Reduce Your Clothing’s Carbon Footprint — 5 Fast Facts To Help You Shop More Sustainably

Carl Rivera
3 min readDec 10, 2021

If you haven’t been living on Mars for the past decade, you’re already aware that our planet is in a bit of a crisis.

Actually, even if you’ve been living on Mars, many of the changes that have been happening on Earth are probably visible with a decent telescope, and that’s not a good sign.

We could probably all do a little more to help take care of our home planet, so we don’t end up living in space colonies — although if you want to travel to a different planet, I’m not one to stop you, send me a postcard when you get there.

Putting our focus back on Earth, though — it can often seem like no matter what we do, we’re only making things worse.

Everything has some impact on the environment, and maintaining the quality of products we’re used to without destroying the Earth might feel totally impossible.

It’s not as hard as it might seem though, and just a few small changes in the way we shop can make a big difference.

Here are 5 fast facts that can help to reduce your carbon footprint, without compromising on quality.

  1. Materials Matter

The materials that make up your clothing are the primary factor in their carbon footprint.

Where did they come from? How are they made?

Photo by Mnz on Unsplash

You can take a big bite out of your emissions just by wearing clothing made from recycled materials, and keep all that material from ending up in the landfill as well.

2. Location

You probably hear all the time that you should shop local, support local businesses — and you should.

It does more than just help your local economy, it also reduces the emissions involved in buying from big box stores that may manufacture products on the other side of the world.

3. Packaging Problems

When you’re buying clothing locally, you really don’t need to have it all wrapped up in plastic.

Bring a tote bag, a paper bag, or even an old plastic bag.

If you are getting something shipped, try to get it from a local company that operates in your country, and uses eco-friendly packaging.

4. Sustainable Storefronts

The way a store presents itself can tell you a lot about its philosophy.

Did they pay to import expensive materials from faraway places, or create majestic features that make it feel like a wonderland?

It might look nice and luxurious, but it comes at a cost — and there’s very little real benefit.

Sustainable companies will often use locally sourced furniture and materials.

They can produce some amazing results while limiting the number of total renovations they perform.

5. Carbon Capture

No matter how hard they try, it’s unlikely any company will truly be able to eliminate their carbon footprint.

That’s fine, we shouldn’t expect perfection, and with carbon offset programs such as tree planting, it’s possible to give back to the planet a bit of what we take away.

Using these programs is no excuse for giant companies to pollute as much as they wish, and they should be used along with other responsible and sustainable practices, but they can help.

No matter how hard you try, you probably can’t eliminate your footprint entirely, and that’s alright.

The same goes for the places that we shop, but we should hold them to the same standard that we hold ourselves, and take the time to make sure they’re doing what they can.

With a little patience and a lot of effort, we can fix the problems our planet is experiencing.

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Every time you shop with an environmentally friendly brand, you send the message that more companies need to make the change.

One piece of recycled and sustainable clothing at a time.

It’s a lot easier than going to Mars, and Earth has more sustainable clothing stores, too!



Carl Rivera

“Everything you don’t know is something you can learn.”