Vogue: Green Is Good But Bigger is Better

September 3, 2007

Vogue magazine continues to come to my apartment years after the subscriber moved away. I can’t say I mind. It’s brain candy after a long day of thinking. But this month’s issue will motivate me to cancel it. I came home last week to see this:

Extra-Extra Large! Our Biggest Issue Ever 840 pages of FEARLESS FASHION

My first thought was: “Well, I’m not taking that to the beach.”

My next thought was: “How did that make it through the mail slot?”

My immediate next thought, and the one that endures, was: “What a waste of paper.”

I hoisted the magazine-brick onto my dining room table and left it there. The next morning, over breakfast, I flipped through, and found a truly bizarre fashion spread on page 712. (I don’t know how I found it, since 727 pages are ads.) Each page sports a model in men’s clothing with a different environmental technology: hybrid cars, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and this:

Waste Not, Want Not
It looks good on paper! Family-owned since 1896, Chambers Paper Fibres in Brooklyn sorts ten to fifteen tons of wastepaper an hour. Each recycled ton saves seventeen trees and 7,000 gallons of water.

Ah, finding irony in our media is like shooting fish in a barrel…

The environmental problems of the magazine’s size don’t seem to faze the readers who use the message boards. But I can probably depend on the blogging or environmentalist communities to calculate how many resources were used and how much waste this one issue of one magazine will generate. (UPDATE 9/5: I was right.) The quick answer is: too many and too much. I wonder what planet Vogue’s staff are living on. Must be one with lots of trees.

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4 Responses to “Vogue: Green Is Good But Bigger is Better”

  1. emilyshaw Says:

    but in the age of Lucky, where people actually buy magazines which are just ads, is there even really a difference between the purchased and unpurchased advertorial?

    Besides, I’m betting that psychologically speaking, most of the editorial stuff in those mags is worse for you than the ads. The ads tend to be aspirational, showing “attractive” people with “attractive” hair/make-up/clothes/whatever, while the articles tend to be dedicated to chipping away at your self-esteem by explicitly pointing out what’s wrong with you.

    Bleah bleah, GRTBR.

  2. rekha6 Says:

    GRTBR? What’s that? I agree that ads and editorial content in a mag like Vogue are of equal interest – though maybe they should have one first and the other second – it’s impossible to continue a story past the first page. I just think that the volume of the finished product is wasteful.

  3. emilyshaw Says:

    GRTBR = good riddance to bad rubbish!

  4. emilyshaw Says:

    oh, and it might appear in my comment above that I am defending Vogue advertising as being, somehow, a good thing – to which I say, most emphatically, HA.


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