A Story of Sorrow – An Open Letter From a T-Shirt to North America
GMO Seeds – The Start of a Toxic Adventure
I drank and grew and drank and grew. I was well protected from my enemies, I am A GMO seed. My creators made sure I would be protected from the mouths that would gladly devour me and the other plants who would love to take my place. Through the summer I developed more, growing bigger every I flower and bear fruit but I will not be eaten. My journey does not take me far from the stomach, but our purpose is completely different. The fall is when I am ready. Plucked from the ground by the tiny fingers of an eight-year-old girl, my journey is set to begin. There are so many places I could go, I am excited to see where I will end up.
Here I am again, packed up, loaded and put onto another ship. Another long trip to my destination. Finally I arrive. This place is different from all the others I have been before. Here my box is opened up. The workers cough a bit when the box is opened, the chemicals, especially the formaldehyde on me are too much for them to handle. It is finally my time to shine. I am stabbed with a gun that attaches a plastic tag and brought to the front of the store. People walk by and stare at me. Some try me on, but I am put back, a little smellier. Finally the day comes, I am chosen! I am put into a thick plastic, shiny bag, and we make our way out of the store.
My destination is a closet. It smells like mothballs. I am one of my owners favourite pieces. We have a lot of exciting times, we go to the park and to school. I am most certainly washed too often, my owner won’t go long without me. That all changed. One night we were out for a birthday dinner. Everyone was laughing and having a good time. Then it happened; the spaghetti sauce spill. The red warm sauce spilled all over me. They tried and tried to wash me with numerous harsh chemicals, including bleach, but nothing would get the stain out. From then on I hung in the closet, hoping for a miracle to make the stain disappear. After months, they decided it was time for me to go. I was taking up too much space and I wasn’t desirable anymore. They decided the best place for me to go was the garbage. Out I went that Tuesday evening, by Wednesday I was making my way to the landfill, didn’t even make it as a rag!
It was disappointing being tossed away, especially because of all the work and travel I had to go through to get here. Now I sit, taking up space, I have no purpose. I guess the bright side is I am not alone here. At the landfill, I have lots of friends like me. Thirty percent of all pieces like me end up here. We take up a lot of space and create a lot of pollution. Our carbon footprint is astonishing. It is really disenchanting to see so many of us here. We could have done more, we could have been used for another purpose. But there are so many like me, people don’t care. They would rather dispose of us than recycle. We can be so much more. Our labour is worth so much more. We are more than a use-once throw away item. If people only knew.
Fast Fashion Facts;
- 350 000 tons of clothing go to landfills each year in the UK.
- 13.1 million tons of clothing goes to landfills each year in the USA.
- Only 15% (2 million tons) of clothing in the USA is donated or recycled after use.
- One pound of textile makes seven pounds of CO2 emissions.
- 700 gallons of water is needed to create a T-shirt.
- 30 % of clothes in ones wardrobe is not worn.
- Reducing clothing waste saves water, emissions, toxic chemicals from being introduced to our bodies and environment, and saves landfill space.