You walk into a store where everything is in front of you: the prices, the sizes, the same dress in every color. You get exactly what you want –– but the next morning, the person next to you is wearing the exact same thing. This is the downfall of the throwaway fashion world we live in.
The idea is that these items are designed to follow fads and trends. After a couple months, it’s no longer in style. This tactic only inflates the textile waste issues currently taking place in our country.
Something needs to be done about this scourge for our environmentally friendly shopping habits, and it seems for now that there is one way to fight against this style of creation waste: thrift shopping.
Thrift shopping is something I had to do as a kid because I was raised by a single parent. We couldn’t always afford groceries so new clothing was not an option nor a priority. Thrift shops are more affordable, and if you look hard enough you can find what you are looking for.
As I got older and started working, I had the disposable income to shop at the throwaway big corporate fashion stores like Urban Outfitters, Zara and H&M. But there is no joy in it, no hunt for the right piece, and I knew I could buy five pieces for the price of the one.
Thrift shopping had a lot of benefits such as cutting material waste. Every new product created out of a textile factors into emissions. Fashion is known for waste so after the fabric has been created they will not use pieces of it, creating a garment.
It’s also clear that there is a moral factor behind how this clothing is created –– often in factories overseas or on American soil not paying fair wages to their workers.
In many countries, textile companies are the largest employers but often times the workers are contracted to work at home, paid by the piece. The prices are set low making it difficult for individuals to make fair wages.
In 2011, Center for American Progress found between the top four countries to export to America for textile products the workers were paid 14 to 36 percent of the living wage.
While the complaints about thrifting are that the clothes smell bad because it was previously worn by someone else or that someone can not find items as easily, but these complaints are nothing compared to the benefits.
As for not being able to find what you want, it’s clear that either you might not have looked in the right place. You can open up the possibilities of something you didn’t know you wanted.