Like every other woman out there, I love my clothes. My mother is a clothes hoarder and my best friend Syd loves buying clothes. I have loved fashion for a long time, but is it time to change my purchasing habits?
Second-Hand Clothes are now Trending
When I was at school, I got picked on because I had second-hand clothes from charity shops. It was a sign of being poor which, I wasn’t necessarily but I wasn’t exactly middle class. I used to try and hide it but now 15 years down the line, I’m not ashamed at all. If anything, I am proud of my charity shop buys, I’ve got jackets for £2, boots for a fiver and they have been some really nice pieces. It got me thinking though, with the world becoming greener, are we still a “wear once” culture that we were?
There is many people who like to just wear things once, especially now we constantly post our outfits (and lives) on social media #ootd. eBay saw people buying second-hand stuff no matter what it was including clothes. My mother makes a little bit of pocket money selling clothes and shoes on there, I tried it but didn’t have as much luck. It is a huge marketplace which I guess over the years became over saturated. But what else is there for second-hand clothes?
I had a look at Depop but to be honest, it’s more for trendy influencers on Instagram than your average joe just wanting some clothes. I have got my eyes on some things but nothing too exciting. Then I tried Vinted and I have to say it is miles better. A lot easier to use and is very seller friendly. I’ve made a little bit of money, about £80 which for a few bits and bobs isn’t that bad
The rise of sites such as Depop and Vinted have been outstanding and has made re-usuable clothing more accessible. They saw a massive surge during the Covid Pandemic as did most online retailers. Depop has a global community of 30 million with 2.5 million from the UK alone. Vinted on the other hand is bigger globally at 45 million but just 1.2 million users are from the UK. The UK is becoming more eco conscious than ever before and maybe since the world is trying to restart, it might actually be a good idea. Generation Z (18 to 24) surprisingly are pioneering crusaders in this change from fast fashion to sustainable fashion. A poll conducted by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce) back in May 2020, found that only 28% of people are recycling/reusing more clothes with 35% of women intending to purchase less clothes in the future following the pandemic. Half of the women polled believed that the fashion industry should do more to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Global Impact of our Clothing Habits
I never used to really care about the environment but since the pandemic hit I really have (I’ll write about it soon). The statistics are staggering and it makes me a little ashamed to think I am a part of that. I can happily say my mother isn’t as she hoards a lot for ages!
According to Clothes Aid, 350,000 tonnes of clothes that are still wearable, end up going to landfill. That’s a staggering £140 million just wasted! They say it’s enough to fill 469 Olympic sized swimming pools. A report created by the BBC back in October, found that unwanted clothing produced 10% of the world’s global emissions and made up 20% of the global wastewater. We definitely take the world for granted and don’t realise how something such as clothing, bits of fabric etc, can cause so much damage. West Africa, in particular Ghana, have become a dumping ground for the western worlds unwanted fast fashion clothing. Thomas Naadi, a BBC correspondent in Africa, went to Ghana to investigate.
What can be done to stop adding to the problem? Stay tuned for my tips on how to be more sustainable when it comes to your style.