Saving the Earth One T-Shirt at a Time

Every year, it seems like there’s more and more concern about keeping the earth clean. You can take actions such as recycling and driving your car less to make an impact on the environment. However, you may not have thought about how the clothing you wear can also affect the environment. Because t-shirts make up such a big part of your everyday wardrobe, finding ways to be more green with them can make a positive impact on the environment.

Cotton is a very popular fabric for t-shirts. It’s soft, breathable, and durable. Even though cotton is a natural fiber, conventionally grown cotton may not be the most earth-friendly fabric. Growing cotton usually involves large amounts of pesticides that are bad for the earth. The methods used to process cotton and make it into fabric also use a lot of chemicals. On the other hand, organically grown cotton is a great option for those looking for an earth-friendly fabric. Organic cotton is grown and processed with the use of harmful pesticides or other chemicals.

Another option that’s becoming more and more popular as a fabric for t-shirts is bamboo. Because the bamboo plant regrows so quickly after being harvested, it’s an extremely green option for making many materials including clothing. Bamboo is made into a fabric that’s extremely soft. Sometimes bamboo is blended with other fabrics such as cotton. Bamboo also has natural antimicrobial properties, so it might be especially good for athletic wear.

Hemp is another fabric that’s eco-friendly. It’s made from a plant that’s very easy to grow, and is quickly renewable, like bamboo. Hemp is made into a strong, durable fabric that’s similar to linen. It can be blended with other natural fabrics for a softer knit that makes a very comfortable t-shirt.

You might not think that synthetic materials such as polyester would make a very eco-friendly t-shirt. However, polyester has certain advantages over natural fabrics. For one, products made with synthetics tend to resist wrinkles, which means that you don’t have to bother with the extra fuss of ironing. Also, synthetics can be more green because they dry more quickly, which saves on electricity. Synthetics are more durable than some natural fabrics. Also there are some synthetics fabrics made from recycled material. Imagine wearing a t-shirt made out of pop bottles!

How you choose to wash and dry your t-shirt can also have an impact on the environment. After washing your t-shirt, why not hang it on a clothesline instead of using an electricity-sucking dryer? Plus when you hang your t-shirt to dry on a clothesline outdoors, you get the benefit of that fresh, clean scent that is like pure sunshine. Also, you may not need to wash your t-shirt after each wearing. If it’s stain- and odor-free, why not hang it in your closet and wear it another time before washing?

As you can see, there so are many ways to be earth-friendly and enjoy wearing your favorite t-shirts.

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