I Resolve to be Green and Fashionable

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Published on January 20th, 2009  |  Discuss This Article  

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I’m not a resolutions-making kind of gal.

I tend to think New Year’s Resolutions are just a way to make yourself feel good by pretending that you’re actually going to do something that’s good for you when you’ve never made a habit of doing it in the past.

But I’m making a resolution for 2009 — and beyond — after Planet Green’s post on being green and fashionable reminded me  how bad my fashion obsession is from a sustainability point of view.

I love clothes. Love jeans. Love shoes. Shoes are a standout bright light in my life. It sounds incredibly shallow, I know, but I get true joy from slipping a new pair on my feet, and enjoy the Cinderella feeling that I get from feeling fashionable.

Really, though – who am I kidding? Cinderella?! A fictional character, a fairy tale, a woman whose Prince Charming saves her from cleaning for her mean, blended family?

As  Planet Green says:

“After all of the inspiration, image-making, and excitement pass, clothes remain in wardrobes everywhere. Pouf skirts. Acid-washed denim. M. C. Hammer pants. They’re out there still, in closets, thrift stores, and land fills.”

Ok, so I (barely) escaped the era of acid-washed denim and Hammer pants, but the point is that all of the things I’m buying now are, when you consider their inherent value, a complete waste of resources.

How many resources were used to make the eight pairs of jeans I’ve got on my closet shelf – all of which I bought new?

What chemicals were used to grow the fabric in those shirts I just bought on sale at J.Crew?

And my boots? My beautiful, leather, high-heeled, knee-high black boots that I got for the holidays this past year? Sigh. I hate to say it, but I doubt that this once-vegan, if she really researched it, would be proud of the chemicals used to treat the leather that came from the cow that most likely was not living in a green pasture, happily grazing until fate decided he would become my newest fashion love.

Not to mention the sheer number of people who are exploited everyday to make the goods that we – that I – buy from companies who knowingly use sweatshops.

It’s sad, really, that fashion has been my Achilles heel when it comes to conservation. My Achilles high heel.

So, I resolve to be more conscious of what it is I am buying for myself and my family from this point on. So much more conscious, in fact, that my resolution this year is multi-faceted: If I am to buy fewer articles of new clothing, then I resolve to learn to sew, as I have wanted to for many years.

And when I decide I “need” a new pair of jeans or shoes, I resolve to hit up Ebay, or the local Goodwill, first.

I may hate resolutions, but a resolution in which I can still shop? Bring it on, 2009.

(Image: Blue jeans drying in the sun. Credit: pie4dan, under a Creative Commons License.)

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