It was bad timing for H&M recently, getting caught trashing bags of clothing in the middle of a really bad recession and ridiculously cold winter. Throwing the clothes out in trash bags wasn’t enough for this global retailer – they feel the need to slash the clothing so that they will be less enticing to wear and therefore steal (from the trash). How much more wasteful can you get? Apparently, The New York Times tried to contact them multiple times about donating their leftover clothing to charity, but haven’t heard back…
The other side of the coin is the current exhibition at Pratt: Ethics + Aesthetics = Sustainable Fashion. Curators Francesca Granata and Sarah Scaturro had the brilliant idea to show how American designers are trying to keep clothes and textiles out of the waste stream, involve fewer sweatshops and less pesticides. Ahhh… refreshing. The exhibition is on the 2nd floor of the Pratt Manhattan building on 14th street. Been out of town for a few days but I plan on checking it out once school starts up again. There are a few larger department stores jumping on the green bandwagon – I have an organic cotton tank top from Barneys Coop. Toms Shoes are made out of canvas and super eco-friendly, and best of all they have a beautiful program where they provide a pair of shoes to a child in need with every purchase. I wear my navy Toms practically every day in the spring and summer, right around when the weather is in that in-between phase.
Here’s a fun recycled fashion idea – wear your old recycled maps. And recycle them when you’re done!
At least there are people trying to reverse this culture of extreme consumerism and waste. A Dutch design firm created ‘fragmented’ clothing that can be snapped together and replaced in separate components, thereby reducing the amount of waste. “Made from Cradle to Cradle-certified wool felt in a range of vibrant colors, the Fragmented Textiles are based on jigsaw-puzzle-like zero-waste patterns that are designed to use every last scrap of cloth.”