Have you ever stopped to think about where your clothes come from?
This was what students in White River Valley’s Introduction to Fashion and Textiles class discussed last week. What we found out was that our clothes traveled thousands of miles just to get to us. Makenzie found out her sweater came from China, her tank top came from Guatemala, her pants were from China and her shoes were from Vietnam. Google’s My Maps allowed me to calculate the approximate miles from each country to Indiana and in the end Makenzie’s outfit traveled 24,600 miles to get to her. Her clothes likely traveled by motor vehicle, cargo ship, cargo train, airplane and/or semi truck. All this distance means that many toxic fumes were released into the air. You can easily find out where your clothes come from too. It is a legal requirement that manufactures state on the label the country of origin. Next time you need new clothes, consider alternatives that make a big impact on our environment. There are many clothing companies based here in the USA. Look online for USA-made clothing. Also, consider donating your gently worn clothing and buying your clothes from consignment shops. Shopping this way greatly decreases emissions. I am continuously going through my own wardrobe and removing items that I do not wear. For the past couple of years, I bring in these pieces and allow students at WRV to go through them and take what they want. It is so fun to see students wearing my gently used clothing and looking so cute. Everyone can think about their consumer choices to make the world a cleaner place.
Betsy Misner has been the Family and Consumer Science, formerly Home Economics, teacher at White River Valley for over a decade. Her motivation is helping students to strive for strong, happy, healthy families and providing career pathways. Check out more of what is happening in the classroom by following her on Twitter: WRVFACS@BetsyMisner