I was reading a few years ago about how farmers drench the cotton fields with pesticides to kill bugs and critters. Those pesticides still stay attached to your clothes throughout the entire sewing process. I'm not jaded enough to think they stay on the clothes forever but wouldn't it be nice to not have to worry about the chemicals in your clothing?
reduce. reuse. recycle.
I started slowly with the kids, buying some pants and jeans off eBay. I liked the idea of people wanting to sell their items and quite frankly, I am unable to peruse garage sales and such with my troop. I bought my middle guy five pairs of used Gap pants for $10 with shipping. They arrived in excellent condition and the best part? They were already the size I needed...I didn't have to worry about shrinking in the washing machine or worry about the pesticides since they had already been watched who knows how many times. Good for my wallet, good for the environment.
I have taken to shopping at Salvation Army for myself. I have found some awesome American Eagle clothes, Silver jeans, White House Black Market shirts...all for less then $5 each. Love it. And on more than one occasion, someone says, "awesome pants". Yes. they were $10.
If I do buy new, I *try* to buy clothing that is either recycled or made out of sustainable materials. I love the brands "Threads for Thought" and "Simple Shoes". The shoes rock because they are made out of hemp, organic cotton, water-based glue and recycled car tires. The greatest part is that you usually can pick them up on sale...I bought myself two pairs of vegan shoes for $15/pair. Good for my wallet, good for the environment.
I love hand-me-downs...so my friend and I swap out our boys clothes. I pass on my girl clothes to another and our clothes have filtered down from my sister's kids to both my sister-in-law and me. It is awesome to be able to reuse and not have to buy. I am sloooowly cleaning out my basement and throwing items on Freecyle...I post what I have and people email me to set up times to pick it up. It is good to know that I am helping someone in this hard economy. :)
Reflect on how you look at resale...by making a simple choice to buy reused, you are not only protecting your skin from already washed-out pesticides, but you are reducing someone else's waste. I'm not asking you to make a huge change for your entire family (I can't even do it all the time!) but even a few things reduces your impact on the environment.
I know you can do it. :)