DIY Tacos p. 10 Menâ€™s Street Style p. 24 Cover story p. 26 Ethical Fashion p. 40
Editor in Chief of The Pendulum Tommy Hamzik
THE EDGE BROOKE LOWREY
Managing Editor of The Edge
HALEY LONGBOTTOM Design Chief of The Edge
Style Editor Courtney Campbell Assistant Editor Kayla Hoey Senior Reporter Danielle Deavens Senior Reporter Allie Dietz Senior Reporter Ally Feinsot Senior Reporter Lucia Jervis Senior Reporter Alexandra Schonfeld Senior Reporter Lea Silverman Senior Reporter Miranda Siwak Fashion Editor Katy Bellotte Senior Reporter Emma Braun Senior Reporter Christina Casillo Senior Reporter Jordan Hsu Senior Reporter Naâ€™Briya Ware Health & Wellness Editor Kate Sieber Senior Reporter Marissa Baum Senior Reporter Tyler Grimsley Photo Editor Caroline Brehman Social Media Editor Maggie Griswold Cameron Jackson Fletcher Rowe Copy Chief Janat Bashir Designers Katy Bellotte Mackenzie Clarken Ingrid Frahm Brooke Lowrey Stephanie Webster Nicole Zuhse Photographers Emily Acton Ellie Anderson Caroline Brehman Haley Longbottom Contributors Jessie Boak Gerald Caesar Dani Chavero Kendal Couch Danielle Dulchinos
Daniella Khoury Minnie Lane Patrick Larsen Erin McDowell Mark McGann
Tanner Mead Chaselyn Palumbo Grant Paylor Mariah Posey Cierra Seawright
Jane Seidel Nicole Sodono Cassandra Tumasz Corrine Wilson
Street Style p. 24
The Minimalist Issue
Letter From The Editor â€œOur life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.â€? -Henry David Thoreau
In this monthâ€™s issue of The Edge we wanted to simplify our design and tailor our content to be more minimal and let the magazine speak for itself. Minimalism identifies the essentials and eliminates the superfluous clutter. It focuses on living a more simplistic and meaningful life. Whether it be your wardrobe (p. 19), house (p. 8) or kitchen (p. 10), we have all the tips you need to cut down to the necessities. As the semester winds down, it is important to be mindful about the decisions we make for ourselves. Throw out the things that no longer serve you, get rid of the clutter and concentrate on one task at a time. By focusing on the basics, we can start to live a more meaningful and intentional life.
Brooke Lowrey @bablinbrooklynn
Table of Contents
24 10 40
08 | Style - Minimizing Waste 10 | H&W - DIY Tacos on a Budget 16 | Entertainment - From Elon to California 24 | Fashion - Man on the Street 26 | Cover - Dancing When Everyone is Watching 32 | Fashion - Light & Linen 40 | Features - Ethical Fashion
Beach Bag Products With the beach only a few hours from our campus, it is a must to take a trip to the shore. Make your beach day more relaxing with our sand essentials.
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old nG g a i l a nin str Au 8 Tan l SPF ay Ge Spr 6 | STYLE
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Lore a Silky l Shee r Face Lotio SPF n 50+
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: ruffle chee
STYLE | 7
a life without waste Danielle Deavens SENIOR REPORTER
Living without waste requires efforts to reshape the way you interact with your food, home and hygiene habits â€“ a level of commitment that is far from practical for most people. As college students, reducing waste is an easy way to save some money and the enviroment at the same time.
A leader in this movement is Lauren Singer, author of the blog Trash is for Tossers and owner of The Simply Co., which produces and sells eco-friendly home cleaning products. Her blog is a great resource for small changes you can make on a college budget as summer approaches.
Swap plasticware for metal cutlery. Plastic is harmful for the environment so invest in a good set of metal utensils to use over and over again.
Buy bulk foods and store in mason jars. Start reusing the glass jars from pasta sauce and jelly in order to store dry pasta or beans and even leftover food.
