Impulse fast-fashion buys, worn once, end up discarded in landfill sites contributing to the worsening condition of our planet. From astronomical water consumption in denim making and cotton growing to the poisoning of public waterways due to dyes, cheaper means of production often means we pay a very high environmental cost. According to the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, textile production produces 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas every year. The United Nations estimates that 10% of total global emissions come from the fashion industry, while in comparison the aviation industry only contributes 2%.
Currently, the awareness about fashion’s accelerating environmental footprint is on the rise. People are becoming more aware of the larger shadow cast by our consumptive behaviour which can have disastrous consequences. Hence, the big question: What can we do to help?
The obvious answer is to reduce production which means a decrease in demand for new clothes, shoes, bags, and more. Over the last two decades, clothing consumption has gone up by 400%. Here reselling comes into play. Buying vintage or second hand from thrift stores or e-commerce sites ensures that your wardrobe gets updated. The concept of a rotating your wardrobe is becoming more common, women choose to donate or resell their clothing while buying second hand, creating a more sustainable circle for fashion.
Investing in resold designer goods ensures good quality, which in turn means that items are sturdy enough to be repaired and worn instead of having short life spans and ending up as waste. An economical alternative, reselling is gaining traction from designers such as Stella McCartney who partnered up with the RealReal to promote consignment resale of her products to extend their lifecycles.
If you want fast fashion products, try buying pre-owned ones. As consumers, we can exert pressure on companies to fix ethical and environmental problems with their production and sourcing, with our money. What we choose to spend on, drives the market and creates demand. When we buy pre-loved fast fashion items the profit does not go to the brand, hence we are not encouraging their unsafe practices.
Remember our spending patterns have a loud voice, we need to support ethical and sustainable brands and practices.
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