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Fast Fashion - Earth Week

How often do you buy new clothing? What do you do with an item or items of clothing when it no longer fits your body or your style? What if it has a hole or holes in it?

Fast fashion is doing extreme damage to our environment and our fellow humans. Fast fashion a term for clothes that are cheaply made and designed to last a short period of time, resulting in cheaper prices at the register but also requiring replacements more often.

Here are a few horrifying facts:

  • It is estimated that apparel companies produce 100 billion garments a year - there are only 7 billion people on the planet!

  • 40 million tons of textiles (87% of which is clothing) is discarded in the trash and/or incinerated, the industry makes up about 10% of greenhouse emissions.

  • Every time you wash polyester fabrics Microplastics are released into the water system. (See yesterday's blog for more on Microplastics)

  • It takes 3,721 liters of water to make one (1!!) pair of jeans

  • "40 million people are living in modern slavery today and fashion is the 2ndbiggest contributor to this, with child labor common. The cost of fast fashion’s cheap clothing is extracted from the workers."

This info, quotes, and stats have been pulled from the Official Earth Day site. Learn more here and here

What you can do

  • Repurpose what is already in your closet into new looks. You can likely pair items differently to get a new look and feel, expanding your options without buying new. Don't really have an eye for fashion? No problem, there are plenty of stylists and coaches who specialize in just that and can help you maximize what you already have. So, take the money you were going to spend on new clothes and hire someone to help you. It's not a forever expense, you likely only need a few sessions (maybe only one!). In this way, you're supporting a small business and not contributing to the destruction of the environment, that's a win! You also might want to check out, Project 333, Courtney Carver is a minimalist who can show you how to make only 33 pieces (including accessories and shoes) in your closet work.

  • Repurpose what can't be worn again into something new. For example, take a t-shirt with stains or holes and turn it into a dust rag or cut into rounds or squares and use in place of cotton balls for things like applying toner or removing makeup.

  • Learn to sew and fix some of your items, or, turn them into a new frock. Sure, this isn't for everyone but if you already know how to sew or have been itching to learn but couldn't figure out how you would practically apply it to your life beyond fixing buttons, here's your nudge.

  • Something still in good condition but no longer your size or style? Give to a charity that resells the items to support the charity or take to a second-hand shop for cash. If you need to replace something, check out these shops first before buying new.

  • Start a clothing swap with your friends or in your community. Now that people are out and about and congregating more often, this might be a good time to change up your look by digging into someone else's closet.

  • Buy sustainable, ethical, quality clothing. These items do cost more up front but they last much longer (effectively reducing their cost)

  • I found this great site (they have an app too) called Good On You. You can find ethical, sustainable fashion through their site. I also noticed there are size inclusive brands up to 4x and many of the companies in the lists are vegan as well.

Are you astounded by these stats? Tell me what most surprised you and what steps you will take to reduce your involvement with fast fashion.

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