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  • Kristen Gilbride

Sustainable Lessons from Freak Accidents

Updated: Sep 5, 2019

Three weeks ago a crane fell on the house. Not only did the crane just fall on my house, but it also fell directly over my bedroom when I wasn't home. The whole event felt unreal. I had such a tornado of emotions I couldn't pinpoint exactly how I felt. Am I grateful I, and everyone else, is okay? Yes. Am I sad about losing a house that felt so much like home? Yes. Am I mad that a construction company would be so reckless to leave a crane erect during a storm and could have killed multiple people? Hell yeah. Am I scared? most definitely.


It's strange to see my room through a news helicopter, it's strange to see how fragile life is.

After the crane fell I needed to put together a claims list of everything that I lost. Ya girl lost a lot of sustainable stuff. I lost pieces that I truly cherish, like my Liz Alig Jumpsuit that I didn't get my 30 wears out of, my Global Fashion Exchange'd swapped clothes, my Mom's silk shirt she had from the '70s, my secondhand Chanel belt, the blankets that took 2 years to knit, and more.

I deeply admire brands who do their absolute best to improve lives through respectful work and those who use earth-friendly materials. But after losing a decent amount of my clothing I don't feel lost. Yes, I do feel (or will soon feel) the economic burden of this accident, but do I miss my things? Not really.


I don't know if my sustainable journey has led me to really internalizing my detachment from consumption, but it's hard to feel bad about lost clothes when I'm still here on this earth breathing.


Being forced to take a step back and look at what materialism means to you is humbling and frustrating. It's made me look at the bigger picture in terms of sustainability. The symbolism doesn't just extend to the garment, the symbolism lies in what we value as a culture. The level of value we put on the human condition and environmental preservation is symbolic of our personal and cultural value system. How does consumption contribute to the betterment of man and the betterment of our values; if done with positive intentions it could legitimately change the world's economy, poverty, environment, society, etc.


Purposeful Fits focuses a lot on consumption but...have I beat the man? Are my consumption days in my rearview mirror? Probs not. I mean I do have to buy a bed one of these days. But maybe it takes a wild event like this to make you realize material things don’t mean much when compared to other parts of your life.



With all that said, here's a video of me remembering the clothes that were lost lol


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