Product Review: Ethique’s Concentrates

Ethique products lined up in color hues, transitioning from magenta on the left to red, orange, then yellow on the right.
Ethique products.

I have struggled to find a good, plastic-free conditioner for my hair. But I think I’ve discovered one, by a company called Ethique.

Ethique, a New Zealand company, sells plastic-free shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lotion, body wash, soap, etc. The company also uses non-toxic and sustainably sourced ingredients. Even more exciting is that their products are rated in the low to moderate range of the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database.1 Further, the company uses compostable packaging, cruelty-free and vegan ingredients, no palm oil, and is a Certified B Corporation!

Over the last few months, I’ve tried several of their products and now I’m reviewing them!

Conditioner Bar

Ethique conditioner bar packaging with green bar on top, next to a half lime and shredded coconut on a green background.

When I searched Ethique’s site for a conditioner bar, I noticed they also sell conditioner concentrates. The concentrates are bars dissolvable in water to make a liquid conditioner. I bought both a conditioner bar and a conditioner concentrate to try out.

The bar I bought was The Guardian, which is for dry hair. The bar was fine overall, but I have long, thick hair and always have trouble getting thorough conditioning with any conditioner bar I’ve ever tried. Next, I tried the conditioner concentrate.

Turning The Bar Into Liquid Conditioner

Ethique conditioner concentrate package next to a blue ball jar, on a white counter with an aqua-toned wall.
Photo by Marie Cullis.

Though the instructions didn’t quite work as well as they should, I figured it out. The instructions were to break up the bars into triangles from the forms, pour boiling water over the pieces, and stir them until they dissolved. However, I had to heat the mixture on the stove to melt it completely. Then I had a lovely, creamy conditioner! The second time I made it, I put the triangles from the bars into the boiling water and immediately removed the pan from the stove. This worked better than my first try.

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It did make slightly less than the package indicated, but I think that might have been my fault, as I likely lost some of the water to evaporation when I put it on the stove.

Overall, the conditioner is thick and creamy and I enjoy using it in my hair. Though I still have to use a detangler. The one downfall is that because it is thick, it is difficult to transfer to a pump bottle. And it doesn’t pump well either. I could use a pump attachment with a ball jar, but I don’t feel safe keeping a glass jar in the shower. I have to keep it in a container we open and close each shower. Not everyone in my household is happy with this.

Ethique purple and white conditioner concentrate packaging, next to a pink flower and glass beakers with liquids.
This is the appearance of the updated Ethique Conditioner concentrate packaging.

The Shampoo Concentrate

I placed another order and purchased the shampoo concentrate and the lotion concentrate (see the next section). Two bars are supposed to make about 12 ounces of liquid shampoo.

I followed the instructions but instead of using a bowl, I boiled the water in a pan on the stove, turned off the eye, and then put the triangles into the water. This worked well, but I again must have lost some of the shampoo to evaporation as I ended up with about 10 ounces instead of 12. I used a funnel (plastic, because it’s a holdover from years ago) to put the shampoo into a reused pump bottle. It made a great liquid shampoo.

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The Lotion Concentrate

Ethique lotion concentrate, lavendar and white packaging. Oil and coconut in background.

Last, I made the lotion concentrate – but I forgot to take photos while I dissolved it! It takes a little while to thicken. So here’s what it looks like in a reused container:

Dark blue container with cream colored lotion in it.
Ethique lotion from concentrate. Photo by Marie Cullis.

I like the lotion so far, though it is not super scented, which is probably a good thing. It absorbs into the skin very well.

Overall Satisfaction

Though I will return to using my favorite shampoo bar – because it is far easier to buy and use – overall, I am pleased with Ethique’s products. I will continue using the conditioner and lotion concentrates because I love that they are plastic-free. It does take a few minutes to turn the concentrates to liquid, but I find the effort worth it. I hope this review helps and encourages you to try any plastic-free products! Thanks for reading, please share and subscribe!

