I just wrote way too long a comment on another blog to not post it here. This is a preview of some permanent content I’ve been working on for this site, so please — join the conversation. It started with Green Grechen‘s original post, In the News…Throwaway Fashion.
Check it out. From me:
Hey Grechen! Love your thoughts. Your comment — “Sometimes it’s a challenge for me to remember that part of promoting an environmentally-friendly lifestyle and wardrobe can’t always be about BUYING organic cotton or other eco-friendly clothing items, but should also incorporate vintage shopping and simply repairing and taking care of the treasured items you DO have so they’ll last longer” — is something I’ve thought about a lot. I’m a massive proponent of the latter, and as an eco-fashion blogger, I would love to promote only vintage wares. (Obviously, there are problems with that — the first being that only one person can have any given piece. Anyway.) But the reality is that people will keep buying new things! And we want to get the word out on what gorgeous socially responsible fashion options there are out there, for the times that you genuinely do need something new. It’s like the question of teaching sex ed to teenagers — abstinence-only is a wonderful idea, but the reality is, some are gonna do it and need to know were to get a condom.
Worldchanging’s Alex Steffen has done a ton of writing about this general idea, across many industries. Check out this ridiculously long article he wrote about cars, My Other Car is a Bright Green City, posturing that even a car with 150 mpg won’t solve the problems we face, because our problems are well beyond the cars themselves: we’ve “paved a lot of paradise” to make way for where we drive and park them; almost half of energy a car uses in its lifetime goes to manufacturing and disposal; etc. We need a change in thinking rather than just trading inefficient cars for efficient ones. In terms of fashion, Worldchanging is the No. 2 green content site on the web — but they don’t even cover green fashion, because it’s basically superfluous. Why promote buying unnecessary things? As eco-fashion bloggers, we definitely have a responsibility here. I hope that what we write can help gradually change people’s shopping paradigms: Buy vintage; buy classic, high quality items; get things repaired; don’t always look for the lowest prices ($8 for a shirt made in China? That wouldn’t even cover the transportation! SOMEone is getting taken advantage there). LONG comment — but let’s keep the dialogue going. I’m so glad you added a green fashion blog to your work! It was only a matter of time. [She also maintains Grechen’s Closet.]