Transitioning towards a more sustainable future appears to be an onerous and expensive task for most of us. One of the simpler things we can do to make a positive environmental impact locally and globally is to adopt a “best practices” plan to manage clothing and textiles.
Purchase clothing from thrift and consignment shops whenever possible. When you must purchase new garments, shop for long-lasting, well-made garments made with few chemicals and earth-friendly fibres. Consider the distance the item has travelled as well as the working conditions of the people who produced the clothing.
For special events, consider renting clothing rather than buying a new outfit.
Wash your clothes only when dirty. Use eco laundry soaps or consider making your own. Hang to dry and only iron when necessary. Dry clean only when absolutely necessary at an environmentally dry clean shop. Refresh musty clothes by hanging them outside for a couple of hours.
Instead of discarding garments take them to a consignment shop or donate to a charity. If they are beyond redemption, the fibre will be recycled.
Homemade Laundry Soap
4 c boiling water
2 c grated soap (200 gr) – purchase from your friendly local soap maker.
2 c borax (400 gr)
2 c washing soda (520 gr)
Add grated soap to boiling water and stir until melted. When melted add borax and washing soda.
Add 32 cups of water and stir. Add drops of any essential oil – like tea tree – if you like. Try • cup. (Apparently it doesn’t bubble a lot but I think that is a good thing.)
The Sooke Transition Town Initiative is a local group of concerned residents committed to working together with all existing groups in Sooke to raise awareness of sustainable living. www.sooketransition.org and email sooketransition@gmail.