See how environment-friendly fashion may be (or not)

over 50 years old fashion blogger in floral print cotton dress, wood frame sunglasses, cork plateau heels

The new trend to improve fashion sales

Recently, merchands jumped onto the bandwagon of society’s increasing environmental consciousness to drive sales. Recyling was the first big trend. The gowns graduates rent for commencement have been made from recycled plasitc bottles. H&M has collected old cashmere and wool sweaters that have been recycled into new sweaters. Some merchands have gone a step further with vegan fashion. Renewable resources for fashion products is a new trend in marketing. Well, the term “from renewable resources” is sort of a mock from a physical point of you.

What do they mean with fashion from renewable resource?

When a resource renews itself than a product from it is not the same product from a chemical point of view. It’s a new one, chemically identical. But it’s not the old one. The resource is the same one, for instance, a cotton plant, bamboo, a sheep or goat for wool.

Wouldn’t it be better to talk about sustainable resources? Are these so-called renewable resources environment-friendly because they are providing a product more than once? Well, as so often in life, it depends.

mature woman in pantome inspired colors dress details
Zoom-in on outfit details: Coach shearling bag, metal belt, eShakti print dress with Pantome colors and Winkwood sunglasses (all own)

Sustainable resources for material

Let’s look for instance at wood. Earrings, frames for sunglasses (like in the OOTD) or watches made from wood mean the trees are dead! When a deforested area is afforested wood can be harvested again in 50-80 years depending on the kind of wood. In that sense, one might talk of wood as a sustainable resources. However, it is well known that deforested watershed have increased runoff, i.e. the risk for floodings and washoff of fertiles soils is increased. The land-cover change alters the local water cycle. Thus, when the area is not immediately afforested there will be no sustainability of the wood resource possible anymore after a while.

style blogger in cap sleev summer dress, sandals and small bag
Michael Kors sandals (thrift find), Coach bag, bracelet, statement belt (eBay score), eShakti cap sleeve dress and Winkwood sunnies (all own)

How environmental-friendly is wool?

Let’s take a look at sheeps and goats. They provide wool once a year. Typically, in spring, they get sheared. Sounds good, right?

The animals are vegan and graze. When there are no regulations for grazing, overgrazing may happen and the grass doesn’t grow back. The topsoil is exposed to wind and weather. Wind may take up small soil particles and blow the fertile soil away. Strong, short rainfalls like they often occur in connection with summer thunderstorms may wash the soil away. The area may desertify. If the grass were still there its interception capacity (the storage of water on the surfaces or the blades of grass) and roots would take up water and hold the soil, respectively.

The change in land-cover from grass to desert changes the local recycling of precipitation. Grassland gets less hot than the bare soil. Since it holds water back when it rains, grassland evaporates more and longer the water of a rainfall than the bare soil (where the water just runs off).

Nicole of High Latitude Style in a summer outfit walking on the sidewalk in Fairbanks Alaska
Michael Kors wedge sandals, Coach bag, metal statement belt, eShakti print dress and Winkwood sunglasses (all own)

How environmental-friendly is cotton?

Most of the cotton is grown with a lot of fertilizers to obtain harvests that are profitable for the growers. These fertilizers may affect the groundwater when brought onto the field in too high quanities, i.e. when not applied as recommended. Furthermore, soil bacteria may emit more gases due to the fertilizer. Some of the gases may contribute to ozone formation and/or aerosol (particle) formation, i.e. they may reduce air quality.

So-called “organic” or “bio” cotton is grown without chemical fertilizers. Sounds great for the environment, right? But what about the dung and/or waste that may be brought onto the field? What chemicals remain in the compost made from water cleaning?

mature blogger in summer dress with a bag with pom poms and tags
Michael sandals, Coach shearling bag with pom poms and tags, belt, eShakti summer dress, peridot ring, bracelet, earrings  and Winkwood sunglasses (all own)

I recall from my childhood that my parents’ neighbors had bought sludge to improve the growth of their plants in their yard. Their kids and we played in their yard after the sludge was delivered. It was a huge pile and we climbed on it to slide down. That sludge was full of used condomes. We kids hadn’t seen them before and thought they were balloons! Well, that was just the visible debris. Who knows what was in there what wasn’t visible on first sight.

What about qiviut?

Qiviut (kiv’-ee-ute) is the wool from musk ox. In Alaska, the resource is the live animal. Fashion made from Arctic musk ox wool stems from qiviut either collected on the tundra or from domesticated combed animals. In Canada, qiviut mostly stems from hunted musk ox, i.e. the resource can’t “renew” the wool anymore.

The consumers’ trend

Hard to say. But it looks like that today more consumers see fast fashion as a waste of the (limited) resources. Thrifting and consigning have lost their “poor people” status as more and more fashion and style bloggers don thrifted and consigned items (like the belt and the sandals in the OOTD) and share how to score high in consignment stores or score high on eBay. Recycling old clothes into new clothes is a thing like upcycling an old sari into a skirt.

That’s it for the Thursday Thoughts.

OOTD

I wore this look on a nice summer day on date night with my husband. In the outfit, the belt is an eBay find. I found the sandals when browsing a thriftstore when strolling thru Georgetown on my visit to Arlington a couple of years ago. The sandals pick up the orange in the print of the dress as does the turquoise and the fuchsia of the bag and sunglasses. I love that the dress has nearly the same color as my skin.

Like the outfit? If so, please feel free to pin them to your own Pinterest board.

You don’t want to let the right outfit be a random thing. When in doubt, it’s easy to create the right look for the situation by looking up what to wear when in How to Dress for Success in MidlifeBuy my book now when you haven’t done it so far.

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Top of the World Style Linkup party

Welcome to the 209th Top of the World Style linkup party! Thanks for coming. The awardees are:

Stephanie

Top of the World Style Winner Stephanie of Glamerous and Geeky in swimwear and coverup with her kid on the beach
Stephanie of Glamerous and Geeky became Top of the World Style Winner. Photo from her post

Summer vacation time is around the corner. Stephanie of Glamerous and Geeky is the Top of the World Style Winner. She and her little one featured this summer’s trends in swimwear and coverups.

Top of the world style winner of the week

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Jodie

Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav Jodie in lime green top and jeans
Jodie of Jodie’s Touch of Style became the Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav. Photo from her post

Jodie became the Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav. She blogs together with her mother Charlotte and stepmom Nancy at Jodie’s Touch of Style. Her post featured how to wear lime green, a really tricky (but exciting) color to pull off at any age.

Top of the World Style weekly fashion linkup party at High Latitude Style @ http://www.highlatitudestyle.com

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Shelbee

Top of the World OOTD My Fav Shelbee in tulle skirt and leather jacket
Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge became Top of the World OOTD My Fav. Photo from her post

Shelbee, who blogs at Shelbee on the Edge, caught my eyes with her cool mix of ballerina skirt and biker jacket. And look at the shoes! <3

Top of the World Style weekly fashion linkup party @ High Latitude Style @ http://www.highlatitudestyle.com

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Photos of me: G. Kramm

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