Savers turned heads on a Seattle beach with the clothing industry’s dirtiest laundry.
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Savers

What do you do with all the clothes you no longer wear?

Timeless as your wardrobe may be, chances are you'll eventually want to mix things up.


Sadly, even fluorescents get old. Image via iStock.

But when it's time for a closet refresh, a lot of us just toss our old gear in the garbage, where it's destined for an over-dressed hole in the ground.

An art installation unveiled on Seattle's Alki Beach will make you think twice before trashing your old clothes.

The striking piece was commissioned for an Earth Day event as part of Rethink Reuse, a campaign by thrift store chain Savers to get people thinking about their fashion footprints.

Check out their thought-provoking video, or scroll down for more:

Consumers are buying more clothes than ever before, and it's fueling a larger human crisis.

In North America alone, we send over 10 million tons of used clothing and textiles into landfills every year despite the fact that almost all of those items are reusable.

Photo by Gengiskanhg/Wikimedia Commons.

The clothing industry is one of the world's top polluters; "fast and cheap" fashion is costlier than it may seem.

The cost of new clothes isn't just what we see on price tags — it's also in the massive social and environmental debts we rack up by producing new clothes.

Image via Savers, used with permission.

Price tags tend to not account for a few key figures — such as the 713 gallons of water it takes to make a single t-shirt or the 70 million barrels of oil used to make just a year's worth of polyester. With the world consuming 80 billion new pieces of clothing each year, those external costs add up.

The most sustainable product is the one that already exists.

Shocking statistics like those were the inspiration for this project, which was brought to life with 3,000 pounds of discarded clothing.

And with a few empty oil barrels, two-by-fours, and chicken wire...

Image via Savers/YouTube.

...the installation was stopping beachgoers in their sandy tracks.

Image via Savers/YouTube.

Close to 1,500 people walked among the eye-catching sculptures, marveling at the creativity and learning about clothing waste and pollution (and thousands more viewed it online).

Image via Savers, used with permission.

"With the growing amount of clothing and textile waste ending up in landfills, we felt compelled to act," said Ken Alterman, president and CEO of Savers in a press release. "We want to help people better understand the environmental impact of their clothing waste and the steps they can take to reduce it."

Savers' goal was to spread one simple and actionable message: The environmental impact of the clothes we wear and throw away is massive, but there are simple things we can all do to help counteract it.

They're calling on consumers to reuse, donate pre-owned goods to its nonprofit partners, and recycle their old clothes instead of burying them in landfills where they're no good to anyone and to buy secondhand when possible.

With only 15% of our used clothing currently being donated or recycled, there's plenty of opportunity for all of us to create change.

via Good Morning America

Anyone who's an educator knows that teaching is about a lot more than a paycheck. "Teaching is not a job, but a way of life, a lens by which I see the world, and I can't imagine a life that did not include the ups and downs of changing and being changed by other people," Amber Chandler writes in Education Week.

So it's no surprise that Kelly Klein, 54, who's taught at Falcon Heights Elementary in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, for the past 32 years still teaches her kindergarten class even as she is being treated for stage-3 ovarian cancer.

Her class is learning remotely due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, so she is able to continue doing what she loves from her computer at M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minnesota, even while undergoing chemotherapy.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Welcometoterranova and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Welcometoterranova-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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Gates Foundation

Once upon a time, a scientist named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in the medical journal The Lancet that he had discovered a link between autism and vaccines.

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In the autumn of 1939, Chiune Sugihara was sent to Lithuania to open the first Japanese consulate there. His job was to keep tabs on and gather information about Japan's ally, Germany. Meanwhile, in neighboring Poland, Nazi tanks had already begun to roll in, causing Jewish refugees to flee into the small country.

When the Soviet Union invaded Lithuania in June of 1940, scores of Jews flooded the Japanese consulate, seeking transit visas to be able to escape to a safety through Japan. Overwhelmed by the requests, Sugihara reached out to the foreign ministry in Tokyo for guidance and was told that no one without proper paperwork should be issued a visa—a limitation that would have ruled out nearly all of the refugees seeking his help.

Sugihara faced a life-changing choice. He could obey the government and leave the Jews in Lithuania to their fate, or he could disobey orders and face disgrace and the loss of his job, if not more severe punishments from his superiors.

According to the Jewish Virtual Library, Sugihara was fond of saying, "I may have to disobey my government, but if I don't, I would be disobeying God." Sugihara decided it was worth it to risk his livelihood and good standing with the Japanese government to give the Jews at his doorstep a fighting chance, so he started issuing Japanese transit visas to any refugee who needed one, regardless of their eligibility.

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