Happy Earth Day! Also, Happy World Recycle Week! Just wanted to take a moment to celebrate this day and to remind people how easy it to take care of the earth and even have it benefit you! There are some awesome things happening in fashion that are making a difference in the world every single day but as glamorous as it all is, there’s still an ugly side to it all too. The fashion world takes a huge toll on the environment in the real world. 10.5 million tons of clothing are sent to landfills every year. Now, we’d think that majority of what’s in there is free t-shirts and mom jeans but if Carrie Bradshaw didn’t have the resources we have now, I can only imagine how many vintage treasures could be found there back in the day! No, I’m not going to go digging through a landfill of garments in hopes to find a Chanel tweed jacket but I definitely know easier resources in modern day where I can. 😉
“Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle.” Ring a bell anyone? I’m sure you remember learning about the 3 R’s growing up in science class on which bin to toss our water bottles and which bin to put the banana peel but they never did teach us what to do with all our old clothes did they? Below are some ways on how we all can fashionably give back!
Reduce: The most efficient way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place. When I think of my clothes from Forever 21 or Charlotte Russe, I call them my “disposables” because I know I’m gonna wear them once and throw them out. As I’ve grown, I’ve learned not to buy those kinds of clothes anymore and found it worth it to invest. Invest in clothing that will last, pieces that are timeless, and ones that you know you’ll forever love. Who cares about the amount of times you wear it in public, exactly why quality basics are key.
7 Eco-Friendly Fashion Labels < Shop for brands that understand their social responsibility. Investing + Being Eco-friendly?! Mother Earth applauds.
Reuse: There’s nothing wrong with shopping for already loved clothes. Vintage and consignment shopping is cool! One time, I found a Michael Kors sweater poncho at Salvation Army for $10 bucks. Retail would probably have been $400+! Another man’s trash really can be another man’s treasure and thats where places like Plato’s Closet or Buffalo Exchange come in. We’re all familiar with the benefits of this concept. Bring in your “gently used” clothes in exchange for cash, which is great, but you know that feeling of how hard it is to give up a few fabulous things in your pile? Other people had that feeling too, which only means there really is good stuff in there!
My personal favorite is Poshmark. An app that allows you to shop the closet of women all across the country but sell yours too! This app is super fun and it’s like having your own online store. Also, you can get a lot more money than what Plato’s or Buffalo would give you since you get to set your own price. Re-selling your clothes in exchange for cash or more clothes is kind of like a “duh!” in being fashionably smart.
Recycle: The ways I listed above are also ways we can recycle in fashion along with donating at your local Salvation Army or Red Cross but I wanted to take this opportunity to also share something really cool happening in the fashion world that also in the end, benefits you.
H&M has become a global leader in creating a fashion movement for our planet. Since 2013 H&M customers from all over the world have helped recycle 25,000 tons of unwanted clothes. That’s the equivalent of 125 million t-shirts. H&M is accepting used clothing donations (regardless of condition or brand) as part of a major sustainability campaign. “Give us your old, your broken, your worn-out and your out-of-style clothes,” reads the company’s website. I am so excited for what they are doing because no fashion brand has ever made it any easier. Plus, you’ll get a discount too. During World Recycle Week (April 18th – April 24th), all customers will receive 30% off their entire purchase for doing such a good deed. Outside of WRK, 10% off all year round.
So there you have it, no excuses! We all can be hoarders from time to time, but Mother Earth needs us. It’s time for all of us to do some Spring cleaning but most importantly, take care of our world.
Artwork by Charmaine Olivia