If you’re like me and get eco-anxiety, you already know about our climate crisis, but why does that mean you should shop second hand? Fashion is a creative outlet for many. However, the fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters on our planet just behind oil, is responsible for 20% of industrial water pollution and releases 10% of all carbon emissions into the air. While the fashion industry doesn’t have a clear answer for sustainability yet, the goal is for a fully circular system. Right now, the most sustainable way to indulge in fashion is to shop second hand.
It isn’t wrong to want to change your wardrobe or to be thrilled by new fashion trends, but the linear model most brands currently use is responsible for immense amounts of waste. In the linear model, fashion brands and manufacturers have no responsibility for the end life of a garment. Sustainability is complicated and not just a buzzword good for branding. It is about our future. Using your purchasing power and shopping sustainably is the first step in keeping clothing out of landfills and lessening your impact on the environment.
Here are steps to having a more sustainable wardrobe:
- Shop sustainable brands that use Earth-friendly materials like organic cotton or have upcycled or recycled materials. Limit purchasing new, fast fashion items as much as possible.
- Buy well-made pieces. They will last longer in your wardrobe and in the resale rotation.
- Sell items you no longer love or wear. If your items have become unsellable, donate them instead of throwing away.
- Take care of your clothing. Learn to mend.
- Best yet, shop second hand. It’s the most sustainable solution to fashion’s impact right now.
Shopping second hand is a personalized and exciting way to find a special piece no one else will have. You will learn about yourself and style, while helping protect the Earth.
Want to shop second hand? Visit your local Crossroads Trading for a curated selection of second hand clothing, shoes and accessories. Ready to (sustainably) clean out your closet? Learn how to get the most when selling your clothes here.