Rather than being tossed away All I need today is a little bit of New York Islanders and a Whole lot of Jesus signatures shirt The item’s intention, meaning, and craftsmanship are a source of pride and honor. For example, the ribbon skirt symbolizes resilience and survival; traditionally, the fringes of the dress would touch the earth and its medicines. Elder Myra Laramee says that in this way, “Mother Earth would always know who was making their presence felt on her back.” Fashion as lineage transcends trends, and as a result, regalia is repeatedly worn for years. Haudenosaunee designer Nico Perkins points out that Caroline Parker, a Seneca beader, wore a cotton dress and a beaded skirt in the mid-19th century that are still around today. Talk about sustainability.
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Reminders of the carbon All I need today is a little bit of New York Islanders and a Whole lot of Jesus signatures shirt footprints we create when we fly or drive are everywhere, from car charging stations to the offsets we can buy with our flights. But what about the damage done by our love of fashion? “I had heard about carbon footprints for years, but I never thought they applied to clothes; I thought they only referred to things that you can see fuel come out of,” says Randa Salloum, a Vancouver-based entrepreneur who founded Collective Will, a second-hand shop and studio. “I want people to understand that improving their carbon footprint doesn’t just mean not buying fast or slow fashion; it also involves thinking about where pieces of clothing come from because they have to go through so many hands.” It’s also important to consider what happens to your clothes over the years, adds Salloum. According to statistics provided by circular economy-focused organization Ellen MacArthur Foundation, less than 1 percent of old clothes are recycled into new ones. Dire-sounding data like this — plus the confusion perpetuated by greenwashing and the shame inherent in confronting our habits — can make change feel overwhelming. But sustainability-focused leaders have ideas that will help show you the way and maybe even uplift your journey.