Fashion Takes Action, the company founded by our Fashion columnist Kelly Drennan (who recently won TreeHugger’s “Best of Green” Best Style Twitter Feed), has launched a new initiative called Resizing Fashion’s Footprint. Fashion Takes Action has said, “Our ultimate vision is to see the fashion industry transformed – with the practices of sustainability stitched in to every garment, shoe, and accessory, from fiber to finish. We encourage our members to be active players in this transformation by supporting them with the tools, ideas, and community they need to create prosperity through positive social and environmental change.”
In North America, the average person consumes over 36 kilograms of textiles annually, or the equivalent of 36 pairs of jeans. In 2009, Canadians spent $21.5 billion on fashion. That’s $650 for every man, woman and child. Most of this ends up in landfill.
Resizing Fashion’s Footprint calls on everyone to consider the environmental impact of their clothing, and look at ways to reduce it, such as: doing fewer and fuller loads of laundry, hanging clothing to dry, buying second-hand clothing, choosing quality, timeless items that won’t quickly wear out or go out of style, choosing clothing made with organic textiles or non-toxic dyes, or choosing an eco-friendly dry cleaner.
The website says, “The social and environmental impacts of the fashion industry are many, from unfair labour practices to improper waste disposal, from high energy and water use to life threatening toxic chemicals. However, there are alternatives. If we each make simple daily actions to Resize Our Fashion Footprint, we can change the Fashion World — one pair of jeans and a load of laundry at a time!”
The great thing about this initiative is that you don’t have to suddenly swear off any and all non-organic fabrics, or rush out and buy a high-efficiency washer. There are options for everyone. Fashion Takes Action also did its homework and provides extensive references as background to the options it presents.
FTA has been supporting people in resizing their fashion footprint by helping to organize swaps of good quality used garments, such as the Shop Sustainable Marketplace that took place on November 29.
The New Year provides a great opportunity to make a resolution to resize your fashion footprint and give the Earth a break!