• Low Waste Liv

Second Hand is the New Black!

Updated: May 19, 2020

As we transition to warmer weather, longer days, and *socially distanced* outdoor activities, it’s time to swap out your winter wardrobe! I moved into my apartment in the middle of winter, packing mostly sweaters and pants. Since this was before the pandemic and I was not isolated from my family, I did not anticipate having a hard time switching my wardrobe from winter to summer clothes.

As the first few warm days approached, I started looking for options to thrift online just to get a few items to hold me over until I can switch my clothes. I started finding a ton of thrifting accounts on instagram! Most of these accounts were run by women who are looking to get rid of their old clothing. Like I alway say, “the most sustainable option is the one you already have”, but the next best thing is second hand or ”thrifting”.

I had been very ignorant to the dangers of fast fashion up until a few months ago. Having worked for two major clothing retailers in the last five years, I was blind to how detrimental the practices of these companies were to both the environment and their employees. If you haven’t already, check out the documentary, “The True Cost”. It streams on Amazon Prime and gives a sobering look into the world of fast fashion. I was shocked to learn about the poor work conditions that has, in some cases, led to dearth. No one should have to die just so someone else can buy a cheap crop top. Read that again. People literally die so that fast fashion brands can produce clothing that you probably wear once and forget about.

Fast Fashion has become even more complicated with brands trying to capitalize on the new wave of ethical shoppers. They use words and advertisements that make you believe they are a sustainable brand (this is referred to as Greenwashing). The rule of thumb for any brand that claims to be sustainable is: If they come out with new products weekly, biweekly, or even every three weeks, they are NOT SUSTAINABLE. The nature of that is not sustainable. I don’t care if they tell you they are using recycled materials to make their clothing, if they are producing enough new products to release them that frequently, it is not sustainable. Don‘t let them greenwash you.

I’m not saying you should never buy new clothes. I’d be lying if I acted like I was never going to buy new clothes! It’s more about cutting back and investing in nicer items that you can take care of and will last longer. Like most things environmentally friendly, you pay a little more money upfront, but ultimately save in the long run. The same goes for your clothes! If you can afford to, hold off on buying those $10 jeans from H&M and invest in better denim that could potentially last a life time! It may seem expensive in the moment, but the $10 jeans are likely to fall apart and you’ll have to replace anyways.

If you’re looking for other online spaces to sell/buy secondhand clothing, check out: Thredup, Poshmark, or Shop Suki!

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