Buying Secondhand or ethically made items:
It is undeniable that we live in a society driven by consumerism, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take slow and mindful steps towards shifting that mindset!
Buying gently used secondhand clothing or ethically made clothing is one major way that we can reduce our carbon footprint. Fast fashion is one of the most detrimental things to plague our planet. The more we move away from it, the more positive impact we have on the planet. We recommend watching the documentary The True Cost.
So why is it bad?
There are a variety of reasons as to why fast fashion is bad for the environment.
There are of course the sustainability concerns. You see, the waste component of fast fashion is staggering, since ”trendy“ pieces made from cheap material end up in landfills over time as they aren’t typically made from material that is made to last. If they don't go to landfill, they are often burned. There is also the ethical component of it- many workers are forced to work in unsafe and unethical conditions; and due to the fact that the demand for these items is incredibly high, workers may put in extreme hours to meet those deadlines.
Then we see the extreme impact that it has on the environment and the quality of our air:
“Besides the sheer bulk of waste in landfills, fast fashion has an impact on the environment through carbon emissions. The industry is responsible for 10% of global CO2 emissions each year, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.”
-excerpt from treehugger
The best way to start shopping more sustainably is to do a search in your area for spots like Plato's Closet and Goodwill and use key words like "vintage clothing," "thrift store," "second-hand clothes."
If you prefer staying home to shopping in person- there are plenty of ways to do that too!
Apps like donegood and goodonyou are both apps where you can buy ethically made clothing. During these unforeseen times, most of our shopping has become digital, but that doesn't mean you can't score great deals on secondhand clothes.
The negative effects that fast fashion has clearly show why it is imperative to start veering away from it and why. When you buy from an ethically based/sustainable brand, there is a deeper understanding of fair working conditions that comes along with the eco-conscious side of it.
What if I want to buy something “new”
Well, there’s a solution for that too! There are so many great ethical, size inclusive brands out there like hara the label , which sells intimates and loungewear made out of bamboo.
Stone Fox swim is another great eco friendly brand that sells sustainably made swimwear, loungewear, and apparel. Their website also has a cute blog section, resources, and the company is woman-led!
Yireh is a local Hawaiian design making sustainable clothing (pictured here) but there are bigger brands like Reformation, Mate the Label, Girlfriend Collective, Go Gently Nation, and Everlane that have a national or even international presence doing business the RIGHT way.
There are so many benefits to shopping ethically, it sets us on the right path toward a better future economically, environmentally, and socially.