Good Reading : April 2010
APRIL 2010 ı goodreading 45 younger readers word of mouth green your wardrobe Ageneration ago, eco-friendly clothes were hideous (itchy burlap shirts, tie-dyed shirts, and shapeless dresses). But teens today are in luck because eco-fashion is all the rage and green clothes can be found in every shape, size, style and colour.There is also a greater selection of pre-loved clothes at op shops, on eBay, and in consignment shops that help you look good while you save money and the planet. 1 Fix It: Need something new to jazz up your wardrobe? Try taking a fresh look at what's in your closet to see what can be fixed and what can be reconfigured into something great. Learn how to sew on a button or patch a hole (or make a hole); or re-tailor wor n out duds by turning last year's pants into shorts or an old dress into a skirt. 2 Consider 'Pre-loved': Most op shops are a treasure trove of amazing clothes in every shape, style, and colour. 'Pre-loved' duds save money and reduce the use of new materials while keeping the old items out of the landfill. 3 Seek Out Organics: When you have to buy new, look for clothes labeled 100% organic. Cotton, linen, wool, bamboo, and hemp can all be grown organically and used to produce green clothing. 4 Keep it Fair: A $5 T-shirt may seem like a great deal, but you have to remember the environmental and social costs required to make this gar ment so inexpensive. Look for clothing that has been independently verified as 'sweat-free'. 5 Give Them a Second Life: Don't toss your clothes in the trash. If you can't use it, and none of your friends want it, pass it on to a local charity or thrift store. If it is simply too worn out, cut it up to use as rags around the house. Why Bother? You probably don't think of pesticides when you think of your clothes, but did you know that a quarter of all the pesticides used throughout the entire world are used in the production of cotton. Not for food crops like soybeans, or rice, or wheat, or potatoes, but for cotton. Conventionally produced clothing is heavily laden with other noxious chemicals too (like for maldehyde) in dyes and finishes. And to keep clothes cheap, many items are produced using child labour forces in deplorable sweatshop conditions. Goodwill Industries International goodwill.org Act Now http://www.actnow.com.au St Vincent de Paul http://www.vinnies.org.au/home-nsw The Salvation Army http://salvos.org.au/ Co-op America www.sweatshop.org United Students Against Sweatshops http://usas.org/ The Green Teen: The eco-friendly teen’s guide to saving the planet by Jenn Savedge is published by New Society Publishers, rrp $26.95. Available in Australasia through Footprint Books, www.footprint.com.au. Here are some sites you could explore to find out how to donate clothing or get involved in anti-sweatshop campaigns Top 5 Ways to Green Your Wardrobe This extract from The Green Teen shows how imagination and vintage style can help save the planet.