68 Pounds

Is my title referring to the weight of the average runway model? Nope, it’s the amount of clothing the average North American throws away every year.

What??? 68 pounds?? That’s one half of me, every single year. Yikes! I was so shocked by this statistic that I had to do some research to make sure it was accurate, and yes, it’s frighteningly true. I guess living in Vancouver, where a lot of people struggle with the high cost of living, I personally don’t know anyone who tosses 68 pounds of clothing in the trash and most of my friends give their items of clothing to charity when they’ve grown weary of them, so trashing so many garments is truly shocking to me. But, who knows, maybe the dumpsters of West Van are lined with Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton??

To demonstrate just what can be done with this amount of textiles, Eco Fashion Week presented The 68 Pound Challenge, with uber-talented designer, Evan Ducharme. Mr. Ducharme was presented with 68 pounds of discarded clothing and his challenge was to re-work the garments into a brand new collection.

efw day one 127

“Making clothes from repurposed garments and textiles is how I started in design, by producing collections for charity fashion shows while I was in high school. I look forward to returning to my roots and producing another collection for EFW.” – Evan Ducharme

And this is the magic he wove….

Halcyon Collection – Spring/Summer 2014

hal·cy·on

Adjective – Denoting a period of time in the past that was idyllically happy and peaceful.

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2 Comments on “68 Pounds

  1. Yikes. I personally don’t like shopping (for clothes, much less anything else), but throw me into a thrift store and I’ll find a reason to buy something because I know I am doing some good. There are so many here, nearly all of them supporting a charity or the other, and that is testament to the amount of things that we throw away.

    I tend to prefer smaller shops. We have one that supports a dog rescue, and a hospice society nearby and I like browsing through them for some gem waiting to catch an interested person’s eye. Value Village is a corporation and while they do support local charities, the “business” aspect of it makes me prioritise them lower than local shops, but even they are better than a big retailer.

    Someone asked me why I didn’t go to Old Navy or something and get new t-shirts for $10. I would rather get more mileage out of existing clothes than to support the slave labour in some third world country just so that some big retailer can offer a $10 t-shirt. I’ll start shopping retail when I know that the people who make the clothes are making a decent living in humane conditions with an opportunity to make their families lives better. The current exploitation of factory workers in places like Bangladesh and other Asian countries is not something I support anymore.

    Good job on this week’s reporting. I’ve really enjoyed the articles and they have given me lots of food for thought. We need more people to report on these, it seems like not a lot of people know about this event.

  2. I truly believe in recycling in every way possible. That’s why with the exception of my underwear, bras, socks and footwear, everything I buy comes from Thrift Shops and returns to Thrift Shops, even my new footwear when I’m done with them. Some Thrift Stores have programs that send thousands of pounds of running shoes to remote locations in Africa to adults and children who otherwise wouldn’t have access. It makes me feel good knowing I’m not abusing Mother Nature, helping others, and being true to my deepest values.

    Love your many wonderful posts – including this one! Thanks 🙂

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