Sunday, January 24, 2016

Second Hand.

It's been a while since I've last written.  When it takes me a while to sit down and write something, I often feel the need to deconstruct why.

I've written in the past about the crippling feeling I get when the news is filled with injustice after injustice.  And it has been recently.  Terrorist attacks on multiple continents, shootings, you name it.  Injustices that I can do nothing about stop me dead in my tracks, make me feel little and useless, which keeps me from engaging with justice issues.

Today, though, a friend posted an article on my wall about a local woman who is using innovation and technology to combat the Fast Fashion industry.  My first reaction was to be reminded of the crippling defeat, to feel useless and like I'm not actually doing anything, and I should be doing more.  Maybe I should be doing what she's doing if I really want to make a difference.

But then I thought about my gifts and talents, and why I started this blog in the first place.  I'll be the first one to tell you that I am not entrepreneurial.  I would have no idea how to start a business, and I'd be too impatient to see if it actually took off.  But I can write decently enough, and know a lot of really compassionate people who care about the people in this world who are being oppressed, but don't know how to help them.  The point of this blog was to be a resource to those people - to give them the tools they need to change their everyday habits that contribute to injustice.

So today, let me tell you about this woman that my friend brought to my attention, who has made it easy here in Vancouver to recycle and consign clothes, as well as to buy second-hand.  She's started a business so we don't have to contribute to the Fast-Fashion cycle, which promotes waste and pollution, and devalues human life.

Take a look at this article on the Van City Buzz about My Modern Closet, and it's founder, Chloe Popove.  And next time you're looking for some new clothes, or trying to get rid of things from your closet, check out My Modern Closet for some great, previously loved pieces.

Buying second-hand is great for multiple reasons.  First of all, when we purchase new pieces on a regular basis (I myself am guilty of this), we are contributing to the need for the Fast Fashion industry, and its attitude - the attitude that we need new styles all the time, no matter what the human cost.  By demanding a constant cycle of new items on the shelf, we are also contributing to the pollution of out planet.  According to National Geographic, it takes about 700 gallons of water to make one t-shirt.  But on top of this, none of us wear our clothes for very long.  In fact, most people don't keep a piece of clothing for more than a year anymore, as the Van City Buzz points out in the above article.  So what happens to the clothing we don't wear anymore?  Either it ends up in a landfill (terrible for our environment) or it ends up being donated to second-hand stores like Value Village.  Of course we have the best intentions when we donate clothing, but most of what gets donated doesn't get sold, but gets sent to the developing world (Check out the movie "The True Cost" for more information).  This may sounds awesome to you, but what it means is that local market gets flooded with used clothing that can be purchased for cheap, putting local textile workers out of business.  Obviously, this isn't good for textile labourers and their families, nor is it good for the local economy.

My Modern Closet, and many others,  have come up with creative ways to solve this problem.  Check them out, support their business, and, in the process, do some good!

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