Last week was Earth Week, and all over the world, people are gearing to celebrate the planet that created us and continues to support us even though we’ve been negligent and all around bratty.
The earth has always been a great parent to our species, bestowing us consciousness, opposable thumbs and wonderful cousins and neighbors like the elephant, and: jellyfish!
Earth Day was a time to reflect on how we are not just a beyond the earth but an increasing very important part of it. Our consumption, negligence, and plain ignorance have put us in a precarious situation. The earth is getting hotter, the water is getting scarce, and countless other species are dying.
And most of us are at a loss of where to start to digest these realities.
In an effort to make conservation tangible for those of us who are overwhelmed, new, or just into curving our Fashion carbon footprint, musical artist and bad-ass MIA has teamed up with fast- fashion giant H&M to get the word out about recycling our clothes.
As we’ve talked about here and here, the fashion industry is a huge culprit in exhausting the earth’s bountiful but limited resources. H&M’s stake in recycling is part of a new consciousness in corporate culture that is awakening to a reality that we at Eco-Chick have long been aware of: we can’t keep buying and throwing away clothes.
Fast fashion and the idea of basically disposable clothes is akin to wasting water, plants, and human lives.
MIA’s song is a plan to regenerate the earth: re-wearing “it” gives the earth a much-needed opportunity to breathe, and as the video demonstrates, it also gives us an a way to connect with everyone in our world. Re-wear it sounds a lot like we wear it, as it should.
Almost all humans wear clothes (my nudists, you’re excused from the convo), and due to the scope of the garment industry, a lot of humans globally participate in the making, selling, and exchanging of clothes. A re-wearing philosophy gives us the opportunity to also be creative together!
It’s a solid idea, BUT we are a bit miffed about the timing here. As Lucy Seigle wrote in the Guardian:
I may be a fool to let my heart get crushed by corporate green marketing, but it’s not just the audacity I object to: it’s the timing. H&M’s Recycle Week clashes exactly with the grassroots Fashion Revolution campaign.
And you all know we are huge supporters of Fashion Revolution (Eco-Chick’s founder just marched through San Francisco literally yelling about it with a bunch of other fashion revolutionaries), BUT clothing recycling is definitely a good thing and large chains getting people to not toss their clothes in the trash (especially the huge number of shoppers who have literally NO idea yet how horrific fast fashion IS) is a one of many steps to get this whole movement pushing forward. It takes all kinds, but still, some side-eye to H&M on this one.
The average North American currently throws away 81 POUNDS of textiles (that’s to the landfill, not donated stuff), so we have a long way to go to figure out a more sustainable fashion industry. Recycling is a very real start: you can find an H&M to recycle your clothes here (or better yet, give it to your local Salvation Army or Goodwill—stuff they can’t sell gets upcycled into stuffing for pillows and such, so just send everything along to them and let them sort it!)