8 | STYLE
Instead of paper towels, use reusable cloth. Paper towels can only be used once, so with an absorbent cloth, you can take in more moisture and wash it when its dirty. Plus, it saves on a college budget.
Use glass water bottles instead of plastic. Similar to paper towels, plastic water bottles create excess waste, especially when not recycled. With a glass water bottle, you can use it and wash as needed.
STYLE | 9
CINCO de MAYO DIY TACOS FOR STUDENTS ON A BUDGET KATE SIEBER
HEALTH & WELLNESS EDITOR
hile your spring break trip to Mexico has passed, it doesn’t mean you can’t throw another a fiesta. Oncampus dining options provide simple ingredients that can be easily transformed into some delicious taco. Baked sweet potatoes, chicken breasts and salad bar toppings can come together with a few other ingredients to create a unique and tasty meal. Celebrate Cinco De Mayo with these three quick and easy taco recipes.
MEAT LOVER Classic Chicken Street Taco Ingredients Corn tortillas Shredded chicken Crumbled queso fresco Sliced radish Cilantro (for garnish)
10 | HEALTH & WELLNESS
VEGAN Bean, corn & Sweet Pepper Taco Ingredients Corn tortillas Steamed corn Black beans Sliced sweet peppers Cilantro (for garnish)
h r ap tog
a y: H
m to ot b ng
VEGETARIAN Baked Sweet Potato & Avocado taco Ingredients Corn tortillas Cubed sweet potato Crumbled queso fresco Sliced Avocado Cilantro (for garnish)
HEALTH & WELLNESS | 11
freshen up TYLER GRIMSLEY
ummer vacation is the ideal time to escape cheap college beer and indulge in classy cocktails. These two refreshing mixed drinks will help you keep your cool during the hot summer months. Donâ€™t worry if you are not 21, these recipes are just as delicious without adding any alcohol.
Watermelon Margarita INGREDIENTS: 1 cup cubed watermelon 1.5 tablespoons lime juice 1 cup of ice 1 lime wedge 2 ounces tequila*
DIRECTIONS: 1. Place watermelon and ice into a blender. 2. Next, pour in lime juice and tequila. 3. Turn on blender and puree until smooth. 4. Pour into a glass and top with a lime wedge.
Shaken Mint Lemonade INGREDIENTS:
2 chopped mint leaves 1 lemon wheel 2 ounces lemon juice 2 ounces club soda 1 cup of ice 2 ounces vodka*
1. Place chopped mint leaves, a lemon wheel, and ice into a cocktail shaker. 2. Next, pour in vodka and lemon juice. 3. Screw on the lid and shake. 4. Remove the lid, pour into a glass, and top with club soda.
HEALTH & WELLNESS | 13
Elon's Own Yogi Marissa Baum SENIOR REPORTER
14 | HEALTH & WELLNESS
or President of the Elon Yoga Club, Ali McCorkle,
it is about being present in the moment rather than
yoga is more than a practice. In August of 2014,
obsessing over the past or dreading the future. She
McCorkle and two fellow students decided to
fully believes there is a form of yoga for everyone. So if
stack up chairs in their quaint Global dorm room to prac-
your first experience was not positive, it is always worth
tice yoga. Unknowingly, these three trailblazing students
were on their way in creating the Elon Yoga Club. In high school, McCorkle was diagnosed with mono,
“You don’t need to practice 90 minutes a day to
putting her varsity gymnastics career on hold. Hoping to
be doing yoga. If you can breathe, you can be a yogi,”
gently rebuild muscle, she went to a yoga studio nearby
McCorkle says. “Some days you need to sweat it out in the
and unintentionally fell in love with the practice. She never
studio, while others it’s as simple as putting your legs up
went back to gymnastics and started practicing yoga five
against a wall and breathing deeply.” McCorkle explains that much of college life is full of
to six times a week. “What I found in that studio was transformative,
yang energy—busy with work and class schedules and a
improving my mood, reducing stress and anxiety. More
full social agenda. She explains that yoga teaches us to
importantly, I felt reconnected to the universe,” McCorkle
be present in our body and relieves excess yang energy.
