Shopping Second Hand
As consumers, we want to be consciously aware of our impact on the Earth. We are faced with Fast Fashion trends which have been detrimental to the environment, humans and our wallets. Lately, people are starting to get fed up and have been making strides to reduce their impact by consuming and wearing sustainable brands. Buying from sustainable brands is a great place to start, but can we do more and better?
Oxfam has argued that buying second-hand from charity shops is entirely sustainable and the best part, is that its fashionable too! In the U.K. alone, 11 million items of clothing weekly are dumped into landfills. Buying second hand cuts out transportation costs and it’s an easy way to improve your carbon footprint. We buy, buy, buy and usually end up not wearing the items, discarding them to the landfills. Nearly half of Fast Fashion garments are thrown away in less than a year, but is buying second hand really helping to impede fast fashion?
We think, YES! We can still love clothes, but we can always find new ways to sustainably consume them. Exchanging clothes, bringing old garments to a charity shop and looking for something else allows you to refresh your wardrobe without adding to it. It is important to still check the second hand items for quality!
Second hand shopping directly aids in water preservation and prevents waste of energy and resources that would be required to make brand new clothes. Buying second hand is inexpensive and you know where your money is going. Fast Fashion has been reported to be unethical and unsustainable for both humans and the environment.
If you aren't too keen on heading to the charity shop, there are new apps that are supporting second-hand fashion, such as Depop, thredUP, and Poshmark.
Clothing is a form of expression and we can now engage with it in a sustainable manner! Shopping second hand allows for testing out new trends with a low risk of excessively consuming Fast Fashion garments.
It would be ideal for everyone to shop second hand. We think its important to encourage and support those who are new to ethical and conscious fashion. If secondhand fashion is the start for many people, then so be it. From there we can continue to work to become more mindful and sustainable with our fashion.
However, it's crucial to remember that sustainable fashion is a constantly evolving and altering movement for a reason. Some second hand items fall under Fast Fashion garments, which are low in quality and are not built to last. Second hand shopping is not a one-size fits all solution, but it is a good place to start to shift into a more conscious life style and the way in which we consume.