Clothing that's friendly to the planet AND your wallet

By Maria of Hinsdale South High School, Darien IL, ACE Field Correspondent

Recently there has been a rise in "green fashion" - and I have some highlights for you below!

Designers around the world are choosing to make eco-friendly clothing more and more! Knits made from waste from soy bean farming, vegan belts (ie: not made from suede), recyclable fabrics, and more are gaining popularity in fashion shows and runways.

Even some clothing chain stores have decided to promote green fashion, like Target. They have a whole section devoted to eco-friendly shopping! There are also retailers that are buyingfrom factories that not only test the cloth organically (with no dangerous dies or artificial fabrics), but treat the workers ethically.

This eco-friendly fashion is exciting but it can also be expensive. Not all of us can afford these slightly more expensive Earth-friendly clothing brands. I know I can't! But, I did a little digging in search of more budget-friendly options for dressing greener.

Here's what I found:

- Wear natural fibers: like cotton instead of polyester or acrylic!

- Shop thrift/vintage. If you look in the right places you can find some really cool pieces (e.g. mod belts, 50's dresses, etc.)

- Borrow from a friend. If you have an older sister or brother (or even a close friend) take their old clothes or the clothes that they don't like. You know what they say; one man's junk is another man's treasure. :)

-Support local designers. Etsy is a sweet website that showcases lots of fresh new designers and you can find some amazing green accessories there.

- Buy less. Find a way to reduce the amount of clothes in your closet. Donate them or hand them down to younger siblings. I know you can find a way to make the most of a few articles of clothing.

- Wash less. I'm not recommending not washing your clothes at all, but rather make sure the clothes you wash are dirty! You might wear a sweater for an hour-- and it probably doesn't need that wash. Plus, clothes break down in the washer so they will last longer.

Bonus: Use a washing machine that conserves water and air-dry instead of using your dryer.