for a similar way to continue her spiritual practice. She went to the Fall Organization Fair, but didn’t find a yoga club or anything remotely
Little things we do make
“What I found in that studio was transformative” - Ali McCorkle
an impact on our heart, and the hearts of others, and if we take our rest as seriously as we do everything else, we can better serve the world. To
inspiring McCorkle to create the Elon Yoga Club. Today,
says, “If you’re in traffic and someone cuts you off and
if you happen to walk into Belk Pavilion room 208 at 7:30
you’re unable to take a breath and calm yourself, your
on a Tuesday night, you will find a group of students,
practice isn’t serving you, even if you can put your foot
anywhere from 30-60 people, fully immersed in the
on your head.”
But yoga does not mean the same thing to everyone,
Founding the club sent her on an unexpected spiritual
and no two practices are the same. McCorkle says, “Each
identity search. McCorkle explains, “It was a journey to
practice is legitimate. Some people keep it as a lifestyle,
find my truth.” McCorkle says she hopes members will
others take a more casual approach. It’s a collective
take an active role in their practice encouraging others to
journey and there’s no such thing as perfect. Every
contribute to the collective experience. Sometimes, she’ll
practice is a beautiful expression, and perfect does not
ask the room to grab a partner or incorporate simple
acrobatic poses to lighten up the room and encourage members to get more involved. Though yoga can be intimidating to a first timer,
So if you ever find yourself thinking about trying yoga, stop by room 208 in the Belk Pavilion on Tuesday night at 7:30, and you might become a yogi yourself.
McCorkle stresses that yoga is not about fancy poses,
HEALTH & WELLNESS | 15
From Elon to California Embark on a summer roadtrip across the United States Alexandra Schonfeld SENIOR REPORTER
Start your summer off with a national road trip check out some of the top destinations along the southern border of the United States. Make a journey out of it or make a day trip to the next state over— either way, you’ll be rewarded with a new and adventurous summer experience.
Tybee Island, Georgia Start your trip by visiting attactions like the Tybee Island Lighthouse, Dolphin Tours and The Crabshack Restaurant — complete with an alligator lagoon.
Montgomery, Alabama For a historical and thoughtprovoking stop on your long roadtrip, stop by the Rosa Parks Museum, Freedom Rides Museum or the Civil Rights Memorial Center.
New Orleans, Louisiana Take a visit down to the deep south and experience Bourbon Street, the French Quarter, and even a Steamboat Tour while you’re there.
San Antonio, Texas A pit stop in the heart of Texas is essential to visit sites like The Alamo and the River Walk, and maybe even take one of the many boat tours along the river.
16 | ENTERTAINMENT
White Sands National Park, New Mexico Stop for a quick overnight camping trip before heading to Arizona, and camp in the largest gypsum dune field in the world.
Sedona/Grand Canyon, Arizona Hike down the Bright Angel Trail at the south rim of the Grand Canyon. If youâ€™re feeling adventurous, plan an overnight hike with a tour guide and spend the night camping at the base of the Grand Canyon. In Sedona, take a Pink Jeep tour around Red Rock Country.
Las Vegas, Nevada Catch Britney Spears in her residency at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, where tickets start at $50 a pop. Experience the Adventure Dome amusement park, or take a walk through the Las Vegas Strip â€” 21+ casinos galore.
Santa Monica, California End your cross-country trip with a dip in the Pacific Ocean, and a relaxing night at Santa Monica Pier with cotton candy and funnel cake.
ENTERTAINMENT | 17
Mariah Posey CONTRIBUTOR
Music festivals are a time to get out of your comfort zone, so make it an adventure. Use this environment to explore new artists and people. Here’s a survival guide that will allow you get the most out of your music festival experience.
