On April 22, 2010, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig sank, following an explosion on the rig on April 20th. Since April 22, 2010, the site of the oil rig has spilled an estimated 162,000 barrels of oil per day (at BP’s greatest estimate), endangering over 400 species of marshland animals, and 15,700 species of sea life.
Many organizations have participated in gulf clean-up efforts. Among them, one of my favorite fashion companies, We Love Colors, has participated in conjunction with Matter of Trust‘s Hair Mat Oil Spill Program. The program consists of collecting hair clippings from hundreds of salons from around the US and Canada, which are then woven into mats and hair booms. Because hair is “ad-sorbent”, that is, hair attracts oil, which coats the surface of the hair shafts, it is considered an ideal material to aid in the oil clean up.
To create booms, recycled hair is stuffed into nylon stockings, externally reinforced by strong mesh. The booms are tied together to form long, extensive, larger booms, which surround the spill and contain it, preventing it from spreading.
Last month, We Love Colors donated four boxes, or roughly 400 pairs of tights to the Hair Mat Oil Spill program to help further the cause containing the oil spill. Along with thousands of other generous donors worldwide, shipping at their own expense, We Love Colors is aiding in containment and clean up of the ecologically disastrous oil spill.
This is not the first time WLC has participated in ethical and ecological causes. In February, WLC donated 5% of all sales for the month to various Haiti Disaster Relief agencies in response to the January earthquake that devastated most of the island nation. The organizations they donated to include Doctors Without Borders USA (Medicins Sans Frontieres), Operations USA, Hands On Disaster Relief, and several others. In May of 2009, they donated tights from their catalog to Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (“THON”), an annual event which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. That year, WLC’s donation helped THON raise over $58,000, which was apart of a record-breaking $7.49M overall funds raised for the Four Diamonds Fund. Employees of the company also volunteer in local opportunities throughout the year, such as reading to children through The Kiwanis Club of Miami Gardens.
We Love Colors is a company only sells edgy and fun fashion tights, and is extremely popular with fashionistas the Internet world over. However, the company also uses this broad appeal and popularity to bring awareness to important ecological and ethical causes around the world. It is important in this day and age of mass consumption and consumerism, that the fashion industry also be responsible for being a platform to increase awareness and call for participation in causes that improve the world.
We Love Colors is doing just that.
Special thanks to Heather B. of We Love Colors PR for assistance with this article.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia, Matter of Trust, and We Love Colors.
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