“When we think about global warming, growing cancer rates, deepening poverty in some of the world’s poorest countries, and even increasing chemical sensitivities, our clothes closets are probably not the first villain that comes to mind, but our clothes can be a significant, quiet co-conspirator.” – organicconsumers.org
We should all be mindful that purchasing new clothing negatively affects the environment. But being aware and responsible doesn’t mean sacrificing style or sophistication. Buying and wearing vintage clothing is a simple way to reduce, reuse, recycle and look stylish and save money while doing what’s best for the planet. Substituting one pound of reused clothing (one pair of jeans) for something new saves 10,000 pounds of water, 1/2 pound of fertilizers, 4 ounces of pesticides and 6 pounds of carbon emissions. Unfortunately, only 15% of clothing in the United States is recycled.
Manufacturing new clothing puts an alarming strain on the environment. The process of milling fabric involves using a huge quantity of energy and water, and gallons of dyes and chemicals are dumped into the water supply. Crops require enormous amounts of pesticides; cotton, for example, is considered the “dirtiest” crop due to its heavy use of pesticides (cotton crops cover 2.5% of the world’s cultivated land, yet are responsible for 16% of pesticide use.) Animals are (often inhumanely) killed to produce leather and fur. Mountains of discarded clothes are dumped into land fills. All this, in addition to the numerous ethical dilemmas involved in buying new clothing, most of which is manufactured overseas, is a convincing argument that we should all buy vintage when we can.
For more information on the Vintage Is Green™ movement, go to our Vintage Is Green™ blog.
In keeping with the spirit of raising awareness and giving back, 5% of the cost of items you purchase from Chelsea Girl will be donated to one of the charities below. When you check out, please indicate the charity of your choice:
PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.
Learn more at www.pflag.org.
Since 1990, RI has been meeting the immediate needs of victims of natural disasters and civil conflicts worldwide with provisions of food rations, clean water, non-food items, and emergency medical services. RI’s RED—Rapid Emergency Deployment—Team arrives in hours to affected regions with the primary focus of providing relief to the most vulnerable members of society: women, children, and the elderly. From the earliest stage of intervention, RI’s Emergency Response activities are designed to translate from urgent relief to long-term development for maximum community impact,
Learn more at www.ri.org.
Equality Now creates linkages between the voices and experiences of women and girls and the governmental, community and private institutions that govern their lives; mobilizes national and international public pressure on behalf of their stated needs; and brings together individuals and organizations sharing this common vision of human equality. Equality Now works in four program areas – Justice and Equality, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Trafficking, and International Peace and Security – on issues ranging from honor killings to denial of reproductive rights, from female genital mutilation to human trafficking, from rape to domestic violence.
Learn more at www.equalitynow.org.
THE CONSERVATION FUND
The purposes of the organization are to further the understanding and appreciation of mankind’s relationship to the natural world with an emphasis on means of conserving resources. The fund endeavors to protect important landscapes having significant natural, historic or open space values. The fund explores creative techniques to further this objective and ensure that these areas are protected in accordance with local land use plans and state or national land use polices.
Learn more at www.conservationfund.org.
“The fashion wears out more apparel than the man.”
-William Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing, 1598