Green is the New Black

by Lila Meretzky

 Models present dresses made with recycled office files at the CeBIT computer fair in Hanover March 2, 2010. REUTERS/Christian Charisius

Models present dresses made with recycled office files at the CeBIT computer fair in Hanover March 2, 2010. REUTERS/Christian Charisius

Each September as Fashion Week sends New York City into a street-style photo taking frenzy, we may sometimes get an overwhelming urge to revamp our closets.  Lincoln Center crawls with the New York fashion elite, models, designers, and photographers alike.  LaG’s proximity to these high fashion events and our inherent creativity and boldness make us a very stylish school.  Before embarking on a bout of back-to-school shopping for cute sweaters, socks and jeans, take a look at the following ways we can be environmentally conscious without sacrificing style.

  • When cleaning out a closet, there are a number of things we can do to save resources, and make a little spending money at the same time!

    • Bring clothes that are too small or tattered to wear to fabric recycling!  According to the non-profit sustainability organization GrowNYC, New Yorkers throw out almost 200,000 tons of textiles every year, all of which can be recycled and repurposed.  GrowNYC holds fabric recycling drives in green markets and parks all over the city each summer and fall.  For a list of recycling events near you, check out their collection schedules at www.grownyc.org/clothing.

    • Donate, donate, donate!  For wearable items that have gone unused for years  The Salvation Army and Goodwill are both trusted places for clothing donation.  See if any schools in your neighborhood are having coat drives this winter.

    • Sell, sell, sell!  Our LaG Buying and Selling group on Facebook is an excellent resource where you can give away, sell, or trade your old clothing to other appreciative students looking for a good deal.  If your clothing is high end and you want a high price for it, scope out local consignment shops and get an estimate.

  • Here are a number of ways you can make shopping for new clothing environmentally friendly:

    • Bring your own shopping bag.  It’s easy to come home from a shopping spree with five different plastic bags from the five different stores you visited, but opt for bringing a canvas bag from home.  

    • Shop at thrift stores.  LaG students love consignment shops and thrift stores for their funky clothes and low prices, so encourage your friends to patronize them too.  

    • If you have a hankering for new, fresh off the rack styles, look for brands and clothes that sell items made from recycled materials.  There are a number of exclusively environmentally stores scattered around NYC, but if you’re looking for something a little more mainstream and economical, try stores like H&M and Brooklyn Industries, both of which have environmentally friendly lines.