Elisabeth Reed, an instructor at Illinois State University, has been maintaining a blog called My Sustainable Wardrobe. As an Assistant Professor of Apparel Merchandising and Design, she is knowledgeable about clothing. Her goal now is to get people to think about their clothing in terms of environmental and political issues. Sustainable fashion is coming to the forefront in the fashion industry as more people become aware of the impact clothing manufacturing has on the environment.
The way Ms. Reed gets her message across to students and consumers is by asking questions to make people think carefully about their clothes. The interesting thing about her questions is that answering them with printed t-shirts or polo shirts in mind proves this type of clothing can satisfy even environmentally aware fashionistas.
One of the questions she asks is: Can I wear this item with other wardrobe pieces? T-Shirts and polo shirts can be worn with many different pieces including pants, shorts, skirts, overalls and so on. Another question is: Will I wear this piece of clothing again? Once again, t-shirts and polo shirts are a good choice because most people wear them over and over again until there are signs of wear. In fact, most people have favorite t-shirts they wear until holes appear.
That leads to another question: Will the fibers last and are they recyclable? Most t-shirts and polo shirts are made out of cotton or cotton blends and the fibers are durable. And as more people become aware of the importance of recycling, they are donating their clothes to charities for resale or use in other ways. Ms. Reed asks other questions too, but her ultimate goal is to promote clothing labeling that is more transparent about the supply chain leading to the production of the clothing piece.
© Billy Alexander at www.sxc.hu/