Last week was an extremely busy week for Wearable Collections. It seemed as if everyone in New York was cleaning out their closets. We hosted dozens of drives with community groups, residential complexes and even one smack dab in the middle of Times Sq with the Broadway Green Alliance. On top of hanging out and speaking with the public at some of these events, I also got the opportunity to do some public speaking. Lots of discussions about what we do: handling clothing collections, waste managment, charitable giving and community building. I can speak all day on these topics and often do, but for me the conversation kept on coming back to one thing – PEOPLE.
On Earth day its not unusual for the discussion to circle around saving the Earth. I have read many books on the environment, pollution and garbage. All this reading had lead me to one conclusion – The Earth is gonna be fine in her ever evolving status. What’s at jeopardy is our ability to inhabit her. Humans, we too are a resilient, but need very specific environment to live healthily. When I speak to people about why we should care about the environment, it always leads me back to the idea of living consciously. About being educated about the articles of clothing we wear, the food we ingest, the products we put in our hair and on our body. There is so much mis-information out there and people live such busy lives that they throw their hands in surrender – saying they dont have the time to care about all these things.
Well, I believe that every day should be a celebration of the Earth. The wondrous place that we all call home and not a day should go by where we don’t contemplate and be in awe and aware of all the products that surround us. But also the people that produce these products and how their lives are affected by our consumption habits. When I speak to people about my experience in diverting 10 million lbs of clothing,shoes and textiles over 10 years, I often come back to raising the public’s consciousness of the value of the wastestream. It seems like something that people can relate. But also, what has gone into the production of clothes before they are ever worn. The cotton that takes loads of water and pesticides to produce, the energy that it takes to ship this cotton to lands where it is turned into garments, the toxins in the dye that pollute the rivers in the lands where the garments are finalized, the shipping back to the garments final destination. That’s a whole lot of lives affected by production and consumption. There is a saying that says – out of sight, out of mind. When i think of Earth Day, I think of bringing back into mind all of those who are out of sight. A conscious life is a healthy life, and as overall consciousness is raised we will all benefit…….and so will the Earth.