 

This article does not contain affiliate links nor was I paid to promote the products in this post. This is an honest review.

 

Footnote:

Product Review: Panasonic Eneloop Rechargeable Batteries

Eneloop set, green case showing the battery sets inside.

After writing about battery recycling and discovering that most alkaline batteries are landfilled, I became disheartened with them. Recycling batteries remains far more difficult than it should be. It is only available in my area through pay-for-recycling programs, like TerraCycle. I felt like I was paying a lot of money for something I would just toss, or have to buy and then spend additional money on to recycle.

First, I wanted to see if I could stop using batteries altogether. While that is a nice idea, so many things use batteries! The food scale, the camera, the weather radio’s backup, game controllers, all remote controls, and many of my son’s toys. So my family reduced our battery reliance by using chargeable or wired items, like wired mice and keyboards. While I was able to reduce battery usage, I was not able to completely stop using them.

I read that rechargeable batteries have greatly improved over the years, which encouraged me to try them.

Pile of dozens of batteries, alkaline, laptop, and others. All different brands and colors.
Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash.

Panasonic’s Eneloop Rechargeable Batteries

Interior of Eneloop battery set, showing the white batteries and charger inside of a green case.

Right after I published that article, I transitioned to rechargeable batteries. I stopped buying alkaline batteries and purchased a set of rechargeables. Online reviews at the time favored Panasonic’s Eneloop batteries, though EBL brand was my second choice because they are well-rated. I bought the above set, which included a four-battery charger, 2 AAA and 8 AA batteries, and 2 C and 2 D “spacers.” Spacers allow you to put an AA battery inside a plastic case shaped like a C or D battery.

Overall, I am happy with the Eneloop batteries. As with all rechargeable batteries, they take a few hours to charge. I always keep some charged so that when the remote dies or my son’s lightsaber stops working, I can replace them. Then I charge the ones I removed immediately. It’s as simple as putting them in the charger and plugging it into the wall. Easy.

In 2023, Wired reviewed rechargeables and said “Nothing beats Panasonic’s Eneloop range for durability and reliability.” The standard Eneloop batteries can be recharged up to 2,100 times, and retain 70 percent of their capacity after 10 years in storage. They are rated for use in temperatures between -20 °C and 50 °C, which makes them optimal for outdoor activities.

My only complaint is that my Samsung TV remote drains its batteries fast, so we must recharge those frequently. For all of my other uses, the batteries last a long time.

C and D Spacers

I haven’t used the C and D spacers much, since we use few C batteries and only use D-sized in the flashlights. And for some reason, we still have D alkalines in the house. But in their review, Wirecutter chose Eneloop spacers as the best pick for C and D-sized batteries. “Since most household battery chargers charge only AA and AAA batteries, these adapters could save you from having to buy a separate charger for your larger batteries.” Good point, as I noticed this issue when I first started shopping for a rechargeable set and I ultimately chose Panasonic Eneloop because it had all four common types of batteries.

White battery spacers, plastic battery shapes, that hold a AA battery and take the place of a C or D battery.
Eneloop spacers.

Cost

The initial investment in these is higher than standard alkaline batteries. I spent about $50 for the initial set and I’ve had to buy additional batteries over the years to have enough (especially around the holidays). However, if you add up the cost of replacing those same-size alkaline batteries repeatedly, it would cost more. A four-pack of AA Eneloop batteries costs $14.98 on Amazon; a four-pack of Duracell costs $4.97. By reusing the Eneloop brand just four times, you’re starting to save money. C and D cost more, so you can really save with the Eneloop spacers.

9-Volt or 9V

We use 9V alkaline batteries in the smoke alarm since rechargeable batteries were not recommended for them in the past. I’m not sure that’s the case anymore, though I could not find anything official online. I did discover that EBL brand makes rechargeable 9V batteries, which cost around $32 for five batteries with the charger. For comparison, a four-pack of Duracell 9V costs around $17. I am considering these for the future.

White battery charger with 5 white 9V batteries charging in it. White background.

