Make your wardrobe sustainable

(Illustration: Freepik)
Summer is in full swing: outdoor markets and open storefronts are buzzing with activity late into the night. Amman features an overwhelming number of stores, many of which offer tempting summer deals on brand new clothes. Here are a few important tips for the ethically minded shopper to consider when trying to edge away from retail stores and make their next clothing purchase a sustainable one.اضافة اعلان

Secondhand, used, restored
The most ethical choice when acquiring new clothes is to look for secondhand options. Whether you tailor old items lying around or buy from a secondhand outlet, both are great ways to reduce your waste generation.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation reported that the fashion industry is responsible for 10 percent of all global carbon emissions, and 20 percent of the world’s wastewater according to the UN Partnership on Sustainable Fashion. Lowering your personal consumption of new clothing is an integral part of making your wardrobe more environmentally friendly.
When buying new clothes, look for retailers advertising themselves as handmade or locally made.
Additional benefits are its cost efficiency. You can purchase used clothing and have them perfectly tailored while spending less than you would at a retailer. If you are willing to dig through used clothing at Friday Market, you will be surprised to stumble upon an assortment of name brand items.

Materials matter
Clothes both new and used have a time for retirement. The worst option will always be throwing them in the trash. When you get rid of clothing that is in decent shape, consider donating to one of Jordan’s clothing recycling stores like the Charity Clothing Bank.

(File photos: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News) 

In the case of organic materials — such as wool, cotton, linen, silk, and bamboo — you can cut garments into pieces and compost them. Any organic textiles can be turned into soil, resulting in less waste at local landfills. Be sure to remove any non-organic materials which will end up as unsightly pollutants in your compost. Also, never let textiles exceed more than 25 percent of the volume of your compost lest you hamper the effectiveness of the decomposition process.

To dispose of inorganic materials, the process is more difficult. Commonly used synthetic textiles are made from petrochemicals: acrylic, nylon, polyester, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, and spandex. Your aim should be to find an appropriate recycling plant. Amman has several recycling facilities that work with plastics, but textiles can be tricky because of the blend of materials and components that make up a garment. These materials are not meant to degrade naturally and will eventually cause pollutants to seep into the soil and groundwater if disposed of in a landfill. To achieve sustainability, it is best to avoid purchasing these materials when possible.

Buy local
Whether it is for work or a wedding, secondhand stores do not always have the specific items you need. When buying new clothes, look for retailers advertising themselves as handmade or locally made. According to the World Bank, the Kingdom has a strong clothing sector; the country makes 27 percent of its export earnings from it. By purchasing clothes manufactured locally, you reduce your carbon footprint and support Jordanian businesses. Buying clothes made abroad comes with a certain uncertainty regarding worker conditions and the environmental impact of shipping.
Any organic textiles can be turned into soil, resulting in less waste at local landfills.
A great collection of home goods and clothing can be found at the online vendor They curate a collection of locally made clothing that deliver all over the country.

Local spotlight
Help support local businesses while gaining maximum value on your purchases. Below are some ethical vendors selling sustainable clothing for great prices!

Open from Thursday to Friday, Friday Market is one of the largest open-air markets in Amman. Used clothing vendors bring in new items every week and sell them at a fraction of their retail price. Shirts, hats, and trousers are often sold from JD1–5 near Ras Al-Ain, south of the downtown markets. Coming late on a Friday means most of the options will have been picked through by crowds looking for the best fashion treasures Amman’s secondhand market has to offer. So the earlier you show up, the better.

Support a local child enrichment and education project while buying new clothes. Located in Jabal Luweibdeh, Orenda Tribe sells high quality shirts made from organic materials. Their clothing sales drive community education programs centered on art and the environment. Designs are created by the children who benefit from these programs.

Second Base caters to secondhand shoppers who don’t want to scour for high fashion pieces. This charitable organization is a clothing outlet with sales that support FabricAID, a nonprofit with outlets that provide cheap clothing to disadvantaged communities. Second Base takes vintage clothes and fixes them to provide a curated selection of affordable, high fashion pieces.

Don’t forget!
If you are ready to take the next steps to becoming an ethical consumer, remember to buy secondhand first and foremost. Keep organic materials in mind to make sure that your clothes are ecofriendly. And shop local to support Jordanian businesses and minimize the environmental impact of shipping.

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