The sort of clothes we buy contribute to climate change. Greenpeace actually has good advice about this: http://www.greenpeace.org.au/blog/green-your-wardrobe/
First, there’s the reuse (ie buy less and wear out the stuff I already have) and recycle thing. This is easy as there are so many op shops and vintage cloth stores around.
Secondly, there’s the supporting-local-handmade-design thing, which is also
pretty easy as there are artisan markets somewhere or other
every weekend in Melbourne, eg: http://www.shirtandskirtmarkets.com.au/ ; http://www.melbournedesignmarket.com.au/home/ ; http://www.mymarketsvic.com.au/directory/category/fashion-and-clothing-markets/
Thirdly, there’s choosing good new stuff made from natural fibres rather than petrochemical synthetics, and trying to find natural fibres that are made using good production methods. I’ve wasted a lot of time looking and this is much harder than it should be. Reading labels is tedious, finding brands or shops that specialise in natural fabrics is hard, and searching online gets millions of pages of not very much. Finding things made from organic or low-water cotton, linen, bamboo or hemp seems to involve luck more than anything, though I am determined to keep trying. None of these fibres are grown or produced locally, and I can’t find a lot of information about the production processes either, so I’m disappointed with how hard this is. The upside of this is I’m saving money by not buying as much!
I guess there is a fourth alternative – making your own. There’s a fantastic blog about a woman remaking old clothes into new ones: http://refashionista.net/ She’s been doing this for a few years now and explains in words and pictures how to do it step by step.
I could do this, as I come from a generation that learnt to sew and knit at school, but I don’t really enjoy it. There’s a million other things I’d rather be doing. I tried to take up knitting this winter but have only managed to knit half a scarf, which is next to useless.So I guess I’ll try to stick to the first three ideas.