 

Have you tried rechargeable batteries? I’d love to know what you’ve tried, so please leave a comment below. Thank you for reading, please share and subscribe!

 

This article does not contain affiliate links nor was I paid to promote the products in this post. This is an honest review.

Footnotes:

The Real Global Price of What You Wear, Part 7

Last updated on June 6, 2024.

Hanging Shirts in Ombre order, from reds on left, oranges center, and yellows on right.
Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash.

One of the best ways to fight fast fashion and textile waste is to make your existing wardrobe last longer. We can do this by washing our clothes less, but better, and by repairing and mending. “According to the EPA, for every 2 million tons of textiles we keep in circulation and out of landfills, we can reduce carbon emissions equivalent to taking 1 million cars off the road,” wrote Elizabeth L. Cline. “In fact, reusing a ton of textiles saves twice as much carbon as recycling a ton of plastic, one of the most commonly recycled materials.”1

But what else can we do?

Stop Shopping!

“Today’s rapid cycle of production, buying, and disposal of clothing impairs our ability to feel satisfied and connected with our wardrobes. It’s time for a new, slower approach to repairing clothes and to cherishing what we have.” -Zoe Edwards, Mend It, Wear It, Love It!2

Stop shopping. Or at least shop much less. Since most of us overbuy, we should buy less clothing going forward.

You don’t have to be a minimalist, but you don’t need closets and dressers and shelves overflowing with clothing. You can’t possibly wear all of it. Calculate how much clothing you need by how often you do laundry. For most people, this is one or two week’s worth. Then, account for the few special pieces you need – a black dress or a suit, or maybe you wear uniforms to work – it will be unique for everyone. Own only the amount of workout clothing you actually work out in. Don’t keep clothes that don’t fit (unless you regularly fluctuate in sizes). Limit excess of all types of clothing.

Subconsciously, or maybe even consciously, clothing represents who we are or the person we want others to perceive us as. Wear the clothing that makes you feel good. But fight against the influence of advertising, trends, and fast fashion sales. As Dana Thomas in Fashionopolis wrote, “[Fashion] preys on our insecurities and our increasingly short attention spans. We are prone to a barrage of fashion images –  on social media, on television, on billboards, in the press – begging us, taunting us to indulge in what one executive described as ‘temporary treasure.'”3 Be selective and intentional about the pieces you purchase.

“Volume is what gave birth to sweatshops. Volume is what makes fast fashion so profitable. Volume is what’s stuffing our closets. Volume is what’s rotting in our landfills.” -Dana Thomas, Fashionopolis4

Women's outfit lying on white background: white blouse, blue jeans, red and white striped t-shirt, and red shoes.
Photo by Junko Nakase on Unsplash.

We Can Spend Our Money Differently

“The number one reason we buy what we don’t wear is because it’s on sale or it’s so cheap that we’re willing to overlook flaws.” -Elizabeth L. Cline, The Conscious Closet5 

Don’t buy a $5 shirt because it is cheap. Buy a shirt because it feels good on your body. Embrace slow fashion, which is the idea that a thoughtful and intentional wardrobe greatly reduces environmental impact. It is the opposite of excessive production, overcomplicated supply chains, and mindless consumption.

“Most of our clothes are bought on impulse; we’re buying items without wider thought of how they fit into our lives or our wardrobes.” -Elizabeth L. Cline, The Conscious Closet6 

Buy Quality, Not Quantity

Buy more classic pieces and less trendy items. This will allow you to mix and match more easily and allow you to wear your clothes much, much longer. Buy fewer, higher-quality pieces and buy second-hand when possible. In The Conscious Closet, Elizabeth L. Cline wrote that you should be skeptical of cheap and heavily discounted items. She says to try everything on because it takes more time and hassle to return an item than to just try it on in the first place. Buy one or two quality pieces at a time instead of trying to revamp your whole closet in one shopping trip. Plan ahead, and hold out for those great items instead of settling for items that are just okay.7 

“Consumption has accelerated to such a furious pace that most of us don’t thoroughly consider what we purchase.” -Katrina Rodabaugh, Make Thrift Mend8

Cline offered these tips to identify quality clothing items:

Study the sewing and construction details of your own clothes that have lasted a long time. Look at your grandmother’s clothing or at clothes in vintage shops, as clothes made decades ago were not meant to be thrown away.

