As someone who loves secondhand shopping and vintage, I can't BELIEVE this has never made it into the newsletter as your monthly slow fashion tip.
In an effort to raise awareness for the positive effects of secondhand shopping, Oxfam UK launched a challenge called #secondhandseptember (you can read more about it here), which challenges us to only shop secondhand for the entire month. I already did some secondhand shopping at the end of August, so don’t foresee any secondhand purchases this month, and instead, i’m challenging myself to wear only secondhand items already in my closet for a week.
I would highly encourage you to shop secondhand if you plan on shopping for new items this season. My Fall 2020 trends video is proof that most of this season’s trends are recycled from previous years, and can be found secondhand (or already in your closet!)
Here’s why shopping secondhand helps:
1 - It creates more demand for a circular economy. The more our economies and products are designed for circularity, the better - designing for planned obsolescence is unsustainable and irresponsible. By shopping secondhand and creating demand for more secondhand items, I think consumers can have a hand in changing our economy’s blueprint for the better.
2 - It extends the life cycle of a garment, which reduces that garment’s carbon footprint by approximately 85%.
3 - It requires 0 virgin resources or chemically intensive processes. The production of one tee shirt requires the same amount of water one human will drink in 13 years. There are so many environmental savings when you shop secondhand.
4 - It keeps discarded clothing out of developing countries. Unfortunately, a lot of our unwanted clothing gets packed up and shipped to developing countries, leaving them with the burden of discarding it, as well as disrupting their own economies. (and not in a good way. Local businesses in developing countries can’t compete with the cheap goods that come in and don’t have an opportunity to grow themselves).
5 - While a lot of garments do still end up in landfills either here or abroad, shopping secondhand is still a great way to keep clothing out of landfills.
One last thing …
It’s so important to discard or declutter items as mindfully as when we shop for them. A giant Marie Kondo declutter might feel really good, but all of that “stuff” still has to go somewhere, and then you need to think about replacing it all, which might spark the need for consuming without really thinking.
If you’re looking for tips on how to thrift and secondhand shop, here’s a little video I did earlier this year that might help!