| By Rachel Monique Maskell
What we CAN do
How are you? Can you feel spring on its way? I’m so grateful for a change. Rain has been wonderful but a little vitamin D goes a long way.
I just spent an hour and half in my art history class where he encourages critical thinking, a surprisingly rare thing on campus and in life. We’ve been spending a lot of time on art as propaganda as well as art as a tool for exposing the hypocrisy of government. Some days it’s depressing, some infuriating, and some instigating. Today is one of the latter.
With all the things we don’t have control over, ie the government and military industrial complex, it can feel too overwhelming and too great to tackle. But the clothes we wear? We clearly have control over what we put on our bodies and how to vote with our dollars. If you’re not buying second hand, start thinking about the textiles and the labor force that goes into making your clothes.
We spend a lot of time thinking about food - organic, non GMO, farm to table etc. It’s now time to expand the conversation to clothes because all textiles come from somewhere and most often it starts with a farmer and a plot of soil.
If you haven’t heard about the dirty truth of cotton, let me enlighten you with this video on the life cycle of a t-shirt.
And non-sustainable viscose is contributing to the loss of ancient forests particularly in Indonesia. Did someone say climate change? Gratefully non-profit organizations like Canopy are working with fashion labels to create more sustainable practices.
The good news is we don’t have to sacrifice beauty with doing the right thing. There are amazing brands like Stella McCartney who are doing a lot of work to pave the way. Super expensive but you can buy second hand, upcycle clothing, and check out the app Good on You that rates brands on sourcing and ethics.
Let’s change the way we buy and change the world.