Since the early 2000’s, the mindset of buying clothing has shifted from “built to last” to fast-fashion. People are more interested in subscribing to the latest trends than investing in premium essential products. Whether they’re spending time scrolling mindlessly on Instagram while walking from one class to the next, or sifting through Pinterest while zoning out in the back of a lecture hall, college students are inundated with a continuous stream of fashion and style inspiration. And it can be hard not to give in to this week’s trendy velvet dress only to forget about it in time for next week’s snake skin boots, especially when the price tags barely make a dent in your minimal college student budget.
Not only is this habit of consuming the newest and latest trend harmful to the environment, but also to the local economies. Buying local and supporting brands who value quality over quantity can make significant, lasting impacts on our environment. According to the World Resources Institute, the average consumer is now purchasing 60% more items of clothing compared to 2000, but each garment is kept half as long. 21-year old Mathew Hunt, founder of GETTEES and a fellow Michigan State University alum, hopes to help influence this environmental crisis of fashion by bringing sustainability to the American garment industry out of Detroit. GETTEES is an apparel company working to produce high-quality clothing using ethical production practices and prides itself on being a champion of honest, quality, American apparel manufacturing. As an ambassador, I’ve become more aware of the way my clothes are made and am happy to be contributing to bringing this movement to college campuses.
Whether you’re looking to invest in sustainable clothing, or you’re native to the Midwest and looking to buy as local as possible, then GETTEES is a great place to start. Millennials can become active members in this movement and positively inspire others to do the same. I asked students at Michigan State University to try on and provide feedback on the “built to last” GETTEES products and these were their responses: “Very Comfy,” “Heavy and Durable,” “Versatile!,” “Fits well,” “Appropriate for any occasion,” “Not too flashy.” The overwhelming majority of responses were optimistic and enthusiastic and leads me to believe that the young generation is ready to take the next step and invest in their future. Environmental and sustainability awareness in fashion may just become the newest trend on college campuses. Stay tuned.