PLANNING Plan ahead of time but keep a loose schedule to allow yourself to explore freely. Coordinate with friends and check weather to pack accordindly.
PACKING Travel as light and smart as possible so that you are able to move freely. These few things are a must: • Water • Wet wipes • Extra toilet paper • Dry shampoo + some type of soap • Sturdy tent (if camping out)
Fashion Common Sense over Fashion Sense. Get creative, but dress comfortably in something you don’t mind getting dirty. • Curly/wavy hair is easier to maintain • Light, movable clothing • Flats, sandals, sneakers or rain boots. • Backpack, fanny pack, or crossbody • Wear a watch to cut down phone usage 18 | ENTERTAINMENT
THE CAPSULE WARDROBE
Photographer: Ellie Anderson Fashion Editor: Katy Bellotte Assistants: Briya Ware, Christina Casillo, Emma Braun, Dani Chavero, Erin McDowell Words: Christina Casillo | 19
WHAT IS CAPSULE?
If your wardrobe is in dire need of
some spring cleaning, it’s time to embrace a capsule wardrobe. The term “capsule wardrobe” was coined back in the ‘70s by London boutique owner Susie Faux to describe the bare-bones essentials one could rock no matter how trends may change. Get some help from The Edge to cut the clutter!
6 20 | FASHION
1. lace bralette 2. rugged converse 3. printed sports bra 4. Edge sweatshirt 5. short leather boots 6. boyfriend jeans 7. skinny leather belt 8. denim shirt
FASHION | 21
12 13 14 22 | FASHION
9. leather jacket 10. acid wash denim 11. black heels 12. graphic tee 13. signature glasses 14. bright crop top 15. short brown boots
16. black midi dress 17. statement heels 18. flannel 19. solid tee 20. black sandals 21. light wash denim
FASHION | 23
MAN ON THE STREET Highlighting the fashion of everyday men on Elonâ€™s campus Photographer: Christina Casillo, Senior Reporter
Tanner Mead is a freshman music theatre major Patrick Larsen
who frequents H&M, Forever 21 and Primark.
is a freshman cinema major who tends to buy most of his clothes from thrift stores.
Grant Paylor is a sophomore music theatre major who is inspired by trends seen at Urban Outfitters, H&M and Forever 21. Mark McGann, a junior marketing major, tries to score deals on the sales racks of Barneyâ€™s Warehouse, Gilt and Bergdorf Goodman.
24 | FASHION
Gerald Caesar, a senior music theatre major, brings his trendy style to campus featuring J. Crew, Lululemon and H&M.
FASHION | 25
Photographer: Caroline Brehman Stylists: Christina Casillo, Briya Ware, Katy Bellotte Models: Cassandra Tumasz, Corrine Wilson, Cierra Seawright, Minnie Lane Makeup: Nic Zuhse, Kendal Couch, Daniella Khoury 26 | COVER STORY
Dancing when everyone is watching Elon dance majors express their body confidence in the public eye Marissa Baum & Jessie Boak SENIOR REPORTER & CONTRIBUTOR
contributing reporting from Chaselyn Palumbo & Nicole Sodono
Just as it takes dancers years of training
The pressure to get the solo. The
to perfect their technique, it can take even
pressure to perfect each move. The
longer to accept self-love and positive thinking
pressure to be thin.
while focusing on self-improvement. In the
During each audition, each rehearsal and
dance world, it’s often easy to get lost in the
each performance, a spotlight is beaming
competition of the sport as every dancer
down on each dancer dressed in a scantily clad
compares themself to one another.
leotard as everyone watches. The cutthroat environment of the dance world exists in almost every level of the professional world.
“In the dance world there is always someone smaller, more flexible, better,” Wilson said. Luckily for her, she found a safe space at
Junior Corinne Wilson remembers that at
Elon University. When she visited, she noticed
her first college dance audition, most girls were
that the department emphasized healthy and
her size, tall and lean, but healthy. But the
strong dancers, eating correctly and using yoga
people facilitating it were calling the girls fat
and Pilates to help build and tone the right
and told them to “tuck in that blueberry muffin
you had this morning. Dancers can’t have any fat.” She wanted to walk out then and there, but didn’t out of respect and because it was audition for a university that she did not want to cut ties with.
