Buy things used things (reworked items, vintage, second hand)
- Clothing waste is a leading polluter in landfills worldwide, contributing to massive amounts of pollutant release during the incineration and storage processes of abandoned textiles.
- Choosing to buy second-hand items extends the lifespan of garments and reduces the amount of landfill waste while allowing consumers to shop traditionally unsustainable brands.
- Shopping inherently creates a supply and demand system and buying from brands who do not practice ethical or sustainable sourcing and manufacturing processes further enables these practices. Slowing down the cycle of fast fashion, second-hand goods minimize the exploitation of both the environment and workers in the manufacturing process. Shopping responsibly doesn’t always equal forfeiting your favorite designers if buying goods that have already been purchased before.
- Attitudes on buying secondhand have changed in recent years, as online shopping platforms have made finding your size, desired brand, and budget easily accessible. Online retailers such as thredUP, Depop, The Real Real, and Vestiaire are revolutionizing the process of second-hand shopping, making it just as easy as any other type of online shopping, and offering designer and name-brand goods.
- Buying second-hand also is a way to make shopping sustainable financially accessible, as prices are normally heavily discounted from the original retail tag. Supporting second-hand shops, online or in-person, helps improve accessibility for all to shop more responsibly.
- Reworked items also elongate products' life cycles while creating unique, one-of-a-kind materials using pre-worn garments and minimal additional fabrics.
- Clothing waste also poses ethical issues, as it contributes to a type of environmental segregation, targeting low-income or BIPOC communities. Incineration is not only an environmentally determinantal process but also an often discriminatory practice as incinerators and landfills are often purposefully placed in marginalized communities, disproportionately exposing them to hazardous waste they are not equally contributing to. Access to clean air and water should not be a privilege that comes with race or class status, an unfortunate occurrence that is currently a result of multiple zoning laws in industrial communities.