At the Phoenix in Carytown we are thinking ahead to the future.
What will our role be as a leader in the fashion industry in Richmond, Virginia? How do we mitigate the impact clothing has on the environment with our desire to buy and wear items that we love?
My response is to shop local, buy for value rather than price, and to choose clothing made closer to home. A creatively designed wardrobe with consultation from knowledgable staff will help you to choose carefully.
What Happens When You Shop Local
Here’s what happens when you “shop local.” 1. More of your money will be kept in your local economy For every $100 you spend at locally owned businesses, $68 will stay in the community. What happens when you spend that same $100 at a national chain? Only $43 stays in the community.* When you shop online nothing goes back into your community. 2. You embrace what makes your community unique You wouldn’t want your house to look like everyone else’s in the U.S. So why would you want your community to look that way? 3. You create local jobs Local businesses are better at creating higher-paying jobs for your neighbors. When you shop locally, you help create jobs for teachers, firemen, police officers, and many other essential professions. 4. You help the environment Buying from a locally owned business conserves energy and resources in the form of less fuel for transportation and less packaging. 5. You nurture community Local business owners know you, and you know them. Studies have shown that local businesses donate to community causes at more than twice the rate of chains. 6. You conserve your tax dollars Shopping in a local business district means less infrastructure, less maintenance, and more money available to beautify your community. Also, spending locally instead of online ensures that your sales taxes are reinvested where they belong— in your community! 7. You create more choice Locally owned businesses pick the items and products they sell based on what they know you like and want. Local businesses carry a wider array of unique products because they buy for their own individual markets. 8. You took advantage of their expertise You are their friends and neighbors, and locally owned businesses have a vested interest in knowing how to serve you. They’re passionate about what they do. Why not take advantage of it? 9. You invested in entrepreneurship Creativity and entrepreneurship are what the American economy is founded upon. Nurturing local business ensures a strong community. 10. You made your community a destination The more interesting and unique you community, the more we will attract new neighbors, visitors and guests. This benefits everyone! *Source: Civic Economics – Andersonville Study of Retail Economics.
The most important factor determining the sustainability of the garment is how long it will last and how long the customer will keep the item in their wardrobe as relevant.
If the garment is well made and of great quality fabric these factors will contribute to the long shelf life of the garment in the person's wardrobe. If the fabrics used in making the garments are of high quality and natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk, and wool then there will be a smaller footprint and less pollution to the environment. However Polyester has some upsides we may want to consider. It uses no pesticides, less water, no use of land, and has long lifespan. The negative effects are the CO2 emissions and the waste issue. Therefore it is best to use this fabric as a blend for increasing the longevity of certain garments.