Facing body issues Within each dancer there is confidence and
It became her deciding factor in choosing a school. The environment alone was the polar opposite of any previous college she had auditioned for. “I know that a strong body is a healthy body,” Wilson said. “I eat, I work out and I’m okay if I’m not the skinniest because that’s not what equals being a good dancer. Size of your body does not equal great ability.”
drive that pushes them to spend countless
The stigma for young dancers to be thin and
hours in front of the mirror improving
eat little is detrimental to the true meaning of
pirouettes, jazz squares and arabesques.
the art. A dancer’s self-image can be destroyed
COVER STORY | 27
for not having the ideal body. According Association
and Associated Disorders, female athletes in aesthetic sports, such as ballet, have the highest risk for eating disorders. In ballet specifically, the incidence of eating disorders is one in five. Though Cassandra
difficult to pinpoint the cause of body image issues in young dancers, she is certain that there is an unnecessary emphasis on being skinny, not just in dance, but in society in general. “It’s so easy to compare yourself to your peers,” Tumasz said. “That’s where the body issues stem from.” Often times, dancers are expected to be very thin, especially when younger dancers are idolizing older dancers who have already set this standard. It is assumed that having a lower weight will improve dancing because they need to be held up in the air or maintain their balance. Tumasz still has insecurities every so often, but she has learned how to use her confidence to combat these feelings. “Don’t dance to look like someone else,” she said. “Dance because you love it. Dance for yourself.”
COVER STORY | 29
Ideals from the media
you confident,” Seawright said. “I hate that
With reality shows like “Dance Moms”
they assume that I’m confident because
or even “Dancing with the Stars” that judge
I’m small and fit the stereotype. I have
dancers solely on the ranking of their
score rather than the dancer’s passion
Seawright looks up to young dancers
and dedication, it is easy to get lost in
the competition. The way dances are
Copeland, who challenged societal body
presented on these shows create an added
image ideals as the first African-American
expectations that dancers deal with daily.
principal ballerina in the American Ballet
“In music videos, and even commercials
Theater. Copeland was still body shamed
dancers are very focused on body and body
by the dance industry for not being skinny
shape and sexuality,” Wilson said. “You can
have good dancing without it being sexual
Instead of falling into body pressures,
and many people think one comes with the
Copeland embraces her uniqueness. She
other and that’s not true.”
has become a role model for many young
Similarly to Abbey Lee Miller’s Dance Company,
pressure to get a solo and win competitions
dancers, leading with confidence and strength. Though
all while competing against their peers.
continues to perpetuate insecurities for
Instead, young dancers would rather be
dancers, creating disconnects between
celebrated for their bodies and the talent
dancers and the true art of dancing, there is
they can achieve with them.
hope and a drive to make it a more inclusive
“A lot of it comes from teachers and parents,” Wilson said. “Young dancers are
just coming into their bodies, everyone
fostering a dance community of confidence
had a different body type and they need to
can only make it better.
teach every body type is a good body type as long as it’s healthy. “
Beating insecurities Sophomore Cierra Seawright faces the issue of people assuming she is confident because she is naturally thin. “Being small doesn’t necessarily make
30 | COVER STORY
The dance world has its challenges, and there will always be competition just like any other sport. But if dancers don’t lose sight of who they are and remember why they do it, their skill and confidence will prevail. “Love yourself and don’t tell anyone you’re not beautiful,” Seawright said.
