Newsletter

Fashion?—Let It Go!

Oct 01, 2020

“Take from this world only to the measure of your needs, and forgo that which exceedeth them. Observe equity in all your judgments, and transgress not the bounds of justice, nor be of them that stray from its path.”

Bahá’u’lláh (Suriy-i-Muluk, Summons p. 193)

by Christine Muller

The fashion industry is extremely harmful to the environment—it is the second largest industrial polluter, only the oil industry is worse. The production of clothes consumes more energy than the aviation and shipping industry combined and contributes 10% of all carbon emissions.

According to a United Nations report, it is also extremely water intensive: “To make just one pair of denim jeans, 10,000 liters of water is required to just grow the one kilo of cotton needed for a pair of jeans. In comparison, one person would take 10 years to drink 10,000 liters of water.” In addition, the water pollution from the garment industry is extremely harmful.

Fashion used to change once a year, now it is changing several times a year. In the U.S. only 10% of donated clothes get resold and 13 trillion tons of clothes go to landfills. Clothes have almost become disposables for many people. Clothing has become cheaper at great cost not only to the environment, but also to the exploited workers in the industry.

Now, this problem has an easy solution—let’s treasure our old clothes and make them to be our personal fashion. When they finally wear out, we can replace them by buying good quality used clothing.

member-img

Christine Muller, Piano Teacher

Board Secretary, International Environment Forum

I was interested in environmental issues already at a young age and became a Bahá’í when I was 17, which was the beginning of a life-long study of the Bahá’í Faith. As the environmental crisis was worsening, I began to systematically study climate change at a time when not much information was easily available. I also searched the Bahá’í teachings for a spiritual solution to the climate crisis. At that time, climate change was not known to most people and there were no educational materials available. That’s why I wrote Scientific and Spiritual Dimensions of Climate Change – an Interfaith Study Course, which the International Environment Forum posted in 2009. I joined the Wilmette Institute as support faculty for its Sustainable Development course in 2011 and created its Climate Change course the following year. I served on the board of RI Interfaith Power&Light for nine years and currently serve on the board of the Bahá’í-inspired International Environment Forum (iefworld.org). My academic background is in music and I enjoy part-time piano teaching and playing music. I would have done more in the area of music were it not for the urgency of climate action, but my musical training has helped me to better understand the complexity of the climate crisis. Christine’s articles on BahaiTeachings.orgSee Faculty Bio

Up Next...