8 tips for How to Use Less Plastic
It's Plastic-Free July and we're coming in "hot" with 10 plastic-free living tips that are super simple to implement into your everyday life.
Did you know - according to UNEP - that about 60 per cent of material made into clothing is plastic. Have you checked the garment tag? Any textiles made of polyester, acrylic and nylon are all constructed from thin plastic fibers. Every time you wash a garment made of plastic, thousand - even millions - of plastic particles can end up in your washing machine, our oceans, even our bodies.
Even the shopping bags most apparel brands (not us, of course) pack your orders in, and the bags most apparel brands ship your packages in are plastic. The fashion industry alone is responsible for close to 20% of the world's total plastic production each year.
As an ethical, sustainable fashion brand, we've made it an ESSENTIAL part of our business model since day one in 2013 to stay innovative in sustainability and continue to research the most eco-friendly, low waste and plastic-free resources for operating and producing our products. From July 20th-July 23rd at midnight, shop our Plastic-Free July sale. All products in this collection are elastic-free and 100% biodegradable and will receive an automatic 20% off discount once added to your cart!
We're all in this together, right? We promise to continue doing our part to limit and hopefully eventually eliminate all plastic in our products, aim less 2% waste in our production, use toxic free dyes and natural dyes for our color collections and keep plastic out of our packaging and shipping mailers. But, we need your help, too! It's up to you to shop brands that prioritize People over Plastic. It's up to you to keep plastic out of your kitchen, out of your washing machines, out of your closet, beds, etc. The less plastic in our lives, the less will end up in our bodies, oceans and world.
We've curated a list of the ten easiest ways to live a more plastic-free life. Let us know what you think after giving these a shot!
1. When buying something new, check the product tag for natural materials first.
Look for natural fibers on the tag like bamboo, organic cotton, tencel (made from eucalyptus trees), modal (made from beechwood trees), silk (but make it cruelty-free...collection by us coming soon), hemp, and merino wool.
Stay away from tags that mention polyester, nylon and acrylic. We will be stuck with these in our landfills forever.
Favorite brands using plant-based fabrics, sea glass, and vegan leather made from apples and castor seeds to make their products:
MADI Apparel of course
2. Buy used when you can.
Even better than buying plastic-free new clothes is thrifting plastic-free clothing that's already in the waste stream! If you must buy new, shop for staple pieces that you wont tire of, and select styes and colors you know you love on your body. Same rule as #1 goes for buying used. Stay away from the plastics!
Our favorite spots to shop pre-loved, thrifted and vintage apparel and home goods in-store and online:
3. Say no to plastic bags or even reusable bags if you won't end up re-using them!
Say yes, only if you want, to cotton or other natural shopping bags so you can re-use them when you travel, when you shop, for toiletries, etc. We pack our products for in-store and online purchases in reusable cotton muslin pouches.
However, one of our customers always wins brownie points when she asks us to leave the tags, promo card and reusable bag out of her orders. She actually returns them when we forget!
4. Always donate used clothing or host a swap and shop with your friends!
5. Are clothing pieces in your closet that are too worn to donate? Send to a fabric recycling company!
This tip addresses both #4 and #5, because they go hand-in-hand. Accidentally do find mounds of polyster and nylon clothing in your closet after reading this blog? :) That's perfectly okay, we are not perfect and our world is full of plastics! Let's all make a conscious effort from here to change for the better and lower our plastic intake from here on out!
Only 15% of unwanted clothing is actually recycled. The average American throws away an estimated 70 pounds worth of textile waste annually according to Trashisfortossers.com.
Many textile recycling programs will take your clothing thats too used for donating and repurpose them for other uses like new recycled fabric, furniture stuffing and more.
Soles 4 Soles for recycling shoes
We found these textile recycling companies on trashisfortossers.com, too, so make sure to give them a follow for the entire list!
6. Buy glass Tupperware and storage containers.
Other than classing up your kitchen, glass has many perks in comparison to plastic. First, you can throw leftovers kept in glass containers straight from the fridge into the oven and the microwave! Plastic melts in the oven, and microwaving plastic containers can cause tiny microscopic plastic particles to melt into your food. Talk about scary and gross! Round glass storage containers can also duel as mixing bowls and nesting bowls!
7. Ditch single-use plastics, and host a plastic-free party.
These days, you'll often find an occasional (gold-star in my book) restaurant packing your to-go food in a compostable carton instead of plastic or dreaded Styrofoam. Hosting a party at your house? Plan ahead and buy compostable or biodegradable EVERYTHING. Biodegradable plates, cups, bowls, silverware. The key word is biodegradable - which beats recyclable - because often way more things in our recycling bin than we think are sifted out of the recycling process and cannot actually be accepted.
Send e-invites instead of mailed or choose seed paper invitations.
Use garlands or pom-poms from recycled papers instead of plastic latex balloons that are harmful to the environment and often sea creatures when they fall from the sky.
8. Support small businesses that offer reusable glass containers for refillable soap and shampoo.
If we're going to attempt to keep our clothing plastic-free, we also want to pay attention to the rest of the things we put on our body. Buy your body wash, face wash, shampoo, perfume, and more in reusable glass jars from local skincare makers and suppliers in your city. When they come in plastic containers, tiny plastic particles can still enter our bodies, and once you're finished with the container it will sit in the landfill forever. Glass can be re-filled over and over and recycled in the end.
Our favorite natural, organic skincare makers with glass container options in Kansas City where we're headquartered are:
Our favorite skincare suppliers that have soap filling stations in Kansas City to re-fill your detergents, soaps and more:
Zum Soap by Indigo Wild . They make the yummiest laundry detergent ever. You can thank us later!