Discussions about whether the Earth will save itself and survive past humanity or not are ongoing. Maybe long after we’re gone, the planet will restore its balance. For now, we keep hurting our only home through ignorant evolvement, machinery, and negligence. Some aspects that aid in the planet’s suffering are fast fashion, mass production, and landfills full of non-recyclable materials. Many environmental reasons urge us to fight the fast fashion industry. On the other hand, there are a couple of personal ones as well. To have a positive impact, you can find a new hobby instead of shopping, or maybe start buying second-hand clothes.
Every week, there’s a new fashionable design that gets mass-produced and sold everywhere at an average price. People jump on those trends and buy, only to leave that piece after a couple of wears and move on to the next one. That is called, “fast fashion.” It’s a business with its own machinery that leads to overproduction and overconsumption.
The fashion industry is currently responsible for 8 to 10 percent of global carbon emissions. Producing textiles mostly needs non-renewable sources, such as gas and oil. Not to mention that around 93 billion cubic meters of water are used in the process. That has a direct effect on global industrial water pollution, as 20 percent of it is caused by dying materials and treating textile.
According to Kleiderly, the average times a piece of clothes is worn decreased 36 percent in the last 15 years. After that, useless pieces of clothes end up getting donated or thrown away. Less than 1 percent of them are recycled into new clothes, and the remaining material ends up in a landfill or gets burned. Most clothes are a mix of organic and synthetic fibers. The organic fibers decompose, generating methane, which has a very high global warming potential; it’s higher than the effect carbon monoxide has. Meanwhile, the synthetic fibers could take up to two centuries to fully decompose.
If those are not enough reasons to resist the urge to participate in new fashion trends and to find a new hobby or start buying second-hand clothes, here are some more:
Why is buying second hand clothes better for the environment?
- Maintaining natural resources: tons of resources go into producing clothes. There isn’t enough cotton, linen, or wool, and even if there was, it requires lots of work and farming. Furthermore, synthetic fibers are more dominant now, and that requires energy and so much labor. There’s excavating oil, lots of water usage, and mining for metals.
- Less packaging: everytime someone buys something new, it comes in a new plastic bag or fancy cardboard packaging. At the end of the day, you’re left with so much plastic and paper that you throw in the trash.
- Extending the lifespan of clothes: when reusing, you’re getting the best and most of that item. If that item is being sold somewhere, then it’s probably not cut in half or washed out; there’s still life in it. Let it live instead of sending it to the landfill.
Why is buying second hand clothes better for you?
- Saving money: new clothes are so expensive nowadays. It’s always something trendy or designer. While saving the environment, you can also save money that’s worth spending on something more long-term.
- Unique clothes: instead of buying brand new items and looking the same as every other trendy person, thrift shopping provides buyers with so many one-of-a-kind pieces. Whether it’s a couple of years old vest or a sweatshirt that was fashionable a year ago, you can probably pull it off and bring it back.
- Wear luxury brands at low cost: bougie people buy designer clothes, get bored and give them away. You can be the one to find very high quality clothes at a thrift shop, as they’re filled with many.
Buying second-hand clothes can save the environment, energy, material, and work. It can also make you dashing, financially wise, and environmentally aware. Go ahead and give it a try.