Breaking the Waste Cycle in Fashion

Picture by Denis Karis

Picture by Denis Karis

Loren North was working as an environmental consultant when she decided to start a new career. After working for a decade to help clean up the chemical and dump sites of companies, she became determined to help prevent future environmental contamination from happening. So she combined her passion for sustainability and fashion to create a new business that focuses on responsible use and purchasing of clothing.  Her company, Through the Closet Door, offers personal styling services that will have you feeling confident that the clothes you are wearing not only make you look good, but they are less harmful to the environment.

Picture by Loren North

Picture by Loren North

The Styling Process

It’s well documented that the fashion industry is responsible for negative environmental impacts. From sweatshop labor to straining resources to usable textiles ending up the in the landfill, the clothing industry’s impact of pollution and waste is massive. Loren’s approach is to first analyze what her clients have in their closet.

Before shopping for new clothes, Loren spends time going through her clients’ existing wardrobe. She makes recommendations on pairing their clothing in different ways, and works on helping them define their style. If the client does need more clothes, Loren heads to local consignment stores to find pieces that will fit their wardrobe needs, whether professional or casual.

In addition to consignment stores, Loren also shops for her clients at sustainable fashion retailers. She has specific requirements for each brand to meet before she recommends them. Some of these requirements include being B Corp certified, using natural or Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified fibers, Fair Trade certified or companies that use vegan leather. She researches each company, focusing on how their policies impact all three aspects of sustainability (social, environmental and economic) and if they are transparent about their practices.

Sustainable Fashion Tips

Loren has two major tips for buying sustainable fashion. The first tip is to think about the 30 wears principle (from Ecoage.com). This means when you buy a new piece of clothing, think if you will be able to wear it 30 times. The more times you can wear an article of clothing the better. The second tip is to buy natural fabric. Loren explained that synthetic fabrics, like polyester, release microplastics into the water when they are washed. These microplastics get into the water system and damage aquatic ecosystems. Natural fabrics do not release microplastics and are made with materials like cotton or linen.

Picture by Denis Karis

Picture by Denis Karis

If you are feeling underwhelmed by your closet and are looking to sustainably revamp your wardrobe, Through the Closet Door is for you.  This fun experience working with a personal stylist will have you feeling more confident in your clothing and you’ll have peace of mind that your wearing items that are better for the environment. Check out Through the Closet Door’s website to learn more.

Written by Stephanie Hoyt.  If your businesses is interested has sustainable practices in place or if you would like more information on how to go about being more sustainable, email [email protected].