Fast fashion needs to come to an end

Second hand apparel is the better option


Screenshot of many thrift stores in San Jose

Thrifting is the best choice when it comes to buying clothes.

Fast fashion is easy to participate in, but not many buyers see how harmful it can be to the environment. People often stray away from thrifting because they are seen as “in bad condition” since the clothes are from a stranger.

When it comes to fast fashion, the clothes are more “trendy,” but what happens when they are no longer popular?

Rubicon, a software company that focuses on waste and recycling, reported that “… 11 million tons of recyclable clothing, shoes and textiles make their way into landfills each year.”

Rubicon has also reported that landfills are one of the biggest contributions to soil pollution; 80% of the items in landfills could actually be recycled.

Thrifting has a lot of variety; people can find basics or even hidden gems. If an item is too big or too small, one can deconstruct and reconstruct the piece to make it into something entirely new.

Not only are items priced cheaper than retail stores, but they can also be salvageable if they are not in the best shape. A simple wash, bleach or scrub can easily clean any item that has been purchased from a second hand store.

According to online lifestyle magazine Society 19, “When you learn how to get crafty, any old piece of clothing has the potential to become a new fashion statement.”

Shopping second hand not only helps reduce waste, but it also helps workers in bad circumstances.

A majority of fast fashion is manufactured in sweatshops where manual workers are paid low wages in poor working conditions.

Sustain Your Style, an organization that focuses on fashion states “… in most of the manufacturing countries (China, Bangladesh, India…), the minimum wage represents between half to a fifth of the living wage.”

While these concerns are just a few out of plenty, it is important that fashion lovers acknowledge how harmful the industry really is.

The next time anyone goes out to shop, either in-person or online, keep this question in mind: Is there an alternative that can be found in a thrift store?