With 80 billion items of clothing being consumed annually, it is estimated that more than 1 million tonnes of textiles are thrown away every year in India, with most of this coming from household sources. Textiles make up about 3% by weight of a household bin. At the least 50% of the textiles that one throws away are recyclable, but in practical only 25% of wastes are recycled.

This mass production and in turn waste has been fuelled by the Fast Fashion Industry which has turned 2-4 seasons into 50-100 micro-seasons.

A further consequence is that our sense of connection with the production line and the clothes we wear has been dehumanised. For a cheap new outfit, we are compromising fundament al values of humanity, and in turn supporting detrimental environmental impacts and human rights breaches.

Millennials and Gen Z turning to secondhand fashion says Mintel - News :  industrie (#1178789)

But in the past decade, thrifting has taken on a completely new life, especially among individuals of Generation Z, born between 1995 and 2010. The reasons behind the rise of thrifting are numerous. For one, the fast fashion industry has faced persistent scrutiny in the past decade following numerous controversies regarding the unethical treatment of its workers and unsafe working conditions in garment factories, most notably after the 2013 collapse of Rana Plaza in Dhaka, Bangladesh. These revelations have encouraged discourse amongst the global consumer base about the ethics of fast fashion consumption, discouraging the practice in favour of circular fashion, and have resulted in greater transparency regarding garment supply chains from brands, such as H&M and Gap.

Secondly, Gen Z and Gen Y are, reportedly, more concerned about climate change compared to older generations. According to McKinsey’s “The State of Fashion 2019” report, “Nine in ten Generation Z consumers believe companies have a responsibility to address environmental and social issues.”  Across all industries, companies have not been blind to the impact of these environmental interests on consumer choices. In the fashion industry, many of the hottest brands on the market (in terms of editorial recognition and celebrity endorsements), such as Reformation and Everlane, are ones that strive to treat their workers ethically, to minimize the consumption of resources such as water, and to reduce their environmental impact by using recycled fabrics and less toxic production methods. However, these sustainable and ethical brands are often much pricier than their fast-fashion counterparts. Thrift stores, therefore, service the environmentally and ethically conscious consumers of today who do not have the resources to buy from such brands. Although there are still waste issues with thrift shopping associated with large amounts of clothing still ending up in landfill, change begins with the individual and shifting to thrift is a simple and effective way to become a more conscious consumer. It not only gives power back to the individual in actively reducing their contribution to the Fast Fashion system, but allows one to shop on their own agenda, finding unique one-off pieces that reignite the relationship one should have with clothing as our second skin, and fashion as an avenue of self-expression.

Here are Some of the benefits of thrift shopping. Hopefully at least a few of those benefits will encourage you to forego your trip to a big department store and check out a second-hand shop instead.

clothes, clothing, clothing rack, fashion, peach - inspiring picture on  Favim.com

1. You may discover designer products at a fraction of the price.

If you dig through the racks, you might be surprised by the quality brands you can purchase at a steep discount.

2. You’ll develop a unique wardrobe.

Thrift shops have a much more diverse assortment of clothing, meaning you’re less likely to find yourself wearing the same top or sweater as a friend or co-worker.

3. Thrift stores let you explore diverse styles.

You may not like every item of clothing you find at your local thrift store, but you can at least have fun looking at ostentatious, retro, or just plain bizarre merchandise.

4. You can find genuine vintage items.

Fashion is cyclical, and designers often try to mimic the looks of different decades. When you shop at thrift stores, you can often find clothing that was actually made in the decade that’s coming back into style.

5. You can find items that are no longer made.

Whether you’re looking for an out-of-print book or an iconic T-shirt that was only made in the 80s, thrift shops are often your best bet to find items that are no longer in production.

6. Your purchases may go towards a charity.

Many thrift stores are non-profits that partner with local charities, and when you make a purchase, part of what you spend goes to a good cause.

7. Thrift shopping is environmentally friendly.

Thrift shopping is a great way to recycle; you can donate clothes you no longer wear and buy more clothes, eliminating waste in the process.

8. You can turn thrifting into a business.

If you’re someone with an eye for good deals, you can purchase high-quality items at a thrift or consignment shop and sell them for a higher price using an online marketplace. Plenty of online shoppers are interested in purchasing vintage clothes or unique items that a savvy buyer has sourced from a thrift shop.

– Rutuja Shinde

References

1.      Lifehack.org

2.      Berkeley Economic Review

3.      Fashionrevolution.org

Image credits : Google

 

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