Part-time reseller with a passion for sustainable fashion and minimalism. She loves searching for beautiful vintage items as they guarantee high-quality and an iconic look. When not reselling, she's studying sustainability, reading about slow fashion or travelling to remote areas of the world.
Fashion is an expression of who we are. We purchase different styles to express our thoughts, feelings or mood. Like never before we have many options to help us express our individuality. However, due to the rise of fast fashion offering lots of cheaper options, fashion has majorly impacted our environment and ethical standards.
So What is Fast Fashion?
Fast fashion is the use of unsustainable methods to produce fashion at a rapid pace affecting the planet, people and profits. Fast fashion is often made from low-quality unrecyclable materials to keep up with current trends created by consumers and retailers.
On the contrary, slow fashion is an alternative approach to fashion, which includes using sustainable methods or processes that is kinder to the environment, people and our wallets.
Slow fashion represents local and sustainable production methods, the use of high quality sustainable materials and the action of swapping or recycling clothing to prolong the garment’s lifespan. According to Eco-business ‘it takes 2,720 litres of water to make a t-shirt and 10,850 litres to make jeans’ therefore using slow fashion methods will ultimately slow production down.
Slow fashion is a movement that is expected to grow globally. Together we are all realising the impact of fast fashion, the more it’s highlighted the more retailers, communities, companies and groups are taking significant action.
Purchasing second-hand clothing is one way to slow down fast fashion. According to CNBC ‘by 2028 the used-fashion market is set to skyrocket in value to $64 billion in the U.S, while fast-fashion will only reach $44 billion’ .
Why You Should Say Yes to Second-hand Fashion
There are many reasons why you should say no to fast fashion and yes to second-hand fashion, below our top 5 reasons why.
In most cases, if a garment is passed on to others we expect the condition of the item to be good in order for it to be recycled. Vintage is a good example of items are made to last decades and will still be in great condition. Previously when clothes were made, designers created clothing from high-quality materials unlike fast fashion produced today. Therefore, purchasing second-hand items you will know the garment is made to last. As long as the items are loved and looked after properly, some second-hand items can last a long-time.
Less Impact on the Environment
By purchasing second-hand garments, you are slowing down the fashion production cycle. Fast fashion processes entail rapid production to keep up with demand therefore if we stop purchasing as much, there will be less of a need for companies to use mass quantities of harmful materials, dyes and chemicals to quickly produce items. Additionally, on a mass level every time someone purchases an item, it will also be packaged and sent via some type of transport which ultimately impacts the environment.
For some of us, we may hate to admit that sometimes after we have worn an item and see no use for it, we throw it away forgetting to recycle it; consequentially the garment will end up in a landfill or in the ocean. The problem is most materials are not recyclable therefore it will take hundreds or thousands of years for materials to break-down or biodegrade which has an impact on animals, organisms and the environment. So purchasing recycled clothing or recycling your clothes slows down the process of the item going to waste.
Generally, second-hand clothing is much cheaper than paying for newly made items. You can source your items online discounted 50% or more than the original price. However not only can it be bought for less, vintage, for instance, is often better quality therefore lasts longer which reduces the amount of items you purchase. It’s now easy to refresh your closet without spending a fortune on fast fashion where the material is often cheap and doesn’t have a long lifespan. High-quality items will always guarantee a longer life which you will not have to quickly replace the item.
Fast fashion styles are often low quality copies of current trends; however, reusing vintage or second-hand garments originating from different eras is creative, fun and unique. When you explore into second-hand fashion you will realise different textures, patterns and styles that are iconic from a particular time period. The beauty of second-hand fashion is that it doesn’t need to be ‘on-trend’, it can be whatever you want it to be which also applies to hand-made fashion.
Join the movement, purchase second-hand items and say no to fast fashion.
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