Archive for Monday, April 16, 2012


Lawrence Laundry: Add a touch of green to your closet

April 16, 2012


Where to shop

Here are some of my favorite places to shop secondhand:

  • Wild Man Vintage, 939 Mass.: The weirdest clothes. The best boots. The biggest supply of neat T-shirts.
  • Arizona Trading Company, 736 Mass.: The best sunglasses, which are ironically not used. Huge selection.
  • Locust Street Marketplace, 700 Locust St.: The cutest repurposed home décor shop. Think of it as a real live, except pricier.
  • Salvation Army Store, 1601 W. 23rd St.: My go-to spot when I’m looking for a particular clothing item. The clothes are cheap; the home furnishings are not.
  • Social Service League Thrift Store, 905 R.I.: Super cheap. Best spot to dig for treasures.
  • Habitat ReStore, 708 Conn.: The best place to go when you’re feeling crafty.
  • Lawrence Antique Mall, 830 Mass.: Vintage clothing. Cowboy boots. Weird jewelry.

If there’s anything we as a country have learned over the past five years, it’s that our earth is fragile and so is our economy.

Since 2007, the U.S. has made a step toward sustainability, both in terms of the environment and economic stability. There may be more people recycling, using coupons and driving hybrids now, but there’s a price to pay for sustainability, and that price is largely measured in dollar bills.

In this “Green Living” special edition of Lawrence Laundry, we’ll discuss three ways to go green with clothing choices. Some choices may cost you a bit extra, but they’re well worth it in the end.

Made in the USA

One of the best ways to help the environment while helping our economy is to buy products that were made in the good ol’ USA.

Brands like Carhartt, Baldwin Denim (made in Kansas City!), American Apparel (though they’ve declared bankruptcy), LL Bean, Gitman Brothers, Rag & Bone, Levi’s, New Balance and Red Wing produce at least some of their products in the country.

Buying clothing made in the USA can drastically reduce the fashion industry’s carbon footprint and boost our country’s economy, but you can expect to spend more money on American-made items than those shipped in from overseas.

Buy secondhand

Very rarely do I buy something new. My house and closet are filled with items I’ve bought at secondhand shops around town, received from generous friends, found at garage and estate sales, or picked up off the side of the road.

Purchasing used clothing is the easiest, cheapest, most stylish way to go green with fashion choices. Not only will you be buying one-of-a-kind items, you’ll be saving landfills from becoming overrun with unwanted garments, and you’ll be decreasing your impact on the clothing production system.

Change laundry habits

By simply hang-drying your clothes and washing in cold water, you could save more than $30 per month, according to

While this only adds up to about $360 per year, you’ll be saving the earth from some of the effects of CO2 output.

Check out the site to find out how much money you can expect to save by hang-drying clothes. Building a clothesline can cost as little as $20, and there are plenty of resources on the Internet to give you instructions on how to build your own.

— Ali Edwards can be reached at


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