I grew up in a generation where we were taught our "A, B, C"'s, "red light" meant stop and the green arrows symbol meant recycle as early as kindergarten. But the actions to recycling were not always engraved in our adolescent minds nor was the information that helped us kiddos have a better understanding for why sustainable practices like recycling are so necessary in today's society.If you follow me on my Instagram page, you are likely aware I am no stranger to the fashion community and often love to strut the latest trends on my stories and posts.
However, it was not until recently that I took an active stance on sustainability when I discovered how the fashion community is just as responsible for the amount of waste that ends up in landfills each year. As a result, I started doing research and came to the conclusion that fast fashion is one of the biggest perpetuators for the 60% of textiles that end up in landfills. Furthermore, the demand for fast fashion extends the damage to our environment by using cheap products that release micro plastics and chemicals which end up in our water supply. Not only that, but after a couple wears of the poorly made clothing, patrons of fast fashion will toss their once stylish ensembles into dumpster after a tear or two. HOW SH*TY is that????
While it is tempting to shop fast fashion because of its accessibility and affordability, the alternative I have sought out is thrifting gently used clothing to prolong the life of clothes that are stylish and coincide with the latest trends. In addition, shopping small businesses or boutiques that curate quality clothing has given me a since of joy. I know I am purchasing handmade clothing from a hardworking entrepreneur. The quality and time put into the product from the maker also translates to its longevity in the closet.
I wanted to use this blog post to share some tips on how people can cut out waste on their next shopping trips and how people can be more mindful of their purchases as consumers.
1. Be mindful of the materials used to create the clothing you want to purchase. Sometimes we don’t even realize we are purchasing clothing with plastics, polyesters, and petroleum that end up becoming micro plastics after a couple washes which end up in our water supply, our food and then in our blood stream.
2. It is okay to rock second hand. There are many fashion exchanges that carry the brands you already love for less. by shopping second hand and re-wearing clothes reduces waste and pollution. Every clothing item purchased second-hand means one less new one produced as the production of synthetic fibers like polyester requires lots of energy, as well as crude oil such as petroleum which is just toxic af.
3. Stop using a plastic bag to carry your items out of the store. Plastic bags have a life span or are used on average of 12 minutes. It takes 500 YEARSSSSSS for that single plastic bag to degrade in a landfill. So instead, go bag less or simply use a reusable bag to carry your items. If I accidently acquire a plastic bag by defaultly picking one up at check-out, I will use it several times or as a way to do a hair mask...idk... you can get creative with those things ...but don’t just throw them away.
There are so many other things I could have listed but I don’t think I will have your attention for that long. Moral of the story is think a little when it comes to being stylish. I am not perfect and am still discovering ways I can change my daily routines to be more eco-friendly but at the end of the day... there is no planet B.... just us and what we are soon going to be left with. After all, scientists have warmed us we really only have 12 years to get our act together to prevent climate change from sweeping the earth with catasrophes we cannot prepare for. So let's live on this earth like we love it ... and we can also do it in good con·cience and style.