Ditching Fast Fashion and Trying Out Thrifting
By Erin Rebello
With all that’s going on in the world, it seems like concern for the environment has taken a backseat. As much as we would like to ignore it, the world is going to get more polluted and less habitable if we continue to damage it. Although this is a huge weight to put on the shoulders of children and teens, we too are responsible for the state of our planet! One of the major contributors to pollution and waste is the fast fashion industry.
As the name suggests, fast fashion is a sector of the fashion industry that promotes the sale of trendy pieces of clothing that are cheaply made and sold for low prices. Oftentimes, these garments are made by workers in third-world countries who are paid grossly unfair wages that trap them in a cycle of poverty. Besides the blatant ethical issues, fast fashion also creates excessive waste. Rather than buying a piece of quality-made clothing and wearing it for years, people are now purchasing clothing that’s “trendy” but falls apart quickly and cannot withstand wear and tear. Thus, the cycle of fast fashion has started, causing students to purchase poorly-made clothes, only to throw them out and buy new ones in a couple of months.
As a result, landfills are being filled with unusable textiles that will take years to disintegrate. Although some countries have implemented systems to recycle fabrics, there will always be piles and piles of fabric that will fill landfills. And this all occurs because of the fast-fashion industry and the switch to cheap and non-durable clothing.
So now that you’re educated about the issue, you are probably are wondering how you can help. Although you probably don’t have the power to shut down the fast-fashion industry, you can put your money where your heart is and invest your money into more sustainable clothing options. One thing that almost anyone can do is switch to buying secondhand. Although there has been a stigma about buying second-hand over the past decades, it’s time to put your preconceived notions aside for the sake of the planet!
Buying from a secondhand store or thrift shop has two major positive impacts. For starters, you are keeping a garment out of landfills, which is huge! As well, you are also preventing yourself from falling victim to the vicious cycle of the fast fashion industry by not supporting brands with your dollar. Although seemingly simple, this small task can make a huge impact, especially when many kids decide to do the same thing!
Not only is thrifting environmentally friendly, but it can also be a lot of fun. Instead of shopping at a store, which has a particular clothing aesthetic, thrift stores are a melting pot of various styles, fashions, and eras, exposing you to various clothing styles you may have never seen before. As a result, going thrifting can even help you develop a brand new and unique sense of style! Not to mention the rush of dopamine you feel when you find something that you absolutely love!
Overall, although the fast fashion industry and climate change are two major issues that Canadians face, by shopping at thrift stores you can do your part to help resolve these problems. Happy thrifting!