“Be the Green:” Sustainable Fashion

Laura Nayibi Arias, Culture Editor

   How will you treat Mother Nature this week?

   This week you can show the earth how much you appreciate her by buying second hand clothing.

   Many believe that keeping up with fashion is difficult. This is mainly because it requires money. Today fashion is flexible and one can be fashionable, at a bargain.

   Due to the most trending fashion having gone “old-school,” most people are looking for thrifty/vintage clothing, and while a droopy 80s-looking sweater might cost $20-$30 at a department store, it will cost $4-$7 at a thrift shop.
At this point you might be wondering what this has to do with living sustainably? When you buy something, wear it, and throw it away or give it away, you will replace that item with something else, which means you will consume more and own however many more pieces of clothing you bought. But, if you buy something, give it away, and buy something that has already been used, this is recycling clothing; buying a used item does not undergo the process of production that a new product does, which means that you have saved the resources that are necessary to make this product from being used and exposed to the environment.

   Some individuals do not feel comfortable with the thought of wearing something that someone else wore, but who is to say that what you bought from a department store was not already worn by someone else? Maybe it was worn in the dressing room or out for a night and then returned.

   Many believe that these clothes are filthy, but of course you will have to wash the items before you wear them. Almost everything we use is filthy with something and unless we think about it, it usually does not bother us.

   If you are still not comfortable with the idea of wearing something worn by someone else, maybe you will like the idea of organic clothing. It sounds nice doesn’t it? And, of course, it is also less harmful for the environment.

   What’s wrong with ‘conventional’ cotton?

   HAE Now! (Humans, Animals, and Environment… Now!) suggests that, “until about 50 years ago, cotton-growing mainly involved sustainable techniques: it did not permanently deplete resources or create a health hazard. Today, however, the pesticides used on ‘conventional’ cotton increasingly threaten people, wildlife and the environment. Most pesticides were originally developed as toxic nerve agents during World War II and it is no wonder they have been linked to many forms of cancers. Conventionally-grown cotton occupies only three percent of the world’s farmland, but uses 25 percent of the world’s chemical pesticides. A year 2000 USDA study revealed that eighty-four million pounds of pesticides were sprayed on cotton in the USA, ranking it second behind corn. Some of these toxic chemicals include the infamous defoliant Paraquat and insecticides like Parathion which is 60 times more toxic than DDT!”

   By buying less you can stop the spread of these pesticides that affect your water, air, and, in turn your, overall health.

Here are some places you can start:
Local Thrift shops
Salvation Army Thrift Store
105 Main Street Oneonta, NY 13820
(607) 432-0952

Shakedown Street
177 Main Street Oneonta, NY 13820
(607) 436-9776

Salvation Army Thrift Store
25 River Street Oneonta, NY 13820
(607) 432-5960

Online Thrift Stores and Used
Clothing Sites

Online Inexpensive Organic
Clothing Sites

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