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Give! 2019: Nonprofit Textiles West shares how they’re reducing southern Colorado’s carbon footprint

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COLORADO SPRINGS- Textiles West is a non-profit that has locations in both Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs that promotes awareness of the massive impact of the textile industry on the planet. 

“It’s all about giving things a new life and not throwing it in the trash,” Liz Kettle, the Executive Director for Textiles West said.

For those who don’t know, textiles are pretty much everywhere. They are in fashion, in furniture, and other parts of your home.

“It is the second-largest pollution in the world because it is so unregulated,” Kettle said.

The shops allow people to come in and sew, use fiber and dye and paint clothes. They encourage people to come in and take a class to learn how to use the machines then come back and use them to create clothes for themselves.

“We have a lot of different types of equipment where you can come use the space after you take a class,” Melanie Audet, a member of the shop said.

According to their website, here are 18 Simple Tips to Reduce your Textile Eco-footprint:

  1. Wash your clothes only when you need to – this prevents wear and saves water!
  2. Only buy what you need – a simple cotton t-shirt takes seven full bathtubs of water to make.
  3. Choose natural, biodegradable, and organic products and fibers over synthetic materials.
  4. Get thrifty – you never know what you can find!
  5. Shop local!
  6. Aim for quality over quantity.
  7. Treat your items with love and care and they will last for longer!
  8. Only throw away what you need to throw away. Before throwing clothes away in the trash try donation bins, charity drives, clothing swaps.
  9. The 30 Wears test! Buy items that you know you will wear more than once and can style in many different ways over the statement piece that you may only wear once.
  10. Shop vintage! 
  11. Shop ethical and eco-friendly brands.
  12. Try renting clothes.
  13. Eco-dyeing and printing – use natural materials such as onion skins, avocado pits, and flowers to dye and print your own fabric and clothes!
  14. Learn how to sew! Making, mending, and reusing your old fabrics is a lot of fun and can save money and support the environment.
  15. Follow ethical blogs! They can give you lots of information about ethical and sustainable brands that have wonderful pieces of clothing.
  16. Swap clothes with friends and family! 
  17. Organize your wardrobe before buying more clothes – you may have cute pieces that you have forgotten about.
  18. Air dry your clothes – this saves energy and prevents wear and tear from machine drying.

>> Learn more and Give! at indygive.com.

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