Sustainable September: Here Are Ways You and Your Apartment Neighbors Can Make Your Fashion Choices Green

Yes, you can bring your reusable bags to the grocery store to help save the earth. Yes, you can promote recycling within your apartment community to be a good green steward. But, what more can you do? 

It’s Sustainable September, a time to not only look at what you currently are doing but at ways you can help preserve our planet’s beauty and resources. So, have you peered into your closet lately? Are you sustainable when it comes to your wardrobe? 

According to the consultancy firm Green Strategy, “sustainable fashion can be defined as clothing, shoes and accessories that are manufactured, marketed and used in the most sustainable manner possible, taking into account both environmental and socio-economic aspects.” 

While you may not be making or marketing sustainable fashion, being a conscious and considerate consumer is at the core of this concept. Being someone who promotes, uses and consumes sustainable fashion means researching brands and supporting them fully, buying smart, taking care of your clothes and much more. 

At the end of the day, it always helps to give back to the environment. “Globally, 80% of discarded textiles are doomed for the landfill or incineration. Only 20% are actually reused or recycled,” according to remake, a nonprofit organization aimed at turning fashion into a force for good.

Here’s some of the ways you can have a positive impact on sustainable fashion. 

Clothes hanging in closet

Buy less stuff: Many items in fast fashion may be designed to fall apart, so you will want to invest in quality pieces that are more likely to stay together. Prices on sustainable fashion may be higher, but you can put a price on investing in something that is made to last. When you are more selective, you tend to buy less stuff while also cutting down on clutter. If you’re in the market for a bargain, you can always check the community resale apps. Some of the best finds – including those high-quality pieces – can be shopped right from your neighbor’s closet.

Clothing swap: Speaking of your neighbor’s closet, have you ever thought of initiating a clothing swap? Get with your friends, colleagues and neighbors and swap clothes that you no longer want. Chances are, your friends and neighbors are looking to get rid of items that just don’t do it for them anymore, either. It could be a match made in heaven. Remember that sweater that your friend had that you were jealous of? It could possibly be yours. Not only does this help you sustain a more conscious, forward-thinking contribution to fashion, but the process can be an ideal way to make friends with those in your apartment community -- especially if you are new to the area. 

Buy purposefully: Sometimes you have to ask yourself the hard questions. Do I really need this? If I am going to buy it, how many wears do I think I am going to get out of it? When you shop, try to gravitate toward clothing that will stay in style for years. This means sometimes avoiding the trends no matter how cute someone else looks wearing them. In the end, you’ll be surprised by how much money you can save.

Educate yourself on brands: Know who you are buying from at all times. You might be surprised to know where your favorite fast-fashion stores are sourcing their threads from. Do your research and know where products are being made. Once you’ve done your homework, create a newsletter that you can share with your neighbors at your apartment community, or talk to the manager at your leasing office about hosting an event that allows everyone to come together for an informational seminar. You can provide the treats and facts.

Man doing laundry at washing machine

Take care of your clothes: There are several ways to practice sustainability when it comes to taking care of your clothes. Washing them rings true as the most obvious practice. But, make sure you are washing only when necessary with a full load so you can conserve water. Also, you’ll be less likely to shrink or permanently damage your clothes. Another way to get the most out of your clothes is by letting them air out. This allows their elasticity to relax a little bit, making your clothes last longer. Learning basic repairs, making sure your zippers are all easily close and avoiding the dryer are ways to prolong the shelf life of your clothes. If you hang your denim in the bathroom while you shower, the steam helps iron them out and might help you get rid of any harsh odors. You can also place your denim in a plastic bag, then stick it in your apartment’s freezer. 

Buy used: Thrifting has many benefits, including that used clothes are often cheaper. You can facilitate a meet up in your apartment community and spend the day thrifting with some of your neighbors. 

Borrow! Borrow! Borrow! This practice is similar to a clothing swap but a little less permanent. Borrow clothes from family members and friends – as long as you’re open to doing the same when they are in need. This will save you money. Branching out to your neighbors and attending community events at your apartment can introduce you to new people who might kindly let you borrow clothes, too. 

Box of baby clothes to donate

Resell and donate: Reselling your clothes or donating them will help you leave your mark on the earth. Don’t just toss things out. Try and give clothes to a local shelter. This helps others live a more sustainably conscious life, too.

When it comes to being sustainable in your apartment community, keep it simple. Spread awareness and make sure to stay educated and informed all throughout Sustainable September. 

Recycle symbol on burlap bag

There’s so much more about Sustainable September

A series of small changes make a big impact, and that’s what Greystar strives to do every day. Read more about our company’s commitment to a greener world.
When it comes to sustainable cities, these really stand out. See why San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Boston, Minneapolis, New York City, Denver, Chicago and Austin made our list.
From 11 eco-friendly kitchen products and green activities to kids, our blog has so many more offerings for Sustainable September. Here are all of our past articles, curated just for you.

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