Small Changes Making a Big Difference
SO. MUCH. STUFF. Yep. It can definitely be overwhelming. And what do we do when overwhelmed? We generally do not address the real problem because it winds up being a lot of work to do so. Thank God for people like Modavanti. Modavanti is not only leading the way in bringing sustainable fashion to the masses, they also offer an incredible recycling program for the clothes that we all already have and don't know what to do with. I know I have made my fair share of trips to Zara, Forever 21, H&M, etc. and have purchased so many cheap items under the premise of, "Well, it doesn't matter if I don't like it...it's so CHEAP!". That was up until I watched, "The True Cost" (which I cannot recommend enough - thank you Andrew and Netflix!). In the documentary, Director Andrew Morgan travels from the heartbreaking garment factories of Bangladesh, to the overwhelmingly polluted holy rivers in India, to the cotton fields of Texas with skyrocketing appearances of cancer in men way too young to be dying in such numbers (thanks to the chemicals and pesticides they are surrounded by every day) to the markets of Haiti where so very much of our donated clothing winds up (apparently the stores we donate our clothes to are only able to sell about 10% of the items...the rest winds up being shipped to third world and developing countries where it often is useless - like leather jackets being sent to Haiti).
The documentary is more than eye-opening. But the question painfully lays there in front of us: So, what can we do? First, we can shop less, and wear more. We already have way more than we need. How many times have you heard someone say, "I just don't know how I accumulated so much stuff!!" It's because we have "access to excess" as a friend so succinctly put it the other night. There's no way for us to flip the industry overnight, that is for sure. There is too much money and too much power involved. But as Stella McCartney points out in the documentary, we - the consumers - are the ones with the power to inflict change. We have to hold retailers accountable for their actions. We can make a tremendously positive change by just being conscious, by putting just a tiny bit more thought behind our every day purchases. We can take the concept of fast fashion and say, "No More. That isn't cool. I'll tell you what's cool: buying jewelry that supports artisans all over the world; buying clothes that aren't intoxicating children in Punjab with disease or causing garment factories to crash down on people because 'we have to make it cheaper, cheaper, cheaper'; NOT buying things I don't need that will just eventually wind up in landfills, exhausting our earth...those things...those are cool." It may seem daunting, but there are so many people realizing how important this is for our earth and for our global community. People are aware that we will not be able to sustain ourselves at this rate. People are making changes and it is so encouraging! If you find yourself wanting to make a change too, but maybe you don't know where to start, check out the previously mentioned Modavanti's incredible textile recycling program. It teams up with Green Tree Recycling - based here in New York - to give your clothes to those who are "disadvantaged, homeless, and in transition" and uses anything unwearable to donate to local designers for repurposing. What's in it for you (as if the super awesome karma wasn't enough)? You get a $20 credit to shop at Modavanti.com and replace those tons of items you recycle with fewer, more sustainable items that are single-handedly making a positive impact on this earth. What more could you ask for?! Check them out now and see how easy it is to start making a change in the way you wear clothing: ModaCycle.