This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!
To everyone who shops or swaps
Last Saturday I went game board hunting at Value Village. I remembered as a child when we went into Value Village and I remembered the smell of old clothing and didn’t like it. In high school I would go to the one by our house on Victoria and 49th to get a new shirt to wear to the dance that I didn’t have to worry about wearing again. In university, I started earning money, so I started to shop for more expensive things, but I’m happy to say that after my buy local clothing challenge in 2010 and having consigned a good number of items at the neighbourhood Front & Company, I no longer fear second hand.
Hearing Myriam Laroche of Eco Fashion Week talk about the sheer amount of textile waste that goes into landfills – not to mention the amount of water that goes into cotton textile production – was enough to scare me. I learned about “fast fashion” and how companies that make and sell items for cheap are not only contributing to textile waste, but also unfair wages for the people who make the clothing (see my previous blog post on the SWEATSHOP series!).
On Sunday, Sarah and I were selling our Rescued Clothing Co dresses (and a lot of her personal items) at The Bazaar Closet, a flea market organized by UBC grad Rachael Tay, meant for students to sell their clothes quickly before leaving to go back home. It was pretty cool to see lots of folks selling their stuff and people willing to buy them. But the thought of just how many more women and men must have clothes in their closets that they bought but probably never wore can be pretty overwhelming. At the end of the event, there were many unsold items that were to be donated. And while I am glad that they will be donated instead of thrown away, I (mentally) shook my head thinking about how much we buy, and buy, and buy unnecessarily and how we have to then deal with solutions like this to get rid of our stuff.
Engaging with other eco-fashion companies on Rescued Clothing Co’s social media has also opened my eyes up to how many other companies and individuals there are who believe in creating a zero waste textile economy, or are taking action in some way to be more kind to the earth or teach others the value of second hand. To those, I salute you!