Updated: Sep 10, 2018
Let's face it: We’ve become accustomed to fast-fashion.
Every day, we dress ourselves in clothing produced by what is arguably the world's second-most polluting industry. I know firsthand how it tough it is to resist the urge to 'binge shop' whenever there's a sale or being addicted to Taobao. (Trust me, I get it)
This lifestyle has resulted in a common first world problem: having too many clothes, but "nothing to wear". The solution? BUY MORE CLOTHES.
As it turns out, many of us have a habit of buying more than we actually need. According to a research by Channel News Asia, Singaporeans purchase an average of 34 pieces of new clothing and discard 27 pieces of previously-owned clothing each year.
Why does this matter? Well, textile waste is a serious problem and it's impact on the environment is quick frankly, devastating.
So how do break free from this endless cycle of consumerism?
The first step towards becoming a more responsible fashion consumer is by choosing 'Sustainable Fashion'.
What is exactly 'Sustainable Fashion'?
To me, being sustainable is simply about making a conscious choice to reduce your fashion footprint AKA to produce 'less wastage'!
There are many forms of sustainable fashion.
For example, there are tons of sustainable fashion brands that produce eco-friendly and ethical goods. However, sustainable clothing can be pretty expensive and well... not all of us can afford to spend $50 on a '100% organic cotton, vegan T-shirt'
Why Second hand?
Shopping second hand is a super sustainable solution to minimise fashion footprint by buying clothes that already exist. Not only can you benefit from buying second hand, selling your preloved items also allow you to contribute to a more sustainable environment!
There are so many benefits of buying and selling pre-loved clothing! Personally, I've noticed many positive changes in my lifestyle since I started thinking 'like-new first'.
Here are some of my top reasons for choosing second hand:
1. You save (a lot of) Money
This has got to be the most compelling reason for shopping second hand. People often have the misconception that secondhand clothing is dirty, worn-out or not on trend. But believe me, you'll be surprised by the amount of good quality like-new fashion pieces you can find at a fraction of the original price. This means that you spend less on every piece of clothing!
2. You make a conscious, sustainable choice
Let's be realistic: It's impossible for every piece of clothing to 100% sustainable.
But, shopping secondhand allows you to enjoy the thrill of having new pieces in your closet, without the environment cost, because the clothes that you purchase have already been produced. While extended use does not make the garment a totally sustainable one, it certainly helps reduce the impact the garment has on the environment!
3. You give pre-loved clothes a new life
If second hand shopping didn't exist, all of the clothes that we see in consignment or thrift stores would instead be collecting dust in our homes and eventually, dumped in a landfill. Hence, shopping second hand helps to keep perfectly good clothes out of landfill and gives pre-loved clothes a new lease of life!
4. You contribute to the circular economy
Not only can you benefit from shopping secondhand, selling secondhand has many advantages too! Selling your preloved items at a consignment shop allows you to earn some money, while contributing to what is known as the 'circular economy', where one piece of clothing can be used by multiple users.
Returning one garment back into the circular economy extends its life by an average of 2.2 years and reduce its carbon, waste and water footprints by 73%!
5. You DO make a difference
I know what you're thinking, "How do I even make a difference to the environment?"
Here's what you need to know: Every action counts.
By thinking like-new first, we are choosing not to support fast fashion brands that encourage mass-consumption that further deteriorates our environment. It's a choice that can shrink our fashion footprints and help our environmental impact. If we change our lifestyle now to promote reusing, rewearing and recycling of clothing, change will trickle down.
What are you waiting for? Join us on our mission to inspire a new generation of consumers to think like-new first!
Learn about how you can sell your items on refash.sg