With #30Wears, "eco" can still be fashionable
Starting Monday, RU 4 Sustainable Fashion will be kicking off its semester-long #30Wears campaign for Eco-Age, a movement designed to enlighten college students on the importance of making environmentally-conscious shopping decisions. Inspired by the original campaign led by activist Livia Firth, the student organization aims to encourage college students to prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to buying clothes and focusing on conserving garments rather than wasting them.
Young people often favor fast fashion labels such as Zara and Forever 21 as these brands are equally affordable as they are stylish. But, many people are unaware of the harmful effects the fast fashion industry has on the environment. As reported by the World Resources Institute, it takes nearly 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton t-shirt, and the production of synthetic fibers such as polyester release harmful chemicals into our air and waterways. Because fast fashion is so cheap and trendy, it becomes more disposable, ending up in our landfills.
The #30Wears campaign encourages consumers to be vocal about sustainable fashion and ask stores about their garment production history. Find out where your clothes come from, and ask if they are sustainable fashion items. Chances are, the more sustainable fashion is mentioned in conversation, the clearer the message becomes. Customers have the power to sway the fashion world to play by their rules.
Challenging the history of clothing is important as consumers tend to overlook the strenuous labor and time that is put into clothing production. There are laborers in foreign countries who go unnoticed by many, so next time there is temptation to throw out clothing just because it is “out of style” or “used,” reconsider and either donate or sell instead.
The change comes with the masses, and shining a light on the benefits society will reap from sustainable fashion is crucial. Whether it’s a product from your favorite brand’s sustainable line, a secondhand piece bought at a thrift store or something you made at home, show it off on social media with the #30Wears hashtag. Putting sustainable fashion in high demand gives other brand names incentive to provide eco-friendly materials, and the chain reaction could be revolutionary.