The fashion industry has a significant environmental impact, with textile production and disposal being major contributors to pollution and waste. It produces up to 8% of annual global carbon emissions, more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.
It takes around 3800 litres of clean and drinkable water to make a typical pair of jeans - that’s 1L of drinking water for 3800 days or 1L per day for 10 years! Textiles account for about 9% of annual microplastic losses to the ocean, or the equivalent of 45 million plastic bottles per year. Yikes! So before you buy that fast fashion item that only lasts for one season, consider thrifting, or buying secondhand clothes, which is an excellent way to reduce the environmental impact of fashion while still enjoying a stylish wardrobe.
Thrifting has become increasingly popular in recent years, so popular that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have a song called Thrift Shop. Now more than ever consumers are looking for sustainable and ethical alternatives to fast fashion. 100 billion new garments are made globally every year which makes buying secondhand clothes a viable option when it comes to looking for "new" threads. Buying secondhand will not only reduce the demand for new clothes, it also reduces textile waste, and saves resources such as water, energy, and raw materials.
Thrifting can lead you to you finding unique and vintage gems that are no longer available in retail stores which means you will have a one-of-a-kind personal style.
As Macklemore said:
"And savin' my money and I'm hella happy that's a bargain, I'ma take your grandpa's style, I'ma take your grandpa's styleNo, for real, ask your grandpa, can I have his hand-me-downs? (Thank you)"