How we use precious resources tells a lot about who we are as people.
Ken Geisler writes in his book Materials Matter: “The products we purchase and use are assembled from a wide range of naturally occurring and manufactured materials. But too often we create hazards for the ecosystem and human health as we mine, process, distribute, use, and dispose of these materials.” The cycle of production and disposal of things — from the beginning to end — comes at great cost to our shared environment. Whether it’s fashion, buildings, or even food production, the conversion of raw materials into consumer goods has a tangible impact, and it has largely fallen to today’s generation to take up the mantle of sustainability to ensure that effect is a positive one. Millennials who've joined the “going green” movement hope to show better paths, while still acknowledging modern needs and obligations.
There’s really no serious debate over why being more conscious of the materials we take from the earth is important. We're at a critical juncture for preserving our shared environment: the earth’s delicate balance has been put in a precarious position due to human-caused damage that threatens the continued existence of life on the planet if we don’t make changes. Additionally, the same people who have been handed stewardship of a endangered planet also inherit the enormous responsibility to also keep economies growing and sustaining the livelihoods of the people who will continue to live in this changed environment. We need better alternatives that respond to a web of problems.
We can collectively start taking steps to towards a cleaner future, and it begins with adopting a different set of habits. Start with one small area of your life, and begin to make changes to go green. In time, you can make big changes that are built on your initial successes. For example, let’s take one essential area of life and shopping no one can avoid: buying clothes.
When shopping for new apparel, first choose a garment that is built to last. With fast fashion sending over 650,000 tons of clothing to landfills each year, concentrate on well-constructed pieces in classic styles that will stick around many seasons over.
Secondly, pay attention to the materials and know who made it. We curate our apparel picks to be consciously constructed: sweatshop-free and created from environmentally-friendly materials, oftentimes handmade.
Lastly, we also believe that you shouldn’t have to trade sustainability for style — both can coexist in the same outfit. In our next post, we’ll take a look at some greener materials available to clothing makers — some you may not have even heard of yet — we hope will make their way into your closet soon.
This post was adapted from an original post that appeared in Conscious Magazine about The Good Buy.
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