Check out a variety of brands and stores.

Look at men’s clothes, which are typically made better than women’s.

Quality includes good fabric, construction, fit, and a warranty. Usually the better the guarantee or warranty, the better the quality. “Nudie Jeans, a sustainable denim brand, offers free repairs on jeans for life, for example. Patagonia offers repairs, replacements, or refunds for damaged products or if the product simply doesn’t live up to expectations.” Other brands offer repairs within one or two years of purchase.9 

“Quality clothing is made to last, wear well, and look good over time.” -Elizabeth L. Cline, The Conscious Closet10 

Beware of Outlets and Off-Price Stores

There has been a drop in quality at factory outlets since the 2000s. These stores used to sell name-brand items with slight defects and imperfections, or overstock. But now most outlet stores have a special line of lower quality items, made just for those stores. It is the same for off-price stores such as T.J. Maxx, Ross Dress for Less, Marshalls, etc. These stores carry clothing without hems, fabrics that shed fibers in your hands when you touch them, and no regularity in sizing.

“Off-price stores and outlets were once a reliable way to land well-made and name-brand products at a discount, but no longer. Today, many sell a lot of factory rejects or canceled orders – the products that should have never made it to a store in the first place…[they are] manufactured exclusively for these stores and [are] intentionally mislabeled as discounted.” -Elizabeth L. Cline11

Circular clothing racks of shirts, organized by color.
Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay.

Buy from Responsible Brands

Research which brands are ethical and sustainable, or follow sustainable fashion writers like Elizabeth L. Cline to get the information. Or look for brands that use recycled textiles to make new clothing, such as Patagonia and Osom Brand.

Focus on what is most important to you. Sophie Benson, author of Sustainable Wardrobe, wrote, “Just as style is personal, so too are our moral drivers. For instance, I’m vegan, therefore I wouldn’t buy new leather. You might appreciate the longevity of leather but want to ensure it’s vegetable-tanned. One person might want to do their best to keep clothes in circulation by shopping exclusively secondhand via charity shops, another might be dead set on supporting independent brands who manufacture small batches at every opportunity. The better you understand your own principles and priorities, the easier it becomes to know whether a brand or product lives up to them.”12

Affordability

Sometimes buying higher quality or ethical/sustainable means the monetary cost is higher. Conscious fashion brands are mainly independent startups and smaller companies.13 So those companies have a higher overhead because they use responsibly sourced fabrics, little or no chemicals, and pay proper wages to workers. See Additional Resources below for a few brands that have good labor standards and sustainable practices, as well as an article on sustainable brands by budget.

But affordability is an issue. While it’s easy to say ‘just buy higher quality pieces’ or ‘purchase from sustainable fashion companies,” the reality of that is often difficult. What author Leah Thomas calls ‘the elephant in the room’: not everyone can affordably access sustainable clothing. Sustainable clothing often costs far more than the $10 shirt at H&M. Thomas argues that many sustainable fashion brands also do not offer plus-sized clothing even though over 60% of American women wear a size 14 or larger.14

Second hand shop clothing racks, lots of colorful article with a black short sleeved top on a headless mannequin in the foreground.
Image by Daniel Kapelrud from Pixabay.

Second-Hand Clothing

Affordability is why second-hand clothing is key: you can find higher-quality pieces without paying the high retail price. There are thousands of thrift stores, yard sales, and second-hand shops everywhere, as well as online stores.

Buying second-hand is always better for the environment and much more affordable.

