We are currently going through an era where mankind is more conscious of the negative effects we are having on our environment; in part thanks to the internet and the media. However, this is also a double-edged sword in that the ease through which information is dispersed, also means the pace of life is being sped up. Where before we used to value clothing made of high quality, and looked after and repaired them if they were damaged, nowadays we are just as likely to throw them away and move onto the next.
Social media is fuelling fast fashion, where people feel pressured greatly to keep up their online appearances, and this means wearing new clothes, all the time. While this may be great for businesses, a look further down the line and we can see the effect this is having on our planet. Increasing demand for clothing means more intensive manufacturing and demand for materials – all of which comes from the planet. In turn, “old” clothes are making their way to our already stretched landfills, when they still have plenty of life in them.
I believe we should adjust to reusing clothes and generally items that still have plenty of use in them. Buying used clothes, or “thrifting” can be an enjoyable experience, and while you may find some great clothing for a minimal price, you are also playing your part in preventing something from going into the landfill where it may take thousands of years to decompose.
Have you ever heard the saying, “one man’s trash, is another man’s treasure”? We’ll this is an example of that. While many people are content with getting rid of out-of-season clothing, there are many (especially in less privileged countries) who would be happy to get a hold of these. My first experience in a thrift stores saw me acquire a waterproof backpack, multiple t-shirts and some jeans, all for the price of one brand new pair of jeans. From then on I was hooked. Admittedly my first reason for thrifting was to update my wardrobe on a budget, but as time passed, I really understood the bigger picture, and the benefits of doing this on a bigger scale.
Thrifting can also be more than just a way of updating your new wardrobe; it could even be a good business. You’d be surprised the market value of items you could find while thrifting that haven’t been appraised well. While huge profit margins (in the hundreds or thousands of dollars) on items are quite rare, putting in the time an effort to resell these items can absolutely be worthwhile. There are many outlets through which you can sell used clothing with minimal overheads – think Instagram and Facebook.
We have looked at the various reasons as to why buying used clothing in general is a good idea, from giving clothes a new lease of life, to reducing the impact increasing demand for new clothes has on the environment, and I believe these are beneficial to all ecosystems they are associated with.