In the past thrifting has been one of those things that people tend to spend a great deal of time educating themselves about, but then never really applying the principle to their own lifestyle. Through no fault of our own, many of us have been used to spending on fast fashion because it’s convenient, and, well, fast. If you haven’t done so yet, take a look at our piece on why fast fashion is literally slowing down after the pandemic, and why it’s such a good thing.
Second hand clothing has become a trend in the fashion world and is a viable option to combat fast fashion. It promotes sustainability, and since fashion is arguably one of the planet’s dirtiest industries, it can help alleviate much of the environmental stressors that we are facing today.
How We Solve It
We’ve seen a surge of second hand buying and thrifting among popular influencers and YouTubers. ThredUp is a company that allows fashion-savvy individuals to shop luxury pre-loved pieces at a fraction of the price. It is also a company that many YouTubers have sponsorships with. Influencers are aligning their social media presence to promote sustainability through companies like these, and in turn, gaining the support of many young people. In just one year, the e-commerce brand has experienced a growth of over 70 percent. A Kijiji survey finds that “altruistic and ecological reasons [are] gaining ground as motivation for consumers.”
Most of us do care about the impact of fashion on the environment, and this trend seems to be here to stay. If our attitudes towards second hand clothing are shifting, then we can only assume that this will be the primary way we consume fashion in the near future. The simple truth is that we as consumers are becoming conscious of climate change, and if we don’t act now with at least some minor lifestyle adjustments, it will catch up to us.
Ways We Can Make an Impact Right Now
Here’s what we do know. Around 1 BILLION pieces of clothing are produced each year, and among them, 20% go unsold. The carbon footprint of the fashion industry is a staggering 3.3 billion tonnes. The good news is that 95% of discarded clothing can be recycled or upcycled. So, here’s where we come in.
Small Lifestyle Changes, Big Rewards:
Fashion Revolution have rounded up some creative tips to immerse ourselves in all things second hand. We borrowed their best ideas in our list below:
- Make it a fashion fix – repair clothes you’d normally dispose of. Sometimes it’s a matter of sewing on an extra button or two.
- DIY – with the number of tutorials that are out there, there’s no telling of what you could come up with. Maybe even hop on the tie-dye wagon?
- Clothes Exchange – swap your clothes with your friends! Take the garments you would otherwise toss and exchange them with a buddy. They might have something you’re after, and vice versa!
- Go Vintage Hunting – Chances are, there’s many great places to shop for vintage and thrift items in your area. You really have to dig around for some great finds but in most cases, you won’t be disappointed with what you can score (think designer).
- Slow Fashion – if thrifting just isn’t for you, it’s cool, just make sure you’re investing in quality pieces that are considered slow fashion, as opposed to fast.
Environmental concerns are inevitable in today’s society. With new school curriculum teaching young kids about the state of our climate, sustainability is one of the leading issues that our future leaders will be tackling.