My Sustainable Journey
Hello! My name is Amanda. Like many of you, I am on a journey towards sustainability. The earth is dying, which is sad. One of the biggest ways we can help the earth is to SLOW DOWN our fashion consumption. The word consumption implies taking in and disposing of--which we shouldn't be doing with clothing.
Clothes are not trash. Clothes are a gift. Clothes are a way to express who we are as individuals. When we remember that all of our clothing is hand-made and travels all over the world before it reaches us, we can appreciate how special each item is.
Each article of clothing also uses precious resources to create. One pair of jeans uses 900 gallons of water (Fluence, 2018). One t-shirt uses about 700 gallons of water (WWF, 2013).
The most common natural fiber in our clothing is cotton. Cotton is a very thirsty plant. Cotton, being a plant, also attracts bugs. Traditional cotton (not organic cotton) is heavily sprayed with pesticides. Farmers who pick the cotton are affected by these pesticide toxins. A cotton farming region in Texas has been the cause of brain tumors in several farmers. Cotton farming is one of the biggest industries in India. Pesticides are used to ensure that bugs don't strip the cotton. Run-off from the pesticides pollutes the water and causes birth defects in Indian children (The True Cost, 2015). Indian farmers are reliant on their crop. If the crop fails, so does their livelihood--look up the Indian Suicide Belt (Magnifeco, 2015).
On a more positive note, there is hope! In her new book The Conscious Closet, Elizabeth Cline offers a practical guide on how to be more sustainable with our fashion choices. It can be overwhelming--and you can't expect every garment to meet every sustainable/ethical requirement--so take a look at Greta Eagen's book Wear No Evil. Like Cline, Eagen supplies her readers with a practical guide on how to choose what ethical clothing categories are MOST important to us and how to implement those categories in our future shopping choices.
Think of your new fashion journey as a Choose Your Own Adventure book! Slow down and appreciate the ride.