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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fashion Fights for the Enviroment

Women love to accessorize; it’s ostensibly in our genes and African American women rank right up there in terms of the worlds most stylishly accessorized. Purses, clutches, handbags and totes have been a style staple for decades, yet the designer purse industry reached its pinnacle in the 21st century as celebrities dressed in jeans, tee-shirts and $5 flip-flops hit the streets in droves toting luxurious designer handbags worth upwards of $2000 on their arms in the supplest leathers and brightest hues. It is astounding what people will pay for a Marc Jacobs, Prada, Botkier, Gucci, Anya Hindmarch, Luella Bartley or the epitome of all coveted bags, the Hermés Birkin bag which often requires a waiting period of 10 years time until ones name comes up on the list!

The strange but poignant question arises: If women care so much about the handbag they display so proudly on their arm as contributing to the look they are portraying why do they settle for simple paper or plastic bags at the grocery store? We’ve all seen the stylish professional woman tossing a dozen or so awful plastic grocery bags into the trunk of a high powered Mercedes Benz, clutching a cell phone to one ear and Prada tote over one well-groomed shoulder! These plastic grocery bags, which take 1000 years to biodegrade in a landfill (Scientists THINK! For who lives that long?), are consumed in the billions each year in the United States wreaking havoc on the environment. Bird and sea creatures accidentally ingest them and perish. They litter our streets and highways and clutter up our lives in addition to the fact that only 1% is recycled nationally!

Luxury bag designer Anya Hindmarch is responsible for this year’s “IT” bag which turns out not to be one of her luxe $2000 metallic creations but a $15 canvas grocery satchel emblazoned with the phrase, “I’M NOT A PLASTIC BAG.” All 20,000 of the first to go on sale in the U.K. were gone by 9:00 a.m. the day of introduction in April of 2007. A veritable stampede took place over these bags in Taiwan three months later causing other Asian nations to cancel their debut. Other prominent designer bag makers are pushing for consumer responsibility as well creating organic cotton and silk grocery shopping bags in an effort to cut down on wasteful plastic refuse landing in dumps. The worry for environmentalists is that plastic will be replaced by paper and paper bags aren’t any better! Trees are cut down by the millions every year to create them!

While one may opt to use plastic bags in the case of smelly fish and leaking food goods, carrying around canvas and mesh totes for grocery shopping, which can be bought for much less than $15 a piece, seems like the way to go. The little things we do to help the environment contribute greatly as our actions positively affect others as well. As the fashion world cares enough to fight for the environment, isn’t it time that we all do as well?

source: (BLACK PR WIRE)