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Hilal Her

The Green Closet – How to be More Responsible

May 2023

Embracing a more sustainable lifestyle is not just a trendy choice, but a moral obligation to preserve our planet ­­– and what better place to start than with our closets? In today’s world, environmental consciousness takes precedence over many other global concerns. Since time immemorial, clothing has been worn by humans. It is only normal that you care about what you wear and how it makes you feel. Clothing and textiles are an important aspect of who you are, in addition to protecting you from the effects of weather, radiation,etc. However, the need to conserve and safeguard resources means that humanity can no longer afford adverse textile manufacturing methods and fabrics that pollute the environment.

The constant release of new collections feeds the trend cycle, fundamentally damaging the environment by creating a culture of overconsumption and undermining any promises of sustainability. Unfortunately, we live in the fast fashion era, and breaking free from the fashion cycle can be difficult, despite brands promising to be eco-friendlier. Today, and in the future, it is all about sustainability and items that will last the test of time. It is vital to invest in wardrobe staples that give variety for the sake of our financial health and, of course, sustainability. Pakistan appears to be lacking in this sartorial approach.
One simple way we can do this is by adopting a ‘green closet.’ A green closet is essentially a sustainable wardrobe. It is a collection of clothing items that are environmentally friendly, ethically sourced, and long-lasting. A green closet promotes the idea of quality over quantity, and encourages us to invest in items that will last for years, rather than pieces that will only last for one season. By building a green closet, we can reduce our carbon footprint, minimize the amount of waste we produce, and support ethical fashion practices. A green closet should include garments that will please for a long time, both in terms of  appearance and quality.
The first step towards becoming more responsible towards our green closet is to educate ourselves. We need to understand the impact that our clothing choices have on the environment and the people who make them. We need to learn about sustainable fashion practices, such as upcycling, recycling, and buying secondhand clothes. By doing this, we can make informed decisions about the clothes we buy and the brands we support.
Proper care of clothes is equally vital, as it allows us to enjoy them for many years. Find out the information from the labels before each wash so you can wash and dry your garments correctly. In general, washing at a lower temperature with an environmentally friendly detergent is preferable. Avoid using fabric softener if possible, and if you fill the entire drum of the washing machine, it will be eco-friendly. 
One way to become eco-friendlier is a capsule wardrobe for a sustainable closet. There are various advantages to having a capsule wardrobe. By limiting what you purchase and using clothes in a versatile way, can minimize waste and encourage a more sustainable fashion approach, resulting in less fabric and clothing waste being disposed of in landfills. Furthermore, it can help to declutter your closet and enable you to identify your individual style. Additionally, it can save you money, time, and enhance your confidence because you will have a carefully curated set of clothes that can be mixed and matched to create several outfits. 
Before you consider purchasing an item, think twice, and then think again. How many times are you going to wear that scarf? Will it go with the rest of your wardrobe? Will it fall out of style after one season? How much resources were used to create the item? These are the questions we should ask ourselves and seriously consider before adding another item to the basket. Take out chemical fiber clothing from your wardrobe, especially those made of polyester, viscose or nylon. The production of these fibers is energy-intensive, so nature does not rejoice in their creation. Let’s prefer natural materials in the form of cotton, flax, hemp or wool.
Buying a clothing item should be more than blindly picking it off a rack at your local store or rapidly clicking the “buy” button of an online shop. From the farms where the raw material is collected to the factory where your product was made to the retail location, the journey of your shirt, dress, or bed sheet involves the lives of many people, not just the environment. Farmworkers, factory employees, shipping workers, and store clerks are all affected by your selection.
Another way to adopt the green closet in our lifestyles is to support ethical fashion brands. We need to research the brands we buy from and make sure that they prioritize sustainable and ethical practices. By doing this, we can use our purchasing power to support brands that are committed to reducing their environmental impact and improving the lives of the people who make our clothes. Companies who are open and clear about their standards and allow for quality assurance and lab testing should be preferred. This not only ensures sustainable products, but it also ensures that your clothes items will last longer.
Bringing awareness to the concept of a green closet is vital if we want to promote sustainable fashion practices in Pakistan. On an individual level we can start by creating cognizance among our friends and family about the bad impact of fast fashion on the environment. This can involve sharing articles and videos on social media, hosting clothing swaps, and organizing workshops and events that promote sustainable fashion practices. 
While individual actions may seem diminutive, they can add up to make a significant impact. The more people adopt sustainable habits, the more pressure there is on companies and policymakers to take eco-friendly measures. By starting with small changes in our own lives, we can create a grassroots movement toward sustainability. This movement can then be translated into support for policies such as carbon taxes, renewable energy initiatives, and waste reduction regulations.
In conclusion, adopting a green closet is a simple but powerful way to be more responsible towards environment-friendly practices in Pakistan. By educating ourselves, adopting a minimalist approach to fashion, bringing awareness to the concept of a green closet, and working towards implementing policies that promote sustainable fashion practices, we can create a more sustainable future for ourselves and our planet. Let’s take responsibility for our actions and make changes for the preservation of our planet. HH

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