“Green” fashion

Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.
~Oscar Wilde

At risk of being a “green asshole,” (which may very well be a trap I’ve already fallen into on numerous occasions), I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that fashion isn’t green. Sure it can be greener, but I rank the concept right up there with that stupid carpet shampooer and Clorox’s “Greenworks.”

Fashion and clothing trends are by their very nature made to become obsolete. There’s always got to be something new coming out. Granted, this may merely be the view from the outside looking in, as I’ve been wearing the same style clothing since I was in high school. And there are most definitely fashionistas out there that are concerned with classic looks and materials that are made to last. So it would be rather stupid of me to say that all fashion is a bunch of garbage, and hypocritical to suggest that people should go without things that aren’t wholly “green.”

But I can’t help but cringe at shit like this. Sure, buying organic clothing may be better, but do people really need another excuse to buy clothing and accessories they don’t need? I especially love how all of it is “under $50.” An organic dress at $17.99? It screams “sweatshop labor” to me. Assuage your conscience so long as you don’t think about the people who likely grew that cotton and made that shirt and the conditions they very well may live in. And even organic cotton requires ridiculous amounts of water and fertilizer to grow. Greener, maybe; green, no. Not that it’s all truly organic, anyhow.

I can’t say much in that regard about the clothing I wear, except that I try pretty damn hard to not buy any.

And by the way, the same company making those green clothes was the same company that was caught destroying new clothing that went unsold. They say they’ll stop, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just one store, anyway. One store in a chain just doesn’t get an idea like that out of nowhere. Employees don’t just slash clothing on their own. Left to their own devices, they’d be chatting it up or taking a smoke break, not creating more work for themselves.

Again, what we’re seeing here is called “greenwashing.” A company, trying to improve its brand image and yet keep its “exclusive” nature. For all the organic clothes they put out, they probably do more harm than good by promoting cheap overseas labor and refusing to take responsibility for their own waste.

5 Responses to ““Green” fashion”

  1. simplelifeinfrance Says:

    Yuck! I think you’ve labeled that tendency fairly. There’s green in clothing and there’s ‘all natural’ in foods. You also see green and natural fakery in cosmetics (at least here in France it’s a big deal, why not elsewhere?)

  2. Hell, yes. This is why I do most of my clothing shopping at thrift stores.

  3. Craig Says:

    Man, that kind of waste really annoys me.

    I guess I can understand things that many people consider ‘rubbish’ getting thrown out (something that is broken but fixable for example), but how the hell do you consider brand new clothes to be worth destroying? If nothing else you could gain some good public PR for your company by having a policy of donating stuff like that to people in need.

  4. Reminds me of our policy when I worked at Waldenbooks of destroying paperbacks that didn’t sell. Don’t villainize Walden for it, though. It’s pretty much a universal policy that the publishers put forth to save on shipping costs. You strip the covers off the books and ship those back to confirm that the product is “destroyed,” and then dump the rest of the books in the trash. On the one hand, it’s paper and it’s -much- cheaper than shipping giant boxes of books back and forth. On the other hand, though, the resources to print and bind and ship the books has already been expended. It’d make a bit more sense, I think, to do something at least -slightly- more redeemable than throwing away perfectly readable books.

    Not that all of them made it to the dumpsters. ;)

    • I think in some cases, that’s where stores like HPB come in. I know there are some books I’ve bought there that seem like they were cast-offs from other stores.

      Maybe I’m crazy (which could be, because I’ve never worked box retail) but wouldn’t it be cheaper the whole way ’round to only buy a small number of books, and upon the sale of those buy more instead of buying a bunch of them at a time and hoping they sell?

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