There are also consignment shops in most areas. Just search “consignment near me” on the internet. These shops can vary from children’s clothing to boutique clothing to upscale women’s wear. Items at consignment shops have been inspected and vetted more thoroughly than items at thrift stores, and are sometimes cleaned or repaired before being sold.15

Used clothing is also all over the internet. Sites like eBay, Poshmark, The RealReal, Mercari, ThreadUp, and OfferUp are just a few places where you can find any type of clothing you want.*

Red-haired woman shopping at a thrift store, looking through clothing racks with other items in background, such as hats and framed art. Yellow tint to photo.
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay.

Stop ‘Wardrobing’

‘Wardrobing’ refers to buying the same item in multiple sizes when shopping online, and returning the ones that don’t fit. Now, it would help if companies would standardize sizes, especially in women’s clothes. But try using the size charts and measurement guides on clothing sites when they are offered.

The reason is that returned clothing sometimes gets landfilled. “Reverse logistics -which includes things like opening returned packages, inspecting returned items, steaming or cleaning them, adding them back into the system and repackaging them – can be time-consuming and costly, so many brands simply cut their losses and dispose of returned items. In the US, 2.3 billion kilograms (5 billion pounds) in weight of returned goods ends up in landfill each year, creating 15 million tonnes of carbon emissions.”16 This is a poor practice that companies should be barred from, but let’s do what we can to reduce returns in the meantime.

Build a Capsule Wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe is a curated but versatile wardrobe. As Elizabeth L. Cline wrote, “What defines a capsule wardrobe is not its smallness but the versatility and intentionality of its contents.17

Courtney Carver’s Project 333 is a great capsule wardrobe plan! It embraces minimalism and stress reduction, while fighting fast fashion and supporting sustainability.

“You get to wear your favorite things every day.” -Courtney Carver18

Renting

Renting is another viable solution. According to Dana Thomas, author of Fashionopolis, the average professional woman spends $3,000 or more per year on buying clothing. “Renting fashion could change the entire shape of the apparel industry. Imagine if that $3,000-a-year clothing budget was spent on renting instead of buying. Fewer clothes would be made, and what is out there could be circulated more, tossed less.” Rent the Runway is a well-known example.19 See Additional Resources below for an article covering several rental subscription services.

Rack of formal gowns in multiple colors, with sparkles and sequins.
Photo by form PxHere.

Consume Less

We need companies to produce less clothing, and we need to consume less. What changes can you make to reduce clothing waste?

So slow down, buy less, buy natural, buy better, buy second-hand. You’ll save money, time, and the environment. Please share and subscribe, and thank you for reading!

“If I had to give one piece of advice on what turned my wardrobe into a Slow Fashion wardrobe, I’d say ‘pause.’ If we could just pause our shopping habits, slow down our consumption, and pay attention to the clothes we bring into our homes, we’d collectively make a huge shift.” –Katrina Rodabaugh, Make Thrift Mend20

Wooden clothing rack with clothes in whites, reds, pinks and turquoises, with a shorter black empty clothing rack in front of it with hangers. Background wall is hunter green.
Photo by EVG Kowalievska on Pexels.

 

Additional Resources:

sustainyourstyle.org is a website dedicated to helping people understand and make sustainable decisions related to fashion.

fashionrevolution.org is a group that campaigns “for a clean, safe, fair, transparent and accountable fashion industry.”

Here are a few conscious brands and related articles:

Eileen Fisher: Eileen Fisher produces 25% in the US and has living wages as part of its code of conduct.21 Their Renew program is a take-back and resell program. “Three-fourths of [the] garments are reconditioned with treatments like overdyeing with pomegranate or safflower to camouflage stains and embroidering with traditional Japanese Boro and sashiko stitching, which can hide, or highlight, tears and moth holes.”22*

Article, “The Pain of Progress: Our Renew Program Reaches 2 Million Garments,” by Kris Herndon, Eileen Fisher Journal, April 10, 2023.

