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Fighting fast fashion in the SAU community

Environmentalist student group, GreenLife, hosted a clothing swap on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, to raise awareness about the dangers of and alternatives to fast fashion. 

Fast fashion is when clothing goes in and out of style quickly, is cheaply produced, shortly worn, and thrown away fast. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American throws away 81 pounds of clothing a year, which fast fashion contributes to. 

According to Forbes, the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter in the world, beaten only by the oil industry. Photo courtesy of Carolyn Graham. 

For this event, GreenLife members collected donations of used clothing from faculty and staff members and purchased additional items from local thrift stores to have some stock waiting for attendees so they had more options when they came to swap. 

“I really wanted people to become more aware of the dangers of fast fashion and all the different aspects of it,” GreenLife President Emma Duncan said. “Also to see what clothes they can get that aren’t fast fashion, so stuff in thrift stores or clothes from their friends or family. It’s an alternative to shopping fast fashion.”

Claire Duncan browsing the dresses. Photo courtesy of Carolyn Graham.

For those who couldn’t make it to the event, the club recommends first looking up what fast fashion really is, and the dangers of it. Then continuing to reuse what’s in your closet currently, visiting thrift stores if you need something new, and if you have to go to a retail store, making sure that you thoroughly use what you buy. 

“It really impacts a lot of different things, its a feminist issue, its a poverty issue, its a lot of different stuff you can look into,” Duncan said. “It’s exciting to start on this because I feel like we’re a little behind as a campus in terms of sustainability and the education of students on campus with that stuff.”

GreenLife hopes to hold more sustainability events like this in the future, with the possibility of another clothing swap like this one. 

Laura Meloy, Emma Duncan, and Sydney Jacobs browsing the sweaters. Photo courtesy of Carolyn Graham.