COVER STORY | 31
Light & Linen Photographer: Caroline Brehman, Photo Editor Stylist: Brooke Lowrey, Managing Editor Model: Hanna Siverling Contributors: Allie Dietz, Emma Braum
32 | FASHION
Blouse: Eddie Bauer Jeans: Leviâ€™s Shoes: Tory Burch
FASHION | 33
34 | FASHION
Left: Blouse: Forever 21 Jeans: Leviâ€™s Shoes: Tory Burch Right: Blouse: Free People Pants: Zara Headband: Forever 21
FASHION | 35
Blouse: Soft Surroundings Shoes: Arizona Birkenstocks
36 | FASHION
Blouse: Nasty Gal Shaw: Old Navy Skirt: Pacsun Shoes: Arizona Birkenstocks
FASHION | 37
It’s a Match Jane Seidel & Kayla Hoey CONTRIBUTOR & ASSISTANT STYLE EDITOR
n the quintessential love story, a couple meets at
While many users have downloaded and made
work or during college or on the same train they
use of the app for its intended purpose, others are
take into the city every morning. Movies, and
hesitant to sincerely use it to find other mutually
real life for that matter, don’t have true love stories
interested users. Instead, some use it as a joke, to
beginning with “I swiped right.” But are we moving in
collect screenshots of bizarre users, or to see how
that direction? Has finding love, like so many other
many matches they can rack up in comparison to
aspects of life, moved online or are dating apps and
their friends. For example, tinderlines.com allows
websites used more for fun and games?
users to submit the best and worst pickup lines
One online dating app, Tinder, was created
Other dating websites, like as E-Harmony and
graduates as a way to bring mutually interested
match.com do not attract such foolishness — what
users together. Since then, the app is hosts more
is it about Tinder and OkCupid that attract such a
than 1.6 billion users, and over 8 billion matches
bizarre cast of characters and experiences? App-
have been made through the app since its launch.
based online dating feels more like a game than a
People may use the app to find users interested in
friendships, romantic relationships or strictly sexual relationships.
38 | FEATURES
they’ve experienced on the app for others to see.
in 2012 by five University of Southern California
Gaming experts recently coined the term Gamification, meaning the use of game design
“I think coming into college, you think hookup
elements in non-game contexts. The controls of
culture is normal and a normal situation,” said
navigating Tinder — swiping right to like someone
junior Andrew Nemnich. “As a freshman being single
and swiping left to pass on their profile — feel a lot
exploring that and kind of realizing that just because
like playing a game.
that’s what the stigma around college is that doesn’t
As is true for many apps, a swiping motion creates
mean that’s necessarily the lifestyle that’s most
an almost fun play experience. Swipe left, swipe
comfortable for you.”
right, “It’s a Match!” After matching, the app prompts
users to choose between sending the match a message or “keep
striking up a conversation. Different types of users create an
interesting cast of characters within the app. If two users are
Treating the dating app as a game, then, creates what is
the same type of player, though, they’ll likely get along to some
called a “magic circle of play.” Dutch cultural theorist Johan
point. It’s only natural that two people looking for casual sex
Huizinga describes that within the circle of the game, etiquette
will get along much better than one person looking for casual
and rules and regulations of regular life don’t really apply.
sex and one person looking to chat and make friends.
Things that once held little
If Tinder is a game, then,
how does one win? A date with
another user? Finally finding
now an integral part of
the mechanics of the
With traditional games, a
win is experienced within the
This could account
game — a screen that reads
for the bizarre, explicit
and borderline harassing
bouncing off the screen when
you beat Solitaire. Winning may
exchanged through the
look different people, because
Tinder app. In real life, many people would not say many of the things that
to send strangers via Tinder. But because of the magic circle, they feel little to no repercussions for their lack of courtesy and tact. Gaming
“winning” exists outside of the
college, you think
winning might be getting so
hookup culuture is
that almost everyone agrees
others, finding a real, heartfelt
- Andrew nemnich
or a crowded house party
confines of the app. To some, good at small talking people to give them their number. To relationship outside of an app
might be winning. It’s
Richard Bartle analyzed
that’s what makes it hard to
the type of players found
accurately define a win in the
in games and explained
the four types of players commonly found: achievers, explorers,
“I don’t think college is the place to tie yourself down and
socializers and killers. While these players don’t precisely
get engaged,” said junior Holly Carlton. “When you’re in the
translate to the game of Tinder the concept of different types of
real world you have a lot more options and a lot more chance
players is still ever present.
to end up with someone you actually want to.”
