Style-minded Consumers Trade Bottles for Shirts Made From Bottles

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  • Fashionistas attending Fashion Week in New York City this fall had the chance to do some good environmentally and feel stylish at the same time, courtesy of a vending machine that dispensed T-shirts made from recycled plastic bottles.
  • Instead of inserting money in the machine, consumers fed an empty plastic bottle into it to obtain one of the limited-edition Fashion Week shirts designed by Allison Parris (PapierDoll.net, 10 September 2013).
  • The vending machine was set up in Midtown Manhattan for three days during the 2013 edition of New York Fashion Week, which took place September 5 through 12.
  • The apparel-for-bottles vending project was the work of the Plastics Make It Possible initiative, which is sponsored by the American Chemistry Council.

BalancedHealthy POV:

  • With so much coverage around energy, water and materials (plastic, oil, etc.) conservation, fashion often gets overlooks even though the materials needed, the time and energy put into making them and the resources expended in the manufacturing process also have negative effects. People don’t think of the impact that our need for the latest fashion items and desire to have separate wardrobes for every season has on the world around us.  To target an already very trend-setting group of consumers is very smart, in our humble opinion, because if they have the social klout and power to spread this message.  Even if it doesn’t reach everyone, raising awareness of the fact that it’s possible to have fashionable/chic clothing that is also responsibly made is priceless.
  • Living in a capitalist society that is rife with conspicuous consumption, it was only a matter of time before the adverse effects of our actions started to be felt the world over.  This is nothing new, though.  For some reason, despite the fact that there has been tremendous coverage and efforts made toward implementing sustainable practices, it still has not changed behavior.  Inspiring a need to change and empowering people by offering these items at an affordable price will be key moving forward. Luckily, this time there was the motivation of the limited-edition fashion week t-shirt to spur action, but it will be telling to see if the behavior persists moving forward without incentives.

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