The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, second only to oil. It creates massive amounts of pollutants, such as pesticides used in cotton farming and the toxic dyes used in manufacturing. The industry also creates a massive amount of waste from discarded clothing, uses a large amount of the world’s water supply, and requires a huge amount of resources for farming, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, and shipping.
Cotton, which is used in more than 40 percent of clothing, consumes 10 percent of all agricultural chemicals used in farming and 25 percent of all insecticides, and requires around 1,800 gallons of water to make one cotton shirt—enough water for one person to drink for two and a half years.
In honor of Earth Day, taking place this Sunday, April 22, several local events are offering an up-close look into the environmental impact of the fashion industry, and attempt to offer solutions to curb its effects. Celebrate Earth Day by attending these events:
Collective Market Spring Event & Tattersall Vintage Market:
One great way to lessen your impact on the environment is to buy previously owned clothing—such as that found at vintage, thrift, and resale stores, and at two events this weekend. Part closet swap, part pop-up shop, Collective Market welcomes Twin Cities fashionistas to unload their closets and sell directly to area shoppers. The event features name-brand, gently worn women’s and men’s clothing in a wide range of sizes, shoes, and accessories. On Sunday, save 50 percent off select merchandise that remains. (Thursday from 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. @ Public Functionary, 1400 12th Ave. NE., Minneapolis, collectivemarketsale.com) On Saturday, a group of a dozen local vintage sellers are coming together for a vintage sale of epic proportions at Tattersall Distilling‘s taproom. With vendors spanning women’s and men’s clothing to housewares and records, there’s something for everyone, including finds from local boutiques the Golden Pearl Vintage, Flamingo’s Divine Finds, and Tandem Vintage. Plus, enjoy tarot readings, live vinyl tunes, and craft cocktails while you shop. (Saturday from noon-6 p.m. @ Tattersall Distilling, 1620 Central Ave. NE. #150, Minneapolis; view the Facebook event)
Earth Day Shopping Events with Hackwith Design House and Hazel & Rose:
St. Paul-based women’s clothing line, Hackwith Design House, is teaming up with ethical fashion boutique, Hazel & Rose, to celebrate sustainable fashion in honor of Earth Day. Bring your unwanted clothing in to be recycled and receive 15 percent off your entire purchase, and bring in your worn Hackwith clothing to be recycled and get a Hackwith gift card. Shop the latest from Hackwith Design, including an exclusive style making its debut at Hazel & Rose on Earth Day, plus shoppers get a free tote from Abacá with purchase, while supplies last. (Sunday from noon-4 p.m. @ Hazel & Rose, 945 Broadway St. NE. #220, Minneapolis, shophazelandrose.com) Next Saturday, Hackwith Design hosts an event in partnership with Eileen Fisher’s sustainable side project, Eileen Fisher Renew, at Hackwith’s St. Paul studio. Shop the affordable collection while supporting the waste-free movement, and browse Hackwith Design samples along with a limited-edition Hackwith Design House x Eileen Fisher tank top. (Saturday April 28 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. @ Hackwith Design House Studio, 550 Vandalia St., Ste. 314, St. Paul, hackwithdesign.com)
Clothier Design Source Sustainable Fashion Panel & Factory Tour:
On Tuesday, local manufacturer, Clothier Design Source, hosts a panel discussion and factory tour in honor of Fashion Revolution, a global movement calling for greater transparency in the fashion industry that asks the question, “Who Made My Clothes?” The panel will spotlight local women thought leaders making waves in ethical fashion and how they are transforming the industry for the better, from design to production. The event also includes a tour of the manufacturer’s factory. (Tuesday, April 24 from 6-9 p.m. @ Clothier Design Source, 2408 W. Territorial Rd., Suite B, St. Paul, get tickets at eventbrite.com)
In honor of Earth Day, St. Paul ethical fashion boutique, Spoils of Wear, hosts a spring fashion show to benefit a local animal shelter. Paws on the Patio features sustainable spring fashions on the runway, accompanied by adorable doggies that are available for adoption. The show is followed by shopping cocktails, and doggies galore, plus 10 percent of all proceeds will benefit Underdog Rescue. Sunday from 3-6 p.m. @ Spoils of Wear, 1566 Selby Ave., St. Paul, spoilsofwear.com; tickets are $15-$30 at Eventbrite.com) On Wednesday, the Weisman Art Museum hosts its annual student showcase, (RE) Generation, featuring designs made from recycled materials in conjunction with its Vanishing Ice exhibition. (Wednesday, April 25 from 7-10 p.m. @ Weisman Art Museum, 333 E. River Pkwy., Minneapolis, wam.umn.edu) Next Saturday, Fashion Revolution MN and Sol Inspirations present the Innovations Fashion Show, which features a series of eco-fashion design challenges from emerging designers, a secondhand stylist challenges, and a showcase of clothing and accessories from slow-fashion designers, fair-trade labels, and sustainable brands. (Saturday from 6-9 p.m. @ Vandalia Tower, 550 Vandalia St., St. Paul, get tickets at innovationsfashionshow) Then on Sunday, Hazel & Rose hosts Circa Now, a fashion show at Able Seedhouse + Brewery along with several local vintage brands, including the Golden Pearl Vintage, The Keep, Moth Oddities, Tandem Vintage, Arlee Park, and Thrift Stylist—because shopping secondhand is always sustainable. (Sunday, April 29 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., show at noon @ Able Seedhouse + Brewery, 1121 Quincy St. NE., Minneapolis, get tickets at eventbrite.com)
The Price of Our Clothes Exhibition:
In addition to the environmental impacts of the fashion industry, there’s also a human cost to the fashion industry. On April 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza garment factories in Bangladesh collapsed, leaving 1,134 workers dead. In response, local artist Rachel Breen collaborated with poet Alison Morse on The Price of Our Clothes, an installation of evocative mixed-media artwork, powerful sound pieces, poems, and performances intended to encourage contemplation about our relationship with the people make our clothes. The exhibition is on view through next Friday, April 27 at the Perlman Teaching Museum’s Braucher Gallery at Carleton College in Northfield. Visit carleton.edu for more info.