Achievers on Tinder most likely make it their goal to get
The main point is this — dating habits have changed,
someone’s number, go on a date or have sex with them.
Explorers match with a lot of people just for the sake of
minority while physical relationships and hookups are rising
seeing what kind of people exist within the realm of this app.
in prevalence. And we can’t ignore that dating apps haven’t
Socializers send messages to everyone they meet in hopes of
been a factor.
FEATURES | 39
ETHICAL FASHION THE FIRST STEP IN CREATING A FASHION INDUSTRY THAT PUTS THE ENVIRONMENT & HUMAN RIGHTS FIRST
Danielle Dulchinos CONTRIBUTOR
ike many American women, I begin my days staring into the
the world, where safety standards and ethical business practices
depths of an overflowing closet and find absolutely nothing
are far from the norm. There’s even a decent possibility that child
to wear. After recently chronicling my wardrobe, I can tell
labor went into the production of your garment. In Uzbekistan, the
you that I have 249 articles of clothing (including shoes, excluding
sixth largest cotton producer in the world, 40–45 percent of the
scarves, of which I have many). To say that I wear 30 percent of
cotton picked will be harvested with forced child labor during the
what I own is a generous estimate. All
months when those children should be in
evidence and statistics suggest that that
school. Kept in terrible conditions with no
I am not alone. Author of “To Die For: Is
access to electricity or basic necessities
Fashion Wearing out the World?” Lucy Siegle said the womenswear industry alone is worth billions of dollars, and on average consumers spend nearly $900 a year on clothing. For those of us who love fashion, overflowing drawers and closets too packed to ever close seem a small price to pay for the privilege of a limitless
GALLONS OF WATER TO MAKE ENOUGH COTTON FOR ONE T-SHIRT
like clean water, these few months in the fields lead to children developing many lifelong illnesses. The unlucky ones don’t even make it back home. On top of the human labor involved, cotton is also a thirsty plant — it takes 500 gallons of water to make enough cotton for one t-shirt. Grown in some of the driest and most economically unstable
wardrobe. And we live in a world now
places in the world, the cotton industry
where “limitless” is not much of an
has the habit of devastating both the
exaggeration. In our current environment
environment and the communities where
of fast fashion, clothes have become
it is grown. Although cotton accounts for
cheap and disposable, so even your average college student can
only 2 percent of the world’s agricultural lands, it absorbs 11–12
devote an entire drawer to workout leggings.
percent of the world’s pesticides. In India’s Cotton Bowl, growing
What’s not to love about H&M and Forever 21?
cotton has become such a hazardous business that farmers are
Turns out, a lot.
committing suicide at a rate of more than 10,000 farmers a year.
Check the label on that shirt you’re wearing. Likely you owe
In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find someone along the
the thread, material and stitching to third-world countries around
chain who’s well taken care of. In places like Bangladesh, China
40 | FEATURES
and Cambodia, where much of our clothing is made, it is not
Not everyone craves a vintage vibe or owns a hot glue gun,
uncommon for garment workers — the majority of which are
and for those people who prefer to shop research is especially
female — to be forced to take birth control and work 12–14
important. Do a little bit of sleuthing into your favorite brands —
hours day in unsafe buildings where the doors are often locked
Fair Wear Foundation, War on Want and Labor Behind the Label
to keep them from leaving. They make less than $100 a month.
are all worth checking out before your next shopping trip. Some
Even in developing nations, this is nowhere close to a living wage.
brands might surprise you.
