Clothing is a highly personal thing. What we wear reflects a great deal about us, and to an extent even our religious beliefs. But few people consider that our decisions regarding clothing can affect sustainable economic outcomes and in a large way, the amount of toxins that are spread globally.
If you have been reading this blog, you know that the view promoted here is not of earth worship or global warming. Regardless of political views, scientific opinion, etc, it still just makes common sense to care about our surroundings and each other. God made us stewards of the earth. Promoting industries that make materials out of toxins that won’t break down in a landfill for several hundred years just isn’t logical. Cancer rates keep rising, and no industry will accept responsibility. Let’s stop making guinea pigs of ourselves and go back to what worked.
This interesting documentary, Thread, calls our attention to the massive amount of pesticides and toxins that are used in making clothing, especially in parts of the world where the standard of living is abysmal. It shows the role of the fashion industry in creating much of this problem. The link is for the documentary trailer. It is only about three minutes long. One staggering statistic is that it takes 700 gallons of water to make one T-shirt. When the documentary is released, this blog will report it.
I have seen the fashion industry make superficial attempts at making organic or sustainably produced clothing. However, these same industries set a standard of changing what is fashionable so often that people who follow fashion are compelled to buy a new wardrobe every few years. Just look at shoes. A standard pair of high healed pumps from a few years ago would “date” your outfit now that the industry has come out with these ankle-twisting stacked platform heals. I will know that the fashion industry takes the environment seriously when I see that the fashion periodicals stop ridiculing “outdated” looks. They want you to recycle everything but your clothing.
Personally, I like the vintage look, and I still have some clothes from the 80’s and 90’s, and some fur coats that are much older than that. Fur coats are one of the best examples of recycling and it amazes me to see them so thoroughly condemned. I wish organizations like PETA would rethink their position. For example, I have two fur coats from my grandmother. One is probably from the 40’s and the other from the 70’s. My sweet grandmother wore those coats for decades. How many synthetic polyester coats would still be around for 70 years, to still be worn and appreciated decades later by her granddaughter? Oh, wait – they are still around, but unwearable – filling landfills…. PETA insists on manmade materials in lieu of leather and furs – so how many animals were killed in the Exxon Valdez disaster? How many in the BP oil disaster? Wouldn’t it be better to raise cows humanely for the leather shoes than to supports a system that creates ecological disasters?
As we have discussed, we raise sheep for their wool as a sustainable alternative to synthetic fibres that are so prevalent in chain retails stores. Please, we encourage you to seek out sources of natural items – not only are they more breathable for your skin, but they don’t have a deleterious effect on the world.