Recycling is not the answer, and all too often it’s treated that way.
In the purest sense, everything is recyclable with the right skills, knowhow, access and infrastructure. But whether or not the recycling happens is a totally different story, depending on so many factors.
This has me thinking about every single item I own. Yes the clothing, but also the technology, books, cosmetics, niknaks, towels, bedding, coats, shoes, jewelry, photographs, craft supplies, pens, pencils, all of it. What will happen to it all when I’m done with it? When I’m gone?
Sadly, the answer is likely landfill for most of it because we don’t yet have the infrastructure to process the volume of unwanted items that we have – especially the mixed material items. Garment recycling, for example, is not yet “mainstream” and charity shops are becoming forced into the role of unnoficial waste management while individuals look for ways to declutter and get rid of items they no longer want.
Yes, even my books will likely end up in landfill; some of them are dogeared, written in, and not in “saleable” condition after years of love.
I think about the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle” and I realise there’s a reason it’s in this order. Reduction must be our priority, followed by reusing and finished with recycling. Because there is no “away” when we throw items away.
I’ve been reflecting on my choices and considering how better align my actions with my values. In 2019 I’ve proudly kicked my fast fashion habit, but I haven’t addressed my consumption habit. So, 2020 will be the year I look at that, with a goal of reducing the overall volume of objects I consume, so I can become less reliant on recycling.
Source of inspiration: Wardrobe Crisis podcast S3E104.
Top: PAW17 Mother of Pearl via 2019 overstock sale
Skirt: AW16 Justine Tabak via 2019 archive sale
Shoes: second hand Carvela via ebay 2019
Bag: charity shop 2019
Necklaces: Erica Weiner 2018, Missoma 2018
Earrings: AW18 Peter Pilotto via 2018 overstock sale
Much love, Katie xo