Photo by Salt Water New England

Thursday, September 23, 2021

On Sustainability...


 

33 comments:

  1. Hear! Hear!

    I recently expressed and I reiterate that the best use to which Brooks Brothers could put its logo before it destroys it with its new strategy would be to return to its traditions of making timeless and very slowly changing clothing and couple that return with a marketing strategy of touting how its clothing will endure, be comfortable, and come primarily from makers in the USA. I know of no other logo that could drive such a movement as effectively.

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  2. How very true! Thank you do vety much!

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  3. My guess is that Oxford cloth shirts, khakis, corduroy trousers, and tweed jackets never end up in landfills.

    Minimalist Trad

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    1. Every style of clothing ends up in landfills. People die every day with a closet full.

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    2. When my father died all of his beautiful suits, shirts, ties, cashmere coat, and all else family didn’t nab for ourselves went to the church thrift store. Good clothes last for many years, and we like to think that with a little tailoring some lucky gentleman got a beautiful new (to him) wardrobe.

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  4. I agree with VV's comment, but clearly the market doesn't. For ourselves, our discards (when not reduced to rag status) go to Goodwill or St. Vincent de Paul.

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  5. So well said. Poor quality, environmental problems associated with disposable clothing, worker conditions and low pay. In the end you will spend more on clothing that needs frequent replacement. People would buy better clothing if they could afford to do so, we need to figure out to produce better quality with more affordability. Fashion feeds on trends, new year , new style , last year into the landfill. Traditional style lasts. We always give things to Goodwill or other local charities, in good condition anything less is insulting, which we longer wear or children’s clothing.

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  6. @Patsy:
    Allow me to revise my comment:

    My guess is that there is less of a chance that Oxford cloth shirts, khakis, corduroy trousers, and tweed jackets will end up in landfills.

    Minimalist Trad

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  7. For me, it depends on which clothes. Most work & casual clothes last a really long time. When they really start to fray, not presentable for giveaway (we donate to a place called A Wider Circle), I'll wear around the house or for painting/staining projects until they're falling apart or hopelessly stained, and they get discarded at that point. Workout clothes, different story. They wear more quickly, both from use and damage (rock scrambles tear up shorts and shirts), and wicking synthetic fabrics can develop odor issues that send them to an early grave. i wouldn't wish those on any second-hand user.

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  8. Doesn't anyone tear up/cut up old unwearable clothing into rags anymore?

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    1. We are lucky in our town unwearable clothing as well as towels, linens etc are recycled.

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    2. Absolutely! A basket of rags and old towels is always useful.

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    3. Yes, old white t-shirts, for example, become part of my shoeshine kit.. I use them to apply wax and for the initial buff before the horsehair brush and final high shine on the toes and heels with an only nylon stocking courtesy of my wife.

      Kind Regards,

      H-U

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  9. As an artist now semi-retired, dress shirts have been transformed into painting attire. Ditto khakis, loafers and old running shoes and/or boat shoes. When not painting, the entire ensemble works in the garden. Jackets not worn much anymore get thrifted and better dressy shoes in good order sold on eBay, the proceeds going toward new quality paints. Think outside the landfill box. You'd be amazed at the second life good clothes can enjoy. Agree with the larger theme about buying less and better. That's quintessential old NE.

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  10. Oh, and yes, old t-shirts make the best rags for any number of chores. No need to buy them new. But you all knew that.

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  11. Sadly, the vast majority of clothing today is designed and manufactured specifically for the landfill - the sooner the better. A simple keep-the-consumers-coming-back-for-more strategy. And it's certainly no good if people hold on to things too long. Churn and burn.

    Of course, the only way to avoid this clothing trap is to buy classic high quality items that you take meticulous care of.

    However, in the end, Kit1934 (above) is right, there's an expiration date on both the wearer and his/her wardrobe. Ideally, all those beautiful garments will be passed down to relatives who may keep them in use for as long as possible. But, in the long run the final outcome is inevitable - sometime in the future (near of distant) the landfill is always the ultimate winner.

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    1. Or someone like me goes and buys them after they are donated to a thrift store! About 10 years ago I came across a whole bunch of my husband's favorite brand of button down oxfords in his size and a wide variety of colors. I'm assuming someone either lost a bunch of weight or died. He still has some of them, a few have been tossed because they were completely worn out. One of my better thrift store buys.

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    2. Flo,

      Of course, you're right about thrift shop bargains - for the short term, but I was thinking about long term. Where will those button down oxfords be in the year 2099 or 2121 (when I'm still writing comments for this blog)? My bet? The landfill.

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    3. One of my favorite possessions is my long-deceased grandfather’s BB cashmere sweater from the 50s. It’s big and cozy and warm and perfect and I feel close to him whenever I wear it.

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  12. Well said Muffy. GLH

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  13. Those of you who think that Muffy is wrong (she isn’t) and that
    clothing will eventually and inevitably wind up
    in the landfill should think about focusing on the
    ethos.

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  14. This all reminds me of the joke: What do you do with your old clothes? Why, I wear them!

    Half my clothes are second-hand, so judging from where I bought them, there are plenty of people selling (mostly) good "pre-owned" clothing of all sorts. Besides, as Thoreau asked in so many words, who has ever worn their clothes until they return to the basic elements? If indeed most clothing ends up in landfills, it's not because it wears out but because it's out of style and chances are, nobody here is wearing exactly what their grandparents wore anyway.

    Footwear is another matter. If the shoes or boots can be resoled, then have it done, although it might cost a hundred dollars. But footwear with direct molded rubber or composition soles generally can't be resoled. They also break down over time and that's bad for the feet, ankles and posture.

    As for landfills, I've never been to one. Anyone here ever actually been to a landfill?

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    1. Sure - there are lots of landfills in New England. 1/6 of the city of Boston is landfill. There are modern landfills that have been capped for greenspace.

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    2. I'm not sure visiting the Back Bay is quite the same as visiting an active landfill! Besides, much of the land-making "landfill" in Boston came from hills being cut down, gravel brought in from Needham, etc.

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    3. I had to visit a county landfill for a story when I was a newspaper reporter. Mercy!

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    4. @Emily, lots & lots of landfills around here, aside from Back Bay, including active.

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  15. The best strategy to prevent this is to limit how much you buy.

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  16. I'm the director of philanthropy for our local hospice. We run eight thrift stores which bring in a lot of really nice clothing and other items, netting us nearly $300,000 in 2020. What we can't sell gets recycled. We also run a very profitable (we're a not-for-profit) e-recycling program.

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  17. I take my old clothes and shoes to the recycling bins, operated by the local council and charities, which are only 150 yards from my front door. Anything worth decent money is taken to charity shops. I am, however, reluctant to throw anything out that could be worn again.

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  18. I am reminded of an old dish towel from my childhood (maybe I digress, but I feel it is still relevant). My mom told me how her grandparents grew the flax, wove it into linen cloth, made the dish towel, then decorated it with hand sewn lace and embroidery. 100% natural fibres, 100% handmade, and 100% compostable when too thread bare to use. It was a thing of beauty, practicality and sustainability.

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