A little over a year ago, an elementary school teacher in New Jersey was praised for her sustainability efforts. Her contribution? One dress. In order to help influence younger generations into sustainable lifestyles, eighth-grade teacher Julia Mooney decided to wear the same dress for 100 days. She wanted to promote the idea of quality over quantity in a world where quantity often overrules. You don’t have to wear the same outfit for 100 straight days to support the idea of sustainability, however, you should try thinking about the quality of the clothes you are purchasing.
Fast fashion, or mass-produced clothing by large retail corporations, has exploded in our demanding culture. We want things, and we want them now. This also applies to the clothing industry. Large corporations like Romwe and H&M create incredibly affordable clothing, sometimes selling products for as low as $3, but these clothes are not well made and often last for only one season and are then donated, returned to the store they were purchased from, or thrown away.
Once clothing ends up in a landfill, it can take some clothing material up to 40 or 50 years to decompose, so it is important that we save clothing from the landfill and find ways for it to be recycled, or better yet, reused. Some clothing can be turned into insulation for homes, car seat stuffing, or even new fabric that can be resold. If you are not ready to shred up your tattered clothes, try up-cycling them into a new design or creating a DIY project with them. There are many different ways to keep your clothes out of the landfill. Check out this website for more inspiration.
If you’re a Georgia College student, check out the new Campus Closet located in the Student Activities Center near the SGA office. Students can donate gently used items, including clothes, shoes, and school supplies, and can take what they need and give what they don’t!
Who says that sustainable clothing options can’t be cute as well? Check out Sustainability Chic for affordable, sustainable, and ethical clothing. Next time you’re out shopping, try purchasing more quality clothes that will last for years, just like Mooney. All it takes is altering your mindset. Yes, they may be a bit more expensive, but in the end, if you re-wear them enough times, the clothes will pay for themselves and our planet will be a little bit cleaner!