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

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.

Heroes
True
Savers
Courtesy of Houseplant.

In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular