Sustainable Closet The contents of our wardrobes create unfashionably massive environmental issues. The apparel industry is responsible for about 8 percent of carbon emissions and more than a third of the primary microplastic pollution junking up our oceans. Clothing manufacturing also gobbles up enough freshwater to fill 32 million Olympic-size pools every year. That’s why more than two dozen major brands have signed a UN pledge to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Zara and Uniqlo are among those jettisoning plastic shopping bags, while H&M and Converse are upcycling old clothes into new ones. Laws can also encourage better behavior—for example, as of February, France requires brands to reuse or recycle unsold inventory. Still, consumers hold a lot of power. Here are simple steps toward assembling a more sustainable wardrobe. Rayon According to the forest preservation group Canopy, some 150 million trees are logged annually to make flowy viscose rayon fabric, and about one-third of those trees come from ancient and endangered forests. Seek out viscose rayon certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (REI maintains a roster on its website). Or shop with one of Canopy’s partners—brands like Levi’s, Eileen Fisher, and C&A—which have set targets to […]

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