According to the EPA, for every person in the United States (that includes you reading this!) 10 pounds of post-consumer textile waste is generated every year. That's 2.5 billion pounds if you put it all together. And about 90% of this waste is usable (about half can be worn again, and the other 40% can be used as filler, stuffing and industrial rags).
The group Teens Turning Green, which has been very active in recent years on issues concerning toxins in cosmetics and personal care products (and which even has their own line of chemical-free skin care stuff just for teen skin) has taken this issue on via a partnership with eBay Green.
And they're kicking it off with a competition called Greenstyled, which aims to get college students to think about creative reuse of clothes - choosing from among the thousands and thousands of items of used and vintage clothing (and a few select new ones) that are listed on eBay. Whether styling an outfit from all 1920's vintage pieces, to attempting the perfect Mad Men ensemble, to an outfit to wear to class to impress the professor, the options are wide open. Entrants can even choose from the new clothes on the site - as long as they are sustainably manufactured (all of those can be found on the eBay Green site).
How does it work? According to Teens Turning Green's site:
"Choose from pre-owned items, and new, sustainably made items to curate an Eco Shopping List on green.ebay.com
. You must choose at least 3 items for your list, comment on why you like each piece and what makes it a greener choice and include #greenstyled in the title of your list. The looks must be posted as an Eco Shopping List on green.ebay.com
College students (18 and over) are encouraged to design the most fashion forward, head-to-toe, eco look imaginable. The winner will receive a $1,000 gift card to use on Ebay green contest ends at midnight Pacific time on April 22nd, so there's not much time left. But a good stylist knows how to put a killer outfit together in no time, so go for it! Good luck!