Fashion Wastes. Seriously. We should care, but we don’t. As is the case with far too many problems that are out of sight, we don’t recognize that we are careening haphazardly for disaster. We get mobilized by the rise of a populist movement (it’s been one fucking ugly year), but largely, we don’t care, and it’s the least mindful thing we do in our lives.
We do not pay attention to some of the simple global problems in our society which we could each combat with small shifts in our daily lives. We are not mindful of the world.
When I was 9, while out with my uncle, I stopped to pick up two pieces of trash on the street (Broadway and 110th, back when it was a BAD neighborhood), and when asked what the hell I was doing, I replied confidently that if 10M New Yorkers each stopped once a day to pick up just ONE piece of trash, the city would be clean.
He said good luck with that and told me we were late.
Every year about 12% of $330B worth of retail goods go unsold, into a largely linear market here in the US; they start at the top and trickle down the bottom, passing through liquidators, recyclers, and into the waste stream. 85% of Americans do NOT recycle or donate their clothes — just throw them away.
The result is 10.5M tons going into the waste stream, each year. Enough to fill up a few football stadiums — about ~7 of the Dallas Cowboys size.
That’s fucking nuts.
Real. Take a moment, be here, stare that problem in the eye for a moment.
Now think about how often you clean your closet and dump your clothes. Think then about how much you buy cyclically. We consume 3x more than we did in the 1980s on average. Fast fashion also produces a massive amount more (closer to five times) than we ever have in history.
There should be a joke in here about an avocado, a golf cart motor, or my lawsuit against The Fat Jew (friends can sue friends for completely asinine humorous reasons in this country) — but there’s NOT. There’s a lament for the energy we expend in fear related media, draining our focus, rather than looking at real problems and implementing easy solutions.
We’re a freight train about to derail.
This is a simple fix (to this one at least) Type “donate clothes” into google and watch six or seven names come up of people who will collect them from your house. Bear in mind that they resell the goods to 3rd world markets before they truly become trash, but at very least it is reuse and not direct to landfill.
I personally joined a company recently who tackles this issue called Tagpop, which has a program to give clothing away, just to raise awareness for donations. They do great work.
But really the simplest solution is to be mindful, aware, and conscious of the problem first. Specifically, when considering disposing of items, think where they can go, and what you can do. There are people repurposing all manner of goods and accessories for reuse. Be one of them.
The problems we don’t care about are usually the largest we have become numb to, and it takes so little from us as a whole to help solve them. Please. Be mindful of this world.