“Reclaim” Campaign: War Against World Waste

HuffPost recently launched the “Reclaim” campaign, which focuses on the world’s waste crisis and how Americans can help.

Americans buy an average of 64 new items a year, and we are the world’s top clothes shoppers.

But the truth is, we probably already own a garment that may not be the best in our collection, may not be in fashion anymore, but we still hang on to it, and we still continue to buy more and more clothes each year. And every year we continue to be a part of the world’s waste problem.

To prove our point, we asked the HuffPost staff to tell us about a particular item of clothing that they seem to be attached to, and why.

Here’s a list we have gathered:

• The college sweatshirt – bought from the college bookstore and became a weekend outfit.
• The indestructible gray cardigan – goes with everything and washes well. Invites compliments despite the worn out and dated look. It’s always on trend because it’s gray.
• See-through preschool T-shirt – The shirt has the name of the preschool I went to, and the name of my dad on the back.
• Ripped black cat tights – bought from Hot Topic at the local mall
• Black skirt – a long BCBG skirt with its childlike qualities, like twirling
• Mystery shirt – traded from Cousin Mariah with a Prince cutoff tee. Weird and colorful shirt and doesn’t even have a label!
• Zip-up sweatshirt – Christmas 1998 gift from mom. Still warm and nice, really well made.
• The family business t-shirt – Printed with “Atlantic Tree” at the back. This 70s shirt is a reminder of the amount of work my family has done, and where I came from.
• Ribbed black dress – worn at my best friend’s father’s funeral and I still wear it as a staple, especially in the winter.
• Paint-splattered T-shirt from a chicken joint – Reminds me of the disgusting time when I won the shirt at a chicken wing eating contest after finishing 37 wings in an hour.
• Holey jeans – purchased in high school and fitted me perfectly. Worn and torn, the holes are reminders of my past, and I will be adding more holes in the future.
• “Haunted Mansion” T-shirt – My fondest memories were spent with dad, enjoying the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland. Dad passed away in 1995. In 2014 on a trip back to the West coast after 20 years, an aunt unknowingly gifted me with the Haunted Mansion T-shirt.
• Armani Exchange T-shirt – The shirt fits. That’s all.

The reason why we still buy the 63 other garments remains unexplained.