Unions are discouraged via violence, and the governments have a
Ted Baker, for example, may not boast a “going green” initiative,
vested interest in keeping prices low and business from Western
but they have committed to progressing towards a more ethical
countries booming. Many garment workers have lost their lives
supply chain by signing onto the MADE-BY initiative. A little blue
when their buildings collapse on them, or when they are unable
button on garments symbolizes a promise to produce garments in
to escape burning factories because the doors have been locked
a “people-and environmentally friendly manner.” Even brands not
from the outside.
known for their commitment to ethical fashion have been rolling
All so that we can stuff our closets full of $10 shirts and $25 jeans. The world is not going to simply stop shopping at our
out more eco-friendly lines, and purchasing from these lines sends a clear message to companies that we consumers want clothing with a smaller ecological footprint.
favorite fast fashion stores — it’s not reasonable or realistic to
Look into fabric fibers and put money towards those that have
completely give up the likes of Topshop, Zara and H&M. However,
the least impact on the environment, like Fairtrade, certified-
as consumers we have an obligation to know and acknowledge
organic cotton, or even better, lyocell — which is made from
where our clothing comes from. There’s no such thing as fashion
renewable materials and is completely biodegradable — or
without a footprint, but consuming consciously and ethically is
recycled fibers, all of which are better for the environment than
one of the best things we can do. And there certainly are ways
traditional fibers according to the book Sustainable Fashion and
that we can support our fellow human beings and environment
and still support a fashion addiction.
Finally, buying with the intent to take care of and keep your
One of the simplest ways is to head to your local thrift or
clothing for years to come is one of the simplest and easiest ways
vintage store and purchase used clothing — thus extending the
to make your wardrobe more ethical. Wash them with care and
life of the garment, keeping waste out of landfills and declining to
mend garments instead of throwing them out. Even if you don’t
support unethical brands. Secondhand has even moved online.
sew, mending is often quick and cheap. Invest in pieces that you
With sites like ThreadUp and Etsy, you can shop for vintage and
know fit your style, and be willing to spend a bit more for better
consignment clothing without even having to put on pants.
quality. In the long run, this saves you money.
Similarly, with a Pinterest and a dash of DIY spirit you can
There are no quick fixes, and no perfectly ethical and
upcycle unwanted clothing. Jeans can become pillows or even
sustainable brands, but with a few small changes in our buying
sandals, or a little lace can turn old cut-offs into on-trend boho
patterns, we can take the first step in creating a fashion industry
that puts the environment and human rights first. FEATURES | 41
Here are examples of some of the second-hand clothes in my closet. Taking friendsâ€™ unwanted clothes and thrift shopping helps prolong the life of clothing and keep them out of landfills.
42 | FEATURES
SHOP MATERIALS WHILE NO FIBERS ARE PERFECT, HERE ARE SOME ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY SUBSTITUTIONS TO LOOK OUT FOR:
Less impact on the environment,
ensure that it comes from a factory
Fairtrade ensures that farmers
that does not bleach it and that
are paid a fair wage and their
has strict environmental practices
communities are supported.
Traditional cotton Hemp
requires lots of pesticides to
grows quickly and helps improve
grow it and exploits farmers in
the quality of the soil, naturally
Polyester Recycled Polyester
Made from oil and emissions from
helps prolong the life of polyester,
processing that are incredibly toxic
which also does not decompose in
to the environment
Nylon Polylactic Acid (PLA)
made from petroleum. the process
Made from 100 percent renewable
releases a potent greenhouse gas
resources, completely biodegradable
Silk it takes up to 1,800 silk worms to
make one yard of silk (and silk
wildly harvested silk. they harvest
worms are killed to get the fiber)
the cocoons of the silk worms after the worms have left, which
means that no silk worms are
Process of producing fabric is
incredibly detrimental to the
made from the wood pulp of eucalyptus FEATURES | 43
feeling your outfit? post it on instagram and hashtag it with #elonootd. you might be featured on our accounts. instagram // @theedgemag // #elonootd
Volume 7, Edition 4 of The Edge, Magazine of the Pendulum