Everything is now fast and we need the convenience to move fast. One of the sectors that has been “revolutionized,” in response to consumers demands for fast, has been the fashion industry. This has been dubbed, “Fast Fashion.”
What once was a 4 time a year catwalk of trends has now turned into an 11 to 15 time a year strut down the runway of life, without any end in sight.
Because of this, the Environmental Protection Agency has stated that 15.1 million tons of textile waste was generated in 2013, of which 12.8 million tons were discarded. In addition to ungodly amounts of waste being created, many supply chains of fast fashion employ sweat shops all over the world in order to meet the demand of a quick and cheap product.
According to the U.S general accounting office, a sweatshop is “an employer that violates more than one federal or state labor law governing minimum wage and overtime, child labor, industrial homework, occupational safety and health, worker’s compensation or industry regulation.
This is a picture of a little boy in Dhaka that worked in a sweatshop for 10 hours a day to earn US $1
So, when you buy that cheap article of clothing, know that the reason it is so cheap, is because the person that made it was basically paid chicken scratch. They also probably worked in precarious conditions to make that shirt hanging on the rack in front of you.
As an ethical/conscious consumer, I can’t keep this fast fashion catwalk up. I don’t know about you, but my feet are starting to hurt from so much strutting. My sciatica is acting up and my ankles are swelling. This madness must stop.
As a conscious consumer you know your dollar vote counts for quite a bit. Don’t buy a company’s product, and they cannot make any money. Plain and simple. So instead, you choose to support ethical companies. Such as THIS ONE. You support companies that give people and the planet the same consideration as profit in their business model.
What if I told you that as an Ethical Consumer, you have alternatives to “Fast Fashion.
Besides purchasing from the companies that are considered ethical, what if I told you there is a way to save money on your clothing budget, plus end up with original pieces that nobody else possesses? What if I told you, that you could be a trend setter instead of a follower?
I have one word for you. Upcycle.
Also known as “Creative Reuse.” Ok, that is actually two words. But, by mastering this craft, you can help with cutting down textile waste, keep money out of the pockets of fast fashion companies, and just spread the love in general.
Upcycling is the art of taking something used, and then recreating it to be used as something else. I cannot express to you what I feel when I get to brainstorm new ideas as to how to reuse old t shirts from the thrift store. Seriously. Go get on Pinterest and type in “upcycled clothing ideas,” and see what happens. You will pull up things that will blow your mind. Such as…
A Strapless Summer Top. Who in their right mind would not want to strut around in this upcycled dandy on a warm summer night? The stretchy T-Shirt material keeps things in check…..if ya know what I mean 😉
Or, what about this cute little number for a child that will be made out of recycled t-shirts with different patterns and colors? How cute is this?!?!?
These items can be made with minimal effort and sewing skills. However, if you are sewing machine challenged such as myself, you can watch YouTube tutorials that involve no sewing such as THIS ONE or THIS ONE. Then end up creating a masterpiece. You can match your new additions with vintage jewelry pieces and VIOLA! You will have everyone asking you how you ended up with what you did, and then you get to watch their faces when you inform them that, “I made it.” ‘
I will also have you know that upcycling is a form for being creative. Which in actuality is a form of art and being creative is actually clinically proven to lower stress and raise self-esteem. I don’t know about you, but I can use as much low stress and high self esteem as I can get!
In addition to upcycling trends, there are also growing movements involving swapping clothing via online platforms as well as movements to repair your clothing vs just throwing it away because it ripped.
These alternatives are an effort to become conscious and mindful of our resources that are available to us. They offer viable solutions to the problems we are facing in terms of what Fast Fashion is creating. I don’t know about you, but I find alignment in this and you should too. Now if you will excuse me….I am off to the thrift shop to find my next project 🙂
Until Next Time,
PS- Share any upcycled projects you have done with me and I will tweet them out to everyone 😉
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