For a quick explainer on how to buy better, watch our video; and for a look into life as a “slow fashion” business owner, read our interview with Bree Hylkema, co-founder of Vermeulen & Co.

The fashion industry isn’t known for its climate sense. Depending on who you ask, textiles and apparel account for something on the order of 10 percent of global carbon emissions. Producing a single ton of fabric can require up to 200 tons of water — water that’s often contaminated with untreated dyes and pumped back into rivers. The first ingredient in polyester is petroleum. Any way you spin it, apparel’s impact on the planet is less than ideal.

Which makes sense. Just about everyone out there wears clothing. An industry whose consumers number in the billions is bound to have a significant environmental impact.