Patagonia is a company that follows high standards for production, labor, employment, and environmental concerns. The company also buys, repairs, and resells its own brand of clothing and accessories.*

Reformation:  They are actively working toward a living wage for its Los Angeles workers. 23 Their “goal is to source 100% of our fabrics from recycled, regenerative, or renewable materials by 2025.”*

Elizabeth Suzann: This is a Nashville-based slow fashion brand that uses responsible materials and pays double the minimum wage in Tennessee.24*

Article, ” 99 Sustainable Fashion Brands By Budget (2023),” The Good Trade, October 3, 2023.

Article, “How To Thrift-Flip Your Wedding Dress,” canvasbridal.com, accessed January 6, 2024.

Renting Clothing:

Article, “Thinking About Fashion Rentals? Consider These 7 Services,” by Alexis Bennett Parker, Vogue, January 12, 2023.

Haverdash*

Rent the Runway*

Nuuly*

Gwynnie Bee*

Tulerie* – community rental clothing

 

*I do not necessarily endorse these products and I do not get paid to mention them.

Footnotes:

The Real Global Price of What You Wear, Part 6

Many embroidery floss skeins in rainbow order, making a blank heart shape in the center.
Photo by Karly Santiago on Unsplash.

If you’ve been reading articles from my series about the clothing industry, then you probably want to know more about what you can do about fashion waste. The short answer is that first, you can take good care of the clothes you have by laundering them well and repairing them. Second, stop buying too much clothing – even when it’s a great deal! Try to buy only the pieces you really love and that fit well. Don’t just buy something because you found it on the clearance rack.

Globally, we have to stop the overproduction of clothing and fast fashion.

As Elizabeth L. Cline noted, in America, we spend more money on restaurants than we do on clothes. We don’t see any reason to spend more on fashion because of the availability of cheap clothes. “As any economist will tell you, cheaper prices stimulate consumption. And the current low rate of fashion has spurred a shopping free-for-all, where we are buying and hoarding roughly 20 billion garments per year as a nation…If we could only give up our clothing deals and steals, we might just see that there are far more fortifying, not to mention more flattering, ways of getting dressed.”1

“The most sustainable clothes are the ones already in your closet.” -Katrina Rodabaugh, Make Thrift Mend2

Close-up of a white front-load washing machine, with a hand turning the dial.
Photo by rawpixel.com form PxHere.

Wash Your Clothes Less

Washing our clothes less makes them last much longer. It also reduces the number of microfibers, that is, microscopic pieces of plastic from synthetic clothing, that enter our water systems. You can wear some articles several times before you launder them unless you sweat or spill something on them. You can freshen your clothes without washing them, by hanging them in the bathroom during a shower or hanging them outside. Read “Make Your Clothes Last Longer with Good Laundry Habits” for laundry tips.

“Americans in particular overwash their clothing and rely on machine washing instead of steaming or airing out their clothes, which shortens the life span of what we wear.” -Elizabeth L. Cline, The Concious Closet3 

Tan cardigan with white and yellow flower embroidery near shoulder.
Photo by Alex Baber on Unsplash.

Mending

“When you take the time and effort to repair or improve a garment, you will value it and, more importantly, enjoy wearing it.” -Zoe Edwards, Mend It, Wear It, Love It!4

Mending can extend the life of your clothing and keep them out of the landfill. Learning basic sewing and embroidery is worth the effort because you can save money and protect the environment.

In her book, The Conscious Closet, Elizabeth L. Cline offered an entire chapter on how to perform basic repairs and instructions on several types of stitches without sewing skills or a sewing machine. A few common repairs include missing buttons, seam splits, loose stitching, applying patches, and darning socks. You can find tutorials for all of these in her book. Often you can find tutorials online for free, as well.

Cline also recommended using a fabric shaver to remove pills,5 which are the little bobbles of loose fibers that build up on your clothes. Sophie Benson, author of Sustainable Wardrobe, wrote that you can also reuse an old razor to remove pills. Just avoid pulling them off with your fingers because that can cause damage to the fabric.6

BEAUTURAL Fabric Shaver and Lint Remover, gray, showing the device and two blade attachments.
This is the fabric shaver I use and I’ve been happy with the results. This is not a paid promotion or affiliate product.

