lives. After all, no matter what goes on around us, we still have to get dressed in the morning and maintain our personal hygiene. But, what if by doing exactly those things we’re harming the environment further? This is why it’s essential to reconsider our choices and turn to eco-friendly clothing and cosmetic products. Here are some reasons why—and ways how—to choose clothes and cosmetics which are more natural and sustainable.

What’s wrong with the cosmetics I normally use?

Many of the chemicals in your cosmetic products are harmful, not only to your skin and your health, but to the planet as well. As you use them and wash them off, they flow right into the water system through your drain. The ground soaks them in, and a lot of it ends up in the rivers, seas and oceans, where it can cause further damage to the underwater flora and fauna. Other than that, the packaging these cosmetics come in is often made of plastic, meaning that it will add to the incredible amount of trash we fill the planet with daily.

What about clothes?

Much alike the cosmetics, clothes and their production definitely have a huge impact on the environment. In order to make a single piece of clothing, people use hundreds or even thousands of liters of water, and nearly as many chemicals. And let’s not forget the energy wasted and air polluted to transport of these clothes, often from one continent to another. In the end, they get worn several times and then get thrown out on some pile of trash in a landfill somewhere. This means that the consumers carry their fair share of the blame for all the problems with non-sustainable clothes and their production. Due to the fact that these clothes are mostly cheap, people buy them and replace them without thinking twice, and get rid of what they bought last season after only wearing it a few times.

What can I do?

As much as companies should try to change their policies on this type of mass production, the consumers should change their habits as well. For example, you can now purchase anything from premium women’s activewear to quality mens underwear made of an organically-grown bamboo fabric blend. By choosing such products, you can make a difference as an individual and do your part in preserving the planet. Buy from brands that do their business responsibly, that respect their workers, and that do their best not to cause additional damage to the environment. You can also recycle, reuse, repurpose, or simply give away your old clothes instead of simply throwing them out. As far as cosmetics are concerned, the environmentally-friendly options are those which are made from natural and non-toxic ingredients and packed in sustainable packaging, meaning that it’s made of paper or bamboo, or at least recycled plastic. Fortunately, nowadays you can also find cosmetic products which are made of natural ingredients, which aren’t tested on animals, and which are encased in bio-degradable and eco-friendly packaging. Even if the packaging is plastic, opt for the ones which can be reused, so that you cut down on waste.

Why is this so important?

By refusing to buy clothes and cosmetics from companies that use an enormous amount of chemicals in their production, as well as from those that are in any way harming the planet, you’re cutting down their budget and letting them know that they should reconsider and change their ways. On the other hand, if you’re purchasing eco-friendly and sustainable clothes and cosmetics, especially if you do it locally, from small manufacturers, you’re encouraging them to continue with ethical and responsible production. And why not support the people who do innovative things, like making cosmetics out of leftover fruit? You’re also making sure that the earth’s valuable resources aren’t wasted and that we leave behind less plastic and other kinds of non-degradable trash. Aside from being kinder to the planet, you’re also doing your health a huge favor, and not to mention your children’s, if you choose the right kind of products for them. For instance, organic cotton doesn’t get sprayed with toxic pesticides. Similarly, if you pay attention to the labels and enquire about company policies for the brands you buy, you can surely find clothes which weren’t dyed, bleached or scoured using harmful chemicals, since those chemicals can cause different allergies, rashes, or even some more serious conditions. Cosmetics made from plant-based, natural ingredients and clothes made from organic materials won’t affect your health, so make sure you opt for those whenever possible.

The way we shop should reflect the way we live. We should do both of these things wisely and with utmost care and respect for all life, but also health, our own as well as the Earth’s.

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Fiona Wood
See all posts by Fiona Wood