• Lindsay Rootare

The Leaning Tower of Laundry


Scene: It's a Saturday night, it's too late to bail on the plans you made with your friends to go out, and you finally finished Season 2 of Queer Eye. You can finally shut the laptop, but now you are forced to confront it. Your closet. You're thinking I have nothing to wear, pulling things out and throwing them on your bed like a rom com character that will never have to shamefully put them all back on hangers Sunday night. And before you know it, you're stand there looking at the piles of clothes, looking at lot like this gal from the Westfield mall at the World Trade Center Oculus:

But plot twist - you do have something to wear (You always do!) and head out for a night on the town. But not this laundry lady. In February, she spent a week standing steadfastly at the top of this mountain of clothing, much like the ones probably on your floor right this instant (Yours are literally 20+ feet high too, right?).


As 1.3 million people walked past her each day, they were reminded to #stainlesswasteless and of various "fun" facts like 10.5 million tons of clothes are discarded each year (It's more like 26, but who's counting?), and 3/4 of people are not donating clothes because they are stained or torn.

So what was the meaning of all this? Well, for starters, it was sponsored by Degree deodorant, their approach was "Hey, if you don't sweat, you don't stain your clothes, if you don't stain your clothes, you can donate your old clothes!"


And totally! Yes, great job degree! But guess what? You can donate your old clothes. Even if they are stained, even if they are recycled. Nearly all textiles can be donated and recycled, regardless of status. Instead of perpetuating the idea that clothes need to be unstained to be recycled, why not tell the truth? I promise people will still wear deodorant (or maybe they don't and that's why NYC always smells like hot garbage).

I appreciate the sentiment, but I wish the people stopped in their tracks could have been met with some real fact. Then again, is it ever about the facts, or is it always about the eye candy?


Speaking of which! I bet you looked great on Saturday and it was totally worth putting away that pile of clothes on Sunday ;) How big has your mountain of clothing gotten when you just absolutely had nothing to wear?


Sound off on your thoughts regarding this Degree advertising/sustainability stunt and/or your biggest clothing tower!