Forget Blue Jeans! Fashions Going Green!

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Leann Goldberg

Doris Turkel ’20, wearing thrifted clothes, shows that it is not only easy but fashionable to be sustainable.

We live in the middle of a climate crisis that threatens the way we function and our survival. In order to cope with this issue, we have to fundamentally change the way we live and make more informed choices not only as consumers, but as inhabitants of this earth. An example of our consumerism tying into our earth’s downfall is the fashion industry, which is the second largest polluter just after oil companies.

This needs to change, clothes are just products. These seemingly harmless products are shortening our earth’s lifespan, which means we need to change the way we not only think about clothes but which ones we wear and what we do we with them. Such change does not necessarily have to be extremely radical and can easily be incorporated into daily life.

Doris Turkel ’20, a student at Bronx Science, embodies this idea this effortlessly, showing how easy it is to make the switch. Turkel said, “ I would say that the biggest way that I ‘dress sustainably’ is by buying vintage and thrifted clothing instead of purchasing new clothes at commercial stores and from big corporate brands. More than half of my clothing and jewelry have been bought at goodwills, thrift stores, or passed down from my mom or my cousins.”

“I really encourage teens to think about the clothing they buy and consider the different, easy ways to start dressing more sustainably. Dressing sustainably is not compromising. The future of our planet depends on it!” said Doris Turkel ’20.

Thrifting has seen a recent rise in popularity, with a fall of negative stigma surrounding it. Thrifting provides a great option economically while also allowing for a system of reuse. Consumers can give away their clothes instead of dumping them in landfills, while also allowing other customers to buy these clothes instead of buying from large corporations that produce lots of waste and  promote poor labor practices.

But it goes beyond just where you source your clothes, the problem lays deep in the toxic consumer mentality. People in developed nations have learned to see clothing as temporary items, meant to be worn a few times and then moved on from and replaced. This idea promotes the constant purchase of material goods, which are not produced sustainably and cultivate generous amounts of waste through packaging materials. In order to combat this we have to think long term, and keep in mind how often you would wear an item when weighing whether you should purchase the item or not.

Turkel emphasizes this fact and explains, “I really encourage teens to think about the clothing they buy and consider the different, easy ways to start dressing more sustainably. Dressing sustainably is not compromising. The future of our planet depends on it!”

With this mentality it is also important to support brands that help the environment, a factor that is starting to be more affordable. Some viable options include: PACT, thredUP, Outdoor Voices, depop, threads 4 thought, Sancho’s, and many more. A simple internet search can provide you with all this information, showing just how attainable sustainable fashion is.

It is time for us to wake up and accept the current state of our planet, so our society can reassess where we stand and take adequate measures to prevent the continuance of this negative trend. When educated, consumers have the power to establish standards that  could save our future.

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