We applaud all of you that came up with creative ways to reduce your plastic usage in July. Keep it up!

This month, we thought we would start discussing something many of us don’t think about when it comes to plastic waste reduction (climate change and greenhouse gases too)…FASHION.

All of us, approximately 8 billion people globally, need fabrics. After water and food it is a top necessity but did you know that approximately 64% of our clothes are made from plastics (polyester, acrylic and nylon)?  Plastics are byproducts of fossil fuel and to convert fossil fuel into fabrics, significant amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) are released.

By sharing some facts about plastics in our clothing and best practices, we hope to encourage a discussion that helps reduce our carbon footprints. Feel free to share your ideas at info@sustainablewellesley.com.

One option is to discourage production of new synthetic fabrics by reusing, repurposing and redesigning what we already have and introducing the concept of circular economy in fashion.

Another option is up-cycling — instead of only re-cycling. By mixing old synthetic fabrics with other old fabrics embellishes the new product and creates new markets for beautiful clothing, hand-woven floor mats, bathroom mats, house shoes, ribbons and more.

Luckily, there are fashion designers out  there using their creativity to repurpose the plastics we already have created, instead of sending old clothes to landfills and oceans. Consider buying these types of products instead of brand new items.

For example, leading fashion brands and manufacturers are working to transform the way they produce jeans, tackling waste, pollution, and the use of harmful practices. By doing this, we can create a circular economy and produce sustainable fashion. Learn more about it here and watch the video here.

Finally, don’t forget there is a consignment shop here in Wellesley and many in neighboring towns such as this one in Natick and few in Needham and Newton too where you can find pre-loved fashion and reduce the amount of plastic created. There are many children and men’s consignment shops as well.

We welcome your creative ideas and suggestions. Write to us at info@sustainablewellesley.com.

Big thanks to Enku for inspiring this blog post and bringing this important topic to light with research, as well as Kelly for some good tips!

 

Kelly Caiazzo

Every year I embroider something new on my children’s backpacks before they start school. They pick the patterns and the colors, and it adds a “newness” and specialness to back to school without having to buy something new.

Back to school shopping can be a necessity when you’ve got growing kids, but often I find that my kids are still wearing their summer t-shirts and shorts when school starts. If I shop for Fall outfits in August, I’ll invest in the wrong size (or the wrong style).

Besides, my kids love wearing their favorite shirts they already own; they’re comfortable and familiar and maybe on the first day of school when everything feels new that’s not such a bad thing.

But I like the emotions behind the tradition of back to school shopping. It can make back to school feel special and send a message to our kids that they’re supported and we’re behind them.

Embroidering things on their backpacks fulfills those objectives without causing me to buy things my kids don’t need.

Here are some other ways to make back to school special that don’t require buying new things:

  • Have a special back-to-school breakfast
  • Help your kids pick out their back to school outfits from their “favorites” and make sure they’re clean
  • Sit down together and look at their back-to-school photos from previous years
  • Write a letter with them about who they are entering this grade and save it to read at the end of the year
  • Stick a funny family photo in their backpack for them to find
  • Plan a playdate for them with a friend from last year who isn’t in their class this year
  • Go shopping for special back to school snacks
  • Plan afamily lunch or dinner for after the first day of school to really sit down and hear about their day
  • Let them come up with ideas for their back to school photo

All these things get to the same objective; making your child feel special, and cared for in a way that lessens their apprehensions about the first day of school. Which is good, because I’m not sure this embroidery thing will work when my kids get to high school.