Fashion is quick. Fashion is dirty.
For hundreds of years, people have been hurt or killed all in the name of fashion. From painful corsets to mercury and arsenic poisoning...fashion has not been our friend.
It hasn’t been friendly to the environment, either. Did you know it takes over 700 gallons of water to make a cotton shirt? Yup. In fact, the annual environmental impact of an average household’s clothing is equivalent to the water needed to fill 1,000 bathtubs and the carbon emissions from driving an average modern car for 6,000 miles. Most of this is just tossed aside when people don’t want it anymore. The average American throws out about 82 pounds of textile waste per year.
And anyone who knows me, knows that I hate waste. I hate when people pile their plates with food and then throw 75% of it away. I hate buying items with a ton of extra packaging. I even hate throwing away plastic containers and will do my best to reuse them. Don’t get me wrong...I’m not a hoarder - but I do try to reuse everything I can before giving up and throwing it away.
Recently a family member got some great news about her future in the fashion industry. It got me thinking about fashion and waste and I realized that while many manufacturers recycle fabric before it turns into clothing, not many households recycle clothing. Think about it. If your favorite shirt gets a hole, what would you do? Repair it? Turn it into something else? Or toss it in the garbage?
I don't understand why can’t we have fashion AND eco-friendly options. Imagine if we used hemp silk for dresses (see the pic to the left) and bamboo jersey for tees? Which, by the way, is amazingly soft and strong. I had a pair of bamboo gloves once that I would have worn all day if I could. They were heavenly. Way better than any processed cotton tee I have ever owned.
So here’s my goal. I’m going to teach the kids to sew. I’m going to teach them to re-purpose fabrics and turn them into something beautiful. We are going to change fashion with scraps that no one wants. And maybe when we have a little extra cash, we will invest in some gorgeous hemp silk or bamboo jersey to make some new items for folks to wear.