Written by Natalie Johnston
June 5, 2019
We all have that one t-shirt – the one you wear the day after you do the wash, that’s so old it’s practically see-through, and its printed design has begun to disintegrate. We love that shirt, but after every wash, its carbon footprint grows bigger and that design becomes fainter.
Believe it or not, changing the way you wash your t-shirts can reduce the typical emissions generated by a single t-shirt by almost 60% while preserving your print at the same time!
Here are some ways to protect your design and the earth
Air drying and washing with cool water. The average cotton t-shirt endures 25 trips to the washer and dryer. This accounts for 60% of the emissions generated by cotton tees. Most of these emissions come from the energy required to generate heat. Furthermore, hot air and water are damaging to both the design and the cotton of your t-shirts. So, if you want to prolong the life of your shit and reduce its carbon footprint, give it cold water and fresh air.
Donate your old tees. Didn’t you hear? Oversized t-shirts with cool designs from thrift stores are in. If you decided to “Marie Kondo” your closet and get rid of all your old clothes, don’t throw them away! Take a philanthropic approach for both the community and the earth – donate your old shirts.
Washing, drying and disposal generate the largest emissions when a garment is under the care of the consumers. The remaining emissions come from the production, packaging and transportation of your clothes.
Here’s what to look for when you’re purchasing your shirts
Buy organic cotton shirts, made in the USA. Production and transportation of fashion goods can be detrimental to the environment. Purchasing organic cotton shirts ensures no pesticides went into growing the raw materials for your garment. Goods produced in the USA will also require less energy to transport, since they are traveling a shorter distance from the factory to you.
Following these steps can help you keep your shirts and the environment feeling fresh.
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