You’d like to minimize your ecological footprint when choosing a new piece for the wardrobe, or new furnishings for the home. But what do you look for?
Here are five places to start. (We could offer 10, but in the spirit of the thing, we’re conserving…)
- Consider owning fewer, better things. When they’re made better, they last longer. Ask anyone who drives a classic Volvo or Mercedes, cooks with a cast iron pan handed down through the generations, or reads in a vintage leather chair inherited from a grandparent. A generation or two back, closets were smaller, too.
- Choose seasonless style. When a top is versatile enough to be worn through multiple seasons, the closet need not be refreshed quite so often. Layer a polo in spring, wear it solo in summer, layer it again in fall.
- Shop for timeless design. Timeless design is the antithesis of short-trend, disposable, “fast fashion.” It’s the classics. The jacquard jacket, the merino sweater, the versatile cashmere wrap. Around the house, forgo the “color of the year” in favor of neutrals accented with black, navy, and dark green. Your goal for the long term is understatement, simplicity, elegance.
- Consider sustainable fibers from animal sources. Alpacas grazing the highlands of Peru are sheared just once annually, year after year; farming them helps to preserve open land, as well. Kashmir goats and Merino sheep, herded responsibly, produce wool each year with less impact on the environment than traditional petroleum-based, manmade fibers.
- … and seek sustainable fibers from plant sources. Tencel, also called lyocell, has an especially smooth hand – similar to that of rayon – yet is a product of trees that’s called wood cellulose. Look for it in blouses, comforters, and rugs. Organic cotton is grown with fewer synthetic fertilizers and pesticides than conventional crops, and is found in better clothing and home goods. Its quality is as good as or better than non-organic cottons, yet it supports biodiversity, and healthier ecosystems.
Reclaimed materials are ever more prevalent today, too.
A recent favorite of ours is an EILEEN FISHER basket made in part from recycled prayer rugs. Amen to that!
This is but a primer. We’ll continue to explore sustainability in all its forms, and hope you’ll join us.
The approach seems only natural.