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Blog Action Day: Fashion and Water

October 15, 2010

To anyone who knows me, it’s no secret that I’m passionate about environmentalism and preserving the Earth’s resources. So when I found out about Blog Action Day today, I had to participate!

Aunt Linda in Kenya – Summer 2004

This year’s topic is water. Back in 2004, my Aunt Linda spent the summer in Kenya working with Living Water International, an organization that works to help the poorest people in the world gain access to safe drinking water. It was a life affirming experience for her, and I enjoyed hearing about her time there. This is unrelated to her trip, but she passed away later that year, and her legacy is another reason I’ve chosen to participate in this cause.

So how does this relate to fashion and style?

Every year there are new trends – out with the old, in the with new. Well, all that manufacturing takes a toll on our resources, including water. Did you know it takes 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to produce just one pair of plain blue jeans?*

Sheesh! Take your entire wardrobe into account and it really adds up!

My advice? Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Reduce your wardrobe when possible. I certainly know how important it is to have variety and pieces to mix and match. But if it’s not something your really need, don’t buy it! Your wallet will thank you.

Can’t stop shopping? Reuse by buying secondhand clothing. We write about it all the time, but thrift stores and vintage stores are great places to find treasures. Plus buying used is a more environmentally sound option because the items get more use, thus stretching the original resources even farther.

Recycle the unused items in your closet. It’s good to go through every so often and donate items not getting any love. This frees up space, and someone else could be putting them to good use.

In addition, there are so many simple things we can do in our daily lives. Here in the U.S., we take for granted easy access to safe water. We simply turn on the faucet and it’s always there. Because it’s so easy to get water, we also tend to overuse it.

Do you turn the water off when brushing your teeth? How long are your showers? How frequently do you do laundry?

I’m just as guilty as the next person of taking this precious resource for granted. Could you walk three miles to get water and then only use what you’re able to carry back in your hands or on your head? Many people do every day. While I’m not asking you to deprive yourself of the water that flows from your facet, I am asking you to be more vigilant of the amount of resources you use and work to reduce — and I’ll try to do the same.

*Source: Treehuger, How Many Gallons of Water Does it Take to Make…

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