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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Reduce, reuse, rethink: Examining clothing waste

It’s a familiar wardrobe cycle: Spring comes, time to buy new clothes. Summer comes, time to go shopping yet again the routine continues year after year.

Urging people to rethink their consumer habits is “Trashed Fashion: Breaking the Cycle,”a short film screening Friday at 7 p.m. at the Agrarian Effort Co-op near the Segundo residence halls, which will be followed by a clothing swap.

“Trashed Fashion” highlights several ideas to incorporate sustainability into one’s shopping habits by suggesting alternate ideas to purchasing new clothes. Amanda Ornellas, a senior women and gender studies major, made the film with three other students.

“[The film] is an examination of the issue of clothing waste and offers viewers ways to stop the flow of clothing waste into the landfill,” Ornellas said. “There are like eight fashion seasons that are asking you to buy more clothes. Try to consciously consume, consume less – just think about where the clothing comes from.”

Jessy Schmidt, a junior double majoring in international agriculture development and women and gender studies, shared a similar sentiment about the idea of conscious consumption.

“Just get informed about what you’re buying,” Schmidt said.

Buying sustainable clothes that will last longer and sustainably made clothing, also called green fashion, is one of the alternatives emphasized in the film. Trading clothes with friends is another idea – one that will be put into practice after the screening of “Trashed Fashion” with a clothing swap.

“Bring any clothes that you have that you don’t wear anymore or clothes that you don’t like, and we basically have just piles that people can go through,” Ornellas said. “Everybody brings something, but it’s okay if you don’t.”

Items that are not picked up during the clothing swap will go to the SPCA Thrift Store at 920 Third St.

For those who have difficulty parting with their belongings, other choices also exist. Instead of buying new clothes, people can refashion or alter what they already have. Natalie Yahr, a sophomore with an independent major in ethics and economics, offers some basic sewing and alteration tips for refashioning old clothing. She heads the Waste Diversion Sewing Circle, another workshop offered by the DPFS, which takes place every Monday at 5:15 p.m. at the Tri Co-ops.

Sustainable or socially conscious clothing, which is apparel that is made sweatshop-free and under fair wages, is becoming readily available in stores but is not always accessible to all budgets. Oftentimes, these options are too expensive for the average college student, so shoppers resort to products that are not the most socially responsible, Yahr said.

“Learning how to do things yourself and make it your own can be an easy way to get clothes, and also just a fun way to make things of your own,” Yahr said.

“Trashed Fashion” will screen at 7 p.m. Friday at the Agrarian Effort House in the Tri Co-ops on campus, followed by the clothing swap. For more information on the Waste Diversion Sewing Circle and other workshops offered by the Davis People’s Free School, go to davispeoplesfreeschool.org.

 

RACHEL FILIPINAS can be reached at arts@californiaaggie.com.

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