TULERIE

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Paper or plastic?

WasteViolet Gross
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Let’s talk about box baby. Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be. Let’s talk about box-----es.

The rise of e-commerce has so many benefits. Running low on shampoo? Put some in your digital Target cart while it’s top of mind. Weather looks nice next weekend? Find the perfect picnic blanket on Amazon. How are everyones brows so good on Insta? Oh, Boy Brow. Ordering immediately. And best of all, lounge in your coziest jammies and order that gorgeous gown to wear during gala season.

Before you know it your front door is blocked by a pile of brown cardboard boxes. And it makes some sense, you ordered from four different retailers. It gets especially annoying when you place one order with Amazon and two days later three boxes arrive making you wonder why everything wasn’t just packed into one.

Consumers continue to shift their spend to online, the proof is in the pudding — online retail grew 16% in 2017, while retail in general rose only 3.8%. After all, who doesn’t love time saving convenience? But how many people stop to think about the environmental impact of that change?

Roughly 165 billion packages are shipped annually, amounting to approximately 1 billion trees cut down each year. Yes, Axe, billion. Amazon recently realized they had a shipping problem, but not for the reasons you may think. They decided that if they came up with a smaller package option, they would be able to fit more parcels on a truck, thus reducing the amount of air they transport. So no, it pains us to tell you that Amazon’s changes weren’t made thanks to the 30 million photos they’ve received from customers showing a tube of toothpaste being shipped in a box meant for a toaster oven. Over the last year Amazon has started shipping its smaller items in plastic mailers. So yes, while they may be better size suited than the boxes, we circle back to the plastic problem.

These new plastic mailers are not recyclable in your normal recycling container. They need to be separated just like plastic bags. This type of plastic is not sortable in most recycling systems, and when a bag or mailer does get caught up in the machinery, it gums it up, requiring the whole system to shut down to cut it out. Not efficient.

We can credit Amazon for reducing its carbon footprint since they can ship more within one truck or plane. We are also thrilled with their $10 million donation to the Closed Loop Fund. But they need to continue to improve their methods of consolidating shipments, and making it easier for consumers to do so.

Meanwhile, since you are still receiving shipments form Amazon and Moda, please continue to keep your future rentals in mind and reuse these boxes. The majority are still in perfect condition and should live more than one life.

Let’s talk about box baby. Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about how easy it is for you to send your rental to me in a box you’ve already received, then let’s talk about all the good feelings that may bring.

Circularity Doesn't Solve It

PollutionViolet Gross
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Circularity - the latest buzz word in the fashion world for those who want to feel like they're on the good side of eco consciousness. Circularity is the idea of reducing waste by recycling clothes. You hand over unwanted clothes and bippity-boppity-boo, new textiles are created for re-use. Our partners at RewearAble do just that and it's a necessary and important stage for responsible clothing disposal. But it’s not that simple. See the notion of circularity is solving a problem at the end of the wardrobe lifecycle, when the real problem starts WAY before you get tired of it hanging in your closet. 

It begins with the exorbitant volume of garments being produced and the cheap fabrics they are made from to sustain the low-cost and mass production. The real solution? Slowing down the cycle of fashion production and consumption.  Do you really need to buy the amazing skirt your bestie has?  NO.  Borrow it.  Should you spend your rent on a dress to wear to that big party coming up?  NO. Borrow one. 

The majority of clothing today is synthetic (plastic), which is made using fossil fuels and thanks to that, these cheap, disposable, plastic clothing (i.e. fast fashion) accounts for 76% of greenhouse gas emissions. Now let’s talk about what happens when you’re done with that $20 shirt. Pollution will invariably be created once it leaves your local salvation army to get “recycled”. But thanks to circularity, it will now get “re-used ” which really means these recycled plastic clothes will get washed and shed small plastic fibers into our rivers and oceans. And at current pace, by 2050 (only 32 years) we’ll have more plastic than fish in the ocean .

We need to take actionable steps to stop the over production of clothing and learn the difference between unwanted clothing and unwearable clothing. Thankfully we are fortunate to have options: Go old school and borrow from friends, host a clothing swap, rent something from Rent the Runway, or borrow a piece from your new Tulerie connection and help a girl make a buck in the process. Do your small part, so that when you are at dinner tonight, you will know that you're one step closer to eating more salmon than pieces of that skirt you threw away last year.