Clothing Matters is concerned about PLASTIC... from micro-fibers of polyester clothing now in our food chain and polluting our Great Lakes ecosystems, to the unprecedented amount of plastic waste that you can see on beaches everywhere.
We proudly partnered with Western Michigan University MBA students on an IMPACT Project Beach Clean-Up and fundraiser at Holland State Park June 24, to support Alliance for the Great Lakes. Students wanted sustainable T-shirts that prevent pollution. They chose a deliciously comfortable, 100% organic cotton shirt and created an encapsulating design for the front. On the back, they chose to print this information about their sustainable choice:
This organic cotton shirt offsets polyester's effects as a primary source of micro-plastic pollution in our Great Lakes & prevents 1/3 lb of insecticide from polluting 700 gallons of water to grow 1 non-organic cotton t-shirt!
The need for us all to understand and take actions that help prevent the myriad of ways in which the plastic you use impacts personal & ecological well-being is paramount.
PLEASE do your share:
~Before you get to the beach (or anywhere else), find ways to avoid Single Use Plastic (SUP) so you aren't part of this
~While at the beach, address the issue of plastic and rally others to join you in picking up as much of it as you can--a pocketful of tiny pieces will prevent them from being mistaken by fish for food.
~Manage and take ALL of your trash with you--even tiny pieces--and encourage others to do the same.
~Before you buy plastic, petroleum-based clothing (polyester/acrylic/nylon/acetate), consider the 1000s of unregulated chemicals used to make apparel, many of which are persistent and hormone-disrupting, absorbable through the skin into bloodstreams and attached to tiny pieces that shed and contribute to what is now a significant source of micro-plastic pollution in our Great Lakes, rivers, oceans and drinking water.
Listen to the discussion:
For Kosuth's Study:
Fashion Journalist from Grand Rapids Magazine Interviews & Experiences Clothing Matters' Eco-Collection
We've proudly partnered to produce another sweet sustainable shirt for The Mitten Brewing Company (#michiganbeer #michiganwater #GrandRapids #Grmi #WestMI #GR #michiganbrewing #craftbeer #localbrews #mittenlove #mibeer) Leading West Michigan breweries to offset the significant carbon footprint that apparel choices have on our environment, this brewery sets an example for others who care to demonstrate stewardship of the place(s) we love and call home.
Speaking of sustainability? What are you wearing- and putting your logo on?
Inspired Life GR is a platform to INSPIRE the people of West Michigan to optimize their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual lives. Clothing Matters has been a sponsor since this event’s debut 3 years ago, partnering with founders to gather a group of leading health and wellness practitioners in the Grand Rapids committed to healing, holistic health care and functional medicine that helps positively transforms their lives. We set up a pop-up shop and had fun with lots of “eco models” curious to learn more about how apparel choices impact health. Thanks to the founders of Inspired Life for choosing organic cotton totes to celebrate the event and all who participated! If you value health & well-being, consider organic cotton totes to share your organization’s mission with the world. We’ll be glad to give you a quote!
GVSU Student Environmental Coalition chooses sustainable t-shirts & natural tie-dye for uniquely brilliant member t-shirts!
Members of GVSU Student Environmental Coalition Club chose 100% organic cotton tees for their logo, and used natural dyes to add brilliance to their eco-conscious creations. Their project perfectly encapsulates the SEC’s mission dedicated to environmental activism and spreading awareness of sustainability issues. “We hope that our fellow students may learn to conserve natural resources and care more about their local environment."
"We boiled the vegetables to make the dyes and used recycled water bottles to dye the shirts! We chose sustainable alternatives in place of traditional artificial dyes. By making our own dyes from natural ingredients (including coffee, avocado pits, beets, blueberries, and turmeric), and choosing organic cotton t-shirts, we reduced the amount of resources used. We can also dispose of everything in an environmentally friendly manner--Everything was composted or recycled after the event. We're making the statement that clothing doesn’t have to harm the environment. It doesn’t have to be a huge sink of resources, and source of pollution. We had a great turn out and a lot of fun; I can’t wait to see how they turn out with the club logos as well!"
-Kyle Hart, co-president of the Student Environmental Coalition Club, Grand Valley State University
Clothing Matters hosted a group of people who gathered to discuss issues and opportunities associated with current clothing consumption trends and micro-plastic pollution in our Great Lakes, rivers & oceans. Turmeric & ginger tea from Global Infusion set the tone for discussion and engaging exercises using Interplay to develop personal context for what sustainability is and can be.
Though pitched as sustainable, recycled polyester is unfortunately part of the problem for many reasons, including the fact that laundering your polyester clothing is a significant source of micro-fiber pollution in our own Great Lakes and rivers. Tiny particles of polyester attract a multitude of toxic substances in the environment and are consumed by fish and other organisms who mistake them for food. The entire food chain is affected in ways few realize. Polyester is plastic, petroleum-based, and has toxic impacts throughout all trophic levels. Please take 2.5 minutes to watch this critical and well-informed video: The Story of Polyester
We all became more informed and empowered to make choices that prevent pollution and improve health. Participants used colorful designs to express ideas about how our sense of self and community influences our capacity to be part of the solution.
Before you buy another fleece or piece of polyester, consider the difference between what you really need and what you want. Our evening provided a delightful opportunity to leverage our creative capacity and shed light on human inventiveness and connectedness. Our Interplay designs explored intersections between who we are and what we can do to reduce apparel’s impact on our health and the environment.
Clothing Matters has proudly partnered with the West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) as sponsors of Women & the Environment Symposiums since the first one in 2012. This year, a series of events took place for ten days in February, celebrating how women effectively advocate for themselves, for others, and for the environment. We were glad that apparel's impact on our personal and ecological health was included in the list of issues addressed at the symposium's Advocacy Workshop, and grateful for the opportunity to facilitate thoughtful discussion regarding how our clothing choices impact ecosystems of the world including our own Great Lakes and rivers.
Clothing Matters debuted our new sustainably manufactured "advocacy T-shirts", to support efforts that raise awareness of apparel as the 2nd biggest polluter of our world's waters and the 2nd most toxic industry after petroleum. Participants considered what a t-shirt can do and be, while not contributing to laundering polyester as a significant source of micro-plastic pollution in our Great Lakes, or causing 1/3 lb of insecticide from polluting 700 gallons of water just to grow one conventional t-shirt.
We were really impressed by those who came out to learn and take action on important issues, and especially encouraged by the amount of interest in how apparel choices impact health & well-being. It was a dynamic evening of awareness and empowerment. We were (and still are) elated to support and be a part of such a dynamic, empowering event. Advocacy workshop participants received one of Clothing Matters' premium tees, branded with the invitation to "feel good in & about what you wear."
WMEAC was founded by a diverse group of concerned citizens and organizational stakeholders, WMEAC is a non-profit organization uniquely positioned to respond to emerging issues and new threats to West Michigan’s natural and human ecologies, focused on Building Sustainable Communities and Protecting Water Resources (WMEAC, 2017).
Today and every day we help people protect our world's precious water. In celebration of World Water Day, we thank our LogoWear partners who have prevented over 11,240 lbs of pesticides from polluting 24,521,564 gallons of water. Before you buy another t-shirt, please learn more.. Cotton is the most world's most heavily treated crop. Polyester is a primary source of micro-plastic pollution in our Great Lakes, rivers, and oceans.