March 25, 2021
ReFashion Week NYC is here, and while you might not see the direct correlation between Rockland Green and your wardrobe, think about how much clothing waste each person produces on an annual basis.
The textile industry is one of the biggest polluters, and we contribute to it each year. “On average, people bought 60% more garments in 2014 than they did in 2000. Fashion production makes up 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions, dries up water sources, and pollutes rivers and streams.” Directly impactful, is the fact that 85% of all textiles go to the dump each year, and washing some types of clothes can send thousands of bits of plastic into the ocean.
So, you can understand how important it is that we reduce, reuse, and recycle even our clothing, and other textile made products like bedding and furniture.
Let’s talk about a few sustainable fashion tips mimicked in ReFashion Week NYC this year that we can all incorporate into our daily lives:
Repair or alter your clothing
Instead of tossing out your ripped, stained, or otherwise “off the rack” items – have them repaired or altered. Not only are you making use of a product already made, but you’re also supporting small and local businesses. If your pants are too long, you can have them hemmed, if you’ve lost weight and your clothing is too big, you can have items altered. If your items are stained, you can have them dry cleaned.
Local thrift stores and consignment shops can be great solutions for both donating clothing items that will no longer work for you or your family. They’re also an eco-conscious option when it comes to purchasing clothing items that your family needs. By supporting thrift stores and consignment shops, you are preventing the need for more clothing to go to waste.
You might also consider supporting online thrift stores like ‘thredup’ or ‘poshmark’ where you can post your own items for sale and search for items you may want or need.
Share with your local community
Many churches, rescue centers, and other community organizations, like hospitals, are in need of clothing. Before tossing items away, look into the organizations in need. Especially in the wintertime, many organizations run coat drives to support those in need during the winter months, and sustainable fashion practices can support us all.
Repurpose for crafts and projects
Clothing and textiles make a great medium for arts and crafts and DIY projects. You can cut fabric into strips and weave them into rugs and blankets, use old graphic tees to create your own custom quilt, or make home decor projects. If you’re looking for an easy project to do with the kids – gather their outgrown clothing and create seasonal crafts like holiday wreaths, Valentine’s Day gifts, or even ornaments. Pinterest is a great resource for finding inspiration.
Ask us for help
We’re a resource for you, and we support a program called the Re-Clothe NY Coalition.