Every now and then I find things that are so appalling about our culture and what we take for granted (which is perhaps the biggest problem), that I feel I need to share them. The intention is not to make any of you feel bad – it is for all of us to feel bad! Bad enough to DO SOMETHING. Since I don’t know what that thing is, I will post environmental justice articles here and hope continued exposure creates change. Maybe one of you will be inspired with SOMETHING we can do! I hope you watch the videos and read the articles and also feel appalled. : ) Sharing is caring! Pr Linda
The first topic is CLOTHING WASTE.
Kind of random topic, except I’ve been reading about it for years, trying to know what best to do with our worn out, unwearable clothing. When it’s not good for anything but rags (and I’ve got plenty of rags), what then? I send our ripped blue jeans and denim to become insulation, take whatever is still ‘decent’ to thrift stores, and try to find fiber/fabric recycling collection places for the things I can’t think of a use for. I spend quite a bit of time fussing about this. We aren’t clothing consumers. I have (and wear) garments, shoes, favorite outfits older than my adult children. (did I just admit that?) I have a winter jacket I got as a sophomore in high school in 1974 – pale blue with a white fake fur edge on the hood. The dang thing is still just fine! It’s a bit stained, so I wear it to throw in wood or shovel the driveway or tromp around in the woods. I have a pair of soft leather snow boots from the same year whose soles have gotten too hard and slick to be safe, so I’m in the process of taking the boot off – and considering my options. Mike’s favorite sport coat is a classic Carmel-colored corduroy with suede patch elbows and fake leather buttons. He came to our marriage with it. I’m glad to see corduroy is coming back. It’s still good.
So, anyway, that’s the kind of clothing people we are.
And then I picture the inside of department stores stuffed full of clothing that hasn’t sold before the season changes. Multiply that image by …… (I have no idea how many clothing stores there are even in the Twin Cities). What happens to all of those clothes? What percentage is stored until its season returns? (None?) Where does it go? Some goes to GoodWill and discount stores like that. But the rest? And why are fabrics for women’s clothing so flimsy that they only last one or two summers, or made of that special cotton blend that is soft and silky when you buy it, and is completely filled with unfashionable little balls after you wash you once? How can ‘nice’ long sleeve T shirts sell for $6? The answer is obvious. We’re supposed to buy more!
But what happens to our flimsy T shirts whose lycra has failed or the garments that were just bad ideas from the beginning? Here is one solution our fast fashion industry uses.