In high school, I actively participated on the debate team. When I say actively, I mean that I was a complete geek that took it embarrassingly serious. My passion for debating policy grew exponentially when the following resolution was announced: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase incentives for renewable energy sources. My partner and I worked our butts off reading current United States policy, poking holes in other possible solutions, and created a case that honestly was probably better than bills our real congressmen propose.
I know what you’re thinking. What does this have to do with style? Where is Ariel going with this story of her high school glory days?
Fashion Shouldn’t be Disposable
My love for the environment and finding ways to help fix it blossomed during this year of high school. Moving beyond renewable energy resources, I began to think about what else could be renewed or recycled. How do we stop the pollution of our ocean, rivers, and streams and stop filling holes in the Earth with thousands of tons of garbage?
One solution: Make your style renewable.
According to an in-depth documentary about the fashion industry, The True Cost, the United States alone dumps 11 million tons of textile waste every year.
We need to stop. Now.
Here are my tips to reduce our impact:
- Stop throwing your clothes away. It is easy to pack up your items that don’t fit or you don’t want and take them to a donation center. Don’t be lazy.
- Shop secondhand more often. If you want a blue t-shirt, go find it on a rack in the thrift store. It will be about $1.00 and you will be recycling in the process.
- Keep your old stuff. Pack it away in a box for a year or two, and then take it out. I did this after my first year of college and it felt like I had a whole new wardrobe when I dug back into those boxes. I didn’t spend any extra money and I reused what I already had, reducing my impact and contribution to the 11 million tons of textile waste.
- Accept hand-me-downs. There isn’t shame in taking clothes from your cousins, sisters, or friend if they are going to get rid of their clothes anyway. My younger sister gives me her clothes when she is done with them and I am usually just as excited as I am when I go shopping for new clothes.
If you have more tips to help reduce the consequences of fashion and style, make sure to comment below and I’ll make sure to mention you in my next post! I’m confident if we all pledge to do even just one of these things more often, that we could be sparing our planet some significant hardship.