The clothing industry has done nothing but grow over the years. With the influence of social media, the pressure to keep up with the latest trends and the instant gratification of online shopping, it can be difficult to not give in to consumerism. However, with new clothing ranges hitting the shelves daily comes expensive prices, sweatshop labour and having thousands of people own an identical item.
BY MARIZA HALLIDAY
In recent years, the thrifting phenomenon has taken the world by storm. Charity stores and second-hand shopping sites have been around for decades, yet second-hand shopping has only exploded in popularity over the last few years. Wearing secondhand clothes used to be a sign of poverty, something to be ashamed of. But now thrifting is actually…cool. We take a look at why thrifting is good for your wallet as well as the planet. Hopefully at least a few of these benefits will encourage you to forego your trip to a big retail store and check out a second-hand shop instead…
GUESS WHAT? THRIFTING IS GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT!
You are dramatically lowering your carbon footprint by selecting secondhand items over newly produced products. The second-hand clothing industry’s environmental benefits range from fewer carbon emissions to saving water and reducing waste. Giving a used item new life rescues it from ending up in the landfills as well as reduces all the packaging that comes with the purchase of a new garment. It is a gift that keeps giving.
SECOND-HAND WILL BE LARGER THAN FAST FASHION WITHIN 10 YEARS
Millennials and boomers do the most second-hand shopping, but Gen Z’ers (18-24) are the fastest-adopting group. More than 1-in-3 Gen Z’ers bought second-hand clothing in 2019. Overall, 64 percent of women say they’re willing to buy used apparel, shoes, and accessories, compared to 45 percent in 2016. Second-hand is projected to grow to nearly 1.5 x the size of Fast Fashion by 2028 according to the Thred Up 2019 Resale Report.
DISCOVER DESIGNER ITEMS AT A FRACTION OF THE PRICE
In the mood for a treasure hunt? Spend some time digging through the shelves and you might be surprised by the quality brands you can purchase at a significant discount. There are few feelings as rewarding as finding an amazing designer item for a fraction of its original cost. Secondhand items are often actually better quality than new ones, proving its durability by lasting long enough to be donated. The longer it lasts, the longer it stays out of the landfill. You might even find a true vintage item with a much greater value than its price tag.
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN GOOD SPENDING HABITS
Taking your children to a thrift store is a good way to teach them how to find good products while saving money. It also teaches them great values by allowing them to donate their unwanted clothing items, while not giving in to the pressure of consumerism.
Purchasing the latest trends from your local fashion retailers means looking the same as everyone else. Finding inspiration from the in-store mannequin can become a bit dull. Thrifting allows you to unleash your creativity and create styles that are unique to you. Put together looks that speak to your personality and makes you stand out from the crowd.
HOW ABOUT A LITTLE DIY?
You will find countless ideas online – from transforming tired clothing into fashionable braided headbands, creating macramé hangers from an old t-shirt, or recovering a dull-looking chair. You can find the basic materials for your DIY projects at a local charity store or second-hand shop online. Get your kids involved and give them the chance to express their creativity constructively! This will also make for excellent bonding time – and a lesson that one man’s trash is another’s treasure for sure.
CHARITY ALWAYS FEELS GOOD
Many thrift stores are non-profits that partner with local charities, and when you support them, part of what you spend goes to a good cause. Let’s get serious about recycling our clothes to decrease the demand for production and encourage sustainable living.