Do you know what the clothes you wear are made of or why it matters?
The reason I bring this topic here is because I feel there is a lack of urgency and education by the general population around the unsustainable fashion industry. This somewhat alarms me. It doesn’t matter if you go to the high end designer brands, the fast fashion knockoffs, or the second hand clothing stores, our fashion choices have been generally reduced to synthetic options. Most of those clothes inevitably end up in a landfill and will outlive their owners.
The average American throws away 70 lbs of clothing each year.
- Clothes made with synthetic fabrics are literally made of petroleum. Once thrown away, those clothes do not break down for hundreds of years.
- Synthetic textiles have microfibers that break off in the wash and get sent into our water systems.
- Pollution is created from pesticides used on fiber crop production and the chemical processing of fabrics.
- The industry chain of factory workers, fabric producers, fashion designers, fashion buyers, the retailers, consumers, and disposal workers who are all exposed to chemicals.
Not all people think to look at what kind of fabric their clothes are made of as part of their purchasing decisions or what the life of that garment will have in their closet.
Where do your old clothes end up?
I have to be honest, when I tuned in to the atrocity of synthetic clothes I was shocked to discover that most of my own closet was filled with them. Cycling through them was no longer an option for me.
While it is amazing that technology figured out how to turn oil into cheap clothing this invention comes with its own set of interesting statistics that are worth investigating.
- The average American buys 68 new articles of clothing per year.
- The average piece of clothing is only worn 3 times or less.
- About half of the clothes that are donated to thrift stores are thrown away.
Personally, I have responded by updating my fashion habits. I have generally stopped buying new clothes. I shop vintage, thrift, consignment, and craft in an effort to find original, quality clothes I can’t find anywhere else.
I try not to go too crazy at the thrift shop because things are cheap and I no longer think of it as the first choice for my clothes to get donated to.
I read all the labels. I used to only really pay attention to size, care instructions, and where they were made but now I also scrutinize what they are made of.
As a long term project, I am slowly bringing new pieces into my wardrobe as needed that are made of hemp fabrics. I have been inspired to start sewing again to make my own hemp fashions that I literally can’t buy.
In 2020 I will be posting a series of blog posts and videos that highlight hemp fashion you might want to wear, hemp food recipes you might want to make. If you can think of hemp fashions and designers that I should know about and be highlighting, please let me know!
For those of you still following from the start, I had to take 2019 off from my blog and creating to recalibrate. In 2020 I will be posting weekly again. You can expect posts about hemp fashion, hemp food recipes, medical cannabis, scoliosis, and ideas to keep yourself healthy. Peace.