Each time we avoid purchasing a new article of clothing, we reduce waste and other negative environmental and social impacts often associated with the fashion industry. Did you know:
- Corporations are the world’s largest water users, which includes clothing manufacturers among the top listed (Conservation Gateway).
- 10.58 tablespoons of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals are used to produce the cotton in one t-shirt (Business Vibes).
- In North America, 12 million tons of textile waste are generated each year, amounting to approximately 68 lbs of waste per household per year (EarthEasy.com).
- The United States has perfected cotton by treating it as a high-tech product. Roughly 90% comes from genetically modified seeds that were designed in labs to produce more cotton and resist pests. (NPR: Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt).
Here are a few simple actions to make an (eco-) fashion statement of your own: Just because you purchase fewer clothes doesn’t mean you are stuck with a dull wardrobe. Re-sell, swap, donate, or recreate clothing into something new and functional. This inspiration fueled SCU students to create the campus’ first Eco-Fashion Show in 2011. This annual event elicits fun, experimental, and realistic solutions to discarding fabric scraps, old garments and accessories, and other forms of clothing waste to the landfill.
At 7 pm on January 30th, 2014, the de Saisset Museum, in partnership with the Center for Sustainability, will host a night of creativity and fashion revolution with the 4th annual Eco-Fashion & Art Show. The event’s theme is “Reduce, Reuse, Re-imagine,” and will include the educational components of eco-fashion, a common name for sustainable fashion. All attendees will be able to learn and reflect on issues of corporate responsibility, industry standards, and human health, with a strong focus on energy usage of the textile and fashion industries. The event serves as the kick-off for the 5th annual Residence Energy Challenge, and campus residents can earn “Energy Enthusiasm” points for attending and participating in activities to explore energy consumption and conservation as related to fashion.
In the past, creations have been made from plastic bags, old newspapers, well-loved clothing, old curtains, and coffee to-go cups. The Eco-Fashion & Art Show not only showcases creative power across our campus, but also models the possibilities of reuse in our daily lives and re-imagining our relationship with existing resources and environmental issues to produce creative solutions.
Interested in joining SCU’s eco-fashion runway? There’s still plenty of time to get involved as a designer, model, attendant or by donating materials. For more information check out our informational page, http://www.scu.edu/sustainability/education/ecofashion.cfm or email Claire O. at firstname.lastname@example.org.