Happy Earth Day

Yesterday was a sick day but, there are still outfits from last week that need posting so, I started to put together this post but, kept becoming indisposed. I’m a little bummed because that means that I didn’t keep up with my two for one posting but, also because I didn’t get to talk about Earth Day in the appropriate time frame.

I’d like to think that even though my motivation for challenging myself sartorially is very personal it could also be counted as doing something for the planet as well. Here are some shocking facts about your fashion fix that you might not have known:

  • Americans consume nearly 20 billion garments a year. That’s 68 garments and 7 pairs of shoes per person or more than one piece of clothing purchased per week.
  • Many large clothing chains produce as much as a half a billion garments per year. UNIQLO makes 600,000 items of clothing a year. Zara processes 1 million garments per day. As of 2009, Forever 21 was ordering 100 million garments per year.
  • World fiber production is now 82 million tons, which requires 145 million tons of coal and somewhere between 1.5 trillion and 2 trillion gallons of water to produce.
  • According to the EPA, Americans throw away an average of 10 pounds of clothes per person each year.
  • Throughout the U.S., almost 13 million tons of textile waste are generated annually. Of that, just 15% is recovered for reuse or recycling.
  • Polyester production now exceeds 50 billion pounds a year worldwide and is the dominant fiber. China produces well over half the worldwide output.
  • As of 2011, 99% of footwear at 98% of apparel is made outside of the United States, down from around 50% in 1990.
  • Between 1996 and 2011, more than a half a million American garment industry jobs were lost.
  • Only 20 percent of the clothes we donate are sold in charity thrift shops (There’s simply too much to resell it all!). About half of secondhand clothing is turned into fibers or wiping rags. The rest is shipped overseas as used clothing.

By remixing the items that I already have in my wardrobe and limiting my shopping to only when necessary occasions at thrift/consignment stores first it helps me avoid the cycle of fast fashion that is so common in our world today. By successfully limiting my “fashion footprint,” as it were, I come up with creative pairings that don’t impact the planet in the way the average consumer does. Additionally, this initiative is something I am particularly proud of because it has become part of my lifestyle as a whole and impacts how I consume all things from fashion to housewares to food. I always find myself asking is it’s something I really need/love even though it’s $1.00 and if I can’t say yes (to one of both,) I don’t buy it.

  •  Top: black and yellow polka dot shirt, LOFT; black blazer, Ann Taylor
  • Bottom: khaki green ankle pants, Not Your Daughters Jeans
  • Shoes & Accessories: black kitten heel pumps, Coach; black pearl earrings, International Gem and Jewelry Show
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