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  • Writer's pictureMaya

What a Dump - Fashionable and Fast Filling.

Car emissions? Plastic bottles? Water pollution? What about the *fracking* shirt off your back? If you think that tossing bags of your not-so-old clothing into bins (local thrift store or rubbish), on your way to the super-sale at the fashion outlet is helping anyone but yourself, think again.

According to the last results issued by the EPA on this subject, in 1960 the total number of textiles by weight (in thousands of U.S. tons) that were generated was 1,760. Of that, 1710 became landfill. In 2017 the number generated was 16,890 and 11,150 landfilled. Although that is only 8% of the landfill with textile waste (with plastics at 19%), if you support protecting our environment, then reducing textile waste and not relying on shopping fast fashion as your primary entertainment is something to consider.

Fast fashion refers to clothing brands that rely on trends changing to produce non-ethically created clothing (read 'sweat shops') made from cheap quality materials. Most name brands known for relatively cheap clothing and tons of seasonal sales is probably fast fashion. Sustainable fashion refers to often-classic-style- clothing usually made from higher quality material, and workers are paid fair wages and work in humane conditions to produce clothing that lasts longer than inferior products.

Fast fashion contributes to the environmental problems by encouraging shopping for cheap products that we will throw away, as well as textile manufacturing and creation of dyes - which consumes natural resources such as water, and creates pollution from the factories, in addition to the landfills.

While some situations make it hard not to shop fast fashion - for example having kids who are outgrowing things all the time. But, for many of us we can make small changes in our lives. Here are some options to avoid shopping fast fashion for those of us who just love to shop: use what you have, invest in a capsule wardrobe, research sustainable clothing options, buy second hand, do a clothing swap with friends or do something else besides shop for clothes -- like using what you have.

Like most issues, this is, for want of a better description, multi-layered and I am simply introducing it, not investigating it here. I've included more resources below on this subject.

Movie Trivia: "What a dump." These immortal words were first uttered by Bette Davis in 1949 in the movie "Beyond the Forest," In 1966, actress Elizabeth Taylor later parodied Davis' words in the screenplay, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The movie title was supposedly more of a play on the phrase "who's afraid of the big bad wolf," rather than referencing author Virginia Woolf, whose connection could be possibly a similar depth to her writing and her similarity in upper class demographics to the playwright Edward Albee. Albee wrote the play in 1962 that was adapted to the movie in 1966 and became famous with the actors Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the lead roles.

Links to other great resources:

Check out my other posts:

Pondering Fashion Phrases

Project 333 by Courtney Carver

The Conscious Closet by Elizabeth L. Cline

This is Angel Chang's Ted-Ed's animation about The Life Cycle of A Tee-Shirt:

Fashion designer and educator Justine Leconte has some wonderful videos on Youtube to explain the differences between fast fashion and friendly fashion:

Check out the beautiful Alyssa Beltempo's take on slow fashion and and how to build a capsule wardrobe:

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