After learning the harsh realities of the fashion industry from their professor Kristin Flynn, four first year students at SUNY Ulster County Community College sought to bring attention to the harmful impact of ‘fast-fashion’ and the steps we can all take to limit our footprint.
Rosa Onderdonk-Knaus, Jackson Zavala, Arden Johnson, and Izzy Vicari note a few issues with the industry:
- 8% of global Carbon emissions are due to the fashion industry
- 10% of microplastics in our oceans originate from textiles
- 85% of all textiles end up in landfills yearly
The Fashion industry’s global emissions are expected to double by the end of the decade. “We want to empower people to make choices that help lessen the impact,” Vicari said during an interview with Blue Stone Press reporter, Anne Pyburn Craig. The foursome is promoting the old adage, “Reuse, Reduce, Recycle”.
The students agree that a cultural transition from fast-fashion to sustainable fashion will be a tough but necessary shift. The average person in the United States discards 81 pounds of clothing each year. To put that in perspective, that’s about the weight of a twelve year old child. Instead of tossing clothing into the trash over a rip or missing button Vitari suggests learning some “simple mending”, in fact events like Repair Cafe in Kingston are a wonderful resource to learn these skills. All the students encourage people to recycle properly using Fab Scrap which picks up leftover materials or The Blue Jeans Go Green program that collects denim (made from cotton) so that it can be recycled back to its original fiber state and transformed into something new.
In addition to reducing our closets turning door, we can all be conscientious when we buy. Pre-loved and gently used clothing from Peoples Place, Lovefield Consignment, and Rock Candy Vintage always have beautiful clothing that you can feel good about purchasing. Finally, turn those old threads into funky new items to give them a new life!