By Jayna Milan | Nov 22, 2017

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, a sudden chill in the air, and what I assume to be new Christmas bells decked on top of Kane, the holiday season is officially in full swing! For many, this is the time of the year to take advantage of Black Friday’s low prices and stock up on the household items, christmas gifts, and miscellaneous objects you never knew you needed (until now!) For others, 'tis the season to "opt-out".

Coined by mega outdoor retailer REI, the #OptOutside campaign is a call to action for environmental activists and outdoor enthusiasts to leave the shops for the day and hit the trails instead.

It’s been known for a long time that the textile industry leaves widespread negative environmental and occupational hazards in its wake. While many companies have begun to advocate for change, it's undeniable that the clothes come at a hefty price - increased water consumption, hazardous occupational hazards, greenhouse gas emissions from transporting the clothes, and more. With our insatiable appetite for new goods only growing, It’s critical that we acknowledge and learn more about the unseen consequences caused by the clothes we wear.

We should evaluate our shopping decisions every day, not just on one day of the year. Consider the following ‘buyerarchy of needs’ below (thanks to illustrator Sarah Lazarovic for the concept and the image).

The Buyerarchy of Needs

The idea is to evaluate possibly purchases from the bottom of the pyramid to the top. For example, borrowing an item rather than buying new. This saves money and resources, by encourage purchases only of those items you truly need.

To help you get started, we've put together a few local, student-friendly options to fuel your Black Friday adventures!


Seattle Thrift Shops

To further the conversation:

The Apparel Industry’s Environmental Impact in 6 Graphics

Graham Hill - On editing your life and if having less stuff really leads to more happiness