Earth Day is surprisingly upon us, unapologetically, even during this weird time of quarantine and chaos. I’m sure you’ve heard the Facebook posts that claim due to all of us humans pretty much dropping off the face of the earth and entering into hibernation in our houses, pollution and wildlife has been thriving without us. “We are the virus,” your high school friend’s mom would comment.
However, this rebirth of the environment isn’t staying forever. When we finally are given the okay to return to our lives, things may go back to normal, including the amount of pollution we make unless we change our habits.
Although I’ve touched on it before, the fashion industry is a big, problematic piece of the fashion world. According to Business Insider, the fashion industry not only produces 10% of humanities carbon emissions but also is the second largest consumer of the world’s water supply. Many garments created in the industry can release microfibers and microplastics into the water supply which in turn enters into our own food chain.
Although these facts are dire calls to action, many people see the trend of sustainable fashion as a cute trend. This is not an article to slander for not being able to afford ethically sourced clothing or to discourage you to never shop at your favorite stores again. Instead, I encourage you to rethink and evaluate how and where you shop as well as how it affects and impacts others.
Especially now, many fast fashion companies are using this time for flash sales. While these may be tempting, I encourage you to reevaluate what you are buying and how much use you will get out of it. Clothing that you may have in your shopping cart now may not even be in style by the time stay at home orders are lifted. Reducing the amount of clothing you buy can help decrease the pollutants created in order to create and package those garments.
Now is a great time to test out your creative style. Although some frown upon wearing the same garment more than once, try and test out your mixing and matching in order to create a whole, new outfit! When applying yourself to mix and match pieces, others won’t even recognize that you’re wearing old clothing. You can also try and create something to wear out of everyday items. Learn to sew a whole new garment out of old cloth or learn to macrame to make a net or beach bag that you can use over and over again!
Although many cannot afford certain brands that claim they are ethically sourced, thrifting is a great way to not only recycle clothing but to reduce clothing manufacturing as well. Before buying pieces from a big brand store, try and figure out if the piece is common enough to find yourself at a thrift store. This will not only help the planet but also help your wallet.
Caroline LeCour is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at email@example.com.