“The way we dress is destroying the world.”
Do you ever wonder what happens after you've thrown away your old clothes (and even the newer ones you no longer like which you’ve gotten from a Black Friday shopping or holiday Mega Sale)?
More often than not, we pick clothes and pay for them for these reasons: they fit, they look good, and the price is reasonable.
But when you go shopping for clothes, do you pause and ask if the fabric is actually good for you or your kids? Do you go as far as contemplating where the fabric came from and is it good for the planet?
It’s high time that we consider these questions. To pursue and enjoy mindful living, it is basic practice to be intentional in anything that we do and in every area of our life –including the selection and accumulation of things (even those as intimate as our personal clothing).
The Reality: Mindless Dressing kills Us
Jaggi Vasudev (aka Sadhguru), an Indian yogi, mystic, author, and entrepreneur (involved in social outreach, youth education, and environmental initiatives) said that the third largest polluter on the planet is the fashion/clothing industry. The people of today have 5 times MORE clothes than our grandparents in their time, and by 2025 it will be 10 times more than our grandparents’.*
Sadly, 98% of what we wear is synthetic fiber, while only 2% is natural fiber. Much of the 98% is polyfiber which has entered our bodies, the plants, animals, and the food chain (which consists of water and soil). Polyfiber cloth is the biggest polluter – bigger than the plastic problem – that goes under the radar. It is sitting on our bodies and polluting our environment: animals, plants, and the food chain itself because the micro-polyfibers are getting into everything. If you see those poignant pictures of sea turtles stuck in plastic nets (or other human garbage), we are those turtles: We are stuck in these synthetic materials.*
We mindlessly put on micro-polyfibers every day with the clothes we wear.
The Call: Dressing for a Cause
You and I have much to contribute to this problem, and so we have much to contribute to the solution. We can clothe the world again in a sensible and natural way. We must choose natural fabrics for both health and ecological benefits.
Sadhguru went on to explain that synthetic fiber has been found to cause health issues (like allergies which affect children the most) and other various diseases (such as unexplained levels and types of cancer). If chemicals in synthetic fibers aren’t the direct cause, then it has some type of ill effect. There isn’t an American today that does not have plastic in their bodies: both from food consumption and textiles that they use. This is especially a concern for children’s allergies because of the type of clothing they wear which were manufactured using chemicals that are carcinogenic. **
The Need for Organic Fabrics
On an average, in the United States a person dumps 28kg of clothing every year. In India, an average of 1.5kg is dumped per year. The highest consumption of textile is in America. In many ways, the United States has become a world leader in the realm of sports, education, entertainment, food, fashion, and other aspects of lifestyle. The rest of the world follows or copies whatever is practiced and accepted in America. **
Indeed, there is a need (and a market) for organic fabrics in the US and the rest of the world. You can watch “Fashion for Peace,” a 30-minute interview, to have a better grip on how each one can be a catalyst in saving health and the planet from synthetic garments.
Having had a glimpse of our current clothing lifestyle and textile consumption, can you really afford to get your health affected and the planet destroyed just to buy cheap synthetic garments? Or, would you rather invest in not-so-cheap clothes made from natural fabrics for the sake of your health and the Earth's?
Let us go for a green wardrobe one item at a time.
You have the choice.
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