SUSTAINABILITY IS MORE THAN YOU THINK.

"A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels".
- Albert Einstein

Yesterday, we received a call from the executive director of a community thrift operation in St. Louis, MO. What began as a discussion about providing gently used shoes to their thrift stores, we focused on the group’s efforts to heal the city from the Ferguson riots and racial discord that erupted nearly two years ago by providing sport shoes to the local teens.  Presently, the plan is to have local police had out sport shoes to the local teens as a means of building trust and confidence.  The city and local region is still reeling from these events and so much needs to be done to restore a sense of humanity and trust. Sometimes, it is a simple conversation like this that reminds us that we are part of the larger picture.  And yet, this is a very local connection that is meaningful.  The simple connection between two people is an essential element to sustainability and serves as the foundation for much of what is possible. To my thinking, these local and personal  efforts are part of a larger sustainability that we embrace when we talk about people recycling for people. The inherent humanity of that connection is powerful and is part of the effort to restore and maintain sustainability.  Reuse is the bridge.  

EINSTEIN ALSO WAS QUOTED WITH THE FOLLOWING:

“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe’ —a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”

Use your imagination...

 

In our world of post consumer clothing recycling, we are met with the challenge and opportunity of solving a consumption question, an environmental problem and a demand for a better model of reuse. I for one love a challenge and an opportunity. Disruption, creative resource management and the execution of new ideas are compelling enough. Changing an ancient industry can be daunting. Where to start?

First, it’s the people. We consume and discard. We love stuff, preferably good stuff and we need to take responsibility that our formerly loved stuff finds a place with others that will cherish, enrich and respect it. Second, it’s about making the process convenient, engaging, transparent and smart. Third, it’s about using our imagination to find solutions that elevate and enlighten people and create a better process of making the world of fashion, clothing reuse and environmental stewardship easier and habitual.

Sustainability and fashion are here to stay and we can enjoy both. So many companies have embraced the movement and this substantive shift is growing in depth and breadth each day. That said, we see the #reusemovement growing into something more. We see so many opportunities to close the loop and promote reuse. What makes this so different from traditional world of recycling is that people are connected through reuse. We imbue our clothing with emotional attachments, stories and memories and these continue with these articles into their next use and to the next person. This connection is radically enlightening and the results are positive and meaningful to people, planet and our pocket. Reuse is a personal experience that is shared. Think about it.

Go ahead, use your imagination.

March 03, 2016 by Ira Baseman