Buy Nothing and Save the Planet
By Joyce Hu
This is not a promotion. We mean it: stop buying crap, immediately if possible, for the long-term. The only “promotion” Marlin Ray will ever run on Black Friday is #BuyNothing. Go enjoy nature, talk to your friends and family, hug a tree.
And beyond Buy Nothing “Day” we encourage you to extend this into a permanent lifestyle. The miracle of nature is too personal and inspiring for us to ignore the consequences of our extreme consumer culture.
The explosive growth and globalization of the apparel industry has accelerated pollution everywhere. This industry is one of the top five sources of global warming, contributing over 5% of all carbon emissions – equal to the livestock industry. Textile dye alone is responsible for one fifth of industrial water pollution. 85% of used clothing goes to landfill when nearly all clothing can be recycled.
Plastic waste in fashion is overwhelming, due to the massive amounts of polyester clothing being produced. Even clothing marked “100% Cotton” often contains small amounts of polyester and other non-natural materials -- these "small" amounts legally allowed into 100% cotton products add up to a huge waste problem.
The apparel industry also uses millions of plastic hang tags and other plastic packaging for every individual unit produced – from tiny child socks to big wave surfboard socks. This plastic waste eventually ends up in the ocean and overflows our landfills.
We agree with Alden Wicker of EcoCult that brands and producers should take full responsibility for their products’ end of life. Until they institute a take-back program, or make more sustainable packaging, we should pressure them to do so and think twice about buying their products.
We support you in consumption-free gift giving. We encourage gifts of adventure and experiences that bring you and your loved ones together. If physical gifting is something you can’t give up, spend a few more minutes choosing more ethical products. Ask your favorite brands where and how their products are produced, and who makes them. Add the word "sustainable" to your google shopping searches.
If we can all buy a little slower, a little more consciously and a little less, we gift our planet the space it needs to heal.