Thrift stores, clothes swaps and factory rejects keep your closet fashionable without emptying your wallet.
“Second-Hand Fashion” is in!
And it has the potential to save the world.
When was the last time you looked through, and I mean REALLY looked through your clothes? That pair of jeans you no longer wear? That cute t-shirt that just doesn’t quite fit?
While our stock of clothes keeps increasing in our cupboards, buried under them are those forgotten ones who have not seen the light of day for months!
For me, clothing swap has always held an allure. It is the best way to find a use for the clothes I no longer wear and get a fresh set of clothes to wear in exchange. You keep up with the fashion trends and cut down your harmful impact on the environment!
That’s one advantage, but if you look at the bigger picture, exchanging clothes, buying second-hand, renting dresses or buying them from a thrift store also help in reducing the gigantic carbon footprint of the fashion industry which is responsible for 2.1 million tons of CO2 emissions every year.
And you are an important cog in this system, as after all, fashion is all about You!!
Help bring a change by adopting sustainable habits and protect the planet. Here’s how “second-hand” is lending a helping hand to the environment:
1. It Reduces the Stress on Fossil Fuels
According to the New York Times, over 60 per cent of the fabric used by the fashion industry is derived from fossil fuels and is synthetic. Each set of our newly bought innocent-looking clothes have already left a devastating imprint on the environment. But we don’t really think about it, do we?
Buying new clothes creates a demand for fossil fuels and discarding them when they don’t fit or become unfashionable, adds to the strain in the landfills.
Try going for second-hand clothes instead, so you don’t have to spend your month’s salary on brand new and expensive ones.
Don’t trust strangers with their clothes? Arrange for an exchange amongst family and close friends instead, in a swapmeet!
2. Sift through Thrift Shops for Pocket-Friendly, Stylish Fashion
Ananya Barua, a serial thrift shopper says, “I have done some serious thrift shop haul, especially vintage clothing, that were not necessarily second-hand but had just gone out of style. While the pull of getting new and shiny garments from stores is eternal, personally, I love the quest in thrift stores. You do get rare items at great prices in those places, most of which are sold on single-piece availability. That unique factor is totally a winner for me when compared to retail stores or e-commerce websites that sell identical clothing.”
Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi and other cities have a number of thrift stores and all you need is a simple Google search to know where they are!
3. Affordable Fashion You Say? Say ‘Aye’ for Factory Rejects
Branded clothes cost a bomb. But, only if you buy them from the brand outlets. A minor flaw in the stitch or a misplaced label lands these fashionable clothes in the street shops at costs reduced by 70-80 per cent! So you stay well within your budget and you stay stylish. I don’t see any downside, do you?
About how reliable these budget-friendly fashion stores are, Ananya answers, “It depends on where you are buying it from and in what condition. It is important to assess the quality of the material and its condition before buying. But, so far my experience has always been good.”
4. Do your Clothes Breathe? It is Imperative They Do!
Cotton, bamboo and other planet-friendly materials are super soft on your skin and will last a long time. So the next time you are looking to buy a T-shirt, leggings or ethnic wear, make sure the fabric is biodegradable or sustainable. That way, you are guaranteed good quality clothes and the planet is guaranteed its health.
5. Rent ‘em, Use ‘em, Return ‘em
My wallet sighs sadly when I RSVP a grand function. Many of my friends are getting married and I need to stay on top of my style game. How does one do that without going bankrupt? An awesome idea is to rent garments and not buy them. This way, you can flaunt different outfits for every occasion and yet keep your life savings intact. You also save the planet in the process!
6. Ever Recycled your Clothes? It’s Time you Started It
Our mothers did it, their mothers did and so should we. Recycle clothes as much as possible. Cotton shirts are especially a favourite in DIY projects. You can hand them down to younger siblings, cousins or friends. Or you can turn them into bags, purses, blankets etc. Here’s how.
The days of fast fashion are nearing their end of days (we hope!), thanks to consumers and brands that are moving towards sustainability. Join them in this green venture and let your choices help earth breathe easy!
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)