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The Green Life: Eco Fashion Week -- Chill Out

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September 02, 2008

Eco Fashion Week -- Chill Out

With hundreds of new designs hitting runways in New York City this week, you can give your style a fashionably green flair with these tips--no catwalk required.

Tip #1: Chill out

The environmental impact of an item of clothing lasts long after the fibers have been harvested, woven, dyed and shipped. So without making a single new purchase, you can begin to green your fashion by reducing the energy used to clean and maintain your current wardrobe. First step? Rethink your laundry. Heating water accounts for 90 percent of the energy used to wash a typical load. Yet with the exception of bed linens and grease-stained fabrics, most items don't need to be washed in simmering hot temperatures and too-hot water can reduce their longevity. To cut back on energy use, consider choosing clothes labeled for washing in cold water, turning your water heater down to 120 degrees, and using the cold setting whenever possible. If you're not ready to go whole hog, you can cut energy use in half by simply switching the temperature setting from hot to warm.

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