August’s Colorful “Fashion” and Simple Living


Photo: Lothar Bodingbauer, Unsplash

Nature’s fashion turns to berries in August. Sumac fruits ripen to crimson. Wild black cherries ripen, starting out red before turning black-purple. Grey dogwoods’ bluish-white berries mellow through October. Wild grapes and elderberries’ purple coloring attract wildlife as they mature. Year after year, these bushes and trees wear the same color berries, and we never tire of seeing them. Repetition in nature is not boring! In fact, there is something wonderful about knowing what to expect as

each season rolls around.

Human fashion, however, does not always follow nature’s lead. Each season brings “fast fashion” a term referring to cheaply produced and priced garments, most likely made in developing countries by workers (sometimes even children) at poor wages and pitiful working conditions. “High fashion” styles are copied and distributed quickly through stores to maximize current trends. The next time you are tempted to purchase this kind of clothing, consider these facts:

1. The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, only wreaking less environmental havoc than the fossil fuel industry.

2. The fashion industry produces 20 per cent of global wastewater and 10 per cent of

global carbon emissions - more than all international flights and maritime shipping.

3. From the World Resources Institute we learn that “One garbage truck of clothes is burned or sent to landfills every second!”

4. The average consumer bought 60 percent more clothes in 2014 than in 2000 but kept each garment for half as long.

What can we do?

  • For a simpler, more sustainable life, imitate nature and enjoy wearing the same clothes as last season. Repeat year after year until they are worn out; then, recycle or repurpose them.

  • When you do make a clothing purchase, choose natural fabrics such as cotton, wool and silk over synthetics like polyester. Pay for long-lasting clothing.

  • Exchange old clothing with friends or family.

  • Give to Good Will Industries.

  • Share this information.

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La Vista Ecological Learning Center

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