By Gennifer Rose
This month we’re celebrating our planet with Earth Day and learning ways to preserve our natural resources. We all know how serious the ongoing struggle for clean water and air is, and every person needs to play a role in preventing more pollution and waste. While we all need to use the Earth’s resources, we can make changes in our daily lives that have a big impact on the planet. A desire to protect our planet is something we all have in common and connects every person on Earth.
Fashion’s Carbon Footprint
The fashion industry historically has had a tremendous impact on the environment and unfortunately it’s been mostly negative. From the manufacturing process, transportation of goods and the disposal of used clothing, fashion leaves a big carbon footprint. Did you know that 98% of the clothing purchased in the U.S. comes from abroad? This means that all those garments had to be shipped thousands of miles to American consumers. The carbon emissions from transporting products have a serious impact on the environment including air and water pollution.
While we’re encouraged to limit our overall consumption as much as we can, there are times when we still need to buy products. With growing kids and the changing seasons, we often need to purchase new clothing. One way to help minimize your impact on the environment is to consider shopping secondhand before heading to the department store. Thrift stores can offer a wide variety of shopping options at discounted prices. Many thrift stores benefit social causes so you can feel good about supporting the community and keeping clothing out of landfills. You can even thrift online. Americans send 10.5 million tons of clothing to landfills every year and most of the clothes could have been worn again if they were donated to a thrift store.
When the time has come to part with your clothing, you have many options. Donating is one of the solutions to reducing waste by extending the lifecycle of clothing. Schoola is an online clothing retailer that sells gently used clothing to fundraise for children’s education. When you donate clothing to Schoola, 40% of the proceeds go to the school of your choice and the Malala Fund.
Photo Credit: www.makeit-loveit.com
Celebrate Earth Day With an Upcycle Project
Sometimes clothes just aren’t in good enough condition to donate, but are perfect for a fun upcycle project. Pinterest is a great resource for DIY projects as well as crafty eco blogs. Marisa of New Dress a Day takes outdated vintage garments and makes them new and modern with a few sewing tricks. Gina of Gina Michele teaches you couture tricks for the gal on a budget using thrift finds. Learn some DIY style tricks from Ashley of Make It Love It and Jeanette of Craft Whack. Teens can get in on the action with this t-shirt project from Swell Life. Or, make some eco friendly home goods with Sisters, What! The ideas are infinite so take out the sewing kit and get inspired to celebrate Earth Day.
Remember, this Earth Day buy secondhand, donate, or roll up your sleeves and start a DIY project.
A version of this article was published on April 16th, 2016 on The Mogul Mom.
Gennifer’s favorite school memories were doing art and craft projects at her bilingual elementary school. The school subjects were taught in both English and Spanish and the class celebrated many hispanic cultural events. She enjoyed crafting paper mache piñatas for Cinco de Mayo, making sugar skulls for Dia de los Muertos and creating Mexican fiesta lanterns with colorful tissue paper. Her love of handmade goods continues to this day and remains one of her favorite pastimes.