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Monsters Inside my Closet

I woke up today with a heavy heart. I have said it in my mission statement and made it known that SignedbyRed is a sustainable fashion brand, but why is this important to me and why should this matter to you?

For me to help you see it through my lens, I must bring you back to my tenth grade science class. I was assigned a task of writing an APA paper on any topic of science that I was interested me. I desperately searched the internet for science topics when “Overshoot Day” crossed my eyes’ path. The more I researched the heavier my heart became.

If you don’t know what Overshoot Day is, it is the day that humans have used up all the natural resources the earth is able to provide us in a year without dipping into its precious resources for the next year. With this being said, each country, depending on their consumption, hits their overshoot day at different times of the year. When I was in 10th grade I remember the U.S. hitting it around July, and when I did the research again my freshman year of college we hit it in late May. This year, 2022, the U.S. hit overshoot day March 13th. This means that we will use up 3x the natural resources that the earth is able to produce in a year. It would take THREE earths to sustain the American people. To me that is absolutely insane, how have we gotten here?

Not to shove facts down your throat because I’m feeling some type of way this morning, but my goal here is to inform and that I must.

So let’s talk about fast fashion for a sec:

  • Our consumption of clothing has doubled since 2000 and a garment usage lifetime has halved. (I mean who doesn’t know this? I can’t even wash a new piece twice without it falling apart.)

  • We discard 92 million tons of clothes-related waste each year. That equals a garbage truck every second being dumped into the landfills.

  • More products are made from polyester which can take up to 200 years to decompose. If there is a truckload every second filled with this material imagine the human lifetimes it will take to decompose just for someone to wear a couple of times only to throw it away.

  • This same material contains microplastic which releases half a million tons of microplastics a year due to production and washing. This then circulates in our sewage systems eventually making its way to our oceans, then to fish, then to our dinner plates. YUM!

  • The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of the CO2 emission. More than double of the travel and shipping industry!

  • If one t-shirt takes 700 gallons of water to make and a pair of jeans take 1800 gallons of water (yes you heard me correctly), can you imagine the effects it might have on our source of water.

  • Thrift stores send huge bundles of clothing overseas to countries “in need”, but in reality these bundles are of no use to them. These countries don’t have the resources to dispose of these bundles which leaves clothing garments trashing land and oceans of already poor areas.

  • And don’t get me started on the unfair wages and terrible working condition for the fashion workers. Seriously ,as a fellow sewer, our work is not easy and is tedious.

All of this should make you uncomfortable. (mwahahahah) This is why I must do what I do, even though my part is small. Sourcing my products from thrift stores and secondhand means that I am trying to keep products already made and circulating rather than dipping into the earth’s natural resources that we already use 3x too much of. This is why I am always finding ways to use my fabric scraps. This is why I use second-hand material and thread to make my pieces. This is why I cover stains with patches. This is why I repair buttons and holes. This is why I create pieces that I want to travel the generations, not waste away in a landfill.

If you made it this far just know we are all consumers, there is no way to be a perfect citizen. You do not have to feel guilty for buying something you really want and feel amazing in. No shaming here and there never will be. My goal is to inform you so you can be a conscious consumer.

Take a step back and start paying attention to nature around you and enjoy the life that the earth can give you. The earth is our home, and we can live in harmony and appreciate its beauty.

Thanks for listening to my ted talk!

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