Our post the other day about “Preserving the Past, Protecting the Future” brought in a larger response than we expected so we thought we’d follow up on it today with a bit of a sound-off. Shockingly, many of our readers were surprised at the message we put forth on Tuesday. Some even thought it was a bit preachy on our part. For those of you who were offended, we have this to say, “We should not have to remind you to be Green.”
Every year, one million tons of textile goods go into landfills. Most of them can be recycled. LA Vintage, has been sorting through twelve million pounds of clothing and five million pounds of shoes annually to help bring that landfill number down just a bit. The vintage clothing you see on our site is the result of these efforts. It has been recycled instead of being thrown away to be buried beneath the earth.
For those of you who are wondering why clothing is considered a threat to the environment when placed in a landfill, think about three of the elements that are common in textile manufacturing: dyes, fire effluents, and fasteners such as zippers and plastic buttons. The latter are often made of plastic, which does not break down over time. Dyes and fire effluents will break down gradually but cause toxicity in the soil.
Shoes offer an even greater threat when they’re casually thrown away. The dyed leather and plastic in shoes can leave an area designated for landfill unusable for decades. Wildlife and vegetation will gradually die off and miniature “deserts” will be created in the midst of high population areas. It doesn’t matter how far away from your home the landfill is. Eventually that desert will spread and affect future generations.
What we just described is the one small aspect of being Green that affects the vintage clothing industry. As a provider of vintage clothing, we feel it is our responsibility to do our part to preserve our environment. Being Green isn’t a fad or a ploy with us. It’s the way we do business, and it always has been.