Tip: You can even find sewing materials and notions – and even sewing machines – at thrift stores and second-hand shops. You don’t necessarily have to pay retail for those things.

“Wear visibly mended clothes proudly. Visible mending is a great conversation starter, and a visibly mended garment is the perfect uniform for the reluctant activist because it does the heavy lifting for you. Whenever you wear something visibly mended and chat with someone about it, you’re raising awareness that mending is possible, it can be creative and colourful, and caring for our clothes is an important thing to do.” -Erin Lewis-Fitzgerald, Modern Mending7 

Tiny flower embroidery on denim, many colors, needle with light blue thread at center.
Photo by Barbara Krysztofiak on Unsplash.

“In repairing our clothes, we send a message. With each stitch we declare, ‘I value the people who made this, I value the natural resources that went into making it and I value the version of myself that chose it.’ ” -Sophie Benson, Sustainable Wardrobe8

Hire A Tailor

If you don’t want to learn basic sewing or don’t have the time, you can take your items to a tailor. This costs more but still extends the life of the clothing you already own. Sophie Benson wrote, “Both alterations and repairs should very much be seen as part and parcel of the maintenance of our clothes. Any action that keeps your clothes in wearable condition is classed as maintenance, and this includes things like lowering hems, taking in or letting out waistbands, altering silhouettes and replacing linings. You might be surprised what a tailor can do.”9

“Through mending we slow down consumption, extend the life of our garments, and increase resilience and technical skill…As we mend our textiles we work on an individual scale to mend overconsumption, fast fashion, and the unethical treatment of people and the planet.” -Katrina Rodabaugh, Make Thrift Mend10

Reuse Old Clothes

You can reuse clothes for repair projects and even refashion them. You can also just find a way to reuse them around the house. “This is the way humans ‘recycled’ worn clothes for ages. Scrap denim is ideal for mending and patching…Cotton t-shirts make great cleaning cloths and rags. And worn or stained items and scuffed-up shoes are great to wear for yard work or other outdoor activities.”11 

You can cut off the sleeves of a long-sleeved shirt and make a tank top, or make jeans into shorts. This is especially true for children’s clothing! Other clothes can be repurposed into bags, dog toys, or pillows. Use your imagination! The internet abounds with inspirational ideas!

“Slow fashion is…saving up to buy fewer pieces of higher quality and keeping them for longer (or forever!); it’s shopping secondhand; it’s repairing instead of throwing away; it’s brands making to order to reduce waste; it’s local or small batch production; it’s personal style not trends; it’s releases once or twice per year instead of every week. It’s our way out of this mess.” -Sophie Benson, Sustainable Wardrobe12

Wear Clothes Longer

This is the goal: To wear your existing clothing longer.

If you take good care of your clothes through good laundering and simple mending, your clothes will last a lot longer. This will save you money and time, and it is better for the environment. “According to Greenpeace, wearing your clothes for at least two years will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 24 percent.”13 We can all make a big impact when it comes to clothing.

“Mending, repairing, and caring for our clothes is the essence of sustainable fashion.” -Elizabeth L. Cline, The Conscious Closet14 

I hope this helps! Feel free to leave me a comment about your ideas for caring for or repairing clothing. Thank you for reading, please share and subscribe!

 

Additional Resources:

Website of Erin Lewis-Fitzgerald, author of Modern Mending.

Reuse shop, FabScrap, “FABSCRAP diverts thousands of pounds of commercial textile waste from landfills every week. These pre-consumer materials are often in perfect condition.”

Responsibly sourced wool and knitting materials, Peace Fleece store.

Good on You website, evaluates the ethics and sustainability of fashion brands around the world.

See books on Mending in the footnotes or on my Books Page under “The Textile & Clothing Industry.”

Footnotes: