The pace at which the developed world buys and discards clothes is out of control. In the US alone, 1.2 million t shirts are sold every day. Every day. And with each t-shirt requiring up to 10,000 litres of water in its production, plus all the pesticides, and the cheap labour used – well, by heck, my mind boggles and my heart hurts. And I just guessing that the planet does too.
Its not like we need all those t-shirts. A big part of it is cultural. Just like jeans, the t-shirt has become iconic. The documentary, T-Shirt Tales, explores the emotional, social and political experience some people attach to the ‘simple’ tee.
It looks like there ain’t an environmental slant to the film at all, but from a sociological perspective I reckon it looks worth the watch. We aren’t ever going to make inroads in the way we approach fashion, until we truly understand our motivations behind it.
One group, embracing the connection people have with tees and sustainability is Re-Shirt. Donate a tee, and tell its story – it gets a serial number that connects it with that story and then onsold. The idea? That the tee remains connected to its history and reused at the same time. And some of the proceeds go to Water.org to help solve the water crisis. The vision as they state it is to, “reuse old t-shirts and transform them into story-telling artifacts that become more valuable as they get older: Re-Shirts. We want to be a part of the solution for the global water crisis by raising the funds to solve it.”
Like this t-shirt. Inconspicuous enough, but the previous owner writes that it always changed their mood – sometimes not for the better. Hands up for this one?
P.S Any other early eighties child be remembering Shirt Tales? I loved that show. I watched this intro and I was parked back in front of the telly in New Plymouth after school. Shirt t-t-t-Tales!!